2021: Year In Review

At this time of year I like to look back over the past 365 days and pick out the stories that really got my attention. This year has been only marginally better than 2020, which is another way of saying that the focus on the entire planet was understandably elsewhere. Having said that, here’s what happened in tech this year:

Log4j: This popped up at the end of the year and sent the entire planet scrambling to patch everything. Seeing as threat actors are taking advantage of this, you can fully expect that this will still be a story well into 2022. In the meantime, make sure that you’ve patched all the things so that you don’t get pwned.

Speaking of Getting Pwned, The Pwnage This Year Was Beyond Epic: It almost seemed that not a day went by without some company being pwned by hackers. Be it ransomware gangs or other threat actors wanting to cause havoc, make a buck, steal data, or sometimes all of the above. And nobody was immune. Even an Apple contract manufacturer got pwned with data leaked, specifically the schematics of what turned out to be the new MacBook Pros. This will continue into 2022. Mark my words.

Apple’s Continued Fall From Grace: Whether it was the lack of quality of their software, inability to deliver features on time, their employee issues, threats in terms of anti-trust on multiple fronts, lawsuits, AirTags being used for evil purposes, Apple’s horrific misadventures in India, and their issues with attempting to crack down on CSAM, Apple had a multitude of problems to deal with. And it is unlikely to end in 2022 unless they really get their act together.

Speaking About Apple, How About Those New M1 Pro And M1 Max Processors?: While Apple did have its issues this past year, putting out processors that blew people’s minds wasn’t one of them. The new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors that popped up in the new MacBook Pros blew the doors off of anything made by Intel. And while Intel has new Alder Lake processors which are starting to ship, one has to wonder if they will come anywhere close to the power to watt ratio that Apple’s processors currently do? That will be something to watch in 2022.

Speaking Of New Processors, How About That Tensor Processor?: Google released the Pixel 6 phones with a in house designed Tensor processor which is actually quite good and allowed the Pixels to do things that no other Android phone can do. In short, they are trying to do what Apple has being doing with their A series of processors for years. It’s an interesting strategy, and if I am Qualcomm, I’d be a wee bit worried.

Facebook Becomes Meta: Facebook is getting hit from all sides with all manners of bad press. So I guess that Zuckerberg and company thought a name change was in order. Thus they are now known as Meta as they want to expand into the metaverse. Which I guess is the next logical place to go as in the real world they are the most hated company around.

Tile Sells Itself To A Company With Less Than Honourable Intentions: I guess that AirTags finally was the last straw that made Tile sell itself to a company called Life360. This is a company who sells all sorts of location and other data to anyone who will buy it and seemingly makes no apologies for doing so. Which means that if you’re a Tile user, you’re data will be sold to anyone who wants it. Which means by extension, you have a decision to make. Are you okay with that or should you dump all your Tile trackers and spring for AirTags or perhaps take a look at Chipolo trackers? It will be interesting to see what happens on that front in 2022.

The Rogers Family Drama: The Rogers family fought it out in public for all to see over who would control Rogers Communications. It was kind of like the HBO show “Succession” except that the family patriarch is already dead. I have to admit that it wasn’t a good look for Rogers Communications or the family. And I can’t imagine how much morale suffered if you’re a Rogers employee who had to see this play out. But in the end, Edward Rogers got his way and was able to fire Joe Natale as CEO and install the people he wanted to run the company. Now let’s see in 2022 if all this turmoil allows them to buy Shaw Communications and allow Rogers to be competitive with Bell and Telus, which at the moment, they are not competitive with either.

Speaking Of Telcos, Boy Does Bell Canada Customer Service Suck: My wife and I tried to dump Rogers this summer when we wanted to lower our telco bill. But when Bell Canada, who I freely admit have world class Internet products that totally destroys anything that Rogers has to offer, absolutely made a mess of us moving to them because of their absolutely shambolic customer service, my wife and I stayed with Rogers and upgraded to Rogers Ignite instead. And that upgrade went shockingly well and saved us a few bucks too. And this was on top of hearing from lots of my clients, both business and residential that Bell’s customer service is the worst. This is a problem if you’re Bell as if Rogers ever gets their act together and starts offering products that are competitive with Bell, then Bell will be in deep trouble.

And now for some stats. The top ten countries that visited my blog in 2020 are:

  1. Canada
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. India 
  5. Australia
  6. Germany
  7. Norway
  8. Philippines
  9. Netherlands
  10. Singapore

In all almost 1.2 million page views were served up this year. Given the year that we all had, that’s pretty good.

And in terms of the top ten stories that were viewed this year:

  1. Don’t Fall For This Interac Scam That Is Delivered By Text Message [UPDATED]
  2. Here’s How The Last 4 Digits Of Your Credit Card Can Be Used To Commit Fraud
  3. WARNING! A New Text Message #Scam Involving TD Bank Is Making The Rounds [UPDATED x2]
  4. New Program Offering Canadian Seniors Free Smartphones & Low-Cost Data Plans From TELUS To Help Them Stay Connected
  5. Another Reason For Rogers To Be Scared…. TELUS Launches PureFibre X With Canada’s Fastest Internet Speeds
  6. How To Move Your E-Mail And Contacts Off The Rogers Yahoo/Oath E-Mail Platform
  7. Rogers Rolling Out New Modem/Routers For Ignite Internet…. Why You Should Care
  8. Android Auto & Apple CarPlay On My 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited
  9. Why Bell Has The Upper Hand Against Rogers When It Comes To Internet Access In Canada
  10. Apple M1 Mac SSD Swap Issues – Should You Be Concerned?

The top three items are related to scams, which seemed to be something that was a bit of a theme this year as I spent a lot of time writing about scams in 2021. It also highlights that you really need to be careful out there as there are people who are trying to separate you from your identity or money or both. TELUS made some news at spots four and five that unlike fellow telco Rogers was positive. Speaking of Rogers, clearly the fact that a story about moving your email and contacts off their platform is still resonating years after I published that story says something about how the market see Rogers. And I am kind of surprised that a story about Rogers modems from years ago still gets clicks seeing as Rogers is trying migrate people to their new Ignite platform as fast as possible. I can likely say the same thing about my story about Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on my Hyundai Tucson from years ago as honestly, with pretty much every car coming with either or both, we shouldn’t be talking about this anymore. But having said that, my guess is that there are still Hyundai owners who want this functionality in their cars. If that is you, there’s a cheap to free option for Hyundai Canada owners that I wrote about here. My story about Bell having the upper hand against Rogers entering spot number nine illustrates the sort of trouble that Rogers is an and how much work they will have to be competitive in 2022. And finally the SSD swap issues of the M1 from earlier this year illustrates the software quality issues that Apple really, really needs to address ASAP.

Now if you have something that you think that should be on this list, leave a comment with your thoughts. Happy new year (hopefully)!

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