11 Things That Happened 2013 That You Might Have Missed

Fortunately the world didn’t end in December 2012 as mainstream media had predicted. This also means that the technology industry didn’t come to a standstill as well! So let’s take a look at what cool, funny, weird and/or amazing things have happened in the world of technology over the last couple of months.



Scientists find a way of storing data in DNA. – The amount of data being used and stored on a daily basis is ever-growing. As information is piling up, it’s good to know that scientists are eager to come up with smaller storage units. Like DNA strings! Those brainiacs took an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, a photograph, Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets and the “double helix” paper on DNA written by Francis Crick and James Watson encoded it in DNA. Cool.



Image courtesy of dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Sony reveals the Playstation 4… controller! – Gamers anxiously awaited Sony’s announcement of their next generation PlayStation, which beat Microsoft to announcing their next gen console. While the PS4, just as the Xbox One, already made it into the stores as this is written. Back in February Sony’s keynote seemed a bit hurried. All they were able to show were a few trailers of launch titles and the PS4 controller. The presentation closed without the actual PlayStation 4.



The Queen of England honors the ‘founders’ of the Internet. – Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf, Louis Pouzin, Timothy Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen are the awesome guys who made this awesome thing called Internet happen. They paved the way for online services and for countless hours wasted looking at cat videos which cause hilarity around the globe. Imagine how your every day, your job or business would look like without the internet. Better? Worse? Less jolly? Certainly different! These gentlemen deserve; the Honors the Queen bestowed upon them, the gratitude of the world, the appreciation of businesses and a well earned thank you from the cats of the world for the fame they now enjoy.



Kepler discovers 3 Earth like planets. – The spacecraft, which was shot into space in 2009, with the mission to explore our region of the Milky Way. Well the early results are in and they are amazing! Kepler has discovered three exoplanets, which due to their position in the habitable zone of their respective stars, have a likelihood of hosting alien life. But before you start thinking about enlarging your collection of Hard Rock Cafe tee shirts when you visit there, you should realize that these three possible ET homes are 1,000 light years away. “Beam me up Scotty”



Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Apple I computer sells for $671,000. – At an auction in Cologne Germany this past May one of the original versions of the Apple 1 computers was sold for the whopping sum of $671,000.00. The computer was built in the 70s, is autographed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and even included a letter signed by Steve Jobs. Apple products have never been known for being the cheapest ones around, but this one doesn’t even have a Retina display!




Microsoft decides to change many features in their Xbox One. – Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, was just announced in May when the new use policies caused quite some controversy. Lots of people posted on their Facebook page, and various other social media sites, making it clear that they are truly ticked off about how Microsoft treats their customers. This chorus of outrage resulted in Microsoft deciding to change the features in question. The people have spoken!



AltaVista goes offline. – “Wait! AltaVista was still around?”, AltaVista was one of the pioneers in the area of search engines and its minimalistic interface and performance set AltaVista apart from its’ competitors in the mid to late 90s. But well… Google. AltaVista lost market share rapidly and was eventually acquired by Yahoo! in 2003, which in July 2013 shut AltaVista down.


Altavista Logo





CIA acknowledges Area 51. – Documents released by the CIA in August officially acknowledge the existence of Area 51. It’s a bit disappointing that the area apparently serves a far less exciting purpose than Alien autopsies. Is this the end of all those conspiracies? Hell no! I bet there’s an Area 52 somewhere in… let’s say Utah, where they continue autopsies on Aliens and play around with their spacecrafts and rail guns.



Apple redesigns iOS. – While Android and the Windows Phone already went flat a while back, Apple still kept their skeuomorphism (you almost had it right… ske-uo-morph-ism. There you go!). With iOS 7 a complete overhaul of the design was born. Flat and candy-colored. Some people love the new look & feel, some people get nauseous from it.



FAA green lights gadgets on planes. – Flights can be boring. Gadgets can prevent that boredom. Music, movies, TV shows, games… everything packed into one device which you’re not allowed to use during your flight. But this is going to change! Time to celebrate as soon it’s going to be allowed, from gate to gate. Well, as long as they are in airplane mode since the signal might pose a danger to the planes instruments. So while we are still not allowed to carry nail clippers, bottled water, baby bottles and a long list of other items that are a huge threat to national security – at least soon we have our fun gadgets back (which according to them could actually crash a plane) – go figure.



“404” becomes “word” of the year 2013. – … followed by “fail”! The Global Language Monitor declared “404” as Word of the Year for  2013. According to Paul Payack, the leading word analyst of the Global Language Monitor, this word (or rather expression) has a symbolic meaning as it stands for crumbling or failing systems that have worked since the 2nd world war. So apparently it’s not due to our hilarious article on 404 screens a couple of months ago. “Hashtag” came in third. I’m just happy certain words didn’t make it… #YOLO!