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30 December, 2013

the year that was 2013

Here's the review of 2013:

QuickTime: The Year That Was
(Click the screen shot above to watch the video clip)

This was what happened this year:
Australia has 3 Prime Ministers for 2013. We started the year with Julia Gillard as the Prime Minister, then Kevin Rudd got his old job back on 27th June. Tony Abbott won the election on 18 September.

In our Don's advanced United States, it was revealed by Edward Snowden that NSA has been spying data from foreign countries. US President stated it was to keep Americans safe. Perhaps Americans would appreciate US Government's hard work, unfortunately I was not born in America. We learned a word "furlough" as the White House decided to shut down the government for 16 days (at the same time the President blamed Congress for refusing to pass the legislation).

In 2013, the world saw different justice for black and white in our Don's powerful United States of America. The court found the white killer George Zimmerman not guilty on killing an innocent black boy Trayvon Martin whom Zimmerman labelled "of no good." Unfortunately, it was not the only US justice that made the news. Recently, it was revealed that a black American teen (Kalief Browder) was jailed for 3 years without conviction. Even worse, another black man (Derrick Deacon) was wrongly jailed for 25 years.

Recently, a white American (Conrad Alvin Barrett) practised his "knockout" single punch on an innocent black victim, and planed to show off the assault on the net. Thankfully, there were some justice, this white American was charged.

Still, millions of people wanting to call our Don's advanced United States of America home. What they don't really know is unless they were born white, they would never be treated like white Americans.

Well, to keep our Don happy, there's important Microsoft news:
Microsoft's SkyDrive loses its trademark battle in UK. Microsoft agreed to change the name, but we don't know what that will be yet.
Microsoft Surface Pro, nicked named "iPad killer", the world's most powerful tablet featuring the world's most advanced operating system - Windows 8 - finally released in early February. (Surface RT was released in October 2012.) By late October 2013, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 were both released, Surface Pro is the iPad Air killer.
Unfortunately, Zune Marketplace and Microsoft Points were discontinued.
Microsoft also gets serious about Windows Phone, and plans to buy Nokia.
New "One Microsoft" was announced, the next generation gaming console Xbox One was launched in 13 markets in November and sold almost 2 million units in its first 18 days.
CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement.

As for the Apple news, there are some highlights.

AirPort Family 2013
In June, Apple updated it's AirPort Extreme base stations and Time Capsules with new form factor, on top of the newer look, the new look is the new and even faster standard - 802.11ac (draft).

On Mac hardware, MacBook Air now has even longer battery life as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard built-in. At near year's end, Apple finally released the whole new re-designed Mac Pro. Except it is pretty limited, most people will need to wait until February 2014 to receive one.

Mac ProThe all-new Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminium enclosure that is just 25.1 centimetres tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation. Mac Pro features upto 12-core Intel Xeon processors running at Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz and two workstation-class AMD FirePro GPUs that deliver up to eight times the graphics performance of the previous generation Mac Pro. On top of that, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

On iOS devices, in May, Apple added a new more affordable iPod touch (5th generation) with 16GB capacity but without the rear iSight camera nor the iPod Touch loop, available only in one colour.

iphone5c_2x.jpgiphone5s_2x.jpg
Instead of the usual one iPhone model (different capacity and colour before), Apple released two models at the same time. iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. iPhone 5s is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB in Space Grey (black), Silver (white) and the whole new Gold colour. iPhone 5c is available in 16GB and 32GB models and in white, pink, yellow, blue and green colour.
ipad_mini_icon_2x.jpgipad_air_icon_2x.jpg
A whole new form factor for iPad - iPad Air, even lighter and more portable while maintaining it's 9.7-inch Retina display. iPad mini also gets Retina display in this year's update. Both iPad Air and iPad mini are available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacity and in Space Grey and Silver colour. Like iPhone 5, iPad Air and iPad mini (with Retina Display) use nano-SIM cards for cellular models. All iOS devices are now available in high resolution Retina display.
Camino 2002 - 2013
On software aspect, one of our favourite browsers - Camino - decided to call it an end for development.

OS X Sea Lion
OS X 10.9 Mavericks was released on 22nd October for free. That's right, completely free for all Mac users with supported Mac hardware. Apple even made it available for those who still haven't upgraded to 10.7 or 10.8. The naming scheme for OS X 10.9 no longer follows the cat name, but a location name in California. (Okay, Sea Lion was a joke.)

ios7logo.png
Apart from the new iOS devices, the biggest change is year is the new iOS 7. iOS 7 features new control center, and easier to access AirDrop, AirPlay as well as access to flashlight. However, the controversial part is the completely re-designed interface, simplified the design with new emphasise on focus (the task).

dotcom_icon_2x.jpgiwork_icon_2x.jpg

iCloud has a new interface. Apple retired iWork.com, but the new Pages, Keynote and Numbers are now free for eligible users. Pages, Keynote and Numbers are also available free as web version (cloud). New Pages, Keynote and Numbers focused on collaboration between co-workers as friends you share the documents with. Unfortunately to maintain compatibility with Mac, iOS and browser based platforms, a few features were removed from the new iWork. Luckily, users of previous iWork'09 can still access previous versions for special features and functions.

Let's hope for a bright 2014.

This entry has Shadowbox.js effect enabled. Click on the thumbnails for larger photos or video playing.

Posted by Antony on 30 December 2013 9:16 PM | newstalk

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