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The PC is dead. Long live the PC
PC sales have declined rapidly in the past year, in spite of the release of Windows 8 in October. Typically during a year where a new version of Windows -- the most prominent desktop operating system for PCs on the market -- is released, PC shipments fall, but this year is like no other.
The post-PC market, such as tablet, smartphone, and 'phablets' (such as part-phone, part-tablet) has thrived like never before. The iPad still reigns over the tablet space, but the device's market share is dwindling. According to recent figures by Apple, the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant sold more iPads during the first half than PCs sold by any other PC manufacturer. The PC market has crumbled and it may not recover.
- Read more: The PC is dead. Long live the PC
Apple wins $1bn in damages from Samsung in patent litigation
The Apple v. Samsung dingdong finally concluded on the side of the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant, leading to a catastrophic $1 billion in damages heading Apple's way out of Samsung's coffers. It was an embarrassing loss for Samsung after a U.S. court determined that the Korean technology giant had copied the iPad's design.
Despite Apple losing in some jurisdictions around the world, ultimately the only one that really mattered was the U.S. case. Apple could still seek even more damages from Samsung. But $1 billion may dent the company's finances mildly -- Samsung's operating profit for Q3 was $7.3 billion alone -- the embarrassment of losing such a high profile case will live on for some years to come.
SOPA, PIPA, CISPA: all dead, but the idea still lives on
This year could have seen widespread Web site blocking, censorship and major changes to the Web that would have affected hundreds of millions of users around the world. From the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the PROTECT-IP (PIPA) bills, and not to mention Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), these bills were shelved thanks to the sheer power of online protests.
Instead of the catastrophe landing on the doorstep of ordinary Web users, the embarrassment came to Congress after the author of SOPA -- arguably the worst bill of them all -- was shelved by its author, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who clearly didn’t expect much the Web to black out in a 24 hour protest at the controversial anti-piracy bill.
Still, the idea of legislative action lives on, and no doubt there will be more bills along the way -- even if one silly politician thinks it's a good idea to draft a bill that would bar Congress from messing with the Internet.