The epic history of technology is littered with some incredibly lousy prophecies, often made by some very smart, very successful -- and very wealthy -- executives. We trolled the timeline of technology to find the most misguided -- and in some cases just plain crazy --calls in the industry's storied past, from the telephone to television to YouTube. Sure, it's easy to call out the most foolish forecasts with the benefit of perfect hindsight. It's also a lot of fun -- there are some doozies. And
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"We'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure." --Clifford Stoll, astronomer and author
OK, Stoll might not have run a tech firm, though he did work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the '80s. But we can't leave him out when talking bad tech predictions -- he literally wrote the book on them. "Silicon Snake Oil," along with a companion essay in Newsweek, essentially chalked the entire Web up to a passing fad, calling online shopping (among other things) "baloney." Stoll's book is available on Amazon.com.
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