Top Ten Tech Stories of 2011

The Death of Steve Jobs. When the co-founder of Apple passed away, the technology world was shaken at its core. With his ingenuity and adaptability from a niche market early on to mainstream later, the Powerbook has gone mainstream somewhat.  It is more and more commonplace.  The iPhone, however, broke into mainstream quickly and easily.

Apple iPhone Expands Its Market. The iPhone has finally expanded beyond AT & T and Verizon.  Now it has a place within Sprint. The iPhone is no longer an elitist item.

MLB TV, NHL GameCenter and UFC Go Mainstream. Live streaming sp0rts subscription services have finally cornered every market there is.  However, they are not without their technical issues, but they are making tremendous strides.

The e-Reader and the Tablet. Have they become one and the same?  As Amazon and Barnes and Noble compete with their respective e-readers, these e-readers, at least the higher-end ones, have nearly the same capabilities as their Android cousins.  They may be lacking some hardware and software capabilities, but they are inching closer with each generation.

The Fall of Netflix. With their decision to split up the DVD/Blu-ray from their Netflix Instant and their decidedly unfavorable price increase, Netflix, the once-great giant of industry, buckled as consumers complained across the internet.  They lost consumers, and they opened up other streaming and DVD/Blu-ray services to take their share of the market.

The Rise of Redbox. Redbox may have finally cemented the death of brick-and-mortar video stores in general.  With Redbox, one may have to deal with long lines at times, but at least, one doesn’t have to contend with annoying clerks at the counter making senseless recommendations. Clerks are no more.

Crackle, Popcorn Flix, VUDU HD, Amazon Prime/Instant and Other Streaming Movie Services. After digital music content, streaming or otherwise from iTunes, Pandora and Slacker, next came the movies.  After Netflix’s hubris, other companies began offering digital streaming content of movies and starting gaining shares of their market.  Netflix is no longer the giant it once was.

Google+ Joins the Social Network. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now has more company.  Google+ has entered mainstream as well, but it lacks the popularity of either Facebook and Twitter currently.  The circles and the huddles are interesting features of this social networking application, but then again, Facebook and Twitter had added similar capabilities with their recent updates.

Cloud Services Go Mainstream.  At one point, only accessible to large companies, cloud services is now available to the general public. No longer does one have to pay from $50 to $100 per month for cloud services.  Even Amazon and iTunes have their own cloud services now.

Wi-Fi Dwindles as 4G Grows. At one point, free wi-fi was hot, but with the gradual development of 4G infrastructure, wi-fi may no longer be necessary.  True, wi-fi has dominated coffee shops, bookstores and McDonald’s, but even they are slowly becoming obsolete.