2012: ZDNet's definitive guide to the year in tech

2012: ZDNet's definitive guide to the year in tech

Summary: A look back at the hot topics, major discoveries, and technological breakthroughs of 2012: from privacy to surveillance, major product launches, successes and catastrophes.

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  • Memes rocket, becomes cultural statement of the decade so far

    During 2012, Reddit took back the crown as the world's favorite destination for popular Web content. Home of the memes, Digg crumbled and revamped itself as Digg 2.0, but will face an almost impossible task to get to the level Reddit currently stands at.

    Of all things, while Reddit is a news-sharing site by principle, the network has been home to the creation of many memes -- cultural references modified for humorous purposes or to make a point -- such as Bear Grylls drinking his own urine, political and religions references, Neil deGrasse Tyson's "badass over there" adaptation, and -- of course -- the world-famous 'trollface' meme.

    These 'memes' have sparked a whole new cultural medium over 2012 and their creators have rocketed to record creative levels. 

  • Yahoo's revolving door of chief executives. Will it stop spinning?

    Yahoo has suffered a revolving door of chief executives this year. First off, savior Scott Thompson turned out to have embellished his resume with college education he did not receive, and was subsequently (and relatively swiftly) forced to resign. Then, following his departure, Ross Levinsohn took the company reins and steered it aimlessly until someone better could come along.

    It was thought he would stick on as the permanent chief executive, but Yahoo instead managed to poach -- of all people -- former Google executive Marissa Mayer. As soon as she arrived at the door, she announced she was pregnant. Great news for her and all involved, but hardly the best time to announce it.

    All in all, we have seen six chief executives in as many years. Will Marissa Mayer stick around? By the looks of it, yes, but it all falls down to her to bring the company back up from its knees into a less-than-fetal position that it's been in for the last half-decade.

Topics: Presentations, 4G, United Kingdom, Security, Privacy, Microsoft, iPhone, Government, Google, Apple, Windows 8

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  • And here is one of the story that ZDNet missed

    Why did ZDNet miss it? Because it shows apple for the company that they really are.
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/microsoft-offers-patches-to-webkit-to-aid-touch-compatibility/

    Here is the order of events:
    1. apple EMBRACES html.

    2. apple EXTENDS html with a proprietary extension called Touch Events.

    3. Mobile websites everywhere start using this extended proprietary API because 95% of all mobile web traffic is done with webkit browsers (is this beginning to sound familiar?).

    4. W3C drafts a standard based on Touch Events so that ALL browsers, even those that dare to not have a huge majority, can work with all mobile web sites (is this beginning to sound familiar?).

    5. apple EXTINGUISHES the html standard by forcing the W3C to abandon the standard after apple refuses to commit to offering royalty free access to apple patents involved in implementing the standard. apple doesn't want an html standard, they want a webkit "standard" defined by whatever apple feels like including in webkit and suing the authors of all competing browser engines who attempt to be compatible with the non standard proprietary apple extensions that web developers are using because apple has such a huge monopoly on the mobile web browser engine market. This FORCES every other browser to either implement webkit or die.

    6. Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Opera, jQuery, and a few other big players contribute to a new W3C standard called Pointer Events: "Microsoft, unlike Apple, is participating in W3C's standardization process and has made the intellectual property commitments that W3C demands"

    7. Microsoft implements Pointer Events in webkit and submits it.

    8. apple refuses to accept Microsoft's patch because: "Pointer Events spec had (unspecified) problems and that there was no point in supporting Pointer Events until real Web content used it." No point in supporting a standard until real web content used it? Huh. Back when every web developer was supporting MS "standards" apple certainly didn't have that attitude.

    9. apple is given every opportunity to join in the design process but they refuse: "Another Google developer invited Apple to join the Pointer Events Working Group to help improve the specification and address those unspecified problems, but thus far Apple appears to be unwilling to participate."

    Now, before you guys freak out and respond with "but MS did this" remember that this is the point. MS did this. They got in trouble for doing it. They got slammed for doing it. So slam apple now for their Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish tactic on web standards. We were promised that apple would be nicer. We were lied to.
    toddbottom3
    • Re: And here is one of the story that ZDNet missed

      Watch out, guys, Apple is the new badass over here...
      ldo17
  • What about Windows Phone 8?

    It is for me one of the most worthy hardware/software release of the year...
    lepoete73
    • Naw

      It's just you.
      NoAxToGrind
    • Re; What about Windows Phone 8?

      You have to be joking. This phone is a huge flop. The phone are going to have try harrder to catch Apple or Android.
      Ian Norris
  • Speaking of technological breakthroughs

    I nominate ZDNet for upgrading its comment systems to include an advanced feature set once only enjoyed by early USENET users.
    none none