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Internet doomed to fail, say experts

Web to be nothing more than sex pics and self-obsessed Americans

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This week a leading MIT scientist and the UK's largest telecomms company demonstrated that the Internet's expandability may collapse within the next 10 years.

Having staked our future on the Net, The Register is extremely sceptical of the claims. However, co-founder and director of Media Laboratory at MIT, Nicholas Negroponte is a certified "guru", adding weight to the unlikely event.

"The digital world is moving so fast that before the end of next year, we will see a billion people on the Internet," he said.

And not just people, inanimate objects too. Small products are likely to lead the way, with everyday items such as doorknobs likely to be online eventually. And then the crunch: "Think of Barbie dolls. There are likely to be more Barbie dolls connected to the internet in 10 years than Americans."

Negroponte's views were backed up by leading Internet campaigner and consumer champion, BT. By 2010, the company predicts, up to 95 per cent of the UK will be living in an online society. This will involve household appliances talking to each other and video screens every place you turn.

The news sent shock waves through The Register office. Here were two classic examples of IT prediction from a maverick American scientist and a monopolistic UK enterprise with a vested interest. It couldn't be clearer: whatever they predicted, the exact opposite would become true.

And if you had any doubt, Negroponte revealed his pedigree by announcing that "in 10 years" there will be edible computers – like pills – "which will act like medical monitors, downloading information about your state of health to a computer you wear" (?!?!). Not much was said about how to interface with these miniature marvels, or what port you might to access them through – need we say more. ®

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