So it being Jan. 4th, I figured I should weigh in on last year’s happenings asap. Especially since this will all soon become irrelevant as we move on to the next big thing: 2013 and the upcoming [insert ancient culture here] apocalypse.
Here is what mattered in 2012:
3D Printers officially enter the home. Makerbot is showcased at CES 2012 and tons of “Make your own 3D Printer” kits flood Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Obviously, we are still a ways away from the replicator I envision. But what we can already see, that this tech is going to be crazy disruptive. Why buy some crappy little plastic bunny made in china when you can print one in your own home?
Webseries explosion. Every one and their dog made a webseries this year. Hell, I made one too! And despite the deluge of series, I was able to find a bunch that I totally feel in love with. You can see the initial list here. I would add The Bar Series and The Slope to my list of favs.
HTML5 is cool. I guess this isn’t a specifically 2012 phenomenon. Its a language that has been in development for ages, and has been out there for a least a couple of years. However this year, many browsers updated to support html5 elements, and we really started to get to see the potential of the language. It is set to be completed by 2014, so the next few years we should be seeing more and more of these pages. My favorite examples are Agent 8 Ball, Jess & Russ wedding proposal, Angry Birds Space site and Cloudsovercuba.com
Joss Whedon sells out, but I don’t care. The Avengers was the first 3D movie I ever saw. I realize I was a little slow checking out the whole 3d movie thing, but I was simply waiting for something worthwhile to come along. Well Joss, you made something worthwhile. Sure its got all the trappings of a bloated superhero blockbuster. But it melds entertainment with intelligence, which is no small feat. Plus the Black Widow kicked ass. See my full post about it!
Crowdfunding takes it up a notch. The passing of the JOBS act in America in April encouraged the launch of hundreds of new crowdfunding/crowd-investment platforms, and thousands of crowdfunding campaigns. While not all countries have been so fast to address the changing fundraising and investment landscape provided by crowdfunding sites, the JOBS act has at least made the whole world take notice. This year everyone tried crowdfunding, including me, to varying degrees of success. While it has its critics, it is an interesting experiment all the same. Looking forward to watching this space!
Syria experiences a civil disaster. Assad becomes a murderous leader bent on killing his own people in the most terrifying ways possible. Current estimates place the death toll above 60000 people killed. I guess that he feels his own life is on the line and so he will throw anything he’s got to stay in power, but his actions have fortified his status as a thoroughly “Bad Guy” and has made his redemption in world political circles quite impossible. Assad’s future looks dim. But the damage he does to syria as power is pulled from him is unforgivable.
Obama is back (and the worst of the crazy anti-women, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-immigrant far right Republican candidates were officially given a thumbs down by the majority of the American people). I am happy to say that our American cousins have not gone completely off the reservation. Well not just yet…
Canada’s Environmental record goes from bad to worse. Harper must go! So early in the year when the Americans balked at the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, Canada turned around and immediately offered the Canadian oil sands – one of the dirtiest of dirty oil – to China, together with a deal they could hardly refuse. It entitled a foreign country to plunder canadian resources, destroy the surrounding nature, and if canada’s environmental laws or regulation interrupts the activities of these Chinese interests, they would have the right to sue Canada. Seems like a good deal for canadians’ no? Oh and Harper’s muzzling of government scientists, preventing them from speaking to any press about their findings regarding climate change, was all over the international news this year. Well that is just the icing on evil cake, wouldn’t you say?
Facebook stock = epic fail. The hype leading up to FBs IPO only added to the glorious shadenfreude we all felt when the stock plummeted after being released. Big name investors opting out early in the game, including Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and board member, made the stock look even weaker. Even Zuckerberg admits he is disappointed. According to some estimates, it should actually go as low as 8 bucks. Do we feel bad? Absolutely not! Facebook has made a business mining its users’ personal data. Let it burn!
Instabillion: Facebook buys instagram for a billion. While this is every tech geeks fantasy, it is kinda scary how fast and how big that deal came to be. And there is something terribly sad about the fact that all those photos you took of your favorite meals, your kids first steps, your trip to Spain or your friends’ wedding are now legally under their new and improved Facebook-inspired “Privacy Agreement”, which is subject to change and will inevitably mean that one day the company will completely own your content. Its coming folks, don’t kid yourself. Google is basically cut from the same cloth, so watch your data folks and find alternatives now!!
Obviously the world is bigger than these 10 stories. Other major stories of the year: apocalypses that didn’t happen, Pinterest explosion, Egyptian election, Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Greek debt crisis intensifying, Psy breaking records (why oh why??), Justin Bieber not disappearing (again why oh why??), something about olympics (yawn), SOPA protests, record meltdown of arctic ice.
Say what you will, we definitely live in interesting times.