With less than 2 weeks left in 2018, it’s time to reflect on the year. What was good? What was bad? And what was downright ugly? From company buyouts to losses of some of technology’s greats, 2018 was a big year for major headlines in tech.
With that said, we’ve rounded up a few of the top tech-related news stories of the past year.
Stephen Hawking dies at age 76.
One of the most impactful scientists and physicists of our time passed away on March 18th, 2018. Stephen Hawking was best known for his research and findings on black holes and relativity. After receiving a grim ALS diagnosis at age 22, he wasn’t expected to live more than a few years. The silver lining could be that he did in fact live an impressive 50+ years longer than he was expected to. All in all, Hawking will not be soon forgotten. His work will surely continue to inspire and assist in scientific breakthroughs for years to come.
Microsoft releases their first Linux product, Azure Sphere.
In April, one of our trusted partners, Microsoft released their first custom product on this popular, open-source operating system. With the Internet of Things (IoT) taking off, Microsoft created the Azure Sphere to ensure devices are widely connected while also staying extremely secure in a time of skyrocketing cybercrime. Learn more about the product here.
SpaceX successfully launches the Falcon Heavy rocket.
SpaceX launched their largest rocket to date on February 6th and it turned out to be a smashing success. Standing at 230 feet tall, Falcon Heavy’s size and ability to carry a ton of weight was impressive in itself. However, probably the most interesting part of the launch was what the rocket was carrying. CEO, Elon Musk, opted to use a Tesla as the payload instead of the typical concrete block. So, yeah, we launched a car into space this year.
Spectre and Meltdown attack.
This year revealed two large vulnerabilities in modern processors known as “Spectre” and “Meltdown.” A malicious program exploiting these vulnerabilities allows them to steal data from other programs and put a large majority of people at risk (essentially everyone using desktops, laptops, cloud servers, and smart phones – yikes). Major providers were quick to make patches to protect those affected. However, it just goes to show – you can never be too careful when it comes to your cybersecurity.
Net Neutrality rules have been nixed.
A decision was made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this past summer which put an end to Net Neutrality regulations. There was much debate on the topic and whether or not the Internet as a whole, should be regulated. No matter what side you’re on, and even though a decision was ultimately made, the debate is far from over. Various states are suing the FCC, and California even passed Net Neutrality rules at a statewide level. So, stay tuned for additional action as we head into 2019.
Cryptocurrency plummets after large success in 2017.
2017 was a huge year for cryptocurrency and bitcoin, so it seemed 2018 would continue the upswing, but that was not the case. In fact, according to Statista.com, bitcoin was worth nearly $14,000 in December of last year. However, their findings from last month showed the value plummet to $4,241.74. Although there may be several reasons for the crash, a large reason is likely to be the US Securities and Exchanges Commissions’ (SEC) interference. They made it so that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) had to pay back money to those that invested and wanted a refund.
IBM buys out Red Hat for a whopping $34 billion.
In October, the open-source software company, Red Hat was bought out by one of their long-time partners, and another technology giant, IBM. It seems that one of the biggest factors in the purchase was IBM’s quest to becoming one of the top cloud powers in the business. So, although there might not be immediate payoff, IBM hopes to give its competitors (namely – Microsoft and Amazon Web Services) a run for their money in the upcoming year.
Although our list ends here, there were plenty more headlining tech stories in the news in 2018. Apple became the first $1 trillion tech company in the US, Russia and the US continue to grapple over hacking claims, and we’ve seen Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg in the headlines possibly one too many times.
So, with a pretty hectic year behind us, what could 2019 have in store? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, cybersecurity will always remain prevalent. This becomes more and more true every year as cyberattacks become more advanced. Don’t be the center of an unfortunate headline in 2019, give us a call if you’re looking to ensure your cybersecurity for the year ahead.
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