Welcome back - we hope you had a good break/happy holiday/manageable brown-out period.
And while you're trying to remember your passwords, PINs and associated post-digital detox dramas, we're here to bring you up to speed with what to expect in 2019.
Things will be smaller, faster and cheaper, but not by too much. The hard drive is dying, bring on the era of the solid state. If you're buying a PC (heh, remember those?) you're likely to buy it from HP, Lenovo or Dell as nobody else really exists any more, but of course you're not likely to buy a PC or even a laptop in the way we all used to.
The phones will get faster, slightly bigger and cost about the same but if you've got last year's model you'll question whether you'll really need to upgrade just yet given the lack of major differences or surprises on offer. Best to wait for 5G which is Just Around the Corner (™) or more likely a couple of years away yet, depending on how much vendor Kool Aid you're drinking this morning.
The cloud will continue to dominate all things storage related, although of course with various madnesses around the world the location of your cloud is becoming increasingly important. Privacy issues will abound and make this year's privacy debacles look quaint and old fashioned.
Companies will still harvest our information and sell it to the highest bidders, regulators will struggle to rein in that market (given the way they handled cookies and the time taken I suspect we'll still be talking about this as the sun expands and swallows the Earth) and even if companies themselves do the right thing we'll still have random employees able to hand over thumb drives full of personal information for the price of couple of cans of lager to contend with.
For those lucky enough (or foolish enough, depending on your point of view) to attend this year's CES show in the US you'll no doubt see the future is full of gadgets nobody really wants and which won't make it to the best seller lists by the time CES 2020 rolls around, but if there's one thing for sure it's that televisions will continue to get thinner, wider and ever more sumptuous in their look. Their interfaces will remain a complete pig's ear, however.
And as the year crawls to an end we will no doubt be infested with that particular bug we thought we'd all stamped out long since - the millennium bug. Y2K turns 20 next Christmas so no doubt the mainstream media will want to revisit and to laugh at it again.
I for one can hardly wait.
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