10 Crazy Tech Predictions for 2014

NSA plots and locks, Google robots, all things drone -- InfoWorld's cybersleuth reveals what to expect this year in tech.

Cringely’s crystal ball: 10 crazy tech predictions for 2014

It’s the time of year when all the pine trees have been massacred, the retailers are thoroughly disappointed, Baby New Year has soiled his first diapers, and tech pundits like yours truly predict the future of technology, the human race, and ultimately the universe with uncanny forethought and precision.

Naturally, the annual Cringely Crystal Conjecture -- an age-old tradition here at InfoWorld dating back to the near pre-Snapchat era of 2012 -- is among the most respected of these tech-societal soothsaying reports. Following are 10 CCC technology predictions for 2014.

So, push aside those empty champagne bottles, force open your bloodshot eyes, and behold the future of tech.

Reuters / KCNA KCNA

The NSA will save the world from something

In tech there are few sure things, but this is one: The NSA will justify its voracious appetite for every last scrap of your private data by -- you guessed it -- saving the world.

Using just your cell phone contact data, shopping preferences, email conversations, and Web searches for the nearest Kalbi and kimchee restaurant (and subsequent bathroom behavior), the ultimately benevolent spy agency will foil a dastardly plot in 2014 from Al Qaeda, the FBI, or what’s left of Kim Jung Un’s immediate family.

So Tweet happily tonight, citizens of the world; Big Brother’s got your back.

Reuters / Gary Cameron

The NSA will secure every last bit it has stolen

But what about the security of your personal data, now that the NSA has all of it?

Never fear; in 2014 the NSA will forever secure U.S. data by developing an unbreakable encryption technology using outsourced development staff from China and the Ukraine, while saving the American taxpayer untold millions since early rumors indicate that the project will be funded by a prince in the Nigerian royal family.

To document the magnitude of its achievement, the NSA will then print out all the data it has harvested and collate it into three-ring binders (pictured).

Reuters / Stephen Lam

The Fed will embrace Bitcoin

The Fed will open a Bitcoin vault in a titanium USB thumb drive hidden deep below the real Ray’s Pizza somewhere in Manhattan. Or in the knapsack of one of soon-to-be-Fed-head-honcho Janet L. Yellen’s neighbor kids. That way, when Bitcoins become worthless at least the drive won’t go to waste.

Reuters / Carlo Allegri

Windows 8 will adopt a new slogan: 'That’s what she said'

Impressed with his charisma, work ethic, and leadership skills as demonstrated on The Office, Microsoft will appoint Steve Carell as CEO.

Carell’s first act in making over Microsoft will be to appoint Will Farrell as head of public relations. His second act will be to hold a press conference to announce Windows 8’s new slogan after asking, “Where’s the start menu on this thing?”

I, of course, will be polishing up my résumé in hopes of cashing in on the transition, as head bartender at the official Microsoft watering hole, the Drown Your Vista Sorrows Saloon.

Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett

We will all know kung fu

Sick of software eating the world, we will eat the software that is eating the world by swallowing the red pill and jacking into the SDN (software defined networking), SDS (software defined storage), SDDC (software defined data center), SD-WTF (software defined WTF) multiverse of SDS2 (software defined software), also known as the Matrix.

Reuters / Brendan McDermid

Amazon will disrupt the birth business

Amazon will capitalize on SDS2 (software defined software) to format SDCs (software defined children). Using low-cost 3D printing, Amazon will print out infants and deliver them to parents using drones disguised as storks. The service will be called Bezos Baby Bundles and will allow you to choose sex, IQ, hair color, and genital girth if you order with Amazon Prime. 

Reuters / Reigis Duvignau

The fate of humanity will be in jeopardy, on Jeopardy

A group of open source developers will smoke too much legalized marijuana and somehow build a working OpenStack cloud and then integrate it with IBM’s cognitive computing intelligence platform, Watson. A new OpenStack project will be born, called SkyNet.

A cyborg assassin and a human resistance fighter will subsequently time-travel back from the future to take on Watson in one last round of Jeopardy with the fate of humanity in the balance.

“I’ll take ‘Armageddon as a service’ for $200, Alex.”

Reuters / Siu Chiu

Google’s robot ambitions will be revealed

Capitalizing on the imagined success of its Chromebook platform and its recent Boston Dynamics acquisition, Google will release the Chromebot, a robotic personal assistant that requires an Internet connection to function, follows you around everywhere you go handing you targeted ads based on whatever you are doing at any given moment, gathers your exfoliated skin and hair to associate your DNA with your Google+ profile, and insists you watch Web videos on its Pixel chest monitor.

The Chromebot will also play Web videos and, most groundbreaking of all, will play Web videos.

Reuters / Lucas Jackson

iBeacon will make bacon of us all

Apple’s iBeacon technology will kill millions after Chinese hackers (and Android fanbois) hijack the service during rush hour and spam blast the United States with links to free copies of Senator Ted Cruz’s memoirs or some other sexually deviant content, causing America to be looking at their iPhones while they step off a curb and get slapped by a bus.

Then again, this plot could be foiled by the cataclysmic boredom infecting anyone who even glances at Senator Cruz’s memoirs; or, it could go largely unnoticed since people are already stepping off curbs, falling in front of subway trains, and bumping into me all the time while Facebooking, Tweeting, or Angry Birding.

Reuters / Gus Ruelas

The Chinese will order take-in, and Jeff Bezos will deliver

Jeff Bezos will buy the United States and sell us to China, which happens to be an Amazon Prime customer. The entire population will be delivered to Chinese sneaker factories via a Taiwanese-made drone fleet (that will eventually put Amazon out of business), except for those the Chinese people have deemed undesirable, including Lindsey Lohan, the Octomom, and however many Kardashians really exist.

Bezos will then rise from the business ashes to produce “Game of Drones” -- an Amazon Turk-written Bezos biopic, available only on Kindle Fire, that will become Amazon’s first-ever original content hit, something Bezos has always secretly longed for.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.