Thursday, January 28, 2016

TOP 10


Top 10 

  • 10. Kim Kardashian’s Butt

    Kim Kardashian Paper Magazine
    Jean-Paul Goude—Paper
    Many people become viral sensations by mistake. Internet fame kind of just falls into their lap — and sometimes they truly never wanted it to begin with. But other people — like, say, Kim Kardashian —specifically set out to achieve the kind of buzz that “breaks” the Internet. Kardashianposed on the cover of Paper magazine in November baring her very naked, very shiny butt, and the headline actually read, “Break the Internet: Kim Kardashian.” On Nov. 12, one day after publishing the story, Paper’swebsite saw 6.6. million page views. The next day, the site generated nearly 15.9 million page views and reached over 11 million unique visitors. The Internet simply could not get enough of Kim’s derrière, soon turning it into the subject of countless memes. Some people criticized her for baring her booty — she’s amother, after all — while others commended her for an artful, provocative cover shoot. Either way, NOBODY would stop talking about (and, probably, looking at) her butt. So no, Kim did not literally break the Internet, but she came very close.
  • 9. The Potato Salad Kickstarter

    Zack Brown, Potato Salad Kickstarter
    Chris Russell—The Columbus Dispatch/AP
    When some guy who goes by the name Zack “Danger” Brown got a craving for potato salad, he started a Kickstarter to try and raise the $10 needed to purchase the ingredients. “Basically I’m just making potato salad,” he explained on his fundraising page. “I haven’t decided what kind yet.” In the “Risks and challenges” section, he wrote, “It might not be that good. It’s my first potato salad.” Somehow, over the course of a few days, that silly Internet joke grew into a huge viral phenomenon. Word spread about this peculiar fundraising initiative and Brown ultimately raised more than $55,000. He ended up using the money not to make the world’s largest vat of potato salad, but instead to throw a public party calledPotatoStock in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, in September. Of course, he did make plenty of potato salad at the event, which raised money for nonprofits that fight hunger in Ohio. (Oh, Brown also gave a shoutout to another one of the year’s viral sensations, the Ice Bucket Challenge, by dumping a bucket of Idaho yellow potatoes over his head.)
  • 8. The “Sexy Felon”

    Jeremy Meeks
    Stockton Police Department—Getty Images
    Oh, Jeremy Meeks. When the mugshot of this undeniably good-looking convicted felon, first posted by the police department of Stockton, Calif., began circulating in June, the Internet took a collective double-take before devolving into a mess of giddy, swooning schoolgirls. Overlooking the fact that police called him “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area,” citizens of the Internet were determined to make Meeks a star, with some rallying to get him a modeling contract. Though several news outlets said that that happened, those reports were ultimately false. But really, who needs an official modeling contract when just one photo of your blue-eyed, chiseled, stoic face can capture the entire Internet’s heart?
  • 7. Renée Zellweger

    Renee Zellweger
    Steve Granitz—WireImage/Getty Images
    The 45-year-old actress made an appearance at an average Hollywood red carpet event in October. Not a huge deal, right? But then people noticed that something about her was different. Headlines asked “What HAS Renée Zellweger done to her face?” and urged us to stop what we were doing to look at it. Her name soon became a trending topic on Twitter as countless people commented on (not to mention mocked and shamed) the actress’s new look. As dozens of news outlets posted photos of her new visage, it was clear that people simply couldn’t get enough. Zellweger soon responded to the Internet’s incessant chatter, telling People, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” Of course, she thought all this chatter was “silly” but chose to address it because, as she said, “it seems the folks who come digging around for some nefarious truth which doesn’t exist won’t get off my porch until I answer the door.” As the speculation continued, some articles, like this one published on, urged everyone to just let it go and leave her (and her face) alone. “There is a very real reason Zellweger would want a whole new face,” Brian Moylan wrote. “We were all incredibly mean to her old one.”
  • 6. The Apparently Kid

    Noah Ritter was just a normal five-year-old kid, living his normal five-year-old life in Pennsylvania, until ascene-stealing appearance on a local news segment in August changed everything. The video began spreading across the web, and he became affectionately known as the Apparently Kid, thanks to his, uh, apparent affinity for the word “apparently.” His original video racked up more than 17 million views, and since then, he’s madeseveral appearances on Ellen and has even done a commercial for a pet food company. Though Internet fame can of course be incredibly fleeting, people still seem to love the Apparently Kid several months after he made his web debut.
  • 5. The iPhone 6 Release

    iPhone 6
    People always go nuts whenever there’s a new iProduct, but people went especiallynuts about the iPhone 6, which made its official debut on Sept. 19. But along with the rabid excitement about the device — which led many people to wait in obscenely long lines for obscene amounts of time — came a slew of bizarre complaints. Most notably: several users claimed the 6.2-inch-tall phone was bending in their pockets. Soon enough, a #Bendgate hashtag was born, putting all the complaints — many with photographic evidence — in one place. (The online outrage grew enough to prompt a response from Apple.) Next up was #Hairgate, where users complained that the phone was ripping out their hair. Strands would get caught, outraged victims explained, in the seam between the device’s glass and aluminum. In the end, these controversies were, of course, pretty negligible. In just three days, Apple sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

  • 4. Taylor Swift’s New Album

    Taylor Swift
    Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images
    In its first week alone, Taylor Swift’s fifth album, 1989, sold 1.287 million copies. That’s quite a few, of course, but not supersurprising — because there was a huge amount of online promotion leading up to the Oct. 27 release, generated by both Swift herself and by her hordes of diehard fans. It all began in early August, when she began sharing cryptic clues on Instagram that pointed to an Aug. 18 livestream, when she officially announced her “first documented, official pop album.” From there, Tay-Tay continued promoting the album, teasing songs and interacting with fans on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. She reposted fans’ videos, shared snippets of lyrics and generally drummed up tons of interest before the album even came out. And of course, once it officially debuted, the Internet exploded. Finally, T-Swift diehards and skeptics alike seemed to sigh. It’s finally here. Swift, meanwhile, created some new hashtags that quickly became trending topics — #TS1989 to represent the album, along with #taylurking, a portmanteau of “Taylor” and “lurking” that she created to creep on her fans enjoying the new album. And then, of course, there were the two music videos she released: “Shake It Off,” which has already racked up hundreds of millions of views, and“Blank Space,” which earned 24 million views in just three days.

  • 3. The Ice Bucket Challenge

    Even people who spend a reasonable, limited amount of time on the Internet couldn’t escape the Ice Bucket Challenge, the phenomenon that dominated social media for weeks and weeks this summer. Participants — including a huge number of celebrities — shared videos of themselves dumping ice water over their heads, all part of an effort to raise money and awareness for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) The videos spread far and wide, with Bill Gates’ version racking up 20 million views and Charlie Sheen’s getting nearly as many. Eventually, the craze died down — and the ALS Association ended up raising $115 million to fight the disease.
  • 2. Solange and Jay Z’s Elevator Fight

    Back in May, video of Beyoncé’s sister Solange punching and kicking her brother-in-law Jay Z in a hotel elevator leaked online thanks to TMZ. The incident, which happened at New York’s Standard Hotel after the Met Gala, immediately sparked a thousand reactions and questions and theories and jokes and guesses about#WhatJayZSaidToSolange. It was all such a mystery, and we were all totally captivated. A few days after the footage surfaced, the family released a statement, assuring everyone that “our family has worked through it.” They added, “We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.” Of course, it took a while for the Internet to really move on. Speculation about whatreally went down continues to this day, although at a much lower volume. For the most part, though, everyone has mostly accepted that we’ll never really know what happened. But we’ll always remember that video.
  • 1. The Celebrity Nude Photo Leak

    Jennifer Lawrence
    Stuart C. Wilson—Getty Images
    In late August and early September, hacked photos belonging to female celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst leaked online and spread across sites like 4chan, Imgur and Reddit. Naturally, extreme online chaos ensued. People scrambling to view the photos, other scrambling to get them taken down. People imploring their fellow citizens of the Internet not to viewthe images, others panicking about the security of their own photos stored in Apple’s iCloud. About a month after the photos leaked, Jennifer Lawrence opened up about the saga to Vanity Fair. “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” she said. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting.” Actress Gabrielle Union, another victim of the hack, described the situation like this: “It felt likeThe Hunger Games: You’re waiting to be attacked. People are critiquing and judging, cheering for more. They’re shouting, ‘Next! Next!’” Though the initial shock and chaos has quieted down, the hack continues to prompt discussions about privacy, security and violation.
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  • 10. OneShot

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Sometimes it’s tough to share an article on social media and highlight the exact paragraph or quote you want people to see. OneShot takes care of that for you — just take a screenshot of the page, then OneShot will automatically generate a link and let you share it out with a comment.
  • 9. Lifeline

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Lifeline changes what a mobile game can be, bringing text adventure games into the modern era. Players are “contacted” by a lost astronaut, who you must guide to safety — or to an untimely demise. The $.99 app also works well with the Apple Watch.
  • 8. Pause

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Most of the time, the stuff we see on our smartphones stresses us out — emails from the boss, missed calls from Mom, and so on. Take a break from all that chaos with Pause, a “mindfulness app” that provides a poor man’s version of meditation on the go.
  • 7. Microsoft Translator

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Translation apps are getting increasingly accurate, thanks to cloud processing and other advancements. Microsoft’s latest attempt is one of the best out there, a handy tool for international travelers especially.
  • 6. Photoshop Fix

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Adobe Photoshop has long been the domain of serious imaging professionals. But now some of that power is on your mobile device, too. Photoshop Fix brings some of the image editing software’s best features to your phone, letting you retouch images before sharing them with the world.
  • 5. Cleen

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    For many people, smartphones have entirely replaced point-and-shoot cameras. But that means we have lots of snapshots hogging up the precious memory on our devices. Quickly get rid of the photos you don’t need anymore with Cleen’s Tinder-like swipe-to-delete interface.
  • 4. Periscope

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    The Twitter-owned Periscope certainly isn’t the first live-streaming app on the market. But somehow, it’s the most addictive. Maybe that’s because streaming video via Periscope makes it easy to get instant feedback from your live audience, letting you know what they want to see.
  • 3. Starbucks Mobile Ordering

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Almost one in five payments at Starbucks’ U.S. stores happen on the company’s well-designed mobile app. That factor is sure to climb with a recent update that lets coffee drinkers order and pay for their drinks even before arriving at a Starbucks location, meaning they can grab their lattes without waiting on line.
  • 2. Snapchat

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    Snapchat has been around since 2011, but this was the year it really took off. The ephemeral photo-messaging app’s best new feature? Stories, which let users build a series of photos and videos that tell the tale of an epic night out or afternoon at the ballpark before disappearing forever.
  • 1. HBO Now

    Photo Illustration by Josh Raab for TIME
    HBO’s first-ever standalone streaming product gives viewers access to the network’s original shows, fromGame of Thrones toSilicon Valley, for $14.99 a month without a cable subscription. It started life as an Apple exclusive, but now works across multiple devices.
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  • 10. Light L16

    Light L16
    Even as smartphones largely replace point-and-shoot cameras, there’s plenty of interesting experimentation happening in photography. One example is the Light L16 camera, a futuristic-looking shooter that’s really 16 separate cameras in one. For each image, the L16 uses up to 10 of its lenses at once, then blends those shots into a high-quality amalgamation. Shooters can also adjust the depth of field of their image after it was taken, impossible with most cameras.
  • 9. Samsung 16TB SSD

    Samsung 16TB Solid State Drive
    It might sound silly to get excited over something as simple as a hard drive, but Samsung gives us good reason here. This new drive is among the biggest SSD hard drives ever made — in terms of storage space, not physical dimensions. The drive can hold up to 16 terabytes of data; an entry-level iPhone stores less than 2% of that.
  • 8. LittleBits Gizmos & Gadgets kit

    LittleBits Gizmos & Gadgets kit
    Little Bits Electronics
    Parents are hearing all the time about how important it is for their children to learn STEM skills — that is, science, technology, engineering and math. One way to help young ones get some hands-on tech time is with Little Bits’ Gizmos & Gadgets kit, a pack of color-coded circuits, control boards and wiring that helps kids learn how their video game consoles and smartphones actually work under the hood.
  • 7. Garmin Varia

    741 people were killed in bicycle-related roadway deaths in 2013, according to government data. One solution could be the Garmin Varia, which takes your boring old bike and adds a high-tech radar display, alerting you when cars are approaching from behind. That situational awareness should make cycling on busy roads much safer.
  • 6. The DJI Inspire

    DJI Inspire
    Close your eyes and imagine a drone — not the military kind, but the type you might see zipping around above your local park. Odds are, the design you’re imagining looks like DJI’s Phantom series, one of the most popular models out there. The Inspire is the Phantom’s bolder, more expensive cousin, looking like something that beamed down from an alien planet to record aerial footage of Earth.
  • 5. OnePlus 2

    OnePlus 2
    Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is a small fish in a very big pond, but it stands to grow very quickly. Its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 2, offers top-notch specs at an entry-level price: $329 with no contract. The catch? Shoppers need an invite to buy one, a stipulation that’s only added to the hype around this Android handset.
  • 4. New Horizons Probe

    New Horizons Probe
    NASA’s New Horizonsprobe was launched way back in 2006. But its time to shine was July 14, 2015, when the craft came within 7,750 miles of Pluto, snapping photos as it passed. Shortly thereafter, New Horizons started beaming back valuable data about our far-off celestial neighbor, including the most high-resolution and, frankly, stunning imagery we’ve ever seen.
  • 3. Google self-driving car

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (R) and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt (L) ride in a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California.
    Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
    What happens to car design when humans don’t need to drive them anymore? Google’s self-driving car gives us a clue. It has a bubbly, Beetle-like exterior, while the interior ditches the suddenly unnecessary steering wheel. Google has no plans to bring this particular model to market; it’s merely a testbed for the company’s autonomous driving technology.
  • 2. Self-balancing scooters

    IO HAWK Intelligent Personal Mobility Device
    After stars like Justin Bieber and Wiz Khalifa were spotted zipping around on these things, they were suddenly everywhere. They’re bound to be a big hit this holiday season, but a copyright dispute may make them hard to find on store shelves.
  • 1. Microsoft HoloLens

    While much of the technology world is gaga over virtual reality, Microsoft is making a big bet in a similar-sounding but very different direction: Mixed reality. Wear the HoloLens, and holographic images will suddenly appear around your physical environment. The headset is potentially useful for professionals from surgeons to space astronauts.
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