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December 2011

From replacement CEOs and mobile mergers to rival operating systems and fallen clouds, the IT industry in 2011 has had its ups and downs. We’ve been following the headlines closely over the past year, keeping tally of the top technology stories.



Test your knowledge with our end-of-year 10-question quiz and reward yourself for being an industry informant!

The answer to each question is revealed at the bottom of the page.
Good luck!

1) In March, Oracle stopped software development for which microprocessor?
A) IBM Xenon
B) Intel Itanium
C) AMD Turion
D) Intel 4004

2) Who was announced to replace Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who suddenly stepped down in August?
A) Michael Dell
B) Eddy Cue
C) Tim Cook
D) Howard Stringer

3) Which online site was NOT affected by Amazon’s April cloud outage?
A) Reddit
B) Quora
C) Bizo
D) Hootsuite

4) Who decided to part ways with his well-known technology blog’s parent company, following a September dispute?
A) Michael Arrington
B) Tim Armstrong
C) David Bunnell
D) Louis Rossetto

5) At Google’s Chrome OS launch event in May, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that Microsoft and other operating system vendors are:
A) “driving people mad”
B) “beyond outdated”
C) “completely underrated”
D) “torturing users”

6) This summer, a notorious hacktivist group promised 50 days of what?
A) AntiSec
B) Hack-attack
C) Lulz
D) Anon

7) How many emails does data-breach victim Epsilon handle annually?
A) 2.7 million
B) 40 billion
C) 90 million
D) 110 billion

8) Which one of the following states, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, opposed the AT&T/T-Mobile merger in late summer?
A) Wyoming
B) Utah
C) Oregon
D) Ohio

9) In June, Google threw its hat into the social networking ring with the announcement of Google+. Which is NOT one of its features?
A) +Five—a way to offer high-five-style kudos and approval
B) +Hangouts—a way to video chat with your connections
C) +Sparks—an online sharing engine that lets you access aggregated feeds that interest you
D) +Circles—a way to categorize friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, etc

10) Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) ran out of addresses early February. Its replacement, IPv6, can support many, many more. How many? (Bonus points if you can you spot the fictitious number in the choices below.)
A) 3.4 x 1038
B) 34 jillion
C) 0.5 googol
D) 4.3 octodecillion

11) Who in September “blew” Apple’s cover, announcing the iPhone®s’ (iPhones plural) expected October release?
A) Guy Kawasaki
B) Al Gore
C) Millard Drexler
D) Andrea Jung



1) The correct answer is B) Intel Itanium. In a curt mid-March press release, Oracle announced it was axing all software development for Intel’s Itanium microprocessor. Oracle wasn’t the only tech giant to bid farewell—both Microsoft and RedHat ceased development for Itanium in 2010. Just one month prior, Intel released its 10th generation Itanium chip.

2) The correct answer is C) Tim Cook. Though his departure was imminent, Steve Jobs’ resignation still shocked the tech community that Wednesday afternoon in August. Jobs was named chairman of the board and strongly urged that Tim Cook—Apple’s current chief operating officer—be named his successor. Cook, who had previously covered for Jobs during prior leaves of absence, was an obvious candidate for the renowned role.

3) The correct answer is C) Bizo. On a grim Thursday morning in northern Virginia, lights went out for some of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) customers. The two-day outage left Reddit, Quora, Hootsuite, Foursquare and SCVNGR with limited or no access to data stored on EC2 servers. Bizo, the largest business audience marketing platform, didn’t miss a beat that day.

4) The correct answer is A) Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.
Though many questioned Arrington’s decision to step down, the September 12th announcement was not entirely unexpected following his disagreement with AOL. AOL, which acquired TechCrunch, one year prior, was concerned that Arrington’s new venture capital fund might conflict with corporate interests.

5) The correct answer is D) “torturing users.” Built to eliminate standard OS complexities, Google Chrome opts to place most of users’ data and applications on the Web. At the time of its announcement, Brin estimated 20% of Google employees were using Microsoft Windows. That, he believed, would all change in the coming year.

6) The correct answer is C) 50 days of Lulz.
Some called this group of anarchical hackers ‘cyber terrorists,’ but Lulz Security (LulzSec) was just trying to have a laugh. (Lulz as in LOLs—laughing—at security.) High profile corporations and government organizations got a taste of LulzSec’s antics. Take Fox.com, Sony, PBS, Infragard, the CIA and Arizona's Department of Public Safety, just to name a few. As promised, LulzSec delivered attacks, webpage defacements and site takedowns roughly every three to four days over the summer.

7) The correct answer is B) 40 billion. As one of the largest email marketing service providers, Epsilon’s March 30th security breach was the greatest in U.S. history. The massive name-and-email-address hack left all 2,200 global brands serviced by Epsilon at risk. Clients included top banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citibank as well as Best Buy and the grocery chain Kroger.

8) The correct answer is D) Ohio. Ohio, with California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Pennsylvania, joined the DOJ’s lawsuit to block the massive wireless merger. Eleven other states, including Wyoming, Utah and the Dakotas, supported AT&T’s acquisition of Germany-based T-Mobile. The Justice Department and fellow opponents feared the merger would cause higher wireless prices and reduced competition.

9) The correct answer is A) +Five.
Though it could rival the tired Facebook “Like,” +Fiving has not (yet) made its debut. (One can, however, “+1” photos, content and more.) Since late June, when Google+ was made available to a select group of chosen ones, Hangouts, Sparks and Circles have infiltrated the vernacular. Users quickly flocked to the new networking site—some even fleeing Facebook—but the rivalry is too new to call.

10) The correct answer is A) 3.4 x 1038.
To put it in perspective, IPv4 maxed out at around 4.3 billion addresses with its 32-bit length numbering schematic. IPv6, which has been around since 1999, uses 128-bit addresses. This yields roughly 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible IP addresses. Any guesses on how long until those have been exhausted?

Bonus answer: B) Al Gore. With rumors floating around that basically confirmed the yet-to-be confirmed, Al Gore’s “news” of an upcoming iPhone release wasn’t news to many. Bloggers and Apple-dedicated sites had been hot on the iPhone 5 trail for months, posting any viable leak or lead. But it wasn’t until October 4 that rumors were made official. Newly appointed CEO Tim Cook announced that the fifth-generation device will be carried on AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.    

Apple and Apple iPhone are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Google is a trademark of Google Inc.
Intel and Intel Itanium are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.


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