In 2011, the tech world saw the release of coveted devices such as the iPhone 4S and the Kindle Fire, along with such spectacular fails as BlackBerry's worldwide service outage and a hack that crippled Sony's PlayStation Network.
They've breached or busted the websites of the CIA, PBS and the U.S. Senate, and launched at least part of an extended attack on Sony, whose PlayStation Network was brought to a grinding halt for the better part of a month.
It's been a nightmarish three weeks for Sony, as it struggles to recover from massive hack attacks on three separate gaming systems it runs. Not only are the PlayStation, Qriocity and Sony online gaming networks still offline, but tens of millions of credit card numbers may have been stolen.
In this week's Tech Check podcast, Doug Gross, John Sutter and Stephanie Goldberg break down news about the Sony PlayStation Network's data breach -- which some are calling the biggest in online history.
It's one of the biggest data breaches in history. Now that Sony has come clean -- sort of -- on a computer intrusion this month that exposed personal information on 77 million PlayStation Network users, one obvious question remains: Who pulled off the hack?
Classic movies, music and books all enjoy healthy reprints and ardent fan followings. But given ever-changing technology and fans' limited attention spans, classic video games are often left to molder in obscurity, cosigned to download from dubiously legal "abandonware" sites.
With hundreds of titles available in dozens of genres, choosing a holiday gift for the gamer on your list is never simple. It's even harder in 2010, with thousands of downloadable games, social games and iPhone apps competing for gamers' attention, as well.
From the ultraviolent side-scrolling brawler "Shank" to the tomb-raiding adventure "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" or the trigger-mashing blaster "Monday Night Combat," there's been no shortage of enticing video games lately.
Even as gaming begins to challenge television as a leading mass entertainment medium, the industry continues to struggle with the serialized model that's made broadcast programming a nightly must-see for many.
"Video games are bigger than ever. ... There's never been a better time to get back in," British billionaire Sir Richard Branson said at the E3 trade show Tuesday in announcing his new venture, Virgin Gaming.