The tales that outlined 2014
It was the yr of wearables, VR and 4K. It was the yr of ridiculous IPOs and large safety breaches. It was additionally the yr Engadget took a step again and took in the large image. 2014 was filled with nice developments and large setbacks and we have been right here to inform you about them. Herewith, the tales that outlined us and the wild world of know-how within the yr that was.
[Illustrations: Brandon Hanvey for Engadget]
In June 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a collection of paperwork outlining widespread NSA surveillance techniques. As Affiliate Editor Daniel Cooper put it, “Out of the blue, on-line privateness was a commodity that not existed.” In mild of that revelation, he examines what it means and what it takes to go offline within the web age and whether or not or not it is well worth the hassle.
On this two-half unique, Deputy Managing Editor James Trew explores GoPro’s play to turn into a multimedia powerhouse. As he factors out, on the eve of the corporate’s IPO: “It should proceed to broaden and persuade potential buyers there’s nonetheless room for progress.”
In one of many first in Engadget’s explainer collection, Managing Editor Terrence O’Brien explores a nascent, however stymied technological development. In his phrases, “Barring a dramatic shift in American tradition or politics … it appears the sensible gun idea might wither and die.”
Additionally value studying… What that you must find out about internet neutrality, By Ben Gilbert What it is advisable to find out about Fb’s battle with Drag Queens, By John Colucci
On this unique inside take a look at the making of Microsoft’s private digital assistant, former Senior Cellular Editor Brad Molen explores the human aspect of AI. In his phrases, “She is Synthetic Intelligence and pleased with it. She is Cortana.”
[AP Photo/Eric Risberg]
Tesla’s made one of many world’s most sought-after electrical automobiles, and but 2014 noticed a number of states placing up roadblocks to Tesla-particular dealerships. As Senior Editor Ben Gilbert factors out, it is “not as a result of these states are towards digital automobiles, [Elon] Musk and even Tesla; it is about the best way Tesla needs to promote its automobiles. Particularly, it is about cash.”
With Fb’s buy of Oculus VR on the books, Affiliate Editor Sean Buckley explored what it means for one of many earliest and most influential digital worlds: Second Life. However, Sean says, Second Life’s second act is probably not what you anticipate: “If something, Linden Lab’s bid for the way forward for each VR and its personal platform sounds extra like Fb than the multiplayer video games most affiliate with the time period ‘digital world.'”
On this examination of on-line elitism, sparked by a fallout between William Shatner and our personal John Colucci, Senior Editor Nicole Lee considers what it means to be “verified.” In her phrases: “The online was alleged to be the good equalizer. However, it seems, the haves and have-nots exist on-line too. They usually’re separated by a mark of distinction: verification.”
Additionally value studying… Say Ello to the anti-Fb, By Nicole Lee
As Affiliate Editor Edgar Alvarez explains, “This has been a wretched yr for giant firms within the US: Goal, House Depot, JPMorgan and, most just lately, Sony Footage have all needed to cope with unauthorized safety breaches over the previous few months.” However it’s the revelations and the aftermath of the Sony hacks that also have us speaking. On this piece, Edgar goes into element concerning the assaults, who could be behind them and what all of it means for Sony.
Additionally value studying… Why North Korea’s Sony hack made ‘The Interview’ required viewing, By Devindra Hardawar ‘The Interview’ and the aftermath, By Chris Velazco
When in Japan, do because the Japanese do, or doo-doo, moderately. Our man in Japan, Senior Editor, Mat Smith, has been doing simply that, or so we assume. He units up his information to excessive-tech rest room bowls thusly: “There are such a lot of buttons, so many unknown symbols and open-to-interpretation stickmen figures; to not point out the (unfounded) worry that you may be sprayed with rest room water by merely approaching one.”
After which there was the time a handful of our editors received excessive within the identify of tech journalism.
Earlier this yr, a Microsoft-backed documentary crew excavated a landfill within the New Mexico desert to seek out out if Atari actually had buried hundreds of copies E.T. the Additional-Terrestrial in an try and cowl up one of many largest online game flops of all time. Because it turned out, the legend was true, and to seek out out what went mistaken, Contributing Editor Timothy Seppala “went straight to the person who made the sport: former Atari developer Howard Scott Warshaw.”
Additionally value studying… E.T. unearthed: The dig for legendary Atari cartridges in footage, By Christopher Trout
“1968. It was the yr of the Tet Offensive; of Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations; of the Democratic Nationwide Conference riots.” So begins my story about one of many world’s hottest intercourse toys, the Hitachi Magic Wand, and the electronics big that desires nothing to do with it.
With many airways abandoning older passenger jets for extra gasoline-environment friendly fashions, former Senior Editor Zach Honig explored the demise of the unique jumbo jet. As he places it, “The flagships of yesteryear now litter the desert, with a number of websites in California serving as a everlasting resting place for the aircraft that was as soon as generally known as the Queen of the Skies.”
Additionally value studying… The forgotten losers of the console wars, By Mat Smith Format Wars: Blu-ray vs. HD DVD, By Richard Lawler Analog Synthesis: The life and legacy of Bob Moog, By Billy Steele No matter occurred to Netscape? By Sean Cooper
As evidenced by the continued push into wearables, smartphones have, in some ways, plateaued. With a number of exceptions, there’s little to distinguish this yr’s flagships handsets. However Google’s Superior Know-how and Tasks (ATAP) division has the important thing to altering all of that if it will probably full Ara, its recreation-altering modular telephone, on a two-yr deadline. As former Senior Cellular Editor Brad Molen found, “Not solely is ATAP dealing with a ticking clock, however it’s additionally doing so with a reasonably hefty to-do listing.”
Regardless of a number of makes an attempt, digital actuality has but to really take off within the shopper market. Many anticipate that to vary quickly and the world is ready on Oculus and its founders to make it occur. Through the firm’s first builders convention, Editor-in-Chief Michael Gorman noticed the seemingly spiritual fervor surrounding the know-how and its evangelists: “This previous Saturday, I discovered myself within the entrance row of what felt like an previous-time revival, solely as an alternative of spiritual zealots, I used to be surrounded by roughly 800 disciples of digital actuality.”
Whereas Apple’s but to set a launch date for its clever timepiece, many are ready for the Apple Watch to outline the burgeoning market, however Options Editor Joseph Volpe is not bought: “Apple unveiled one thing, at greatest, lukewarm. At most, it is prettier than the smartwatches that’ve come earlier than, and that is possible its biggest innovation.”
Additionally value studying… We rode a $10,000 hoverboard, and you may too, By Sean Buckley Flying the unsure skies with the newest Phantom drone, By James Trew
AT THE MOVIES
[Mark Thiessen/National Geographic]
“There got here a second midway by way of Deepsea Problem 3D once I realized James Cameron’s new movie is not actually about exploring the depths of the ocean within the identify of science. It is about James Cameron visiting the underside of the ocean as a result of James Cameron felt prefer it.” That fairly properly sums up Managing Editor Dana Wollman’s emotions concerning the groundbreaking movie that noticed Cameron journey to the depths of the ocean in a customized-made submarine.
Additionally value studying… Disney rendered its new animated movie on a fifty five,000-core supercomputer, By Joseph Volpe ‘Interstellar’ makes the case for humanity’s return to area, By Devindra Hardawar The Interview: 2014’s most notorious movie is not nice, nevertheless it’s essential, By Devindra Hardawar ‘The Imitation Recreation’ places the highlight on Alan Turing and his groundbreaking machine, By Kris Naudus
Tags: 2014 in assessment, apple, better of 2014, google, longreads, sony, know-how, yr in evaluate, yr in evaluate 2014