A panel of experts named John McAfee, Elon Musk, and the market itself as their tech personalities of the year.
The group was selected to provide their insights on which technology news stories stood out and who the newsmakers were of 2012, and included:
- Rudolph Muller, founder and editor of MyBroadband
- Gareth Vorster, editor of BusinessTech
- Arthur Goldstuck, MD of research firm World Wide Worx and editor of Gadget.co.za
Panellists weren’t restricted to a set list of people to choose from, but could name anyone they wished.
John McAfee (Rudolph Muller)
John McAfee is probably most widely known in the tech space for being the founder of anti-virus company McAfee Associates. McAfee was the first to distribute anti-virus software under a shareware license.
McAfee made a remarkable return to news headlines in April 2012 when his home in Belize was raided by police on suspicion of illegal drug manufacture and unlicensed gun ownership. Although he was arrested, he was not charged with any crimes.
In November 2012 Belize police began searching for McAfee as a person of interest in a murder case. The man murdered was his neighbour. McAfee fled to Guatemala where he was eventually tracked down and detained pending deportation back to Belize.
Through legal wrangling and faking a heart attack, McAfee managed to stave off deportation to Belize, and has now been deported to the United States.
Elon Musk (Gareth Vorster)
South African American entrepreneur Elon Musk made his way back into tech headlines in May 2012 when his SpaceX Dragon vehicle made history as the first commercial company to launch and dock a vehicle to the International Space Station.
The market (Arthur Goldstuck)
The tech market proved very exciting in 2012, both locally and abroad.
South Africa’s telecoms and tech businesses had many ups and downs, from the launch of LTE services by mobile operators, to SA government’s blocking of the Telkom/KT Corp deal, while the international market was enthralled by the dramatic Facebook IPO and subsequent stock price free-fall.
Marissa Mayer, who jumped across from Google to head up Yahoo in July 2012 also received a special mention.