Technology rules our lives so dramatically that the news from it is becoming more important. 2016 was not short of controversy in the digital world. No one seemed safe from the chaos of the year with giants like Twitter, Facebook and Samsung all in the news for the wrong reasons.
2016 saw many deaths in various fields, but in tech it was video sharing site Vine that saw the letters of condolences. The site which started in 2013 was shut down by its owner Twitter, although you will still be able to access the videos. Twitter cut 9% of their workforce in 2016 and have struggle to attract new users.
Fake news was the biggest news stories from social in 2016. Sites were springing up all over Facebook with stories about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump which the hope they would be shared but were based in dishonesty. The opportunist owners would then earn money through adverts next to the stories as visitors came in their droves to view the sensationalist stories. Facebook have implemented new protocols to curtail this practice in the future.
The Galaxy Note 7 from Samsung stole all the news for mobile phones. The tablet like phones spawned thousands of pictures and videos as the battery in the phones began to catch fire. The phone cost $800 but was a huge health hazard and huge controversy for the usually trustworthy South Korean company. Even replacing the faulty devices failed to work as they caught fire too! Production was eventually cancelled fully.
Apple also made headlines with the controversial decision to remove a headphone jack from their phone. They only made the phone compatible with wireless headphones, something the customer was afraid of losing. And they should have been afraid because Apple were charging $100 for a new pair. They claim that they were creating space inside the phone for something else but it came across as a cynical ploy to create more revenue.
Any story from 2016 seemed to always involve Trump, and none more so than the apparent hacking by Russia into the US election. They have been accused of influencing voters, funding campaigns and releasing harmful information on Hillary Clinton but not Trump. Trump caused controversy in inviting Russians to hack Hillary Clinton earlier on in the year and it seems they listened to him.
Data was also vulnerable in 2016 as major hacks were felt by Yahoo and LinkedIn. In Yahoo’s case it was revealed to be almost 1bn accounts! Accounts were being hacked and then the information was being sold on the black market. Information from LinkedIn was selling for $2,000 in some cases.
2016 saw two games draw massive attention, but for two very different reasons. Pokémon Go was a huge success and sent the world into a frenzy as packs of player of the augmented reality game were seen walking the streets in search for Pokémon. It was a massive financial success for Nintendo and Niantic and gave a boost to Nintendo who were struggling after the failure of the Wii U.
It was not such a great year for No Man’s Sky and Hello Games. The game suffered from incredible fan pressure, who were angry with the final product of a much-hyped game. The game’s creator Sean Murray has allegedly made promises of features in the game that did not happen, and advertising regulators were even called in to look at the messaging! The bad press proved too much as the game plummeted from the top of the charts to the bottom over the second half of the year.