Stuff That Probably Won't Happen in 2011 (But Ya Never Know)
Apple probably won't release an iCar and Oracle's unlikely to take optimization to home appliances, but our columnist won't completely rule out some offbeat technological twists.
Apple buys Tesla, releases the iCar. Pros: Colors include sweet bamboo and clementine flake, and a killer stereo and breakthrough heads-up video display come standard.
Cons: Batteries can't be replaced, and the proprietary charging system accepts power only from Apple's own power plants. In addition, iCar version 1.0 can't multitask, so video and audio functions may be used only while parked. With a range of just 30 miles, experts agree its worst function is as a car. Still, consumers can't resist the iCar, and the waiting list for the $74,499 special-edition truffle mist version is three years. Don't wait for a white one, it'll never be produced.
Building on the incredible (literally) success of its Exadata machine, Oracle releases the Exadata Home Appliance. The device, affectionately known as the toaster within Oracle can also be used to heat homes in colder climes, but is primarily used by overprotective soccer moms to analyze terabytes of data on their kids. Feed the device results of physicals, SAT and ACT scores, and the full contents of the child's text message folder, and in seconds receive everything from behavior predictions to sentiment analysis, to help parents avoid offending the little dears.
Longer term, the Exadata Home Appliance can be used for genetically engineered mate selection. Following the machine's recommendations yields grand-progeny bearing a strong resemblance to Larry Ellison.
Facebook buys appliance giant LG, releases FBfridge. As Facebook's market cap (not to be confused with actual value) reaches $100 billion, Mark Zuckerberg imbibes alcohol for the first time. Sometime during the subsequent drunken buying spree, Zuckerberg manages to focus momentarily on his phone's LG logo. Insisting that he must have it, along with a pizza and those chicks from the bar, the young billionaire puts LG and all its assets on his American Express Black Card.
The combined company's first product, FBfridge, recommends foods you might like to try, lets you know what your friends are eating, and insists on posting your daily calorie consumption along with cute but irritating nags about salt, fat, and alcohol intake. The Obama administration instantly moves to mandate use.
HP names Martha Stewart CEO, announces new afternoon TV show. In a surprising turnabout, HP's board of directors announces that Leo Apotheker is out and Martha Stewart is in. "We realized that what we really need is someone who combines the best traits of Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd," says a beaming spokesman. "Martha brings the presence, bubbliness, and coif-savvy of Fiorina along with the business smarts of Hurd."
When asked about Stewart's other qualifications, the spokesman noted that she has been fully vetted by the SEC and "other authorities" and that the FBI has actually encouraged the board to immediately institute wiretaps on the new CEO.