So, that’s it, 2016 is pretty much over and 2017 is fast approaching. But before this year is finally gone and buried, I thought I might take the time to review the news stories of the year that caught my eye.
A lot happened this year, and while not all of it made the mainstream news, at least all these stories actually happened and are not post-truth fictional concoctions.
January officially saw the end of Microsoft support for Windows 8, and confusion and disbelief amongst loyal Windows 8 users.
But all that really meant was everyone had to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update by installing some updates, and so really there was a moment of panic where some people thought they would have no choice but to take the hit and upgrade to Windows 10, which at the time was still free, when they didn’t….The same day Microsoft also ended support for all its older versions of internet explorer.
January was also the month we learned that Ian Murdock, the Debian Linux founder had passed away at the relatively young age of just 42. We also learned that Windows 10 had been installed on a massive 200,000,000 devices within 6 months, which was impressive.
February saw not only the fact that AliBaba.com failed to notice a 99,000,000 username and password hack of its systems, but also reminded us that malware has been with us as long as Computers have. The month also saw the opening of an online MS-DOS malware website. The Internet Archive also brought back Windows 3.1 and a whole bunch of late 20th Century software.
April saw FileHippo itself reach a significant milestone, when we finally broke the 3 billion download mark. It took us a while, but we got there! Google also ended its support for its Chrome browser for both Windows XP and Vista, and finally the last vestiges of security for the aging systems ended. Anyone still using either system would really want to reconsider at this stage. Seriously, upgrade.
May found over a 117 million LinkedIn Accounts had been hacked, and set the tone for the year when LinkedIn admitted that it wasn’t until the accounts went up for sale on the Dark web, that they realised just how large the security breach from four years ago actually was. In Austria however, scientists were surprised when a machine powered by Artificial Intelligence, AI, successfully managed to replicate and run a complicated Nobel prize winning experiment, all by itself.
Summer hit and the news kept coming. Microsoft found itself in the position of paying a Californian woman $10,000 compensation over an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade, that left her computer unusable.
Security experts have been warning for years, the importance of not keeping computers with webcams in bedrooms, and recommend that people cover their webcams up when not in use. But it wasn’t until it was found that Mark Zuckerberg covered his own webcam up that anyone actually seemed to take any notice. June was also the month that the DNC got hacked, and everyone began to wonder if the Russians were involved…
In July, we discovered that Moore’s Law that has governed increases in computer processor power for decades, was given the last rites, and the clock began to count down on the free Windows 10 upgrades.
Microsoft 2850 jobs from its smartphone business, formerly known as Nokia. In December of course, what was left of Nokia announced that they would start asking phones again, for Android…
IsoHunt was also in the news for ending its last legal battle over copyright infringement, agreeing a $66 million settlement with the Canadian music industry.
Oh, and the Mars Rover got a software update as well.
In August, Gawker.com, the News Site, was forced to close just days after its parent company was bought by Univision, and Cisco culled 5500 workers from its workforce as it moved its focus to more cloud based activities. Google came under fire as well for ‘removing’ Palestine from Google Maps, and Facebook began trying to make it impossible for adblockers to block ads on their Facebook pages.
September came and went much the same way previous Septembers always have, but this year Blackberry finally bit the bullet and stopped making phones. Google also turned 18, and that came with the realisation that the company may now be an everyday part of the global furniture, it’s still only been with us since 2008….
And the final 3 months…
And then that leaves us with the final 3 months of the year, but you know what, most of that has only just happened…so there’s probably not much point dragging up all that. But in a nutshell, here it is anyway:
Yahoo, Fake news, post truth, Clinton, and Trump.
Happy New Year, and be safe.
All the best.