Red Herring interviewed about two dozen experts about the future of the Net and the result is a long and very interesting article that provides a plausible view of the Internet in a decade. Link: Red Herring. Thanks to Gens Johnson for the link.
I didn't find much with which to disagree, yet there are a couple of things that will impact the Net that aren't discussed. One is the combined steady advancement of storage capacity and compression technology. Since there is a direct trade-off between the two (the more you can store, the less you need to transmit), that should have a somewhat moderating impact on consumer demand for transmission capacity.
The second is more political and relates to the right of privacy in using these advances. Many of the advances discussed in the article (RFID, embedded speech processor, etc.) have major Big Brother implications -- even if BB in this case is a parent checking on the whereabouts of a 13 year old. All of these things leave trails that can be monitored, subpoenaed, acted upon. Just as network, storage, RFID, and compression technologies advance, so too will technologies that track what's been on our mind. So I think that resistance to the intrusion of government into our attention space will likewise be a moderating influence on the adoption of these technologies. None of this should make us Luddites -- these innovations have some extremely beneficial characteristics. It's just a heads up that things we adopt for the best of reasons need to also spawn equally creative thought about how to handle the interest that authorities already have in following the trails we leave. --Dennis