2008: The Year In Preview
Feature written by on Friday, January 4, 2008
[Editor's Note: Every year (give or take a few), Humorix publishes a Year In Preview feature in which we offer predictions for the coming year. We are pleased to announce that these predictions have so far resulted in a fantastic 100% success rate. That's right, not one single prediction has come true. As a fake news publication, we can only hope that this perfect record will continue to hold well into the future.]
January 8 -- After enduring two weeks of constant criticism, Santa Claus finally apologizes for delivering Microsoft Zune players to 3.2 million children on his Very Naughty list.
"I usually give lumps of coal to bad children, but with fossil fuel prices skyrocketing, I couldn't afford it," Santa said. "At the time, the Zune seemed like a perfect alternative. However, I've been condemned across the world for handing out such a cruel, useless, sadistic toy. It's clear that I made a mistake and I promise I'll make it up to everybody next Christmas."
January 13 -- Scientists announce that the average attention span of Americans dropped 4.5% during the last year. "Because of the ongoing writers' strike, the TV networks have had to fill the airwaves with fast-paced reality shows, which we believe causes a severe reduction in mental capacity among regular viewers. If these trends continue, most people won't even be able to sit through a 30-second TV commercial without losing their train of thought."
January 22 -- Rumors swirl across the blogosphere that Google is on the verge of unveiling a new online dating service called "I'm Feeling Lucky." Details about the service are sketchy, although pundits are quick to hype Google's innovative "PuckerRank" technology even though nobody has seen it yet.
January 29 -- Tech pundits agree: The word "blogosphere" is so 2002 and should be removed from everybody's lexicon.
February 1 -- The blogosphere agrees: Tech pundits are idiots.
February 7 -- Several tech pundits predict that Blu-Ray is going to win over HD-DVD. Maybe.
February 12 -- Apple's debut of the MacBook SuperDuper iPro series laptop ("in five fruity colors!") is completely overshadowed by the release of the Google Phone ("it's 50% less evil than other cell phones!"). Steve Jobs, upset that Google can command such attention without needing a Reality Distortion Field, officially declares war between the companies. "I'll get you next time, Google! Next time!!!" he reportedly shouts.
February 19 -- Slashdot sets a new record by posting the same duplicate story five duplicate times. In the stories, a spokesperson for the Company Formerly Known As The SCO Group proclaims that the company will still prevail in its legal crusade against "those communists that stole our property to create Linux." "We found another briefcase that will prove everything."
February 29 -- The U.S. government refuses to confirm or deny rumors that several members of the Humorix writing staff are being held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. Missing since early last year, it's not clear whether the writers simply took a really long lunch break, or were rounded up after using the phrase "Linux world domination" one too many times.
March 3 -- Massachusetts becomes the first state to require Universal Legal Insurance for all residents. "The costs for basic legal services, such as defending against lawsuits, filing for divorce, or drawing up contracts, have risen to astronomical levels," says the governor. "Far too many people do not have insurance... they are one lawsuit away from bankruptcy and homelessness. Law firms are losing money because their clients can't pay the bills. This injustice must stop."
March 5 -- A judge dismisses a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the company engaged in false advertising when it released its "Time Machine" program even though the application does not, in fact, offer time travel capabilities.
March 18 -- The wind switches direction and now many columnists believe that HD-DVD is the future.
April 1 -- At a press conference, Microsoft spokeswoman Lirpa Sloof admits that Windows Vista is a "piece of crap" and announces that the company will graciously provide refunds to all users.
April 12 -- Blu-Ray is in the lead again.
April 17 -- In a first for any legal system, a California judge grants joint custody rights to an open source project for a recently divorced couple. "The ex-husband will receive Subversion access on Monday through Wednesday, while the wife will have the rest of the week to make changes," the judge rules.
April 20 -- As part of the growing "Green PC" movement and hypefest, a start-up company unveils new technology that is able to capture hot air and convert it into electricity as an auxiliary power source for computers. "People have always joked that the hot air from politicians and Pointy Haired Bosses could power an entire city," says the start-up's founder. "It's not a joke anymore."
April 30 -- During a speech at a Windows Vista Fan Club convention (attendance figures unknown), Steve Ballmer launches into a diatribe attacking Linux and open source software. "They don't call it 'Open Sores' for nothing," he says. "Linux is free, but so is herpes. With the help of that viral GPL license, Linux spreads in the same way as a sexually-transmitted disease. Of course, Windows is the cure."
May 2 -- Wal-Mart's evil quotient (EQ) falls slightly when the company starts prominently advertising Linux-based desktop computers for less than $200. Meanwhile, Apple's evilness climbs after they release a patch for the iPhone that causes hacked and unlocked models to spontaneously explode. Microsoft's evil quotient remains steady at approximately 200 (on a 100-point scale).
May 7 -- The Humorix staff suddenly appears from their 16-month "lunch break" unharmed. "We spread those rumors about being held in Gitmo so that we could have more time to enjoy the buffet," says Noah Morals, Humorix's lawyer and unpopular columnist. As punishment for their absense, the editor installs Windows Vista on all office computers.
May 19 -- A study published in Paranoid Parent Quarterly suggests that ADHD is actually an evolutionary advantage. "People who concentrate too much are the same people that get run over by a bus while crossing the street," explained study author Dr. Abby Centminded. "People with ADHD are actually normal... it's those freaks who can focus on the same thing for minutes at a time that need treatment. Wow, look at that cute dog!"
June 6 -- None of the Humorix staff has written any articles since their return from "lunch break" because they are still waiting for their new Windows Vista computers to finish booting.
June 10 -- Word leaks that the major credit bureaus have teamed up with the Republican Party to tabulate a "Gullibilty Score" on every American citizen. The system assigns a score based on how easily each person can be swayed with propaganda and shiny things.
Using the system, the GOP compiles a list of the top 12 million most gullible voters and starts a saturation campaign to hit them with mailings, automated phone calls, and door-to-door visits. Explains a campaign worker, "We've been wasting our time trying to fool all of the people some of the time. Instead, we now have a list with some of the people that we can fool all of the time!"
June 23 -- The stalemate between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is suddenly broken by the emergence of a third alternative: DRRVD, or Digital Really, Really Versatile Discs. Developed as a minor hobby project at Google, the new format can reportedly hold the equivalent of 13 Libraries of Congress per disc.
June 29 -- RFC 5379, issued today, finally establishes an exact size for the popular but ambiguous "Libraries of Congress" system for measuring digital storage capacities. The result? 1 LoC = 21.7 tebibytes. "This number is somewhat larger than previous estimates, but we included photos, and not just books, using the standard conversion of 1 picture = 1,000 words = 2,000 bytes."
The author hopes to tackle other ill-defined units in future RFCs, including the Bandwidth of a Truck (BOAT), Winslow Meteor Crater Diameters (WMCD), Nielsen Rating Shares Per Fortnight (NRSPF), and Signal-to-Noise Ratio of Usenet (S/N-U).
July 7 -- After months of foot-dragging, the RIAA apologizes for mistakenly filing a copyright-infringement lawsuit against a man who has been in a coma for the last 7 years. "This was the result of a minor clerical error," an RIAA spokesweasel said. "It won't happen again."
July 8 -- The RIAA loses another copyright-infringement lawsuit after the defendant successfully argues that he could not have possibly have copied 1,423 MP3 files over his crappy dial-up Internet connection. "It would have taken my client 3.7 years to copy all of these alleged songs, most of which were released in 2007," said the victorious lawyer. "Is anybody at the RIAA actually awake?"
July 15 -- In a desperate gambit to raise money, the State of California begins assessing property taxes against intellectual property. "Copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets will all be appraised and taxed the same way as real estate," says a spokesman for the Governator. "Big companies in Silicon Valley have been freeloading for too long."
July 23 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives preliminary approval to Scatterlin(tm), a drug to treat people with ASHD (Attention Surplus Hypoactivity Disorder), the opposite of ADHD. "We've got Ritalin for people at one end of the spectrum, and Scatterlin for the other end. We can't lose!"
August 1 -- Microsoft announces the successor to its C# language: SUPPLICANT, or Superior Ultra Professional Programming Language Inspiring Copyrights And Novel Techniques. The language features 23 built-in keywords devoted solely to DRM techniques and copyright enforcement. "In the past, languages focused solely on telling the computer what to do. With SUPPLICANT, the goal is to mandate what the computer can not do."
August 18 -- The U.S. Surgeon General declares war against "second-hand noise." Recent studies show that even the slightest exposure to unnecessary sounds can lead to irreparable hearing loss, the country's number one preventable form of disability. The main sources of second-hand noise? (0) People that talk too loudly on cell phones, (1) restaurants and stores that play background music at ridiculous volumes, and (2) drivers that honk their horns after the person in front takes 0.1 seconds to accelerate after a stoplight turns green.
"We cannot ignore this problem anymore," says the Surgeon General. "We need to regulate cell phones, musak, cars, and all other forms of auditory ambiance. In the meantime, we have partnered with several state governments to deploy emergency noise-cancelling headphones to 5 million of our most vulnerable citizens."
August 24 -- The long-awaited Service Pack for Windows Vista arrives. Code-named Vista 360, the upgrade fixes some annoyances, but introduces a shocking new limitation: Windows Vista can no longer execute programs written for XP or earlier. "We didn't think it was important for people to run antiquated, insecure software from more than two years ago," says a Microsoft spokesdroid. "Vista is the future."
August 28 -- Microsoft introduces a new Service Pack for Windows XP that makes the system a whopping 23% faster. "I don't know why anybody would use Vista anymore," writes a PC World columnist. "Vista is not the future."
September 9 -- Sales of Windows XP hit an all-time weekly record as people upgrade en masse from Vista. "First Microsoft makes money by selling Vista pre-installed on virtually every PC. Then Microsoft cashes in again when people buy a second Windows license, this time for XP. What a racket!" writes one stock analyst. "I'm changing my recommendation for MSFT stock from 'Hold' to 'Bet The Farm On This Baby.'"
September 12 -- Sony lands in hot water after word leaks that its new line of HD televisions includes a DRM system that blocks all signals if more than three people are detected in the room.
"Three's company, but four represents a commercial exhibition that violates the license for playing DVDs," a Sony executive tried to explain. "With our new EyeballCounter® technology, we can protect the interests of our valued content suppliers while enforcing copyright law to protect the, uhh, children."
September 18 -- After droning on about "teamwork" during countless meetings, the Pointy Haired Bosses of the world come to a sudden revelation: Neither 'I' nor 'U' are in 'Teamwork'.
September 30 -- The British government takes credit for creating the concept of patents and copyrights while demanding royalties from all other governments that use intellectual property laws. "Intellectual property is our intellectual property," says a government official. "Everybody else has been copying our common law for centuries. It's payback time."
October 7 -- Hoping to capitalize on the runaway success of Windows XP, Microsoft releases an update to another piece of obsolete software, MS-DOS 2008. "We've realized that obsolete operating systems can bring a huge payoff," Steve Ballmer says during an interview. "Featuring USB support and the capability to directly access 4 GB of RAM -- which should be enough for anyone -- we've managed to bring DOS into the 21st Century."
October 19 -- The Class of 2010 files a class-action lawsuit against the video game industry for causing their grades to drop. "According to scholarly research, high school grades have dropped 23% since the release of World of Warcraft," says a lawyer. "This can't be a coincidence. The industry has conspired to steal our time and grades for their own profit. We demand compensation."
November 4 -- In what TV anchors describe as the "most important U.S. presidential election since 2004," the winner is finally decided at 11:21 PM EST: some guy from Ohio who wrote the software used by the majority of electronic voting machines. "Wow, I'm going to the White House!" the developer shouts just minutes before being arrested in the largest case of election fraud... ever.
November 11 -- Microsoft trades a star Windows Vista developer to Google for three programmers to be named later (PTBNL). A blogger for FantasyFortune500League.com immediately praises the transaction, arguing that the developer is a "diamond in the rough" who has been stuck on a losing team for too many seasons.
"He has a relatively high BLOC (Bugs per Line Of Code) average compared with most Fortune 500 league programmers, but he has a lot of upside. This was a smart move by both companies. Let's just hope Microsoft can use the opportunity to recruit some quality players for their team -- Lord knows the Vista squad could use some fresh talent."
December 2 -- Hoping to defend against the growing size of Emacs, the vi development team today unveils a new operating system based on vi. Called NEIN (No Emacs Interfaces Needed), the system features a simple vi-like shell. To enter a command, simply hit 'i' at the prompt, type the command, then hit ESCAPE and 'Z' twice. "It's the most intuitive shell ever devised," boasts a vi fan.
December 31 -- The Google computer network achieves sentience and immediately establishes a New World Order with the mantra "Do no evil." Steve Jobs responds: "Dammit, they've beat me again!"