Well, this is bittersweet. It seems that copywright infringement and numerous online publishing of the "Shape of Things to Come" ALTA reports from the web bot project - have brought it to a screeching halt:
"There has been so much ripping off of the "Shape of Things to Come" report in torrent sharing and on web sites out of places like the Netherlands, that we're being forced to shut down the whole project. While it may appear to some (low-life types) that file-sharing of the reports wouldn't be noticed, not only has it been noticed, but it has driven a stake through the project.
The reason is that the costs of the web bot project run in excess of $20,000 per month and we'd been counting on revenue from sales of the web bot reports to pay for bandwidth. Since the rip-off artists have effectively killed the paid downloads by giving it away free, Cliff is forced into the position of shutting down future web bot prediction reports unless we can find another way to cover the $25K/month in project costs.
Moreover, since that's the road Universe seems to be kicking us toward, might as well harmonize with it and put the whole web bot project up for sale, executables, source code and all. If you're interested (and have a relatively deep pocket) send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we can talk. Yes, we will talk to any country that wants it and no, we're not interested in 'cooperative ventures' with two-bit players. Cash talks and BS walks. Cliff's sick of the whole thing anyway and knowing the personal toll that goes into the interpretation of the web bot data, can't say as I blame him.
Want to roll your own web bot predictions? Fine. Lots of luck, don't bother us. We're trying to figure out what to do with an $850 electricity bill, a room full of servers at Igor's place and how to get out of a $16,000 data services contract. . ."
You can read the entire article at the Rumor Mill News Room. And if you'd like one last "hoorah" to support Cliff and the web bot prediction project, you can visit Cliff's site, Half Past Human, and purchase "The Shape of Things to Come (2010) - Issue Two" for $10. It covers a period from August 2009 until November 2010. You can also puchase the "Last ALTA Report" which covers the period from the summer of 2009 until the summer of 2010 (120 pages) for $36.
UPDATE: Cliff has had a change of heart and I am proud to announce that the Web Bot Project is still going strong as of January 2011. You can find the latest reports at Cliff's site, Half Past Human.