5 of the best gadget resurrections
Nintendo’s GameCube took an almighty pasting from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox (the former reportedly outselling it by eight to one) and its trademark style of cute, cuddly and colourful games was looking dangerously outmoded next to the blood-spattered, roid-fuelled grimness that pervaded the market. Nintendo was on the way out, and only a powerful console that offered the same cutting edge visuals as the freshly-launched PS3 and Xbox 360 could save it, right?
Wrong. Nintendo pulled off a masterstroke in 2006 by unveiling the Wii, a tiny, low-powered console with a revolutionary motion controller and a style of gaming designed to get everyone – even people who wouldn’t know one end of a joypad from the other – involved. While the Wii attracted much criticism from hardcore gamers (much of it valid), from a business point of view it was the best thing Nintendo had ever done. Around 100 millions Wiis have been sold, making it the most successful console of its generation – and making Nintendo a force to be reckoned with once more.
Kim Dotcom and Mega
With over 150 million registered users, Megaupload was one of the most popular file-sharing sites on the Internet and had made its founder, big-boned German Kim Dotcom, a multi-millionaire (Dotcom, who changed his named from Schmitz in 2005, was also the world’s number one Modern Warfare 3 player for a time). But in January 2012 it was shut down by the US Department of Justice and Dotcom was arrested and charged with a number of offences related to digital piracy and other illegal activity.
Currently fighting extradition from his adopted home of New Zealand but still unbowed, Dotcom has just launched Mega.co.nz, a super-encrypted successor to Megaupload that offers 50GB of free storage. In its first two hours of operation it garnered over 250,000 users – and raised a middle finger to the FBI prosecutors.
Founded in 1948, the American company had always been synonymous with instant cameras. But as digital took over the world of photography, Polaroid's relevance diminished until, in 2009, it announced that it would no longer be selling instant film – the market just wasn't big enough. A swift slide into obscurity seemed inevitable, but in 2010 Polaroid signed up Lady Gaga as its Creative Director and started turning out digital photography gear that maintained the spirit and quirkiness and affordability of its original cameras. Take the GL30, for instance (pun intended), a lovely wedge-shaped snapper that prints digital shots instantly using ZINK thermal printing tech (no shaking like a Polaroid picture required).
A name that'll be familiar to a generation of Brits who went to school in the 1980s and 90s, Acorn broke up into several independent divisions in 1998. One of these, the Advanced Research and Development division, is now ARM, the company responsible for those tiny, energy efficient processors that power the iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S4 and many other mobile devices. ARM doesn't actually make the processors itself, instead licensing the architecture to manufacturers – and in the process making itself into arguably the most successful British technology company of recent times. From small Acorns, yadda yadda...
Steve Jobs founded Apple in 1976 and led it to success in the early 80s off the back of the Macintosh computer. However, Jobs was ousted in 1985 by a board of directors fed up with his tendency for expensive explorations of new product types, and the result was years of decline culminating in near-bankruptcy in 1997. Jobs returned to the company as CEO, swiftly re-establishing profitability and then launching the iMac in 1998, a product that transformed Apple's image – as well as making the company a lot of money. This was followed by the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad, all of which established Apple as much more than a computer manufacturer. And now? Well, it enjoys a market value of over $500 billion, and looks on-course to become the world's first ever trillion-dollar company.
Max and Annie played by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, ...
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