2006 Predictions 9 and 10

9. Mobile TV and P2P video struggle again in 2006

10. Happy Slapping – more attacks and export potential

Unfortunately, Happy Slapping has really gone mainstream in the UK now, with more and more attacks reported. Just in the course of the last month, we had our first celebrity Happy Slap on c-list, Myleene Klass as well as the first murder convictions associated with the phenomenon.

Just in case you missed the Happy Slap thing (which must mean you don’t consume UK media), what sounds as if it might be a childish prank, is actually illegal assault. These attacks sometimes result in serious injury and murder, as we see above. The idea is that a group of kids/youths beat someone up, film it on their video phones and then circulate it among their mates, for a laugh.

Films are usually circulated by Bluetooth, so are impossible to prevent or track to their source, even if they are discovered by the authorities.

You can read my theories into the origin of these attacker here. I have actually seen some happy slapping attacks on video and they are genuinely violent and stomach-turning. It’s not comic violence in any form.

Sadly, my 10th Prediction is that we’ll see a lot more of these attacks, along with copycat Happy Slapping outside the UK – the US and Germany would be my best guess (assuming this hasn’t happened already).

This will be accompanied by idiots blaming mobile phones and not society for the problem, as well as clueless MPs calling for action.

Member of Parliament, Mr Adrian Bailey, for example has already called for mobiles to be jammed in school grounds. Do they let anyone into parliament these days? Doesn’t the man know:

1. Jamming phones will be about as effective as jamming all cuckoo clocks in schools, as this would neither disable the camera nor the Bluetooth functionality.
2. Some kids need their phones and mostly for perfectly legitimate and legal reasons – like phoning parliament to protest about the standards of MPs these days and how they seem terminally stupid in comparison to yesteryear.
3. Most Happy Slapping attacks take place away from school grounds anyway. It’s like banning automobiles from driving on railway lines as a way of reducing drunk driving related deaths. We all understand a DUI conviction can have a horrible impact on everyones lives. I remember a friend from a DUI attorney St. Louis telling me that you can get FIVE years for a felony DUI with no aggravating circumstances and even FIFTEEN years for DUI manslaughter.

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