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@IDGconnect Technology trends in 2016 - A bluffer’s guide

Predicting technology trends for the coming year is a game for fools played all over the world on an annual basis. Often it involves more art – the abstract, indecipherable stuff – than science, and just as often it generates more heat than light. Sometimes numbers are invoked by pundits as a digital prop for guesstimations: a classic case of the drunkard using the lamppost more for support than for illumination. But as some cliché-fancying old fool once said, this is a time of the year for looking back… so let’s do what s/he said.

Internet of Things security. That strange grasping/rasping sound you can hear is security vendors rubbing their leathery hands in anticipation of panic over perceived threats emanating from home automation systems, wearable tech, transport management systems – you name it. Since the web went worldwide and created a welter of opportunities for bad guys, security vendors have never had it so good – and now they spy another wave. It’s a fair bet that the sensation-hungry media will go along with the charade and complaisant governments might follow. Cue standards groups and ‘just-in-case’ defensive spending – loads of it.

Twitter to be sold. Twitter is the Java of the web age: everybody uses it but the maker can’t figure out how to make real money from it. For a social network that is ubiquitous, Twitter’s owners have done some pretty awful things to it. Look at that awful login page with some fanboy pic taken with a cheap smartphone. Nasty. Look at the new features that take Twitter a step back every time. Nasty. Look at the clunky attempts to monetise. Nasty.

And now Twitter is under the control of a CEO who just took another company, Square, public. That makes for a rare phenomenon: a firm with a part-time CEO. Now think to yourself, why don’t more companies have a part-time CEO? Because it’s not a very smart idea. But, but, but… the only positive I can see from this odd situation is that it’s a short-term fix and that Twitter decision-makers want to sell the company.

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