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A time of reckoning on my predictions


'Net Insider


By Scott Bradner, Network World, 12/15/06


Last January I made some predictions in this column. Now that the year is ending, it's time to see how I did on a scale of -5 to +5.


  I predicted the courts would throw out the FCC's Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act extensions. That has not happened -- yet. The first court upheld the extension and an appeal of that decision was denied earlier this month. The game is not over but it's not looking good. -3


  I made the call that the underlying purpose of the replacement for the current telecom law would be to protect incumbent telephone companies. That clearly was the intent for the bill that was pending when Congress recessed without acting on it. +5


  I predicted proponents for a new telecom bill would claim that it would ensure an open Internet and competition for users, enable new applications and continue the growth of the Internet. I read all of those assertions by the traditional telecom folks during the debates. +5


  I talked about my SCO Group predictions two weeks ago. I was all wrong (although I was close when I said SCO would not be able to show any examples of protected code). -5


  I said the U.S. Patent Office would increase the number of patents with obvious prior art. It's hard to tell on this. There has certainly been some news coverage of patents that looked at first blush to be obvious, but it will take some time to understand how bad (or good) things are with the Patent Office. 0


  I predicted Congress's data-protection and privacy laws would not do much more than override strong state laws. I was wrong on this, but only because Congress did almost nothing in this area other than a quite reasonable antipretexting law that was sent to the president. Other than that one aberration, which was driven by the publicity around the HP case, Congress did not do the useful things that I thought it would not do. +4


* I predicted AT&T's half-billiondollar ad campaign would do little more than enrich an ad company. I've thought about it, and I do not recall any AT&T ads. So it looks to me like any money spent was not well spent. +5


  I predicted Intel spending $2 billion and never mentioning Intel Inside also would mostly enrich an ad company. I do remember seeing some Intel not-Inside ads, but they did not stick with me. Advanced Micro Devices made more progress in a number of areas -- and I still do not know what Viiv stands for. +4


  I anticipated that Sony's rootkit settlement would just help Eliot Spitzer become governor of New York. Well, he made it, and there was no other visible outcome. +5


  I predicted that the number of serious security issues in Windows would be too many to count. That was not quite the case. The CERT reported 5,340 vulnerabilities in the first three quarters of 2006, many of them Windows-related. +2


  Finally, I predicted that Apple's Intel-based approach would double its market share and be broken quickly, permitting the software to run on any Intel platform. Both predictions were right. +5


That's 27 out of a possible 55.


Disclaimer: Harvard keeps score of presidents and Nobel prize winners, not predictions, so the above must be mine.


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