Friday, December 31, 2010

10 interesting 2011 predictions

After curating a list of the boldest 2011 tech industry predictions for Investors.com, I decided to compile a list of the most interesting 2011 predictions on other topics.
Yesterday I posted the prediction that pies will be a big food craze next year.
Here are some other predictions (some nutty, some rational) from across the World Wide Web.

1. More UFOs in 2011

We can “expect more and more unexplained phenomenon with the earth’s atmosphere in 2011 including meteorites, undiscovered anomalies, and strange behavior of the sun and yes, even UFOs,” said Alison Baughman, a professional numerologist. She’s conveniently vague, of course.

2. Strong earthquake in Iran

A strong earthquake in Iran will victimize thousands, says Mohamed Faroun, a self-proclaimed Egyptian astrologer.
Numerologist Baughman sees an “increased trend” in earthquakes next year and is particularly concerned about the Gulf of California.

3. Barack Obama falls ill

U.S. President Barack Obama “will have a health problem or/and an unexpected accident,” Faroun predicts.

4. Big year for IPOs

Next year could be a big one for initial public offerings, according to the New York Times and Inc. magazine. Possible tech IPOs in 2011 include Facebook, Groupon, LinkedIn, Pandora, Skype, Zynga and Zipcar.

5. Jennifer Aniston meets her soul mate, maybe

“Friends” star and tabloid regular Jennifer Aniston will meet her soul mate “in the next two years,” psychic Ron Bard tells Wonderwall. Plus, towards the fourth quarter of 2011, she will be shooting a movie that “will be up for an Academy Award.” Costume design perhaps? I wish these psychics would be more specific.

6. Social unrest in the U.S. over the economy

Angry demonstrations over the economy will be staged in many major U.S. cities, says Bruce Krasting of Zero Hedge. Some of the demonstrations will turn violent, he predicts. “The frustration that was evident in France in recent years will come to the US,” he writes.

7. Volt bombs, Dreamliner parked

GM’s plug-in hybrid electric car, the Chevy Volt, will not sell well, Krasting forecasts. Boeing will be unable to complete a single Dreamliner aircraft, he adds. GM will trade below $30 a share and Boeing will hit the low $50s. (GM closed today at 36.86 and Boeing at 65.26.)

8. E-book growth skyrockets

Digital books, or e-books, will hit 20% market share by the end of 2011, predicts Richard MacManus on ReadWriteWeb. E-books made up 9.03% of total consumer book sales in 2010, compared with 3.31% in 2009, according to the Association of American Publishers. E-book growth will rocket in 2011, thanks to cheap e-readers and an e-book price war among Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and others, he says. MacManus expects one in five books sold in 2011 will be e-books.

9. People will make a great fuss about 11/11/11

Numerologists will make a big deal out of Nov. 11, 2011, says John Derbyshire of the National Review Online.

10. Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks will merge

The Daily Beast predicts that the two pure-play cable network companies will merge rather than be acquired by media giants.
The website also predicts that Google will buy a movie studio or film library and that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz will be fired.

Making year-ahead predictions is a fool’s errand. Check out AOL’s list of the 10 worst predictions for 2010.
Of the 14 predictions for 2010 that I curated last year from various sources, only one was spot on. (Apple unveiled a tablet computer, but that one was a no-brainer. It was widely expected.) Others were partially correct. (Tesla Motors went public, but not LinkedIn and Zipcar; Palm was acquired, but by HP, not Microsoft or Research In Motion.) Most were dead wrong.

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