Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

Summary: As the Generation Y are vastly unpredictable, here are five unpredictable predictions for the year ahead.

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TOPICS: Legal, Apple, Google, Laptops
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It's very difficult to predict what an entire demographic of broad level users will do in the upcoming year. It's like predicting whether or not you'll get hit by an engine falling from a plane while dressed as Hugh Jackman in drag.

However, some predictions may surprise you altogether. It has been a tough year of economic recovery and though the recession is widely over, the spending cuts from governmental budgets will hit the younger, spendthrifty consumer most.

1. The Generation Y will continue not to be put off by copyright laws

Copyright laws are weak. Even the newer digital laws are prohibitive and disproportionate. They are busting at the seams with irrelevant content which bears little know how of modern technologies, and are practically unenforceable. No wonder people have been taking advantage since the days of WinMX and the original Napster back in the 1990's.

Cases which have enveloped the media with disproportionate fines and court battles turns the defendants, arguably the victim in these cases, almost into a martyr for the cause. Surprisingly public sympathy becomes divided, with a feel of modern day 'stealing a loaf of bread' because they were hungry. I know it sounds odd, but copyright laws at the moment are as effective as the odds to winning the Euro lottery.

2. Rising inflation will impact Generation Y spending

As inflation rises so do the price of consumer goods. For many who are working on national minimum wage at £5-$12 an hour depending on age and country, this is not enough to maintain a technology filled lifestyle.

The technology already bought, ranging from mobile devices to laptops, either by parents or themselves during a time of economic downfall, will be safe. Yet with wages remaining the same, plus the hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UK and similar taxes across the developed world, spending will significantly reduce.

I expect that those with higher incomes with little or no dependencies will have more expendable income. This may include some of the Generation Y, but not the iGeneration demographic as a whole.

3. High speed fibre/WiMAX broadband will be sought by colleges and universities

Even with rising tuition fees and universities and colleges still recovering from their own budget cuts since the recession, the recovery is on. One of the logical options for many will be a increase in bandwidth to their campuses to encourage growth, external research and development, and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Bandwidth nowadays acts like a currency; the bigger the pipe, the bigger the wallet, and the more you can fit in and the more to spend. New York University could be getting the first taste the fibre pie with Google's new office conveniently located above a hub of fibre activity.

4. Younger developers may be put off by increasing corporate bureaucracy

Back in the day, there was a good mix of development for enthusiasm but also development for revenue. With a more broad spectrum of devices and platforms to develop for, combined with the bureaucracy of terms and conditions, especially from Apple, this could hamper the efforts for younger developers who create for passion as well as money.

5. Computing students will become more 'creative' and less 'technical'

There always has been a disparity between the creative and the practical industries; like political parties, one occasionally holds the top spot until the other leads the polls.

From what I have seen and heard on my studenty-travels, the creative industry for university students has been on a downwards trend, as the recession recovers from 'non-vital' infrastructure and technical staffers. The creative industry bridges the technical world with the ordinary consumer, and at long last now that money has hit the economy like a wet fish, more money can be invested into areas which spur on the ordinary consumer.

Topics: Legal, Apple, Google, Laptops

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24 comments
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  • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

    Let me translate ;-)

    1. Gen Y like stealing
    2. Gen Y won't be able to afford their toys unless they get a real job
    3. Only a national infrastructure of fibre makes sense, not private companies. Universities were once the primary providers of high end training and research and knowledge. Now they're businesses worried about their portfolios and making money. The Web and eLearning will replace brick and mortar universities.
    4. Yep there are rules for development, deal with it.
    5. Yes the creative people will be on the B ark. Creativity is only useful when combined with knowledge and technical competence.

    See I can make unsubstantiated predictions too ;-) Gen Y are just like every other generation, which you'll realise in about 15 years. I'm beginning to think Criminology and Social Policy is just a pseudonym for sociology ;-)

    Keep up the good tech articles Zach and forget about generation Y.
    tonymcs@...
    • Well said.

      @tonymcs@... Well said, Sir.
      wackoae
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @tonymcs@... I agree with all with the sole exception of criminology. Sociology is a very broad subject which includes things like Social Policy and Criminology... they are part of Sociology but not a pseudonym.
      athynz
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @tonymcs@...

      Amen!
      jorjitop
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @tonymcs@...

      I love it! LMAO
      marpincan@...
  • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

    The loaf of bread analogy is way off. Food is a necessity. I would have more sympathy about copyright fines and such if it wasn't for the fact that listening to Katy Perry is not a necessity. In fact, I think that most of today's music is garbage and not worth the bandwidth.

    Either way, there are real artists out there that we can support. We can pay reasonable prices and use emusic. There are legal sites that feature independent artist's music for free. You can watch videos and listen to music on Google and Dailymotion, etc.

    If we stop being lazy mental slaves that take everything that the media outlets release as entertainment, then we will start to get somewhere. Until then...
    PlayFair
    • I think that $0.99 is a fair price for music

      @PlayFair I can see why people don't want to pay $20 for a CD with only one good song in it. But this day and age, you can get a single song for $0.99 or less and most decent people would have no problem paying pocket change for something they enjoy.

      The GenerationY he is talking about is the very few who where raised by their parents with out any kind of personal decency or values. You know ... the kind that were told that STEALING is OK because it is their right to do so.
      wackoae
      • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

        @wackoae Honestly, I think it's a fair price too. But the option between "free, and very unlikely to be caught" versus "not free and definitely won't be caught because I've done nothing wrong, but DRM might be a problem", myself and most of my generation will go with the former.
        zwhittaker
      • Just don't be surprised Zack

        @zwhittaker

        When nobody wants to pay you for your "creative" work (like in #5) because your generation has chosen to take the "pay if I feel like it" approach.
        oncall
  • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

    1. So they steal the content, get caught, whine about it because they don't have the cash, you post something in sympathy, and deride readers who have no sympathy for thieves. <br>2. Then I guess they'll have to cut back on their tech and not buy a new phone/laptop/tablet every 6 months. Suck to be them. In comparison it took me over 2 1/2 years and a year end bonus to upgrade my iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 because I had other priorities as a married man with children.<br>3.Sure higher speed internet would be sought after by universities and by individuals alike... although as a cost-cutting measure if the current speeds work then until the economy gets better universities should hold off on utilizing the new fiber lines due to installation costs.<br>4. Sucks to be them...and us. The corporate bureaucracy is part of the current job environment as much as it sucks. There ARE ways to work within the confines of the red tape.<br>5. That could be a good thing but IMHO computing students need to have a firm background in the technical as well - there should be NO reason at all why one cannot embrace both a strong technical background as well as indulge and channel their creativity.
    athynz
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @athynz

      You sound like the educators who espouse, "You need to understand the fundamentals of math, before you can use a calculator to do the math." Gimme a break...
      dwhipple
      • Re: understand the fundamentals

        @dwhipple
        Of course you need to understand the fundamentals! A calculator won't always be available. I, for one, am sick of kids who can't make change without a till telling them what the change should be....
        JoeKach
      • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

        @dwhipple <br>"What do +-X/ and = mean?"<br>Of course you need to know the fundamentals of math or a calculator is useless.<br><br>But it helps to know math because somethimes you press the wrong key and get the wrong answer. If you have an idea of what the answer should be, you can detect these things.
        mheartwood
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @athynz
      All of the best engineers (including computer programmers) are also artists.
      mheartwood
  • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

    Since "...this could hamper the efforts for younger developers who create for passion as well as money.", it's no problem. If they spend the time and effort to develop, someone in the Y Generation will use their software, etc. for free as they will ignore their copyrighted material.
    Arizona John
  • recession over

    > recession is widely over

    Wow, that's great to hear. Can I quote you on this next year?

    gary
    gdstark13
    • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

      @gdstark13

      You have to understand that Zach doesn't live on the same planet as the rest of us. Of course, that's fairly obvious from reading his column.
      aureolin
      • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

        @aureolin At least I can spell my name correctly.
        zwhittaker
  • RE: Five unpredictable predictions for the 2011 iGeneration

    1. Copyright laws are not weak (often unenforced in some countries) it is that technology - inventiveness - has created an easy way for the general populace to copy electornically which was never foreseen to be easily copyable. The fines (at least in USA) were designed to punish large scale copying - never designed for indivuals since it was seen as not economcally possible for a single person to copy a whole book, movie, albumn and then GIVE it away. Now it is.
    2. Rising inflation affects everyone - those with the least "disposable" income just have to give up the "nice to have" items or starve. Always a choice but one that most people are unwilling to make - hence credit card debt.
    3. Colleges have been on the leading edge of bandwidth hogs for over 40 years - nothing new there. "We have 3 OC3s" hey we raise you 5 OC3s and throw in 4 spoke Internet2, and we raise your tuition by 40% in order to pay for it - hope you don't mind. (240% increase for UK students). After all, once you are on campus it is "free".
    4. Young developers are always able to move back in with their parents (or grandparents) and do everything creative they want to avoid the coroporation effect - as long as they give it all away for free to all (and better not complain they cannot buy the latest gadget since they have no income - see #1). The corporate effect has ALWAYS been there - it is not modern in any sense of the word. It was in a lower percentage. Want to see a corporate culture - just look to Catholic Church - they been doing it for almost a few thousdand years, plus Kingdoms, plus East India Company and the list goes on.
    5. You can be the most creative person in the world in painting - but if you cannot learn a color wheel to mix paints and don't want to learn how to paint you are not going to sell paintings. The same is true of computers. You have to understand at least some the hardware in order to create anything in software.
    TAPhilo
  • Inflation??

    You need better sources for your business news. There's hardly any inflation at all, and no reasonable economist is predicting inflation for the next several years. (Those conservative politicians going "printing money is bad, lol!" don't count, of course.) Heck, the Fed's program to pump in billions of dollars is barely keeping prices steady to prevent deflation.
    AySz88