The Year in News: What Happened Next (Stories From January-February 2017)

It’s that time of year again when we look back at some of the news stories we’ve covered in 2017 and update you on later developments. We kick off in January when Razer showed off its design for a fold-out triple-screen laptop for ‘big’ screen gaming on the move. It turned out to be so popular at CES that somebody stole two prototypes from the stand and tried to sell them on a Chinese shopping site. Though there’s now an official website for Project Valerie, it’s yet to go on sale.

A video of a woman in labor wearing a Chewbacca mask prompted debate about whether it was a deliberate attempt to ‘go viral’ by ripping off a previous video. The woman in the original, Candace Payne, was later the subject of a fascinating piece in which a writer tracked her rise and fall in Internet ‘fame’ via Google News alerts.

Apple was said to be launching its own full-length original TV shows as part of the Apple Music subscription. In August we learned it has committed a billion dollars to the project but Carpool Karaoke aside, all that’s made it to ‘broadcast’ so far has been an app-themed take on Shark Tank.

Amazon and the BBC announced plans for an adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, to air on Amazon Prime Video first and then BBC television. Originally scheduled for a 2018 debut (in line with the book’s story), it’s now been pushed back until 2019. David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Anna Maxwell Martin and Jon Hamm have all been confirmed as cast members.

In February, the newly appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai cancelled an investigation into mobile broadband providers excluding specific video sites from customers’ monthly data allowances. It was seen as the first step of looser enforcement of net neutrality rules. That proved an accurate assumption and by the end of the year, the FCC abolished the rules altogether.  The debate looks set to continue both in Congress and the courts.

A $400 box aimed to not only solve the problem of limited HDMI slots on TVs but also the bewildering range of remotes, devices, apps and interfaces in today’s streaming video homes. Caavo is an eight-input ‘content agnostic’ HDMI switcher that brings all major streaming services and cable programming guides into a single searchable and browsable interface. We won’t have to wait long to see if it works as the first 5,000 units will ship on Valentine’s Day.

Lego confirmed it would take up a contest suggestion to produce a five-figure Women of NASA set. It’s now become a reality, though the line-up was reduced to four (Margaret Hamilton, Nancy Grace Roman, Mae Jemison and Sally Ride) after Lego was unable to reach an agreement with Katherine Johnson to use her likeness.

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