2020 has (finally) come to an end: a long and tiring year that has put us all to the test, but technology and information technology have never stopped. In many cases they have provided fundamental help in the fight against the pandemic, taking technological innovation to the highest levels . We have therefore decided to retrace the main events of this past year, with the hope that the next one will be able to take advantage of the progress of 2020 to go even further.
Coronavirus and technology
We will all remember this year for the worst of reasons. The coronavirus has upset everyone's lives and changed our perception of every activity, even the simplest and most obvious one. During these difficult months , information technology and technology have put themselves at the complete service of man , giving us innovations that we would not have thought of seeing in such fast times.
In the face of the growing global concern for the virus , interactive maps for the control of infections have been created , with constantly updated data and explanatory graphics. The Italian civil protection also provided its map of infections in real time, to check the national trend. And there are also those who refused to sell their tracking portal for 8 million: Avi Schiffman, only 17, preferred to continue managing it alone.
Technology from around the world has lined up against the coronavirus , reinventing itself and making its own contribution. And so Razer began producing masks, Open Source Mask provided the projects for 3D mask printing and there are those who designed low-cost fans with Arduino and RaspberryPi . Even the "big names" have taken to the field for the production of fans: both NASA and CERN have designed, produced and distributed the technology necessary to fight the virus.
Even supercomputers have done their part , and among these we can boast the Italian Marconi100, a computer from CINECA that has accelerated research on coronavirus. Japan instead unlined Fugaku , a new supercomputer based on ARM processors. Information technology and technology have experienced exponential growth in 2020.
Italian technology in the field: here is Immuni
Italy has brought the contact tracing app to the market that has been talked about throughout the year. We are obviously talking about Immuni , developed for the tracking of infections and with the aim of containing the growth of the virus . Among doubts about privacy and the processing of personal data, the application has not achieved the desired success, despite having made its source code available for download . Immuni has some problems with contact tracing due to the technology it uses, but the advantages could still have been high if it had been used unanimously: since it was made available for download it has in fact blocked several outbreaks.
The news of IT and technology in 2020
Computing and technology have seen many innovations in 2020, some of which have left us speechless. The year seemed to start in the best way with the news of the Kali Linux distro , even more geared towards IT security. In June the 5.8 Torvalds release , the largest ever, was presented , demonstrating that Linux is constantly evolving.
Elon Musk certainly couldn't stay in a corner, not even with the coronavirus. His Neuralink was the protagonist of several conferences and debates throughout the year, especially after the announcement of the possibility of listening to music with the brain . The entrepreneur started looking for engineers and collaborators to carry out his innovative project. Music protagonist also with 8D technology , a listening experience that with binaural sounds has upset the classic audio and cheered us during the lockdown.
Even the mobile device industry hasn't stopped, despite the impossibility of presenting the news live. In April, the long-awaited OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro arrived , bringing the company to the premium range of mobile devices. Apple, like every year, showed the world its new jewels: first the new Watch and iPad then, in a separate and dedicated event, it proposed the new iPhone 12 . Despite the inability to present its products live, the company still managed to stand out with its new devices.
Realme also officially inaugurated the era of 5G smartphones with its X50 Pro and POCO F2 Pro , standing out among the competitors for the reduced price despite the top-of-the-range features. The company then brought the 7 5G , the latest generation low-cost smartphone to Europe. The device is the most affordable so far, given its features and 5G support.
The protagonist of 2020: the PS5
PS5 was one of the few joys of the year . By almost completely overshadowing the latest Xbox , the console created a lot of expectations and was greeted with great enthusiasm by gamers. Everyone has been waiting for her for a whole year and finally in November she arrived in our homes. Well, not everyone: the console was in such demand that it sold out stocks in less than an hour. With a completely new design it has become the object of desire of many, especially at a time when video games are one of the few hobbies that can keep us busy . The console has been out for just over a month and, despite some problems, the feedback seems to be positive . We will certainly remember it as one of the positive aspects of this difficult year.
Informatics and technology: the year of ARM
ARM was also among the protagonists of 2020. When Apple announced the new devices, it also specified that it would abandon Intel processors in favor of ARM , completely changing the architecture. The future Macbooks were also approved by Linus Torvalds himself , who said he was in favor of the choice of Apple and the benefits that will derive from it.
One developer managed to run Windows on new Macs with ARM, which is not natively supported, using QEMU. And maybe Microsoft got the idea from this when they decided to work on proprietary ARM-based chips . In fact, the news has leaked that the Redmond company is secretly working on this architectural shift , also abandoning Intel.
ARM looks just like a goose that lays golden eggs, which is why Nvidia bought it for $ 40 billion last September. Will the purchase impact Apple and Microsoft? We'll see. What is certain is that this union will benefit both companies and will be the starting point for great innovations.
The cyber attacks (and downs) of the last year
Among the protagonists of the year is PornHub, but for a very different reason than what it represents. We will always remember your proposal to help INPS when the boom in requests for the "Cura Italia" decree sent the site into a tailspin and a leak exposed the sensitive data of many users. Disastrous year for Italian services: not even the Italian Post Office was saved from the bad guys , recording a phishing attack against the SPID .
In 2020 we have seen several hacker attacks, including the major attack on Twitter against, among many others, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. A news that has left everyone stunned: the hack has allowed the attackers to earn 60 thousand dollars . Damage also for Lady Gaga, Elton John and Facebook itself when, last May, their law firm was attacked by the REvil ransomware . A ransomware was also the protagonist of the first hacker attack that possibly caused the death of a person , hitting (by mistake) a hospital.
In September, however, news emerged of a possible leak of the Windows XP code , one of the most popular operating systems for which the source code seems to have been published and made available for download. Staying at Microsoft, a resale of access data for the accounts of the Office365 suite of executives from companies around the world was discovered in November. And in recent days, the massive sale of ho.mobile users' data , also on the dark web, of which the extent of the damage is not yet known. 2020 continues to surprise us until the last.
With the increase in smart working, videoconferencing software has experienced a boom in use . Both Google, Teams and Zoom, however, have been the protagonists of bugs and flaws found throughout the year. In the first case, a Drive flaw allowed malware to be sent via file sharing. Zoom, among the most used software during the lockdown, found a bug related to shared links , while Teams proved to be vulnerable to a GIF that allowed the user account to be stolen.
We will not easily forget Google's general downturn in mid-December, closely followed by Telegram . The Mountain View company's main services were down for an hour, blocking communications and operations around the world. Before them all Facebook services have experienced an interruption: l ast September Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have been offline for nearly an hour. For the last one it was an unfortunate year: even in June WhatsApp had registered several problems, immediately after the news of the thousands of phone numbers of its users found in the clear on Google . The Italian app IO also experienced its crash after the activation of the cashback , which lasted for more than a week.
IT and technology: the big names we greeted
In this strange and difficult year we have unfortunately had to say goodbye to several names in IT. Larry Tesler , the inventor of copy-paste, passed away on February 17th . The computer scientist, famous for his copy & paste interface, also worked on the creation of TinyTalk and the law behind human-machine interaction.
The coronavirus did not make any distinctions, and on April 11th it took away John Conway, the inventor of the "Game of Life" . Considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, Conway is the creator of one of the best known and most implemented computer programs in the world , which is based on the concept of cellular automaton.
Bill Gates had to say goodbye to his father , William H. Gates, last September. The sudden death of the man had a great impact on the entrepreneur, who told of the not always easy relationship with his father. The lawyer had a strong influence on him.
In short, 2020 was a tumultuous year but also full of news and innovation for technology and information technology. The IT world has shown that it can adapt and reinvent itself to cope with various difficulties. On the other hand, this is exactly what technology does: constantly evolve, seek new spaces of expression and help mankind to run towards the future .