‘The Internet will fail’ and other erroneous tech predictions

  • Technology
  • Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010

IN 1995 American astronomer and author Clifford Stoll told the world that “The truth i[s] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

“Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don’t know what to ignore and what’s worth reading,” said Stoll in the February 27, 1995 issue of Newsweek magazine in an article entitled The Internet? Bah!

After 15 years, our view of the Internet is very different. We now live in a world where newspaper publishers are turning to online media to help out their flailing publications, where people are learning life skills thanks to online degrees, and well, governments are still governments.

Men’s lifestyle site, Asylum, published an article about some of the other bold technology predictions that haven’t quite come true in their April 21 article, ‘The Internet Will Fail’ - Bold Predictions That Completely Bombed.

Their list of predictions includes science-fiction author and journalist Bruce Sterling’s “Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite The Iliad”; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s belief that “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” and an unknown author’s prediction that “TV will never be a serious competitor for radio because people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it,” from a 1939 edition of The New York Times.

The full list of “painfully inaccurate” predictions can be read online at bit.ly/bvkp1S while Clifford Stoll’s 1995 Newsweek article can be read here: bit.ly/bBoeYh. — Relaxnews

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