Dec 23 – 29

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This week’s headline story: 2013 – The Year in Review

2013This week I pose the question, when historians looks back on the year 2013, what technology news headlines will be remembered as most significant over time? Here’s what I think…

2013 will be remembered as the year Twitter went public, with an initial public offering price of $26 a share growing over the course of the day to $44.90. It may also be remembered as the year wearable computing was born with the release of smart watches, and an increasing use of Google Glass. It certainly was a year in which the Internet of things received a lot of attention, with more bots communicating over the Internet than people. 2013 will also be remembered as the year Bitcoin and online unregulated currencies took off, with investors like the Winklevoss twins, investing millions in the stuff.

2013 will be known as the year launched and crashed, jeopardizing President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare.

2013 will certainly be remembered for increased hack attacks, state-sponsored cyberattacks and cyberespionage with Cyberbunker launching the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in history, 40 million Target customer credit card accounts compromised, the Pentagon directly accusing the Chinese government and military of computer-based attacks against the U.S., and NATO developing global rules to regulate international cyberwarfare.

But mostly 2013 will be known as Edward Snowden’s year. The NSA documents leaked by Snowden have called the world’s attention to rampant government eavesdropping on U.S. and Global telecommunications channels including cell phone, and Internet communications. In 2013 many in the U.S. became more concerned about their own government spying them than hackers spying on them. The Snowden revelations are sure to make 2014 a year for government reform and heightened paranoia all around.

You can peruse the technology news headlines from 2013 yourself by scrolling through the Archives at

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Online Holiday Shopping Popular, But Won’t Save the Season [NewsFactor]

    While shopping mall parking lots seemed as full as ever over the holiday shopping season, more people stayed at home and shopped online. Final sales figures show that online sales surged 9 percent this holiday shopping season over last year, while shopping at physical stores was up just 2 percent. Still in-store shopping reigns supreme holding 90 percent of all sales made.

  • IBM Survey Reveals Smartphones Drove Online Holiday Traffic [NewsFactor]

    An IBM survey indicates that mobile devices drove much of the online holiday sales this year.
    Mobile traffic was the highest we’ve seen over this holiday season, accounting for 48 percent of all online traffic, up 28.3 percent compared to the same period last year,” IBM reports. “Mobile sales also remained strong, approaching 29 percent of all online sales, up 40 percent over 2012.”

  • UPS, FedEx Fail To Deliver Packages for Christmas [NewsFactor]

    The massive increase in online holiday sales plus heavier-than-normal holiday shipping volumes combined with some bad weather created a “perfect storm” of problems for UPS and FedEx. Both companies are apologizing for falling behind on promised pre-Christmas delivery dates.

and in Information Security news this week..

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Amazon hints at huge Prime numbers after news of drones & Sunday delivery [Ars Technica]

    IBM Survey Reveals Smartphones Drove Online Holiday Traffic [NewsFactor]

    Amazon seems to be the big winner this holiday season starting with Cyber Monday sales that were 39 percent higher than last year. And while Amazon doesn’t typically disclose how many people subscribe to its Amazon Prime service it let slip that it likely has at least 20 million members, a million of which joined the week prior to Christmas. In fact, a recent press release indicates that the take-up rate was so brisk the company had to at times limit new sign-ups “to ensure service to current members was not impacted by the surge in new membership.”

and finally…

  • Hundreds of radio-tagged sharks tweet warnings at Australian swimmers [Ars Technica]

    Australians may soon no longer fear shark attacks since now sharks are starting to tweet their location! A new scientific initiative is fitting sharks with transmitters that automatically detect when a shark is within a kilometer of shore, and sends a quick tweet that appears in the Surf Life Saving Western Australia twitter feed (@SLSWA)

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