2013 in tech: The big stories of the year

2013 in tech: The big stories of the year

Summary: Here's a look back at the hot topics, major discoveries, and technological breakthroughs of 2013: from privacy to surveillance, major product launches, successes, and catastrophes.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

 |  Image 1 of 21

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Thumbnail 18
  • Thumbnail 19
  • Thumbnail 20
  • Thumbnail 21
  • Silicon Valley tech giants hacked after Java zero-day exploit

    In January, Homeland Security warned users to disable Java amid a zero-day vulnerability. Oracle, which develops the software, said it fixed the bug but Homeland Security warned not long after that the bug persisted.

    Lo and behold a month later, Apple and Facebook, among other Silicon Valley giants, said they suffered an internal network hack as a result. The companies said no customer data was stolen, the companies said.

    Image via CNET

  • Microsoft fined $731m by Europe after browser ballot bungle

    One significant but small oversight cost Microsoft dearly after it allegedly inadvertently flouted an earlier antitrust ruling that forced the software giant to offer a choice of browsers to Windows users in Europe.

    Microsoft was forced to shell out $731 million by the European Union after it failed to bundle the "browser ballot" screen, which allows users in the region to choose a browser of their choice in the latest version of Windows. The software giant said it took "full responsibility for the technical error."

    Image: ZDNet; Microsoft; stock image

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Its a slide show..... Oh no

    Happy New Year.
    The Central Scrutinizer
  • Yep, a slide show with incorrect data as well, on some of them.

    The NSA radio interception and data analysis has been public knowledge of over 60 years, just that some people forget that. All Snowden did was to show the NSA has updated their data management, while showing he has no concerns about US security or and honour.
    Deadly Ernest
    • I wouldn't know

      I refuse to waste half a day clicking on icons and waiting for a new page of advertisements to load, so I only saw the first installment.
  • Oh, I forgot to mention the PC is only dead when the tablets

    become capable of providing a 26 inch or bigger wide-screen along with running full blown applications like Cadcam programs as way too many businesses require that level of processing. The reliability of the systems is such that people are keeping them and using them longer, added to market saturation, and some of the minor mobile uses no longer requiring a notebook.
    Deadly Ernest
    • couldnt even be bothered to read any of it but...

      I guess that was ZDNet banging on about the so called 'post PC era again??
      When will they get a clue........
      The Central Scrutinizer
      • The year of Edward Snowden and Linux victory

        Market share of new devices (smartphone, pc, tablet) in Q3 2013:

        1. Android Linux 61%
        2. Apple systems 16%
        3. Windows 15%
        4. Other systems, including other Linux distributions 8%

        Linux has also 94% share of supercomputers and 85% share of global servers. 80% of biggest stock markets are run by Linux. The whole IT ecosystem is moving to Linux and open source software.
        • Mr. Broderick, you claim that Android is not Linux

          when referenced into stories centered on Malware. So what is you stance? Is Android Linux, or is it not?

          And your numbers are incorrect, but I assumed you knew that, as you left out a great many devices you understood would negate your Linux numbers for those more accurate.
          John Zern
          • You should start some google seach and find results like these one:

            1. Smartphone: 81% for Android Linux
            2. Tablet: 65% for Android Linux
            3. share mobiles vs. pc = 80%/20%

            It's obvious that Android Linux got some 77% market share of all mobiles (smartphone/tablet). So even without any Android thinclients that claim of 61% for Android Linux might be near the truth.

            On the other hand Windows got only ~4% of mobiles and 55% PC excluding pirate-Windows.

            Nobody knows the real figures of pirate Windows and pc installed with Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, SUSE, RedHAT...).

            About Apple? Well - they got some 15% share of smartphones and 28% of tablets (Q3). Then they got some 5% marketshare of portables/desktops.

            Anyway - here are the result of previous year 2012 based on data of Goldman Sachs:

            1. Android Linux 42%
            2. Apple 24%
            3. Windows 20%
            4 Others 14%

            So actually Android Linux has been the biggest winner and Apple the biggest looser with group "others" in 2013 (especially RIM, Symbiam, Bada, etc...).
            Napoleon XIV
  • Despite good intentions, government suffers.....

    It was not with good intention for the majority of Citizens of the United States of America to be forced into paying for the minority’s health care@! And the Government having a hiss-fit, really?
    • Please

      Republicans shut down the government, furloughed many of the sort of people you want in government, and cost the economy billions of dollars because they are incompetent d-bags elected by the sort of people who never could figure out to set the clock on their VHS recorders during all the many years they were around.
      • Please

        Democrats shut down the government, furloughed many of the sort of people you want in government, and cost the economy billions of dollars because they are incompetent d-bags who refused to accept any of the dozen or so compromises offered by the Republicans.
        • That Star Trek Alternate Universe

          Is not real, sorry. It appears that you were misinformed.
          • It's you who is delusional.

            The gov't shut down because the republicans were doing everything they possibly could to save us from Obamacare. They lost. So how's that working out for America? We'll see which side the public agrees with next November, but if I were a liberal idiot like you, I'd be very, VERY afraid.
            Steve Summers
          • Gawd....

            What part of "That Star Trek Alternate Universe is not real" did you not understand? In this universe, the current crop of Republican politicians are anti-science, anti-reason, anti-math, anti-good schooling (looking at you, Texas), anti-honesty, and pretty much anti-getting anything done right.

            Real Healthcare reform was already way, WAY overdue by the time Obama got his plan passed (yeah, it's the law of the land even if right wing politicians think otherwise, sort of like desegregation back in the old days). Healthcare costs have been relentlessly rising sharpy for decades, and for at best mediocre care and service, and Republicans have been obstacles in getting anything done about it (even Mitt Romney tried to veto 8 sections of the Massachusetts healthcare reform law, but was overridden -- it was never "Romneycare" the way the clueless press has described it.)

            Also survey after survey has shown that the bulk of Americans to not only be hopelessly confused about big news topics like Obamacare, but that its been shown that if you neutrally described Obama's healthcare plan without using the word "Obamacare," that many if not most people like the plan and think it's a much better plan than Obamacare (seriously.)

            This is universe we live in these days, with fall-down-on-face journalism and politicians feeling more and more they can say the most rubbish things and not suffer any consequences, not to mention all these people with Web access and not having a clue about how to use it for its original purpose.
      • Many years ago I read an article where the writers made a clear point

        that the great strength of the US federal political system, as they saw it, was the ability of the major parties to reach a compromise on significant issues. One thing that was clear from the article was when they failed to do so major trouble followed. To me it appeared that the closure of the US government for some weeks was another of the occasions where the power blocks controlling the parties were not working to reach a compromise and both dug their heels in, so chaos followed. I'm sure the party faithful, on both sides, see it as the fault of the other party.
        Deadly Ernest
  • Some other techy thingys of note

    1) The start-up problems with the federal healthcare site is hardly unusual for an IT project that size in a good year, but many large IT project and product rollouts seem to be having an extra bad year, from the IBM-Firestone kerfuffle to Yahoo's bizarre series of customer-enraging screw-ups with its mail service, and on to Microsoft's many issues with updates going bad, especially in regards to Windows RT.

    2) Every year you think malware can't get more malicious, and every year you end up with something like CryptoLocker moving things "forward."

    3) It's all about the drones, man. They are getting so sophisticated and easy to use that you can get them as a camera accessory these days. ("Would you like a DJI Phantom to go with your GoPro?")

    4) I have to agree that there is nothing really new-new in any of Edward Snowden's leaks if you have been paying any sort of attention to what governments do and have been doing, but....if you haven't been paying attention, which apparently the mainstream media hasn't been, it might seem like news. The tech thing here is that if you want to know about something at all even remotely complicated, never mind technical, you have to be master of your Google tricks to filter out the barrage of useless, confusing infonoise that gets automatically generated by news outlets regarding anything mildly complicated or "controversial" (even if technically it really isn't.)

    5) Radio Shack now sells 3D printers and their supplies. How far off before they are common enough and cheap enough that Hasbro will start offering a version for kids?

    6) Advances overall in sensor and robotic technology, especially in terms of miniaturization, have been relentless and with many products under the mainstream radar (so to speak) -- you can go on Amazon and buy a $30 keychain with a full GPS compass built into it, or go on B&H and order a $450 robotic camera mount that can create gigapixel panoramic images using common digital cameras (yes, it holds the camera, presses the shutter button, and repositions it for the next shot.)
  • Happy Holidays !!

    And the fine editors of this publication have have decided to Ebanezer Scrooge their loyal and faithful clients with another horrendous Slide Show. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    Resolution for 2014 = NO MORE SLIDE SHOWS.
    Leo Regulus
  • apple vs microsoft

    You are biased and promoting apple and downgrading microsoft and android, I don't think I'll trust you so much
  • Sorry Zach...

    But as long as you continue to use that STUPID scroll that reloads every page I won't bother with your stories.
  • g