Believe it or not, 2020 has brought with it not only a pandemic, but also a number of bright events and innovations from the world of technology. What news and trends from the field of IT and the Internet were discussed by users of social networks this year.
Person of the Year – Bill Gates
Bill Gates has become one of the Most Important People of the Year this year, going from a philanthropist and co-creator at Windows to a health expert, thanks in large part to his philanthropic foundation and the healthcare industry. Throughout 2020, the Microsoft co-founder made predictions about the pandemic, talked about the importance of wearing masks and getting vaccinated, and reassured the public, arguing that the situation would improve significantly next year.
Such activity did not go unnoticed among Internet users, who unexpectedly began to suspect Gates of a conspiracy – allegedly he wants to make money on vaccinations against coronavirus, to microchip the entire population, and besides, he is one of the creators of COVID-19. The billionaire himself refers to these rumors in a philosophical way – according to him, they are so stupid and unfounded that there is no point in even commenting on them.
App of the Year – Zoom
The Zoom video communication application can be safely called one of the breakthroughs of this year – if until 2020 only a few knew about it, now it is a widespread tool for holding conferences, meetings, lessons, and even parties.
In April, when the first wave of the pandemic hit the world, the number of Zoom users reached 300 million, up from 10 million in January.
Despite several scandals related to weak encryption of user data, this platform has not lost its popularity. Experts believe the ease of use is one of the key factors that have led Zoom to its success. However, the administration of the application should not rest on its laurels – next year the world will gradually begin to return to face-to-face meetings and events, which means that the service will have to come up with new ways to retain the audience.
Battle of the Year – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many tech manufacturers to postpone the releases of new devices to next year, Microsoft and Sony still released the next-generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles.
The consoles were released around the same period in November. Both consoles represent a breakthrough in interactive entertainment with the fastest loading times for games and improved picture quality. At the same time, they practically do not differ from each other in terms of their characteristics – the only exceptions are exclusive projects that are available only to the owners of a particular device.
Given the increased popularity of gaming during the period of self-isolation, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S were in high demand in the market, and the first batch of new consoles sold out almost instantly. It will be possible to calculate and carry out a comparative analysis of sales of new generation set-top boxes only next year, but it is already obvious that their launch has become one of the most successful in the history of Sony and Microsoft.
The loser of the Year – Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 has been expected in 2020 since April – its release was first postponed to September, then to November, and then to mid-December. Despite the fact that the developers got much more time to prepare the project, it saw the light of day raw and unfinished. This was especially evident on the previous generation consoles – PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Cyberpunk 2077 is literally full of bugs and glitches, and its optimization leaves much to be desired.
The developers, represented by the creators of The Witcher CD Projekt RED, were opposed by both the company’s investors and ordinary players who were unhappy with the final product. This caused a lot of discussion on the Internet – few games can boast the same hype as Cyberpunk 2077, despite the fact that it appeared largely thanks to the criticism that fell on the project.
Nevertheless, if we abstract from bad optimization, then in an action RPG from a Polish studio, you can find a good plot, a very beautiful Night City, and detailed characters. Hopefully, CDPR can fix bugs with patches so gamers on all platforms can enjoy this neon story.
Record of the Year – Baby Shark
In 2020, the first place in terms of the number of views on YouTube was taken by the Baby Shark video, published by the Korean children’s channel Pinkfong in 2016. At the time of this writing, the video was watched by 7.5 billion people, which is not much less than the world’s population.
Previously, the first place in views for three years belonged to the video for the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. Despacito is currently in the second position.
Baby Shark is a children’s song known all over the world, however, its true origin is unknown, as is the reason for the popularity of the track in 2020. Probably Pinkfong’s version could be widely known for its catchy dance moves and light motive.
Meme of the Year – Natasha’s cats
The meme with Natasha’s cats who “dropped everything” burst into the Russian-language Internet in March. In the process of transformation, his appearance changed a little – if at first Natasha was awakened by only two cats, then later there were four of them.
“Natasha, are you sleeping? It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, Natasha. Get up, we dropped everything in there. Honestly, we dropped everything, Natasha, ”the cats say to their owner.
In April, due to the spread of coronavirus infection and self-isolation, the meme gained a second wind – versions appeared that while Natasha was sleeping, the pets “dropped” exchange rates, adopted all amendments to the Constitution, and also defeated the Pechenegs and Polovtsians. This cat meme can be tailored to suit any situation, making it truly versatile.
Conspiracy of the Year – 5G Towers and Hazardous Radiation
In 2020, the world saw many innovative technologies, and the fifth-generation cellular standard has become one of them. However, the introduction of 5G networks suddenly began to grow overgrown with rumors and fake news. As a consequence, conspiracy theories have begun to surface on the web regarding 5G towers. They are based on the fact that radiation from new generation networks can harm the human body.
With the advent of COVID-19, the new cellular standard has been accused of spreading a dangerous virus. The adherents of this conspiracy theory believe that patients with coronavirus actually suffer from a lack of oxygen caused by “5G radiation”.
Some people became so imbued with this theory that they began to get rid of cell towers. So, at least seven such 5G antennas in the UK were damaged by arson at the hands of local attackers. However, at the moment there is no single evidence confirming the harm from the new technology – any communication standard passes all the necessary tests before implementation, and 5G is no more dangerous than the already familiar 4G or 3G.