The most-clicked 512tech stories of 2016

A look back at which stories our readers liked best. Some of them might surprise you.

Posted December 28th, 2016

The first calendar year of 512tech’s life has been an exciting one.

Back in March, the American-Statesman launched our new technology reporting website --  just days before the South by Southwest Interactive Festival kicked off. 

The site’s mission: To be a leading source for news and analysis of Austin’s tech scene, exploring the culture and innovation of startups, established players and the city’s vibrant tech communities. 

We’ve spent the past 10 months working to fulfill that mission. Along the way we’ve generated millions of page views on our stories -- and those page views have told us a lot about the type of technology stories our readers care about and want to read. 


To close out 2016, we thought we’d share the Top 10 most-clicked stories on our site.

Some of these Top 10 stories will be popular for obvious reasons. Others might surprise you. 

One caveat: We deliberately excluded photo galleries from this list. Otherwise, half this list would be photo galleries. One thing we learned this year was that our readers really, really like to look at pictures.

At any rate, here are the 10 stories you, our readers, clicked on the most in the past year. 

10. Dell Technologies confirms layoffs


First comes merger, then comes layoffs. After Dell closed its $58 billion purchase of EMC Corp. in September the tech company confirmed that it was conducting layoffs. 

The announcement, which happened in October, didn’t disclose how many employees would be affected. Dell is the largest tech employer in Central Texas.

9. 3M sells its 156-acre campus


Materials company 3M announced in August it was selling its 156-acre campus in Austin, which it built in 1988, surprising many in Austin’s tech scene. The company employs 300 people in Austin. 

The CEO of the company emailed employees to to tell them they would “explore opportunities for buyers,” of the site, which is at RM 620 and RM 2222. 

8. We tested seven of Austin’s post-Uber/Lyft ride-hailing apps


In July, seven reporters from across the American-Statesman’s newsroom tested the various ride-hailing apps that had popped up in the absence of Uber and Lyft with a trip to Hyde Park Bar & Grill. 

The results, which were also summarized in a nifty chart format, showed that these ride-hailing services were typically not cheaper than what Uber and Lyft offered and in many cases were not easier to use. 

(We should note this test was done in July and some of these ride-hailing services have since dropped their prices and improved their technology.) 

7. Dell tops HP in PC sales


It was big news in April when Dell shipped more desktops and laptops in the first quarter than any other computer maker. That’s because it was the first time Dell had reached that No.1 position in seven years. 

Dell’s biggest rival, HP Inc., came in second. Dell shipped 3.5 million computers that quarter, which gave it a market share of about 26 percent.

6. Google Fiber install draws complaints


Not everyone is happy about Google’s decision to bring its super-fast Google Fiber service to Austin. 

When the tech company began work installing the infrastructure for this high-speed Internet service to Austin, hundreds of complaints were logged with the city over construction and installation. 

An American-Statesman investigation published in February showed that there were 363 complaints connected to the Google Fiber installation filed with the city. The complaints focused on damage to homes, landscaping and lawn, trespassing and other disruptions, such as trucks blocking private driveways.

5. What I learned about fraud when my Uber account was hacked


When someone took an Australian joyride using 512tech reporter Lilly Rockwell’s Uber account, she turned lemons into lemonade and wrote about the experience. 

Rockwell learned that a habit of using the same password on multiple accounts is probably what led to her Uber login and password being hacked, and got some tips on how to avoid getting hacked again. 

4. Apple dives deeper into Austin talent pool


In September we reported that Apple was discreetly building a new engineering center in Austin at Loop 360 and Bee Cave Road. Apple employs about 500 people there. (Yes, we have photos too.)

Apple has created more than 6,000 jobs in Austin, making this city its largest U.S. hub outside of its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. That factoid generated loads of national and even international interest as this story was picked up by Fortune magazine

3. Why Dell encourages its employees to work from home


It’s safe to say that working from home is a popular workplace topic. 

Round Rock-based Dell is embracing a work-from-home philosophy with a goal of 50 percent of its workforce working remotely either full-time or part-time by 2020. The company says it is already at 25 percent. 

Dell says the average employee works remotely 9.7 times per month, and its Texas-based remote workers work from home 18 out of 20 days a month. Dell says this isn’t just about making employees happy. It also is more environmentally-friendly and saves the company money by consolidating office space. 

2. Here’s how you can own a former Austin tech CEO’s multimillion-dollar mansion

Concierge Auctions

It seems the words “mansion” and “tech CEO” are irresistible to our readers. 

When former software tech CEO Ross Garber decided to sell his house through auction company Concierge Auctions, it involved a big marketing campaign with a dramatic video and photos. 

His 9,000-square-foot Rob Roy mansion was sold through an auction in May for significantly less than the original $16.9 million asking price. 

1. Behold the horror of Austin’s SXSW 2016 street closures

City of Austin

Our most-clicked story of 2016 had to do with - what else? - Austin traffic. 

In March the city was bracing itself for the trafficapocalypse of President Barack Obama coming to town on the first day of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. 

We gave our readers some info on road closures to help them avoid headache-inducing traffic jams -- and it ended up being 512tech’s most-read story of the year.