It’s almost time to reign in the New Year, which means 2014 is nearly over :( There’s a lot that’s happened this year and we’d forgotten a lot of it, so decided to do a roundup in case you’ve forgotten too.
‘Right to be Forgotten’
A European court ruled that Google must remove links from its search engine at someone’s request, although rules about what exactly could be removed weren’t clear. Anything in the public interest must stay put but lots of people still have issues with the decision. Only recently were official guidelines published.
There was a big hoo-ha earlier this year mainly concerning Netflix and Internet Service Providers (ISP). Net neutrality is the idea that ISPs treat all internet traffic the same with no extra fees, blocking or slowing down no matter what the content is or how much an individual or service uses. Someone using Netflix to watch an HD film will use a lot more bandwidth compared to someone just checking Facebook. ISPs wanted to charge Netflix extra because of this (and the cost would be transferred to their customers). You can read more about Net Neutrality in our blog here.
iCloud hack (where celebrities had naked pictures stolen and published online)
Playstation Network hack
Sony Pictures hack
The Sony Pictures hack is still going strong with stolen details being dished out left, right and centre. Some say that North Korea is behind the hack because Sony is set to release a film about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The latest is, there’s reportedly been threats of terrorism should the film release go ahead.
Money Thrown Around
2014 saw quite a few big acquisitions, notably Apple purchasing popular headphones maker Beats for $3 billion, social network giant Facebook buying both instant messaging app WhatsApp and virtual reality company Oculus for $19 billion and $2 billion, respectively. That’s a lot of cash.
Here in Europe, BT announced it intends to acquire the UK’s largest mobile network EE for £12.5 billion.
In other business news Apple became the first company to reach a market value of $700 billion. That makes it the biggest company in the world and worth more than Google and Facebook combined.
The World Wide Web had a big birthday turning 25 and we wrote a blog looking at how far it’s come since the first website was launched by Tim Berners-Lee on 6th August 1991.
Fancy Products & Shiny Things
Remember the insanity that was Flappy Bird? It took the world by storm in January/February this year raking in a reported $50,000 a day. It was so popular that its creator Nguyen Ha Dong removed the game from the App Store and Google Play Store because it was ‘too addictive’. It’s been reported that Nguyen earned himself $3 million in 60 days. Not bad huh?
Microsoft introduced the world to Windows 10. Yes that’s right, they skipped over Windows 9 to make this next instalment seem like a brand new operating system. For those who missed it (and there are quite a few) the old Start Menu is back.
In the autumn, Apple held its usual keynote which was subject to streaming errors on its website, and introduced what all of us (some of us) had been waiting a year for – the iPhone 6. But they also gave us the 6 Plus. Apple sold 10 million units in the first weekend which was a new record for the Cupertino Clan. However, news wasn’t all that great – Bendgate happened. Still, people seem to be a lot happier with the larger screens and the sales helped bump up Apple’s market share (see above).
Apple also revealed what had only been rumoured for two years prior – the Watch. It’s not been released yet so we’ll have to wait to find out if it’s a hit or miss. But in reality, it’s Apple. It will always sell huge amounts of its products. If things go well for the Watch, we could see Apple’s market share reach $1 trillion. Imagine that.
Finally, Playstation surprised us all with a gift. Well, not really for all of us, just 12,300 lucky people. To celebrate Playstation’s 20th anniversary, Sony released a limited edition PS4 in the style of a PS1. Gamers everywhere have been trying to get their hands on one of the few consoles and berated eBay sellers looking for a quick buck by reselling them at huge prices ($1500+) saying it prevented real gamers getting their hands on one. A secret shop in London sold 94 of the special consoles to 94 lucky people for only £19.94. They had to queue overnight of course, but a PS4 for £20? You can’t beat that.