Electronic ID card use in Germany

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Date of prediction: 2010-10-29

The new electronic ID card, introduced in Germany 2010-11-01, will see limited use online. Support will be widespread, if at all, only in applications that:

  • require a low level of security (e.g. electronic filing of tax forms), or
  • are regulated to make formal ID checks mandatory.

Businesses that are free to choose will largely ignore the government-issued electronic ID.

Douglas Casey: Inflation, Euro crash

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Date of prediction: 2010-03-15

Douglas casey expects that the Euro-zone will break up until 2015 and the European Union until 2020 (quote in German):

»Der Euro ist eine Esperanto-Währung. Er wird wohl in den nächsten fünf Jahren auseinander brechen, die Europäische Union vielleicht schon in den folgenden fünf Jahren.«

(Handelsblatt.com: Querdenker Douglas Casey: „Ich erwarte eine horrende Inflation“)

We’ll check the remaining part of his prediciton in 5 years.

3D Printing Will Explode in 2014 When Key Patents Expire

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Date of prediction: 2013-07-22

A short-term prediction regarding the 3D printer market:

»These patents cover a technology known as “laser sintering,” the lowest-cost 3D printing technology. Because of its high resolution in all three dimensions, laser sintering can produce goods that can be sold as finished products.
Once the key patents on 3D printing via laser sintering expire, we could see huge drop in the price of these devices, says Scott. This isn’t just idle speculation; when the key patents expired on a more primitive form of 3D printing, known as fused deposition modeling, the result was an explosion of open-source FDM printers that eventually led to iconic home and hobbyist 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot.«

(Mashable: 3D Printing Will Explode in 2014 When Key Patents Expire)

2015 Oscars

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Ben Zauzmer has developed a model from lots of data and applies it to make predictions about this year’s Oscars. Because he makes probabilistic predictions, no single outcome can prove him wrong.

Meta: Do experts make better forecasts?

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Apparently they don’t:

»The performance of experts has been tested against actuarial tables to determine if they are better at making predictions than simple statistical models. Seventy years later, with more than two hundred experiments in different domains, it is clear that the answer is no.16 If supplied with an equal amount of data about a particular case, an actuarial table is as good, or better, than an expert at making calls about the future. Even if an expert is given more specific case information than is available to the statistical model, the expert does not tend to outperform the actuarial table.«

(Integrating Methodologists into Teams of Substantive Experts, via http://scottberkun.com/2015/paradox-of-expertise/)

Security Trend Analysis with CVE Topic Models

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Date of forecast: November, 2010 (based on CVE data until end of 2009)

Stephan Neuhaus of Universit`a degli Studi di Trento and Thomas Zimmermann of Microsoft Research used the Common Vulnerability and Exposures (CVE) database to predict security trends:

PHP: declining, with occasional SQL injection.

Buffer Overflows: flattening out after decline.

Format Strings: in steep decline.

SQL Injection and XSS: remaining strong, and rising.

Cross-Site Request Forgery: a sleeping giant perhaps, stirring.

Application Servers: rising steeply.

(Security Trend Analysis with CVE Topic Models, ISSRE 2010)


Apple’s wearable arrives in October

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Date of prediction: 2014-06-06

Re/code and Nikkei predict that Apple will launch its iWatch, or some other iWearable, in October. (via heise online)

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