Officially, we still have three weeks of summer, but we all know that after the three-day Labor Day weekend it's all but over. And it's probably a good thing. After the blistering pace of big news and wild moments over the past three months, we could all use an autumn vacation. Here's a look back at the stories that made summer 2011 so memorable:
iOS 5 and "one more thing" from WWDC: No blockbuster new device announcement came out of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Instead we got updates to Mac OS X and iOS to anticipate, as well as one more very intriguing thing. Steve Jobs announced iCloud, which rehashes a lot of cloud concepts that are already old hat for Android users, but adds that special Apple polish and iTunes Match, which syncs up users' music and media collections across iOS devices. The service still hasn't debuted, but Spotify landed in the U.S. (see below) in the meantime, creating some serious competition.
Everything's coming up tablets: The great race to catch up to the iPad continued, but no one seemed to gain ground. RIM's PlayBook flopped and HP's TouchPad... well, more on that later. But the tech world is far from giving up. Microsoft started the summer by introducing Windows 8, which is basically built to be tablet-ready with a touch interface. Of course, who knows if we'll see it before 2014--by that time tablets will probably have been replaced by nanotech thought-controlled devices. Amazon also looks to be throwing its hat in the tablet ring, with a rumored iPad-killer coming soon, maybe?
Everyone hacks everything: What's summer without a fresh Mountain Dew and Low-Orbit Ion Cannon by the glow of a flat-screen monitor, DDoSing the lazy days away? You're not anyone in this world anymore until someone hacks you. By that measure, a whole lot of people, companies, and governments finally "arrived" this year. Tongue-in-cheek congratulations to the CIA, Sony (several times over), Citigroup, Electronic Arts, Turkey, and so many more for making the long list of targets.… Read more