The Arab Spring technically began in 2010, but didn't gain traction and international awareness until early 2011. Protesters in countries including, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain took to the streets demanding change.
But the revolution wasn't televised, rather it was tweeted, Facebooked and YouTubed. The protesters used social media to organize, mobilize and document the events with such success that Egypt shut down the Internet and cell phone networks on Jan. 27.
On March 2, Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco to introduce the world to iPad 2. The reception was the typical frenzy that surrounds Apple products. Jobs introduced a 33 percent thinner body, software upgrades and a new "A5" chip.
On April 20, Sony was forced to shut down the PlayStation Network for 23 days due to a massive security breach. The hackers accessed 77 million accounts and stole sensitive data, such as password, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth.
On May 27 Anthony Weiner became the biggest victim of a Twitter "DM Fail" when the New York congressman accidentally tweeted lewd photos of himself to followers. Weiner immediately claimed to be a victim of hacking. His story changed after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart insisted he had additional photos of the congressman. Weiner ultimately admitted his wrongdoing on June 6 and resigned on June 16.
On Jan. 26, London's Metropolitan Police Service announced that it would further allegations that News of the World employees were hacking telephones of public figures, celebrities and the family of victims of tragedies like 9/11.
No single brand rocketed from relative anonymity in the U.S. to buzz-worthy the way Spotify did in 2011. The music service got a little help from rumors that Facebook was courting Spotify to join forces with the social network.
Spotify successfully launched in the U.S. on July 14 on an invitation-only basis. Turns out, there was some truth to the Facebook rumors. When chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new "open graph," Spotify was its primary example of "frictionless sharing."
On Aug. 15, Google announced the purchase of Motorola Mobility for a whopping $12.5 billion. The move sent shock waves through the smartphone industry. Suddenly the hardware manufacturers that relied on Google's mobile operating system, Android, found a potential face-off with the search engine giant. And for the first time in its history, Google joined the hardware world.
No product launch this year matched the frenzy of iPhone 4S. Although, it seemed like the entire world was anticipating the iPhone 5 this year, there was no love lost when Tim Cook announced the iPhone 4S on Oct. 4 at the "Let's Talk iPhone" event.
Search for the news at launch nearly crashed tech blogs across the web. It was officially a success. Pre-orders hit 1 million in the first 24 hours and we still can't stop talking about Siri, the iPhone 4S' main draw.
Steve Jobs started the year making headlines, when he took a medical leave on Jan. 17 to focus on his health. The co-founder of Apple left day-to-day operations to chief operating officer Tim Cook, but made an appearance at the iPad 3 launch in March.
Speculation over his health was heightened when Jobs stepped down as chief executive officer of Apple on Aug. 24. "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know," Jobs wrote in his resignation letter.
They called it the iPad killer. No, that didn't happen, but the Kindle Fire was the first tablet to give Apple real competition. Priced at $199, compared to the iPad at $499, it offered an affordable, mainstream alternative to Apple's tablet.
Amazon didn't release exact numbers, but the company claims that 1 million Kindles are sold a week. Released on Nov. 15, the 7-inch tablet became the hottest gift idea of the 2011 holiday season.
After 10-years of trying, the ICM Registry succeeded in getting .xxx top-level domains approved. Opposition to the TLD came from all sides, from religious groups to the porn industry. Conservatives felt like the domains would spread more adult content on the Internet. Big brands and some universities found themselves paying a lot of money for brand protection, so that sites like Coke.xxx or Hoosiers.xxx would never be a reality.