Time-travelling neutrinos, lost Russian space probes, and a nuclear meltdown in Japan proved the worlds of physics, space and nature remain untamed for our brave boffins. In tech, meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard melted down, Steve Jobs died and his company's iPad proved untouchable in leaving PC makers lumbered with millions of …
During the meanwhile ...
Those of us without a couple billion dollars burning a hole on our pockets are living quite comfortably, and for the most part are not at all inconvenienced by a local natural-disaster driven radiological issue. Maybe in part two you can fit Megatron in?
 I'm not ignoring the human aspect of the Japan quake, just putting it into perspective on a more global scale. By way of perspective, I'm 400 yards from the Rodgers Creek Fault as I type. When, not if. I'm aware, and ready for the inevitable ;-)
Ho ho hoo, etc
"a quarter of US smartphone sales in just a few years for the iPad"
"MP3 music players pre-dated the iPad"
Been on the egg nog a little early have we? ;)
Happy holidays to all etc!
Not a single mention of Nokia and their assimilation by the MS collective.
Not sure if that's an indication of the el reg memory getting a little bad (it was Feb 2011 after all), or maybe because Microsokia are pretty much irrelevant in the mobile world, no matter how much they spend on promotion and sponsoring competitions on Absolute radio.
That will be 36 Olympic swimming pools
Please stick to proper Reg-approved units!
"Reg review of 2011: Jobs, floaters and 90,000 tons of radioactive water"
It's alittle soft of a subject line don't you think?
Pass me my coat...yes the glowing one please.
Forgot to mention giving a 21 iDevice salute to St. Jobs
What to do with 90,000 tonnes of radioactive water?
Only one simple option. Dump it (carefully) at sea.
90,000 tonnes of radioactive water added to 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes of normal seawater = problem gone.
Don't forget there are 4.5 billion tonnes of natural uranium dissolved already in the oceans. 90,000 tones of radioactive water (even if with more dangerous isotopes) is next to nothing.
This assumes of course that it can be dispersed and spread relatively evenly, rather than just dumped all in one place. But take a few slightly leaky radioactive barges on a tour around the pacific and it'll be good.
On the Egg Nog ..
"the most powerful earthquake in history"
Uhm, actually, tied for fourth (recorded).
I really wish I had been at your Christmas party.
Musta had the Good Egg Nog ... ;)
Personally, I'm nervous about the next big New Madrid quake. The last time it really let go, it created a hole in Tennessee that was so big that the Mississippi River ran backwards for almost a day to fill it in. (And the Mississippi is a serious river. During the '27 floods, it flooded an area the size of Scotland.)
And it's said that after the initial shock of the February 1812 New Madrid quake, aftershocks were so frequent that in some places the ground more or less kept moving for three days. Imagine living through that, assuming you survived the initial event.
Perceptible aftershocks from that quake lasted until 1917 - five *years* of aftershocks.
Of course there was also widespread liquefaction of the ground, which is most unpleasant, and other difficulties.
I've been in a couple of small earthquakes, and I'm quite happy to be living in a geologically stable area. Of course we're vulnerable to glaciation here, once the next ice age gets going, but I expect to have some warning for that.
Even dispersal of ocean dumpings has been shaken by the appearance of large garbage-patches in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There are large areas of the North Pacific and North Atlantic where the junk is accumulating...
whicwould hardly be an issue
for soluble material like casesium, would it?
I despair of people's understanding of the most basic chemistry and physics.....we obviously have an educational system mainly designed to produce shaved monkeys.
Not so "small"
Trying not to sound like a fanboy: in your appreciation of the late Mr. Jobs, which is mostly spot-on, you say, "Who was this CEO of a relatively small company in the tech sector..." Come again? How do you define small, or large for that matter? Most people use total valuation, which is (today) US$377B for Apple. Microsoft is US$219B, Dell U$26B, and so on. What tech company publicly traded tech company comes close to Apple these days? What was then Apple Computer was once small; what is now Apple, Inc. is very large indeed, love it or hate it. They could lose it all under the new management, or not, but for now, they're the colossus that bestrides the tech world. Sorry they don't answer your calls.
Valuation is not the whole story...
... or even a large part of it. Hell, adjusted for inflation, Apple's market cap is less than three times that of Yahoo's at the latter's 2000 peak - and Apple actually sells something. Market cap and other financials are important data, but to equate market cap with "size" is just foolishness.
In any case, Apple most certainly is not "the colossus that bestrides the tech world". Apple isn't even vaguely involved with most of "the tech world". They make consumer devices - that's it. They have essentially no presence in business transaction processing, for example, except to provide one of many channels for end-consumer purchasing. They have no presence in high-performance scientific computing. They have nothing in embedded computing, aside from their own consumer devices.
Embedded computing represents the vast majority of CPUs in use. High-performance scientific computing covers most of the cycles. Business computing is what has the most influence on the economy, and through it on the orderly functioning of civilization.
Apple has a relatively small share of markets like education and business productivity.
The only places Apple has a large presence are entertainment and high-end personal communication.
If every single Apple device in the world failed tomorrow morning, the effects would be pretty minor. You'd have a lot of panicking iWhatever owners. You'd have some bad effects on Apple stock, eventually. A number of people would suffer some distress because their phones wouldn't work; that might even conceivably cause some deaths.
If, say, every IBM mainframe IMS region stopped working at once, the global financial network would crash. *That* is a "tech colossus".
The other event of 2011 was...
A speaker at Register 2011 claiming it was difficult to get skilled staff, which isn't a surprise when they dismissed their first systems administrator because he "would not fit in", exactly the problem that those with Asperger's face on a daily basis. I still struggle to see how you can call yourself a diverse employer when you do that.
Any chance the exploits by Anonymous were mentioned?