We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone original:
iPhone 5 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our image gallery comparing it to previous iPhone designs served as our most popular post in all of 2012.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2011!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
Developer Kuma Games has released an update to its first-person-shooter Kuma War 2 that allows gamers to protect—or kill—Osama Bin Laden. And this isn't just some Unreal Tournament-style skin job: No, Kuma Games has faithfully recreated a map based on the assault on Bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan compound.
The mission, "Osama 2011," comes as the 107th and likely final update to the company's free squad-based first-person shooter. When joining the game, Kuma War players are automatically assigned to one of two teams for the final Bin Laden mission: U.S. Navy SEALS, tasked with killing Bin Laden and recovering the body, or Bin Laden defenders, who have to save Bin Laden from harm by eliminating all opposing players.
"At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day," said Kuma Games CEO Keith Halper in an interview with Forbes. "We hope that by telling their stories with such a powerful medium that we enable the American public to gain a better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face."
"Can you imagine what's on Osama bin Laden's hard drive?"
That's the question a U.S. official posed to Politico recently in an article that revealed the government is now in possession of the deceased terrorist leader's computers.
The Navy SEALs who infiltrated bin Laden's compound Sunday, killing him and several others, also confiscated computer drives and disks that the U.S. official said was "the mother lode of intelligence." The contents of those machines are currently being torn apart at a secret location in Afghanistan.
"It's going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable," the official told Politico.
Osama bin Laden has likely stayed off the grid for the past decade in order to evade capture, but was it his aversion to tech that actually did him in?
During a late-night press briefing on bin Laden's death, the White House said that the Abbottabad, Pakistan's compound's lack of an Internet connection was one of the things that tipped off investigators.
"It's also noteworthy that the property is valued at approximately $1 million but has no telephone or Internet service connected to it. The brothers had no explainable source of wealth," a senior administration offical told reporters.
The brothers in question are a trusted bin Laden courier and his sibling. The White House said intelligence officials became aware of this courier four years ago thanks to information provided by detainees, but only uncovered his location in August 2010.
White House officials said they were "shocked" by the compound.
Update: We've updated the image.
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces, Google has updated Google Maps to show the location of bin Laden's compound. Above, you can see how it looks with satellite view turned on. Just search for "Osama bin Laden Compound" in Google Maps to get a look yourself.