It's getting more difficult to do year ender articles because, well, looking at 12 months' worth of headlines is never easy. But here's the thing: 2014 was a banner year for local and international tech news; it's like everyone upped their game and got busy making new things, pushing boundaries, and forcing us to talk about important geek matters. Then again, there were also bad seeds―those who broke the law and turned normally fixable situations into totally irreparable shitstorms.
Basically: such news, much wow, so amaze.
Yeah, we saw plenty of extremes this year. Let's take a walk down tech memory lane, shall we?
THE GREAT SONY PICTURES HACKING
Video via CBS New York
It's all over the news: A group called the Guardians of Peace (reportedly North Korea sympathizers) hacked into Sony Pictures' database and distributed a trove of private information (like Social Security numbers, e-mails exchanges, and home addresses!), scripts, business plans, and full copies of unreleased and released movies. Why? Apparently, it's all because of a Seth Rogen/James Franco movie named The Interview, whose plot centers on the (fictional) assassination of Kim Jong-Un.
MAJOR SOFTWARE UPDATES
Video via Android
Microsoft made Office available for iOS users, and launched Windows 10; Apple took the cover off iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Facebook users were gifted with an “Unfollow” button for annoying online friends, and Twitter unveiled the “Mute” function for oversharing microbloggers. Instagram also made five new filters available. Not to be outdone by the competition, Google officially unveiled Android Lollipop back in October.
ATTACK OF THE ANTI-CARMAGEDDON APPS
It's not a one-off; #Carmageddon is a daily occurrence in Mega Manila. One more time, with feelings: apps to the rescue! Traffic apps like the MMDA app, Waze, and Google Maps, among others, have saved our asses so many times this year, we don't even bother to count anymore.
THE HEARTBLEED BUG BITES
The Heartbleed bug wreaked havoc on computers worldwide in the early part of 2014 . Those SSL websites you visit apparently weren't that secure; there was an OpenSSL vulnerability that enabled hackers to see and steal data from services and users. Almost everyone scrambled to issue patches, new passwords, and new keys; to say it is/was a widescale problem is a severe understatement.
Click here for our Explainer on this alarming security flaw!
FACEBOOK AND MICROSOFT'S BIG BUYS
Microsoft's $7.17 billion Nokia buyout was closed in April this year, and new smartphones were officially outed under the Microsoft brand. Facebook is another happy shopper, snapping up Oculus Rift and WhatsApp for billions (chump change for them, probably). Makes you think of just how much cash these two tech titans have, no?
THE APPLE BENDGATE SCANDAL
Video via Unbox Therapy on YouTube
It seems the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are flexible, and not in the way one would like. Let's have a moment of silence for all the iDevices that literally got bent (unintentionally and forcibly) throughout this period in recent history now known as #Bendgate, like these 500 newly-angled ones.
"UNLI" daw, o!
When you say “unlimited,” you better mean it and offer it as such. The gist is consumers pay a high price for so-called unlimited and fast mobile Internet access, but don't really get what's been promised to them. Even the Department of Justice had something to say about it.
THE REMINDER THAT OUR COUNTRY'S INTERNET SUCKS, BIG TIME
Image via ASEAN DNA
Back in April, an infographic made by ASEAN DNA (a site that promotes shared values in the Southeast Asian region) grabbed local tech headlines for highlighting something obvious that we didn't want to admit: We have the slowest Internet in Southeast Asia! At only 3.6Mbps on the average, we're outpaced by both Laos and Indonesia which are countries not really known for fast Internet speeds. Bummer.
SMART'S FREE PREPAID INTERNET PROMO
On a more positive note, Smart announced its free mobile Internet promo for prepaid users back in September. This made Smart subscribers do a slow clap while possibly making some of those on the "other side" think of switching sides. Promo ends on January 5, 2015, fellas!