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The INQUIRER review of the year

A look back at the big news stories of 2011
Fri Dec 23 2011, 08:00

IT'S NEARLY Christmas and the end of the year is coming. It's been a busy year for the information technology industry so we thought it would be a real treat for you if we rounded it all up in one neat article.

So, we've trawled through hundreds of stories month by month to pick out the top headline making stories and most exciting events of the year so you don't have to.

These early winter months, the first of the year, can be cold and bleak. Thanks then to Apple, which eased us in gently with an alarm clock bug that gave people some extra time in bed, China for warming us up by considering a ban on Skype, and Microsoft, which managed to delete a lot of emails belonging to its Hotmail users.

Elsewhere Wikileaks was making headlines, the Arab Spring was on the horizon, and hacker group Anonymous was making a name for itself.

Also, and perhaps because there was fighting talk in the air, Google attacked the H.264 web video standard. Which was interesting, but perhaps not as significant as what was going on elsewhere.

February is a mercifully short month, and in it we learned that a security researcher had apparently infiltrated the Anonymous hacking group, and then watched as Anonymous hacked him and the company he worked for.

Anonymous carried on making a name for itself as it worked in support of the Arab Spring after Egypt shut down online communications.

Elsewhere law firms ACS:Law and Mediacat gave up their flimsy shakedowns against alleged illegal filesharers and people with wireless internet connections, and shut up shop.

Beware the Ipads of March. This was the month that Steve Jobs announced the Ipad 2 and the world let out a collective 'oooh'. Other Apple business was the resurfacing of the Iphone alarm clock bug.

It was a very good month for the ICM registry as ICANN approved the top shelf cash cow that is the .xxx top level domain, but perhaps less good for firms that then had to register their .xxx domains themselves, as they then had to consider whether that neighbourhood was right for them.

Sony was forced to shut down much of its online properties in April after it was hit by a hacking attack that bought it wave upon wave of problems. Hackers accessed 77 million accounts in the attack and Sony was left more than a bit embarrassed.

In unrelated news, email business Epsilon had its systems breached too, and high street name after high street name came forward to say that it was affected. Meanwhile, McAfee told us that 80 per cent of critical infrastructure organisations, including oil, gas, water and power companies, have been hit by a denial-of-service attack in the past year, thanks in part to Stuxnet.

Oracle and HP were arguing over the Itanium platform, and specifically, whether it was fair to drop it, while RIM was also pulling ink in its direction as the UAE was considering a ban on its products.


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