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Drones, drones, drones: Surveillance on the rise
Drones for surveillance, drones for combat killing. 2012 has seen a rapid increase in the number of drone strikes on targets in Afghanistan -- around 450 since the year's beginning -- and may other locations around the world.
But, looking further afield to unmanned aircraft, not only are intelligence services using drones in the field and afar, domestically the number of police forces using drones are on the rise. To make matters even more complicated, the ethical issues of unpiloted aircraft hovering overhead are on the rise. Even the general public is getting in on the action.
But not all drones have been used for surveillance purposes. Earlier this year, Magnet-link sharing site and former torrent haven The Pirate Bay said it was planning to put its servers into low-orbit 'drones' in order to prevent them from being seized by authorities. How that will pan out, exactly, we may have to wait until 2013 or beyond.
The PC is dead. Long live the PC!
This year saw the all-but-inevitable death of the traditional PC. The debate argues around whether or not the PC makers can survive with the rise of post-PC devices, like smartphones, tablets, and 'phablets' -- or part-phones, part-tablets. But, the final nail in the coffin was when figures suggested that PC shipments were expected to (and subsequently did) decline for the first time in a decade.
Ultrabooks failed to make that much of an impact, while PC industry rival Apple was shipping more iPads than any other PC manufacturer was shipping PCs each quarter. It was a tipping point that was reached where the mere tablet had grabbed the PC industry by the throat and continues to strangle it. Will PCs survive? Yes, for the next few years, but the post-PC era is certainly upon us.
Privacy: I can has none?
While the balance is becoming increasingly hard to find -- it's there, but it's unique to everyone -- privacy remained one of the most talked about topics of the year, and will likely rage on for some time to come.
Image credit: Flickr.