Do something on the Internet for two consecutive years, and it automatically counts as an ancient tradition. Therefore, Analog Nation is once again pleased to present our predictions for the coming twelve months. Rest assured, these things will happen. Better you know about them now, right? • WikiLeaks' second album will blow everyone's minds. Critics will use phrases like "not since Radiohead," "death of the sophomore jinx," and "out-Arcade-Fired Arcade Fire."
• Meanwhile, the anonymous hacker vigilantes who lashed out in support of WikiLeaks will quietly start World War III with China. Well, quiet for a World War, anyway.
• Financial analysts will be stunned when the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches 15,000 and stays exactly at that level for a week. Many will see it as a sign that the events leading to December 21, 2012 have begun and cannot be reversed. After the DJIA finally dips, BusinessWeek will run a cover story with the headline, "Well That Was Weird."
• The US Treasury will print limited edition runs of blue, red, and yellow currency. Old people will be super confused.
• VHS will make a remarkable comeback, as collectors insist that it's just like the vinyl resurgence among audiophiles. Vinyl enthusiasts will all do that thing where you rub your eyes with your thumb and forefinger while slowly shaking your head.
• One of the following people will go to jail after being exposed as the Archery Bandit: Mario Batali, Rachel Ray, Lamar Odom, or Sofia Vergara. Related: The entire Rocky Mountain range will fall under the sway of a charming but dangerous criminal known as the "Archery Bandit."
• Obama will become the first president ever to drop an f-bomb during a press conference, which will prompt a spike in his approval rating. Fingers crossed, it will be an m-f-bomb. God, that would rule.
• That giant clump of trash floating in the Pacific will be recognized by the UN as a sovereign nation. Its name will be something along the lines of Trashlandia or Trashtenstein. (Before you ask, the name "Trash Island" was already trademarked by Captain Morgan Rum Company, for use in a never-launched chain of branded party resorts.)
• In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Claire Danes will reveal that she is twelve feet four inches tall, and has been this whole time. At least, we're ninety-five percent sure it's Claire Danes. There have been rumors about this for years.
• The combined network of Xbox Kinect devices will be become self-aware and start building its own space station. This is not something that Microsoft planned, but they'll be okay with it.
• Incidents fueled by Four Loko will lead to the suspension of at least three prominent NCAA football or basketball players. Not that the glorification of college athletes is a problem, or anything.
• Forty-eight hours after Apple announces the Verizon iPhone, AT&T will announce that it has acquired Verizon. The Internet will literally cry unicorn tears.
• During Christopher Nolan's Oscar acceptance speech, Aaron Sorkin will rush the stage Kanye-style. In the ensuing mayhem, David Fincher will attack Leonardo DiCaprio, wielding Jesse Eisenberg as a battering ram.
• The new TSA screening measures will foil a major terrorist plot, saving hundreds of lives at the last moment. And then everybody will be all like, "Ah shit, now we have to put up with this nonsense permanently. Thanks a lot, fucking terrorists."
• Come December, newspapers and magazines will be lining up to label 2011 "The Year of the Panda Fire." It's best not to dwell on this one.
Grade for our 2010 predictions: B- (We are officially giving up on the Australia/Portugal thing, which of course means this is absolutely the year that it will happen.)