8 Things Likely To Happen in 2013

2012 was an exciting year for technology and the world. But it was also a year of a lot of surprises. We expect a lot to happen in 2013. Here are 8 of our predictions.

1. The world will end

The Mayans may not have had the ability to accurately predict the end of the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. From Global Warming to exponential population growth, we’re all screwed. 2013 will likely be the end for us.

2. Mark Zuckerberg will come out of the closet

Let’s be honest. Mark Zuckerberg clearly has eyes for guys. Just look at his face. He’s always on the verge of spilling the news. Stop kidding yourself Zucks. There are plenty of guys out there waiting for you. Drop the beard and get out there.

3. Color app will try one more time

Color has become regarded as one of the biggest startup failures of our time, flopping after raising $41 million dollars. They launched, started over, relaunched, and just couldn’t get momentum for the life of them. Apple may have bought their talent, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. We expect a new version of Color to make its debut in 2013.

4. Zynga will launch Farmville 3, 4, and 5

Zynga has been a huge disaster in 2012. After launching their IPO and many lackluster titles, many key executives and employees left and many others were let go in a desperate attempt to salvage the company in its free-fall. Though they tried to get creative, they’ve got to stick with what works if they have a shot in recovering.

5. Facebook will look exactly the same

Oh wait! We just heard a rumor that Facebook may add another link to their sidebar! I guess it won’t look exactly the same.

6. 9,242,159 photo sharing apps will launch

After Instagram’s $1 billion buyout, and now their policy backlash, there’s a good chance we’ll see even more photo sharing apps in 2013. How many apps does it take to share a photo? Millions.

7. Red Bull will sponsor first “Moon to Earth” skydive.

Diving from space was pretty cool, but how do you top that? Diving from the moon, of course!

8. Pebble Smartwatch will get closer to shipping

The Pebble Smartwatch was one of Kickstarter’s most successful projects of all time. After pushing back their original shipment date from September to the holidays, then from the holidays to 2013, it’s pretty clear that more delays are lurking. This is what happens when we give a bunch of money to a guy with a cool idea and hope he figures out how to handle distribution and manufacturing.

 

Raspberry Pie sales up 950% this holiday. Kids left without Raspberry Pi’s.

Kids these days have it too easy. If they want a top of the line desktop or laptop computer, they have plenty of prebuilt options. There was a time not many years ago where, if you wanted a great computer, you had to order parts and build it yourself. It was an incredible learning experience, one that would lead to a better knowledge of how computers work. But now, it’s

much less necessary to build a computer. But, parts have gotten cheaper.. and smaller.. and a lot better. Thus, Raspberry Pi was born – a tiny, functional computer for $35. It’s nothing more than a motherboard with a few required connected parts. It’s enough to give you everything you need, and cheap enough that you’re not afraid to break it. It’s a wonderful way for people to experiment, to hack, and to learn and get creative.

As one would expect, it was a hot Christmas item this year. But, parents and grandparents have no idea what a Raspberry Pi is. This year, many kids were left disappointed as they unwrapped raspberry pies. Instead of a hackable computer, they were left with a mildly tasty, unconventional dessert.

These mistakes lead to a surge in raspberry pie sales across the country. So much, in fact, that it has become one of the top pie flavors nationwide this holiday season, just below apple and cherry.

Will these sales continue? We’ll be watching (and eating).

 

Evernote launches 5.1.2 iOS app update fixing bugs

Today marks one of the biggest days in our known history. Two significant things have happened. The first – we survived the end of the world. Second – Evernote, the popular note taking application, has launched their long awaited 5.1.2 iOS app update. Included in this update are some very important fixes, including some spelling corrections, a slightly greener button and a crash that effected some iPhone 3G users running iOS 3.1.

“We are thrilled to announce a significant update to our application today”, said Evernote’s CEO. “We believe that the slightly greener button that you’ll see when editing a notebook and the couple spelling corrections will provide the experience our users have been waiting for. You’ve spoken up, and we heard you. We feel that we’re now much closer to the product we have spent years trying to achieve.”

What can we expect to see in the next Evernote version? “We’re working hard on our next big update already. Though I can’t reveal our plans, I’ll give you a hint. It may or may not have something to do with the loading screen.”

If only we could have that update for Christmas.

Dollar Tree Launches Android App Store [BREAKING]

In March, Amazon launched their own app store for Android apps. You might be thinking, “why would Amazon launch an app store?” Well, let’s put it this way. I have no idea. It’s weird. In fact, it weirds me out so much that I’ve decided to put no effort in researching how the hell it works. Do they have exclusive apps that aren’t in Google’s own app store, “Google Play” (ugh that name, another thing that I don’t want to get into). Are they selling the same apps at a different cost than Google Play? Does that mean if I own an Android device, I’m obligated to search several app stores just to find a todo list app?

Well, the saturation continues today as America’s favorite dollar store, Dollar Tree has decided to make their mobile debut with their own Android app store. Their motivation is clear – they intend to only sell apps priced at $1. No more, no less. Apps included in Dollar Tree Appstore at launch will be Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and around 2,000 camera apps.

We reached out to Dollar Tree CEO, Bob Sasser for comment. “Do what? What are we launching?” I told Bob about the Appstore. “Android? Well we sell some robot toys in our stores but I don’t know what that is specifically. We may carry it. Give your nearest Dollar Tree a call.” I went on to explain smartphones, told him all about the app ecosystem, how mobile platforms work, etc. I talked for nearly an hour. “Adam, let me stop you there. The things you’ve just said to me are way over my head. We sell retail items for a dollar. We don’t do any of this gadget stuff.”

I was pretty frustrated at this point, so we got the Mockcrunch team on the case. From our research, we were able to determine that a single Dollar Tree corporate intern was behind this initiative. We reached out to James Farely, the intern who created the project. “Dollar Tree needs innovation. Our CEO is clueless, so I thought I’d help out a bit. I didn’t take this to Bob because I knew he wouldn’t get it.”

We asked James if any executives were aware of the Dollar Tree Appstore. “Haha, yeah right”, he said. “This company is a total nightmare. They are still selling retail products at a dollar. The brand is locked in. Inflation continues to rise, and we can’t steer from that dollar price. That just means our products continue to get shittier. In 10 years, we’ll only be selling single sheets of paper.”

Apple adds “Shake-To-Undo” iOS feature to Mountain Lion. Computers breaking already.

With Mountain Lion on the horizon, more and more iOS (mobile) features are starting to make their way to Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system. Beginning with Lion, Apple made it clear that they had a vision to merge the experience of the iPad with the Mac. Mountain Lion plans to take this concept a few steps further, touting new features such as tighter iCloud support, Notification Center, iMessages, Voice Dictation and more, all features well-known to the iOS platform. Today, Apple has added yet another iOS feature to their roster, one that just doesn’t sound like a good idea: Shake-To-Undo.

Shake-To-Undo has been around on iOS since the early days of the iPhone. How does it work? Simply shake the device and a popup appears with a button allowing the user to Undo their last action. It’s a handy and useful feature for iPhones and iPods. iPads, not so much, as its size makes it awkward and a disaster waiting in the wings. Take that further, and now we’re all about to be violently shaking our Macbook Pros and 27″ iMacs when we make a typo.

Only hours after this featured went live in the latest update to the Mountain Lion preview, damaged Mac reports are already coming in. We reached out to David Dougly, a beta user of Mountain Lion and now damaged iMac owner. “Are you f*cking kidding me? What happened to CMD+Z? Is this supposed to make Mac OS X better? Jesus Christ. I tried lifting up my 27″ iMac to shake the god damned thing. I threw my back out and dropped the iMac besides. I’m downgrading to Lion.”

Another beta user, Jake Gruffy, claimed he absolutely destroyed his Macbook Pro. “I needed to Undo so I tried CMD+Z and it didn’t work. I had to Google around, only to discover this horrendous new Undo method. I sighed, picked up my Macbook Pro and shook it a few times. It didn’t work, so I shook it harder. You know what? I saw the stupid Undo popup appear, but only for a split second because it was flying through the air towards the wall. My Macbook Pro looked as if it had been run over by a cement truck. What a total nightmare.”

According to our sources, CMD+Z has been entirely replaced with Shake-To-Undo and there is no alternative method available.

Microsoft Madness: The true meaning of Yammer, Surface and Xbox 720

Microsoft has had a lot of earth shattering items in the news lately. It was recently reported that enterprise social network company Yammer was being acquired by Microsoft for $1.3 Billion. Then blogs started picking up news of leaked documents describing their next Xbox console called the Xbox 720. Yesterday, Microsoft held a mystery media event and announced that they were making a tablet computer running windows 8. Could these things be related?

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. As tech journalists, its our job to take the things that we see and read, and make them more interesting for you. The real news is that the sale of Yammer to Microsoft is not final. *BORING.* The real news is that the “leaked” Xbox 720 documents are likely not really from Microsoft. Or Leaked. Or even documents. *YAWN.* Surface is a tablet that runs an OS that microsoft has been saying from the beginning is built for tablets. *I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.* The real news is that Microsoft is so segmented that not one employee is aware of all three of these annoucements and they couldn’t be related. *THEN WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?* So here we go:

  1. Yammer will be Microsoft’s new social network only accessible via Windows 8 tablets.
    The best feature an internet based service can have is exclusivity. How do you think Facebook got as popular as it is today. It’s not that it has features that people wanted at a time when no one else was offering them. No. It’s because it started at Harvard. Creating a restricted social network is exactly the play Microsoft needs.
  2. The Xbox 720 will be an enterprise product
    Microsoft’s acquisition of a business social network clearly plays into their strategy of getting more xboxes into the workplace. Imagine editing that spreadsheet with 3D graphics. What about writing word documents with Kinect. How about fighting the Locusts from Gears of War with Clippy at your side. Yammer will allow a company that has had so much trouble infiltrating the corporate world, dominated mostly by lotus notes, to make a serious move into enterprise.
  3. The Xbox 720 will use the Surface tablet as a controller creating a competitor to Nintendo’s Wii U
    The Wii U’s main differentiating feature is a tablet like controller. Using the new tablet and kinect technology, Microsoft has nullified any of Nintendo’s advantages in the console gaming market. Ok, I’ll admit, this one is probably true, and kind of awesome. Whatever microsoft’s next gaming console ends up being. Hell, why not throw Yammer in there too. You’ll be able to play whatever Yammer’s Farmville equivalent is on the Xbox 720 using Yammer.

This is why I got into journalism and not creative writing. To report the facts.

8 predictions for Apple’s WWDC keynote based on the invitation

Monday is Christmas for Apple fanboys. One of Apple’s biggest events, the World Wide Developer Conference is coming up next week. Apple’s Keynote during this event has historically unveiled many new Apple products and features, ranging from new iPhones and Macs to major iOS software updates and more. Rumors are right on schedule, flooding in this week as to what could potentially be on the agenda for Apple and what new amazing things we can expect to be revealed.

At Mockcrunch, we aren’t fooled. We know Apple has a history of giving little announcement clues with the event invitation. So we’re going to analyze the shit out of it. Here we go.

1. Hologram of Steve Jobs will, in fact, make an appearance.

We covered this rumor once already. But, this invitation clearly confirms it. Take a look at the transparency right in the middle of the apple logo. The squares make a point to reveal a lack of opacity. Apple is trying to tell us something. Transparency very much relates to the appearance of a holographic image. If we’re reading this correctly, we’ll see a resurrection of Steve Jobs in just a few days.

2. iPhone Nano is coming

Take a look at the squares inside the logo. You’ll notice that they are all scaled in different sizes. And, the squares look exactly like iOS app icons. The scaling icons represent multiple screen sizes. Right now, iOS apps have 2 scales – the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. Apple is clearly trying to tell us that they will be adding another screen size to their lineup of iOS products. And given the number of tiny squares, we are looking at a dead giveaway. iPhone Nano.

3. The iPhone 5 will be revealed.

Look at the date they chose to start with – the day of their keynote. June 11th. Interesting, I’d say. Let’s look back at June 11th in history. MS Dos 5.0 was released in 1991. 5.0. iPhone 5. In 1983 , “My Love” by Lionel Richie peaked at #5. People love Apple products. In 1905, Penns Railroad debuted the fastest train in world. Will Apple debut the fastest phone in the world? This is beginning to seem a little too obvious.

4. Apple will bring factory operations to the U.S.

It seems Apple is making a case for really emphasizing “in San Francisco”. Yet, they don’t tell you where the actual conference will be taking place. What help is it to know what city the event is in without knowing the conference’s address or venue? It’s not helpful. It’s a clue. After all the bad press Apple received about the conditions of their China-based factory, Foxconn and the disappointment people have shared for their factory outsourcing habits, Apple is trying to tell us that they want to be in San Francisco and are proud of it. Apple is indicating that they want their products to say Made in San Francisco. And they will. Soon.

5. Improved iOS calendar

This one is practically slapping us in the face. The conference is 5 days, yet Apple’s invitation refers to the length of this event as a “week”. They have decided to label 5 days as a week. This is a metaphor for our busy lives – never having enough time and the difficulties of keeping track of dates and schedules. We expect to see some innovation on the iOS calendar – or maybe something even more interesting.

6. Apple intends to further expand globally, reaching all remaining countries

The week we’ve all been waiting for. All defines entirety of humanity. No one is left out from “all”. We expect Apple to be making an announcement that they will be selling their products to every remaining country on this planet.

7. iOS will get a nice speed boost

Yes, our iPhones have kept us waiting. We’ve all been waiting while apps slowly launch and websites take their time to load. This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Faster iOS. It all makes sense.

8. Apple is lobbying for a Mitt Romney presidency

This one is more of a guess. But look closely – there is no space between WWDC and 2012. Ignore the first WW, you’ll see DC2012. Washington DC. Election year. Mitt’s full name is Willard Mitt Romney – the First W. The second either stands for “win” or “White House”. We’re not sure yet. But all signs point to a lobbying effort from Apple. This is a strange decision from such a liberal company.

There you have it folks. We’re about to see another big Apple event. There is lots on the horizon, from iPhones to Romnies. We’ll keep an eye out next week.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at D10: “We’re doubling down on celebrity Siri commercials”

The All Things D conference is one of the only non-Apple conferences that Apple participates in annually. It is well-known for their hot seat interviews with Steve Jobs, usually conducted by Walt Mossberg, tech journalist at the Wall Street Journal. This year, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to replace the late Steve Jobs, making it his first interview at the All Things D conference.

Tim Cook had a lot of interesting things to say, hinting at future products, company focuses and new policies. One of the notable parts of the interview was when Walt asked Tim if he could give away any secrets about Apple’s plans for the next couple of months. “We’re doubling down on celebrity Siri commercials”, Tim said. It seems they are intending to produce many more commercials where celebrities are shown using Siri in their daily lives. The current line-up includes Zooey Deschanel, Samuel L Jackson and John Malkovich. When asked if Tim could name some of the upcoming celebrities, Tim replied “Stay tuned.”

What can we expect from the next set of celebrity Siri commercials? All Apple has managed to do is show how little value Siri adds in our daily lives. So far, celebrities have used Siri to determine if it’s raining while a window is in viewing distance, find restaurants who deliver soup (pro tip: probably none), ask it to tell a joke and laugh before it even tells the joke, and request that it “takes a night off”. None of these scenarios sell the service. Will the next set of celebrities do a better job?

We did some digging and were able to confirm that Pauly Shore, Keanu Reeves and Mel Gibson have all signed on to be featured in upcoming Siri commercials. Through an anonymous source, we were able to get our hands on a transcript from the Pauly Shore commercial.

Pauly: Hey buuuuuuuudy!

Siri: Sorry, I don’t understand ‘Hey bud ready’

Pauly: Find me a bar. I wanna chill.

Siri: I found 20 bars. 8 of them are close to you.

Pauly: Killer. Let’s wheeze a little ju-uice.

Siri: Let me think… how about a websearch for ‘Let’s wizened little JetBlue’s?’

Pauly: Sure bro

So far, we see no improvement on the quality of these commercials. It seems that they are expecting most users to be sold simply by showing a celebrity use Siri, no matter what the context is. Regardless, the one that we’re most concerned about is Mel Gibson’s commercial, given his history of violent rants. As soon as we can dig up information on that one, you’ll get it here first.

NASDAQ fired over compromising Facebook photos

In a stunning series of events this morning, MockCrunch has learned that the SEC and FINRA plan to announce that they have pulled the charter allowing NASDAQ to work as an exchange, essentially firing him. While details are still coming together, it appears as though NASDAQ, which recently signed up on the social networking service Facebook, was photographed in some compromising situations. Many Americans will be familiar with losing their job after appearing in questionable Facebook photos, but NASDAQ is perhaps the highest profile casualty of Mark Zuckerberg’s crusade to make the world less private.

NASDAQ, who only signed up for Facebook two weeks ago, was still shocked when we reached him for comment. “I don’t know what happened. Honestly, I am a good person. I have been selling securities for over 40 years now. I have a great reputation. It’s not like I am some sort of hedge fund manager.”

When we reached Mark Zuckerberg for comment, he seemed very put off. “I am busy hunting right now. Do you know how much time it takes to hunt everything you eat? Why do you think our privacy settings are so hard to understand? Besides, it’s not my fault that NASDAQ is a slut.”

NASDAQ was seen pole dancing with escorts and call girls. That would have been enough, but he was also seen doing the 80’s stock broker salute, snorting cocaine off of a stripper’s ass.

NASDAQ, who is now working at a Brooklyn Audi dealership, shared his frustration with the privacy settings in Facebook. “They told me that it would be easy to control my privacy. It felt so good to get Facebook before NYSE, but then I lost all of my money on Facebook stock and now I lost my job. Do you know how hard it is to get a job as a stock exchange? I saw the Lehman brothers yesterday and they just laughed at me.”

NASDAQ appears to be more like an everyday slacker than his reputation suggests. “The joke is on Zuck. I wiped my ass on that bell everyday.”

Facebook isn’t making a phone, Facebook is making a pager. Wait, what? [PIC]

Facebook has been the center of attention this past week, making headlines all over the place. First the Facebook IPO launched after Zuckerberg threatened to cancel it, then it bombed, then Facebook started getting sued left and right, then Mark Zuckerberg apparently felt like it was a good time to get married to his longtime girlfriend. To top it off, Facebook decided to stir the pot by hiring Apple engineers to begin work on a project that many believe is a Facebook phone. This coincides with a long standing rumor Facebook has been working on a phone, but they heavily denied it. Well today, the rumors have been quelled. An image has been leaked showing a pager-like device with a Facebook notification message on its display. It seems Facebook isn’t working on a phone at all. We are about to see the return of the pager, courtesy of Facebook. Huh?

Why in the world would Facebook make a pager? We reached out to Tom Garwinkle, tech analyst at the WSJ for his opinion. “Sometimes I hate my job. This is one of those times. But, I suppose I’ll be as professional as I can be”, Tom said. Since Tom was no help at all, here is our analysis. We know that Facebook is lacking a monetization strategy for mobile users. A pager provides immediate notification of activity on your Facebook page, encouraging users to login to the site and view the activity. This is where they want users, on the website, so it certainly plays into their current strategy. At the end of the day, this is a roundabout mobile monetization strategy. Does it make sense? Not at all. But it’s a strategy, nonetheless. That’s a step in the right direction.

Tom did say that he feels they may have a shot at bringing Baby Boomers, seniors, and dumb phone users into their mobile strategy as well. That is, if this pager is cheap enough and people are receptive to bringing a pager back into their lives.

If introducing a whole new device into the cutthroat market of smartphones is their solution for mobile monetization, what’s next for Facebook? We’d suggest making a mobile app that works.