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A time of reckoning


By Scott Bradner


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


I predicted that the FCCÕs CALEA extensions would be thrown out by the courts.  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 itÕs not looking good.  -3


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


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


I talked about my SCO predictions last week. (See ŌSCO GroupÕs last gaspĶ  I was all wrong. (Although I was close when I predicted SCO would not be able to show any examples of protected code.)  -5


I predicted that the U.S. Patent Office would increase the number of patents with obvious prior art.  ItÕs hard to tell on this one.  There have certainly been some news coverage of patents that looked at first blush as totally obvious but it will take some time to understand how bad (or good) things are with the Patent Office.  0


I predicted that 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.  About the only thing that this Congress did in this area was a quite reasonable anti pretexting law and sent it 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 they would not do. +4


I predicted that AT&TÕs half-billion dollar ad campaign would do little more than enrich an ad company.  IÕve thought about it and I do not recall any AT&T ads - IÕm sure there were lots that I blissed right through.  So it looks to me like any money spend was not well spent.  +5


I predicted that Intel spending $2B and never mentioning Intel Inside would also mostly enrich an ad company.  Unlike with AT&T, I do remember seeing some Intel not-Inside ads but they did not stick with me all that well.  AMD made more progress in a number of areas and and I still do not know what Viiv stands for. +4


I predicted that SonyÕs root kit settlement would just help get Eliot Spitzer become governor of New York.  Well, Elliot 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 3 quarters of 2006. A whole lot of them Windows related.  (See  +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 on.  +5


So my score is 27 out of a possible 50.  But, IÕm doing the counting ;-).


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