When will the iPhone 5 be released? and When is the Facebook IPO? were the top two newsy technology questions of the year among people searching for answers on Ask.com.

With nearly half of the queries on Ask.com in the form of a full question, we get a snapshot of not only what captured consumers attention, but also what piqued their curiosity, said Valerie Combs, vice president of communications for Ask.com, in a statement.

While Apple and Facebook had many of the 100 million Ask.com users curious in 2012, the very top questions were not tech related:

*How many medals did the US gymnastics team win?

*What is the damage from Hurricane Sandy?

*What happened at the Colorado shooting?

And in a follow-up survey to gauge consumer perceptions related to big question topics, Ask.com and Harris Interactive found that half of about 2,100 adults polled didnt see much difference between iPhone 5 and earlier versions. And while Facebook IPO interest was high, 59% of those surveyed in the follow-up poll said they did not appreciate reading friends political views on the social networking site during the Presidential Election season.

On the lighter side, top celebrity-related questions had to do with Twilight couple Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinsons relationship and whether Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes marriage was a sham.

People also wondered what the heck Gangnam Style was, and apparently a lot found out since Psys Gangnam Style video surpassed Justin Biebers Baby as the most viewed YouTube video of all time.

Related: 

Increased supply means iPhone 5 for Christmas is possible

iPhone 5 review

iPhone 5 edges toward supply-demand balance

How to beat the line at the Apple Store

Analyst: Apple to launch Apple Television, Retina MacBook Air, new radio service and more in 2013

Apple Television and iPhone 5S to launch early 2013

Apple price declines on news of 5 million iPhone 5 sales, supply can't meet demand, say analysts

 

Bob Brown tracks network research in his Alpha Doggs blog and Facebook page, as well on Twitter and Google +.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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