Predicting 2012: Internet

zoltanTo celebrate the first week of this new year we sacrificed an unopened Gundam model upon an altar of red ringed Xboxes and gaze into the future of the year ahead.

All this week, we’ll be featuring five predictions from each of the worlds of Internet, Anime, Technology, and Gaming that will shape the year ahead. Or will they? To lend some perspective, I’ve asked The Mrs, contributing columnist The Great One, and Steve Santy's Magic 8-Ball to weigh in on each topic.

Today we look into the future of the Internet. And we see darkness ahead.

The United States gains the right to seize any website – It may not be called SOPA or ProtectIP, but before 2012 is out the U.S. government will be able to rubber stamp out of existence any website registered with ICANN.

  • The Mrs. Says: Yep
  • The Great One: Looks likes it’s headed that way.
  • Magic 8-Ball Says: My sources say no
  • Metered Internet comes home – At least one major ISP (Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, etc.) will start, and stick with, a capped usage policy for land lines.

  • The Mrs. Says: Of course. Duh.
  • The Great One: I don’t think so.
  • Magic 8-Ball Says: Outlook not so good
  • Hulu.com dies – As media companies tighten their grip on their own IPs and launch private streaming portals of their own, Hulu goes belly up. The free, the Plus, all of it.

  • The Mrs. Says: Yep
  • The Great One: I think it’ll hang on by its fingernails.
  • Magic 8-Ball Says: Yes
  • Anonymous disbands – The least the core group of it. There will be several splinter groups that continue to operate under the name Anonymous, but the core leadership (that they publicly claim they don’t have, yet do) will go away.

  • The Mrs. Says: Hasn’t that happened already?
  • The Great One: No, somebody else will take over the reigns.
  • Magic 8-Ball Says: Definitely
  • All Internet sales get taxed – States finally get a piece of the dot com action as the sales tax shelter known as buying online goes away.

  • The Mrs. Says: Sadly, yes.
  • The Great One: No. Not this year.
  • Magic 8-Ball Says: Absolutely!
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