Highs and lows for tech in 2013


2012 was just a warm-up: 2013 was the real dawn of 4G in the UK

…and so does the next generation

Nintendo might disagree - its Wii U launched last year - but 2013 was the year the next generation of consoles arrived in the form of the Xbox One and the PS4. The marketing has been more interesting than the games so far: Microsoft's campaign was so bad we wondered if Sony had infiltrated its PR team.

Xbox One

Superb hardware accompanied by superbly cack-handed marketing

FIFA's eye on the ball

FIFA isn't just an enormous gaming franchise: it is, of course, football's global governing body. This year it announced that it would be deploying goal line technology in the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup. The aim is to prevent controversies like 2010's famous "goal that never was".

Spy nets and Skynet

Perhaps the most depressing story of the year was the revelation that the entire internet appears to have been compromised by the US and other security services to carry out massive and indiscriminate surveillance. So it was a little worrying to discover in late December that Google had bought Boston Dynamics, purveyor of truly terrifying military robots. We'd love to know how being a military contractor fits with Google's famous "don't be evil" motto, as it seems more like "let's become Skynet". But Google isn't the only tech firm with a military division: Samsung's Techwin division makes military robots too. We think we know where this is heading…

Boston Dynamics

Google's recruitment campaign for Google+ takes on a terrifying new dimension

Elon wheels

Who will defend us from our evil robotic overlords? If we were going to pin our hopes on anybody, it'd be charismatic Tesla Motors founder and Iron Man inspiration Elon Musk. Not content with revolutionising the car industry he's behind the Space X space programme and found time to design Hyperloop, an extraordinary transportation system that can turn humans into pink mist at the speed of sound - er, we mean get people from city to city in the blink of an eye. If anyone's going to save us from the robot armies, it's him.


When we're bored we doodle. Elon Musk invents futuristic transport systems
Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.