High-tech 2012: The 10 biggest news events of the year

Epic hardware launches, ugly lawsuits and continued disruption in social media and the cloud made 2012 a busy year for consumer technology

By Alex Castle, PC World |  IT Management

The debate over SOPA, the much-maligned internet piracy act, was raging at the time, and MegaUpload's closure led many to question whether the act was even necessary if the US government already had the wide-ranging power necessary to take down a Hong Kong-based company run by New Zealand nationals.

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom became a minor New Zealand celebrity after the raid, and has won a series of court victories since. New Zealand judges have given Dotcom the right to press charges against the government for illegally spying on him prior to the raid--creating a political firestorm that resulted in NZ Prime Minister John Key apologizing to Dotcom-- and found that the warrants used to raid Megaupload manor were invalid, rendering the whole search and seizure illegal. Though the ultimate question of his extradition to the US is still unanswered, Dotcom is moving ahead with plans to launch Mega --an encrypted file sharing successor to Megaupload.

Facebook: public offerings and privacy concerns

Of course, Facebook's been kind of a big deal for a long time now, but 2012 marked the year that the social network became the publically-traded corporation that everyone loves to hate. The company's blockbuster billion-dollar IPO in May was plagued by technical difficulties , and the Facebook's stock value slumped to around half its initial $38 per-share price over the following three months. Facebook's market worth has recovered since then, but still hasn't come close to meeting launch day numbers.

The IPO came just a month after Facebook announced its biggest acquisition ever, picking up photo sharing app Instagram for a cool $1 billion. At the time, both companies were insistent that Instagram would remain an independent service, but the photo app has recently had its first Facebook-esque privacy flap.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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