Archive for May, 2011

So did all the plans for Saturday, May 21, 2011 go wrong. According to Family Radio president Harold Camping, the Rapture was about to happen that day, followed by the complete destruction of the universe six months later. Clearly, this is not the first doomsday scenario ever predicted. In fact, it’s not even the first doomsday scenario predicted by Camping, who last said that the Rapture was coming in 1994. Will his latest prediction be as spectacularly wrong as the last one? Only time will tell. So my today’s post is set to describe the previous 10 Ingeniously Wrong Predictions hyped about 🙂

Ten Wrong Predictions

Ten Wrong Predictions

1929 Stock Market

Irving Fisher was a noted 20th century economist. No less an authority than Milton Friedman called him “the greatest economist the United States has ever produced,” and many of his contributions to economics, such as the Fisher equation, the Fisher hypothesis and the Fisher separation theorem are cited by economists to this day.

Yet despite his intellect, he made one statement in 1929 that destroyed his credibility for the rest of his life. Three days before the Wall Street Crash of that year, he claimed that, ” s tocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” When he was disproved 72 hours later, he tried to get out from under the statement, but months of putting a positive spin on developments only further eroded his reputation. He died in 1947, but a renewed interest in neoclassical economics in the 1950s caused a re-evaluation of his work and a rehabilitation of his name.


When it comes to global catastrophes that weren’t, Y2K is one of the all-time greats. As the year 2000 approached, computer experts realized that a potential problem existed. Most software was written with the last two digits representing the year as opposed to all four digits, so “1998” was written simply as “98.” When the new millennium rang in, they feared, computers the world over would behave as if the year had changed from 1999 to 1900 — and there was no way to predict the possible consequences.

While this situation was a particular problem for the financial industry, paranoia took hold in every sector. Some people believed that all of their personal data would be compromised, that database snafus would cause food shortages and that nuclear missiles would launch themselves. Edmund X. DeJesus, editor of BYTE magazine, joined in the fray, stating that “Y2K is a crisis without precedent in human history.”
Fortunately, Jan. 1, 2000 came and went without any major incidents.

2010 Collapse of the United States

In 1998, Russian political writer Igor Panarin claimed that the United States was on the verge of civil war, which would result in wealthier states withholding tax revenue from the federal government and seceding from the union. After the resulting collapse of the nation , predicted for 2010, it would be split into six parts and divided up by the newly dominant world powers.

In a 2008 article in The Wall Street Journal, Panarin explained that under the restructuring, the west coast would be controlled by China, Hawaii by Japan, the southeast would become part of Mexico, the northern Midwest would go to Canada, the northeast would join the European Union , and Russia would get Alaska. He said, “There’s a 55 to 45 percent chance right now that disintegration will occur.”

Dow 36,000

Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market is a book written by James Glassman and Kevin Hassett. Published in 1999, it is an unmistakable product of a time when a bursting dot-com bubble was unimaginable, and irrational exuberance was contagious. The book’s premise was that the boom times would cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to rise to 36,000 within just a few years, and it offered advice on how best to cash in on this eventuality.

The book’s introduction states: “If you are worried about missing the market’s big move upward, you will discover that it is not too late. Stocks are now in the midst of a one-time-only rise to much higher ground–to the neighborhood of 36,000 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.” Sadly, it didn’t exactly work out this way. Today, a used paperback copy of the now out-of-print book can be purchased on Amazon for as little as one cent, at the time of this writing. 🙂

Mother Shipton

Ursula Southeil was a 16th century English clairvoyant and mystic who went by the name Mother Shipton. She died in 1561, and 80 years later, a book of her prophecies was published. She predicted many different events, all in a style so vague that they could mean just about anything. One couplet, however, was very specific, and it read, “The end of the world will surely come, in eighteen hundred and eighty one.”

1881 came and went, but her wildly inaccurate prediction failed to discredit her. From the time her prophecies were first published until the 19th century, she was credited with predicting various calamities, and fortune-tellers would put her statue outside their place of business, thereby lending themselves soothsaying credibility. A pub in her native town of Knaresborough and another in Portsmouth both have life size statues of her as well.

Atomic Energy

Winston Churchill was the British prime minister during World War II, and his unwavering example provided the citizenry with much-needed leadership in a frightening time. Today he is considered one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, his name was frequently invoked when describing the leadership of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Whatever his leadership capabilities may have been, however, they didn’t do much for his knowledge of atomic energy. In 1939, as the technology was being tested for use in future weaponry, Churchill remained unimpressed with its capabilities in combat. “Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives,” he said, “but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.”

Six years later, the first atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of people and causing the unconditional surrender of Japan one week later.

The Internet

Robert Metcalfe is the founder of the 3Com digital electronics company and a professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds a PhD from Harvard, is the co-inventor of Ethernet , and holds a Grace Murray Hopper Award for developing it. Today he is a General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that specializes in early investments in technology companies.

Despite his impressive resume, Robert Metcalfe is known for at least one inaccurate prediction that he is unlikely to live down. In a 1995 issue of InfoWorld, he famously said of the Internet that it “will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” He then promised to eat his words if proven wrong. He was. So during his keynote speech at the WWW International Conference in 1997, he produced the magazine page containing the quote, put it in a blender, and ingested it before a live audience.

The Titanic

Nearly 100 years after its sinking, the luxury passenger ship Titanic remains a classic example of human arrogance. Many people made many regrettable statements prior to its doomed maiden voyage, all of which were spectacularly and fatally wrong. Among them was the ship’s captain, Edward J. Smith, who said, “I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern ship building has gone beyond that.”

Not to be outdone was Phillip Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line, which had produced the ship. Prior to the voyage, he said, “There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.” After the accident, a penitent Phillip Franklin walked back his remarks. “I thought her unsinkable and I based my opinion on the best expert advice.”

The Beatles

Almost 50 years on, it’s hard to believe there was a time when not everyone liked the Beatles. In fact, quite a few people hated them and found their music as appealing as nails on the chalkboard. For example, in 1964, National Review founder William F. Buckley described them as “so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music.”

When Decca Records rejected them after their 1962 audition, they famously said, “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” However, the most spectacularly wrong prediction ever made about them comes from Ray Bloch, musical director for The Ed Sullivan Show, who said, “The only thing different is the hair, as far as I can see. I give them a year.”

Pearl Harbor

Prior to U.S. involvement in World War II, Japan had been conquering land in Asia for almost a decade. The next target on their list was the Philippines, but the U.S. had troops stationed there, so Japan could not attack it without provoking a military response.

The Japanese decided to pre-emptively attack the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the likely origin of an American military response. After it was destroyed, the Japanese believed they could conquer the Philippines without any interference.

While the notion of an attack against the U.S. Naval fleet was unthinkable to most Americans, U.S. intelligence had information suggesting the Japanese might be up to something, but it was not known where or when. However, Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, made a statement on Dec. 4, 1941, to assure everyone that the situation was well in hand. “Whatever happens,” he said, “the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred three days later.

Post any you think should replace any in this List in the Comments section.

Most internet frauds result from poor customer awareness. The biggest concern for online customers is the possible theft of their online credentials, especially those relating to net banking. This often happens without the customers’ knowledge, enabling fraudsters to steal money from their accounts in a recurring manner. Here in simple words I have put on how you can guard against them.


Make sure site is safe

Before keying in sensitive information, ensure the site is running in a secure mode by looking for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the browser. Give your user id and password only at the authenticated login page

Strong password

Make net banking passwords difficult to guess, change them regularly. Also, never share them with anyone, meaning just anyone. Your Password should include a good combination of numbers, Letters and special characters.

Virus scanning

Scan email attachments for viruses before opening them. When unsure about the source of an attachment, delete it. Everyone should install a good anti-virus system on their PCs like Avast, AVG or Symantec and ensure that it is updated regularly. Also avoid downloading programs from unknown sources. Some sources may have hidden forms of spyware or viruses that could compromise the security of your computer.

Never share your CVV no.

Don’t share your password or CVV details orally with banks. Bank never asks for confidential information like user ID, password, credit card number, CVV, etc, via mail, SMS or bank initiated phone calls.

Make sure it is Bank site

Don’t access bank website from a link provided in an email from any source. Instead, type the address of the bank website in the address bar of browser to access the bank account. Don’t click on any link provided in emails, they may redirect users to a fake/phishing site.

No paper work

Never note down user ID, password on piece of paper, documents or phones for easy retrieval, on any place that is easily or not easily accessible to anyone even your family members.

Say no to password reminders

Everyone should also never use the ‘remember password’ feature provided by browsers to save their net banking passwords. This is how many hackers catch in.

No Net banking from cyber cafes

Don’t access Net banking from cyber cafes. If you have to, use the virtual key board to key in details and ensure you log out of the system once you are done. Do not use shared computers for Net Banking.

Clear your browser’s cache

Clear your browser’s cache and history after each session so that your account information is removed, especially if you have used a shared computer to access Internet.

Take Care to Log Off

Finally Log Off from online Bank Account every time after you complete your online banking session. Do not close your browser.

Hope this helps, if you have a tip to share or a suggestion leave it in the comment section of this post.


Its a HOT news going around on the web, will Google and Facebook buy Twitter indeed both these companies have been in acquisition talks with Twitter, as per a report from the Wall Street Journal. With more than 175 million registered users worldwide, Twitter was the pioneer of the micro-blogging space. Its popularity is due to its easy usability and real time commenting feature. It is now believed that Twitter is holding low level discussions with Google and Facebook to decide an appropriate price tag. Wall Street Journal cites the reason behind this potential buyout is the 2011 valuation of Twitter which is being estimated to be $10 billion with possible revenue of $100-$110m. When you compare this to the 2010 valuation of $3.7 billion, its no wonder Facebook and Google are keen on snapping up this growing company.

The valuation — somewhere between $8 billion and $10 billion — is explicitly not based on Twitter’s current revenues. And valuing Twitter based on its revenues is exactly what Twitter’s suitors aren’t doing. The interesting question about Twitter’s valuation is not how high it is, but rather the way in which it can be justified. People are putting real cash money into Twitter at massive valuations — the company just raised $200 million at a $3.7 billion valuation, and Andreessen Horowitz just bought $80 million of stock in the secondary market at levels which might well be higher than that. These investors aren’t stupid, so what’s their reasoning?

Twitter has swaths of devoted users, but it’s a different story that it requires repeated explanation to many regular Joe Web users. According to a seurvey, of the people who use the Internet, just 12% use Twitter, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center. Compare that to Facebook (used by 62% of Internet users), and text messaging (used by 74% of cell phone owners)

If Twitter is 20% the size of Facebook, and Facebook is worth $50 billion, then Twitter’s valuation of $10 billion makes pretty good sense.

The point here is that Twitter is becoming central to how people communicate with each other — a key part of the new social architecture. It serves a very important purpose in the lives of the people who have adopted it, and it’s likely to serve the same purpose for ever more people as its user base grows.

How exactly will crucial social infrastructure get monetized in the future? Nobody knows for sure — but everybody knows that it’s not simply going to happen by scaling up current-day revenues from promoted tweets and the like. Twitter’s on track to make $100 million this year without even breaking a sweat, but the one thing all of its investors understand is that priority number one for the company is to become an indispensable service for millions of people around the world.

If Google and Facebook are fighting over Twitter, a large part of its value to each company is that the other one won’t own it.

Twitter is a highly speculative investment, of course, and in fact only a very select group of carefully-qualified and extremely rich investors can invest in the company at all. Everybody putting money into the company right now is well aware that they’re taking a calculated risk.

Even though Twitter has denied merger and or takeover rumors, one can only wonder how long it will be able to resist the world’s two biggest tech giants. Some observers are speculating that these rumors are simply a marketing stunt by Twitter itself. But time will unveal the real story.

Who do you think as the greater advantage with this buyout is it Google or Facebook, let me know leave your comments in the comments section of this post.. Until then take care and have a great week ahead..