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10. Apocalypse not now
This one is more of a science story than a technology trend, but since all tech is rooted in science, it seems very relevant. In 2012, the Mayan-forecasted apocalypse that was supposed to happen on Dec. 21 came and went without so much as a sneeze. That followed two predictions of the rapture last year by religious nut Harold Camping, who this year apologized for his faulty forecasts. With the discrediting of this sort of nonsense, perhaps further nutjobs will allow the world to get on with reality. Or at least study the things that may actually wipe us out, as the new Cambridge Project for Existential Risk plans to do.
The best thing about covering technology is that it’s never dull. As an ever-changing field, the danger for journalists lies not in getting bored with the beat, but in falling behind the rapid developments.
I’d argue this is one area where year-end lists are actually vital; with so much happening on a daily basis, it’s important to step back and take stock of it all. It’s a good opportunity to digest everything that has happened, so that we can figure out what it all means.
In that vein, here are the 10 events or ongoing technology stories that I thought were important in 2012: