The Year in Tech, 2012

More
Atlantic writers survey the biggest stories and ideas on their beats. See full coverage

Technology changes year to year, phone to phone, quarter to quarter. Here at The Atlantic, we like to focus on how those changes happen, the ideas that animate them, the people that execute them, the users who transform them. The last year saw massive change in this broad definition of the technology landscape -- from how we elect presidents to how we fight wars, from how we keep in touch with friends to how we read in solitude. This year wasn't like 2011 in which a few key stories dominated headlines from month to month (WikiLeaks, the revolutions in the Middle East and north Africa); it was a year in which there could have been 20 stories on this list as the the industry and its watchers groped for an organizing narrative beyond "the rise of social media," the arrival of tablets, and the dominance of Apple. So, we left out the well organized protests against SOPA/PIPA that kicked the year off and the ongoing patent wars that define which companies can make what products, but these themes below reflect our obsessions, the things we've been thinking about, and hearing about from you. They provide a guided tour to how people used technology in 2012, for good, for bad, and for profit.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal, Megan Garber, and Rebecca J. Rosen edit and write for The Atlantic's Technology Channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In