Top 10 Tech Stories of 2006

top10PC World has a list of what it considers the top 10 tech stories of 2006.  Here’s the list, with a little commentary.

1) HP Spy Scandal

Stories like this and the Wall Street bonuses we’ve been reading about drive home the increasing gulf between the haves and the have-nots in this country, and the rules that apply to each.  How much power and money is enough?  The haves who get caught up in something like the HP scandal seem to me like lambs sacrificial to the gods of extreme wealth.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 4

2) Microsoft – Novell

I am the most computer savvy person I know in the real world and: (a) I think Linux is about on the level of ham radios as far as widespread adoption and general utility goes, and (b) I didn’t know that Novell was still in business.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 1

3) Alcatel – Lucent & Merger Mania

I can say two good things about Lucent.  One, I use the Lucent Voice Player all day every day to get my voicemails over the computer.  I haven’t checked my office voicemail via phone in years.  Two, it is one of the few stocks I used to own that I sold before it fell off the cliff.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 2

4) Google – YouTube & Convergence

YouTube is more interesting than Google, so it may have been a good move for Google, notwithstanding the Bubble 1.0 variety purchase price.  Google wants to toss adds in our face via every available medium.  We don’t want adds tossed in our face.  At some point the people who buy all these online ads will figure that out.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 4

5) AOL Search Data Release & Privacy Debate

I spent an hour or so looking through that database.   It reminded me of the times I would pick up the phone when I was a kid and hear two strangers talking.  Somehow the lines would get crossed up and you would be added to some random conversation.  Mildly interesting for a little while.  More interesting is what this says about keeping our data out of the hands and databases of companies like AOL and Google who want to monetize it.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 3

6) The Great Battery Recall

A negative momentum play in the technosphere?  I have a Dell and an IBM laptop, and I haven’t even checked to see if my batteries are ticking time bombs.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 2

7) Macs using Intel Chips

I haven’t used an Apple computer since the glorious days of Island Apventure on an Apple II.  It must have worked for Apple, since sales are up.  I wandered into an Apple Store yesterday and it was 98% about iPods and 2% about computers.  Dell using AMD chips is a good thing, because it fosters competition, which is good for consumers.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 4

8) Blackberry Patent Wars

I use a Blackberry, but there are plenty of other devices that would work just as well.  In fact, if Blackberry went poof, I wonder if my firm would hand out Treos?  I still suffer from Treo-envy.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 1

9) Vista Launches

I didn’t know it has launched.  I certainly don’t know how to get a copy.  I think the fact that people are saying it has already launched is a bad, bad omen for the buzzability of the actual launch.  I’ll install Vista on my computer, but I highly doubt many non-power users of XP will.  I see a bad moon rising for Microsoft as far as Vista goes.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 4

10) Bill Gates Steps Back

Bill Gates says he will step out of his daily role in July 2008.  I don’t know what I’m going to have for lunch and it’s 11:33.  I think the Gates’ philanthropy is wonderful, but I am underwhelmed by an announcement 2 years in advance.  As a Microsoft shareholder, I think it’s smart to announce this way early so investors will be less likely to panic when it happens, but other than that, my response is a yawn.  My 1-5 rating of interestingness: 2

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