10 of the Biggest, Most Newsworthy Tech Moments in 2012

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SOPA, iPhone 5, Apple's crappy Maps app, oh my! Doesn't it already seem like these things were news forever ago? As we stare down the barrel of a brand new year, let's take a moment to revisit some of the hottest tech moments that happened in 2012:

Facebook went public.
Facebook's much-anticipated IPO happened in May, drumming up so much media hoopla in the process it earned its own Wikipedia entry. It opened at $38/share, as of today's writing it's worth $25.91.

SOPA
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Opponents -- of which there were plenty -- believed the bill threatened free speech and innovation, among other things. In January of 2012, the House Judiciary Committee postponed plans to draft the bill "until there is wider agreement on a solution."

Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer as CEO.
Just 37 years old and pregnant with her first child, Marissa Mayer became BIG news when she was tapped to take over the reins at Yahoo.

The iPhone 5.
Slightly bigger, debatably fancier, the iPhone 5 was launched on September 21st, causing thousands of people lined up outside Apple stores to buy one because it was OBVIOUSLY way better than that crappy 4S they already had.


The Apple Maps Debacle.
After one too many iOS customers lost their way using Apple Maps, consumer backlash prompted a public apology in September from Apple CEO Tim Cook.  (Thankfully, we now have Google Maps as a free download.)

The iPad Mini.
Introduced by Apple on October 23, the iPad mini became a smaller -- but more importantly, cheaper -- contender in the tablet wars.

Windows 8.
Windows 8 was unleashed to the public in October, and the major look-and-feel differences seemed to spur quite a bit of criticism. As one reviewer put it, the new OS was a "Christmas gift for someone you hate.”

Microsoft's Surface Tablet.
Originally unveiled in June, the buzzy Surface tablet came with what is arguably the best tablet keyboard innovation to date.

Nintendo's Wii U.
In November, Nintendo came out with a fancy new console that uses a touchscreen tablet controller. Luckily for existing Wii owners, it's backward compatible with the original console's games and peripherals.

Instagram's TOS change.
This one may actually have drawn the most outrage online: in December, Instagram changed their terms of service, angering thousands of photo-sharing addicts worldwide. The company has since backtracked, but not before plenty of folks noticed that ooh, Flickr has a new app! Shiny.

What am I forgetting? Would you add anything else to the list?

Image via Apple

apple, privacy, gaming, gadgets, facebook

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