Tech Stories That Stuck With Me This Year

Apple – well a lot happened with Apple this year. The illness of Steve Jobs. A new iPod Nano with a built in video camera. Dominance of the iPhone and the app store. Believe it or not there are still plenty of countries where the iPhone is not officially available. Apple had a big year, made a lot of money, and a few problems with their iMacs. iTunes now sells more music than Walmart, now that’s scary. I think I’m getting brainwashed by their marketing, even I want an iPod touch and an iBook now.

Facebook – MySpace what? Social Networking became synonymous with Facebook. Friending people left and right, installing silly apps, and sharing (intimate) details with everyone. People getting fired for ranting about their bosses. Er – what happened to privacy? The Canadian government stepped in and decided to force the issue and now it’s a BIG deal for everyone. And seriously, stop playing Farmville. It’s dumb. AND I don’t give a crap about your status so don’t bother.

Twitter – who knew in 140 characters or less people’s random iterations could draw such a following. However not just for random blurbs, but also breaking news. Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods just 2 of the celebrities whose story spread like wildfire over twitter. However I can’t help but feel that it’s lost some of it’s luster after the ladies of the View talked about it. Forget blogging, it’s all about the Twitter. So how many followers do you have? Spammers don’t count.

Google – search? No, more like ad money, a browser named Chrome (which made a little splash) and then a mobile OS called Android that made a big splash. Almost single-handedly keeping Motorola mobile division employed. The Droid and Cliq and probably many more phones on the way. Also the controversial project to convert books to digital format and offer them all up for free download. Not sure where Google is going with this but ebook reader sales have never been higher. Now there’s a dumb product I thought would never get off the ground.

Crunchpad/JooJoo – here’s an interesting legal story about how intellectual property laws might get a precedent. Who owns the rights to the product and who can distribute it. A classic story of “he said/she said”. Perhaps it will all fizzle out by the time Apple comes out with their version. Again, touchscreen mobile workpad? Really? Who’s gonna buy this anyways? Prove me wrong people, prove me wrong.

Bandwidth – throttling of my interwebs makes me go crazy. Nonetheless peer to peer file sharing is taking up a lot of time on service provider’s agendas. Data usage going way up, despite a handful of users doing it all, and the pressure to continue to provide equal service for all. Not only for the home user downloading tv shows, music, or porn, but for the mobile user checking email, using gps services, and texting (yes, lots and lots of texting). It looks like ISPs and wireless providers need to get together and invest in some infrastructure to quench consumers thirst for dwindling bandwidth.

Games – how is the gaming industry pulling in more money than the movie industry? Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Wii Sports changing the game and how we play it. More and more entertainment is becoming a larger part of our everyday lives. Blu-ray quality games played on HD tvs, movie dialogue, immersive gameplay, all increasing the production value of that $60 game. Online subscription services for multiplayer, even downloadable content, or even providing an opportunity to connect with your fellow gamers. On your phone, your computer, your tv, where ever you go each device is used for your amusement. It’s kind of worrying. It says a lot about where our society is heading. But what I’m wondering is this: if we’re spending more time playing games, what activities are we taking away from?

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