first of all, my last prediction-for-next-year was a little optimistic, as I was predicting what people in the echo chamber have since started calling ‘cloud computing…’ I predicted that we’d see a lot of online services that blur the lines between what is ‘local’ and what is an online ‘service.’ …let me just defer that prediction one year and add it to the heap of what I see coming this year. At least give me credit for making it my major prediction before the catch-phrase ‘cloud computing’ came to the surface.
Linux Will Come and Start Killing. Google Android, Ubuntu Mobile, Asus’ recent release of EEE PC’s running Linux, all point for me to the fact that Linux is finally coming to a device near you. Of course, Linux never went away, but I’m talking about real OS Market share. In addition, I wouldn’t be surprised if the coming popularity of Linux also dishes out a major hit to Microsft because I bet it’s easier to port software made for Linux to Mac OS X than it is to port it to Windows since OS X is built on Unix. Just something to consider. Also, if you haven’t been looking, take a look at Ubuntu. It’s a pretty nice OS and will run on anything, maybe even your toaster. And it’s free!
Affordable Smartphones. Maybe this is a no-brainer, but when I say affordable I mean $100 or less. I’m not predicting at this time affordable connectivity for these devices. I know gadget enthusiast might hate me for saying this, but I think the Handset Race and the Netbook Race are very overlapped. They are both fighting for certain causes together such as improvements to battery life, cheapening of Solid State storage, cheapening of Mobile Connectivity, The need for competition in the OS market and the need for “Thin” software, not to mention ‘Cloud’ services…
Ubiquity of Navigation Systems and/or GPS. From my understanding, cellular networks are already able to provide location info nearly as accurate as true GPS. There’s no reason for the next wave of phones to not have on-board GPS capability or something similar that offers driving directions etc.
Google Will Roll Out Geo-Targeted Advertising for Realz. Via GPS/Navigation devices probably, but even desktop search should see a shift in this way. Try searching for ‘pizza.’ You can see there’s big room for improvement there.
Google Search to Shape Up or Start Shipping Out. Google may begin losing Search market-share in 2009 if they don’t play their cards right. Google’s Search Results haven’t changed noticeably since they started putting Wikipedia articles at the top of the stack a few years ago. Personally, I think Google is intentionally not releasing major improvements to their results in order to avoid being an unofficial API for competing services. Again, search for ‘pizza.’ Then, add your postal code to the search. The funny thing is that Google already knows where you are, more or less, based on your IP address. Meanwhile, other search engines are actually better for many kinds of searches. Try Yahoo! for ‘pizza.’ Try Dogpile for finding an mp3. Google is capable of being better than these right now, in my opinion, but intentionally holding back, banking on the idea that their mindshare will carry them along until the next era, probably brought on by the ubiquity of GPS and Smartphones. Even if Google loses a considerable amount of its Search traffic, it will continue to be the biggest hub of online metrics collection, as well as of course, online advertising, where Google makes all its money. I don’t think Google is going anywhere any time soon.
This attack on older versions of WordPress installs a file called index.html in the wp-admin directory so that when a user logs into their dashboard, the browser loads it rather than the index.php file that comes with WordPress. The result is when trying to access the WordPress Dashboard, instead you get a page which says “Hacked By Guard_FB” followed by a graphic of a silhouette of a man with his with his fist in the air which reads “THE TURK PROTEST…”
The page then goes on with some left wing political stuff, and claims to be affiliated with a site called ateskes.org and is signed “King Defacer”
I’d rather see hacking going on for the sake of activism than for worthless spam, but this thing sucks. The blog on which I encountered this was not particularly political and so I suspect that the makers of this attack aren’t picking and choosing who they attack, which makes it evil crap.
If this has happened to you, I recommend deleting your spam/comments in moderation (if there’s too many, check here), upgrading WordPress, then changing your Dashboard passwords. Of course, also delete the file called index.html in your wordpress directory’s wp-admin folder.
Full text of “Hacked By Guard_FB” Dashboard page is as follows:
Hacked By GUARD_FB
G.W. Bush, T. Blair, and E. Olmert, the chief executives of the imperialist, colonialist, belligerent policies and actions of the US-British-Israeli coalition,
of perpetrating the composite crimes of war of annihilation, occupation, and the premeditated mass murder of children and civilians in Palestine and Lebanon,
following their atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq and foreboding the same in Syria and Iran,
sinking into utter barbarity in transgression of all universal norms of human morality.
The Following Are Also Responsible:
All government employees and agents, advisors, civil and military functionaries who partake in collective and individual responsibility in these states;
the legislative and judicial branches that have not curbed the criminal activities of their governments as they violate basic human rights, most significantly the right to live, and as they trample international legal norms and commit crimes against humanity;
universities, media, intellectuals, workers and citizens who do not restrain and sanction their governments through domestic democratic channels;
UNITED NATIONS and other national and international bodies that actively or passively support, aid and abet this illegality, crude force, and aggression –all bear responsibility for the catastrophe that is taking place.
An immediate cessation of this horror,
the due trial, in international tribunals, as well as in the courts of conscience and history,
of, above all, Bush, Blair, and Olmert as perpetrators of crimes against humanity,
of their respective government agents and supporters,
of the chief executives and state personnel in all countries that have been accomplices to these crimes against humanity,
and their removal from office by the lawful and democratic initiatives of their respective citizenry.
And We Declare:
We stand at a critical juncture in human history.
These aggressive, colonialist, exploitative, and militarist practices are negating the achievements of humanity, destroying the basic pillars of international law, and thus, threatening the present and the future of this planet.
We refuse to submit to this brutal force and be accomplices to its crimes.
We refuse to give in to the (il)logic of blood-fed economies and lethal war machines.
We declare that we will continue to struggle for a different world.