Year in review 2011: May
It's the end of the year, but before we get too excited about what's to come next, lets take a breather, let those mince pies break down and glance back at 2011.
In the big wide world at large, the US finally tracked down Osama Bin Laden, Manchester United were crowned winners of the Premiership making the club the most successful in English League history and the UK voted firmly against the Alternative Vote in the first nationwide referendum in years.
Meanwhile, this is what was going on in technology and on Pocket-lint's pages.
Year in Review:
After a month of madness on the social networks over a certain footballer who couldn't actually be mentioned in the newspapers and yet everyone knew who he was and talked about it quite blatantly, breathe, Twitter and Google both agreed to hand over the details of anyone in the future on their services that were in breach of such court orders. The upshot since has been that, effectively, we're all newspapers now. Read more
Dell refreshed its upper end range of laptops, and indeed eventually it's lower ones too, by adding the letter Z to the name. Fortunately, the £899 starter price tag on the Dell XPS 15Z pictured below also meant a top end engine room, integrated side speakers and all the mod-cons including Bluetooth 3.0 and as many ports as you can think of. Read more
Spot the difference
The tech habits of the Prime Minister became all very clear in May when Misses Cameron and Obama posed for a photo in the cosier parts of 10 Downing Street. Among other spots were his and hers Apple iPads and an old Sky box. No iPad 2. No Sky HD. Read More
More reasons not to lose your phone
Despite the hard economic times, Google was keen to put money matters first in May 2011 when it launched the contactless payment Google Wallet system. Arriving first in America, as usual, the NFC-based system encourages users to add their credit card and bank details into a mobile phone app which can then transmit the required payment details locally at point of payment. We're still waiting to give it a whirl in Blighty. Read more
In yet another bold move from the Big G, the company announced another US-only (for now) service, this time taking on the world of digital music. Music Beta by Google allows user to store and stream their tunes to wherever they are given access to a mobile phone/web app and a little internet connectivity. We managed to go hands-on for a taste of what might come to the UK one day soon. Read more
Asus unveiled the UX-series of ultra-slim, ultra-sleek laptops which later became part of the Intel Ultrabook brand once the next generation Sandy Bridge processors arrived to go in them. At 17mm thick at the thickest and just 3mm thin at the thin bits, the UX laptops weighed in at just 1.1kg. Read more
Hot Wheels decided to create a life size version of its track and send driver Tanner Foust on a record breaking 332ft jump. Personally, we think it's a bit of a cheat that the car had any kind of engine power but there you go. Impressive nonetheless. Read more
Wood, you believe it?
Sadly not available in the shops, designer Michael Roopenian came up with this beautiful concept for a classically non-beautiful area of technology. The Engrain wooden keyboard and its ripple effect was created by sandblasting a solid plank and then sectioning it up into keys. Quite how it feels when touch typing is another thing. Read more
Google I/O 2011 was a chance for the developers of the world to head over to San Francisco, exchange ideas with other coders and listen to talks on new APIs as well as how to work with what's already there on Android and on any of Google's other platforms too. It was also a chance to walk away with a free piece of kit which, this year, was a brand new, pure Honeycomb version of the old Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Not bad. Read more
A couple in Israel liked Facebook so much that they decided to name their new baby daughter after the famous thumbs up button. Like Adler's name didn't go down wonderfully well with friends and family of parents Lior and Vardit but these are the new icons rather than biblical names, apparently. Read more
75 inches and counting
The tech calendar just isn't right if no one has shown off a world beating TV at some point. May 2011 was the turn of Samsung to award itself biggest 3D LED set ever invented with the arrival of the 75-inch Samsung D9500 aka the 75 Premium Smart. It shattered the previous record by a whole 3 inches. Read more
Another clever clogs in the form of Philip Wise managed a rather nice hack job all of his own. With May the start of the outdoor meat grilling season, he took his rather bog standard 55 gallon Ugly Drum Smoker and gave it a custom job Naboo style. Read more
2011 was a terrible year for Sony but nothing quite captured the moment better than this photo of when the very top executives of the company bowed down in apology to the world in a ritual known as ojigi after the security breaches in April which led to the loss of thousands of personal details of users of the PlayStation Network. Read more
When dreams come true
Pieces of cheese? Sails on the horizon? The answer is none of the above. What's pictured below is, in fact, the KEF Blade which the hugely popular home cinema kit manufacturer described as its most ambitious speaker to date when it made what once was a concept into reality, in May, after popular public demand. Now all that public need is £20,000 for a pair. Read more
In one of the very best pieces of fancy dress we've ever seen, a gentleman over at the Maker Faire 2011 came up with a way to become a head in a jar. While it looks great, the idea of spending the party underwater and barely able to speak does sound a little on the nightmarish side though. We wonder how long he actually kept it on for. Read more
To Boldy go
Pocket-lint took a trip over to Florida in May to the annual BlackBerry World event. As well as the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, the Bold 9930 and the Bold 9900 were also on display, the latter of which is pictured below. Lovely handsets but is good design enough for RIM to hold off the rest of advancing smartphone market? Read more
The BBC dug up and republished the data of the 1986 Domesday Project for the modern day web. The information, as recorded onto LaserDiscs at the time, includes a census of Britain as recorded by the local communities themselves as well as accounts of days in the life of hundreds of school children across the country. Read more
After much chitter chatter about the idea and general fear from broadcasters the world over, YouTube launched its movie rental service taking what once was the bastion of home movie moments another step towards respectable video legitimacy. That said, the library of films hasn't exactly been Oscar gold. Read more
Pocket-lint on prime time
Probably the biggest event for Pocket-lint in 2011 was our appearance on the number one popular TV show on the BBC that is the Apprentice. Three of the team got to grill the contestants as they presented their apps each designed and developed in under 24 hours. Our response? A pick of the nose, a nod of the head and the words "1.7 million, actually". Read more
Motorola had US mobile network Verizon to blame for an all too early and all too official leak of the hotly anticipated refresh of the hit Android smartphone in the shape of the Motorola Droid X2. The story was just one of hundreds of leaked news hits of the year in the field of mobile phones and tablets. Read more