The End of 2013

I personally end 2013 puking and feeling like I am roadkill because of the nasty flu that is running around the midwest, so I have time to reflect on what I saw of the past year.  The world has not changed much,  technology and change remained pretty stagnant for this year.

No real breakthroughs in technology just rehashing of old ideas that are passed off as new, Although Google is getting some real consumer traction with the old "thin client" technology with their chrome book platform. It has went from a "quaint curiosity" to a "must have" status within a short 12 months. 

Most of the world has accepted streaming media as an acceptable alternative to physical media, although widespread power and internet outages in December reminded people why having that DVD of the little mermaid to keep the kids entertained during a snowstorm is a good idea.  For a 1st world country our electrical and internet delivery to homes is very 3rd world.  Most of it is poorly maintained and done as cheaply as possible in spite of the fact that these companies were paid with Tax dollars to install it.  The wires coming into my home  run in a bundle of wires from downtown that is from the 1950's and the tech that finally fixed my DSL admitted to me that I was on one of the trunks that floods every time it rains, and they have known about the problem for over 4 years.   They simply moved me to a different trunk that was not getting submerged when it rains after I called to complain every day it rained for nearly a year.

Corporations are still the same, caring more about next quarter profits than anything else.

We saw China soft land a robot on the moon, something that humanity has not done since 1976. I really hope that china re-kindles the fire of the space race as we have been underfunding NASA for far too long.

In February the Cosmos forced most of the world to pay attention by dropping meteor over Russia in a spectacular explosion.  For a brief time people actually cared about looking for killer asteroids,  but nobody really cares about that anymore.

the middle East is still at war, just like the last 3000 years.

Microsoft is still trying to convince people that the Windows Tablet is a good product, even though it's sales numbers are so low that they barely register.   And Windows 8 was given a half hearted fix with windows 8.1, the start button and access to all functions was still not returned, While apple upped the game by releasing their latest OSX update for free to everyone.   The OSX 10.9 is not anything special,  the tactic of not charging for the OS is going to cause some upset in the world of computing.  

Adobe decided that subscription based software was the way to go and no longer sells their software suite,  you "rent" it for $X a month.   I expect to see a lot more companies going this route as it's easier to get more money out of customers that find the older software works just fine for their uses.

The World of Home/Corperate/AV automation became a mess.   Crestron quality dropped significantly, same with Kramer and Extron.  Companies that used to sell reliable devices now are seeing far higher failure rates than ever seen before.   I personally think this is because these companies are chasing higher profit margins and are now outsourcing all their product to china for manufacture at the lowest possible rate.  Their firmware  and development suite quality also seems to have dropped significantly as if they are using offshore contracted programming for them as well.  This is all personal observation based on what I have seen with other companies that did the same thing.  TV and HDMI Device makers still ignore the CEC control standard making it completely useless unless you buy the same brand devices and TV sets.

Lastly  the affordable health care act launched with the best example of what NOT to do when designing a website for an entire country to use.  This is what happens when you hire the lowest bidder,  they spent 3X the amount to fix it rapidly in the last 2 months than what they spent in the previous 3 years to build it.