If you're making year-end (or year-beginning) investment decisions, you might want to be wary of Russia. With Vladimir Putin's party winning re-election in the parliament, there's a good chance that anyone investing in certain "critical" industries (like oil and gas, which have been the biggest winners in the Russian economy lately) risks losing that investment when the government confiscates it, which has become a habit there of late.
Rather than looking back at 2007, we took a look at the future to see what's coming over the next few years, especially the next five years, during which the next President will be elected and serve in office. Supercomputers will get faster, electric cars will hit the streets, and Medicare will go bankrupt. These are big milestones, and whomever we choose to serve as President will have to be ready to deal with these issues. For instance, what's going to happen when replacement kidneys can be grown in the lab? Who's going to pay for them? When the government is trying to make choices about how to manage an out-of-control Medicare budget, how will we decide who gets the transplants and who doesn't?
Here's a sign of the times: 16% of US households have cell phones but no land lines.
Even if it's vacation season, if you have any relationship with the Internet, you should probably either keep an eye on your e-mail or have someone else do it for you, lest you become like the Omaha body shop whose Internet server was hijacked by phishers.
Here's a prediction we can all hope will come true in 2008: Airlines may start offering in-flight Internet access by this time 12 months from now.
China's economy is big and growing quickly, but it turns out we may have been thinking it's 40% larger than it really is.