On February 9, 2012, it was announced that the five largest mortgage servicers (Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) agreed to a historic settlement with the federal government and 49 states.
The use of Java-related technology in Android led to a legal dispute between Oracle and Google. On May 7, 2012, a San Francisco jury found that if APIs could be copyrighted, then Google had infringed Oracle's copyrights by the use of Java in Android devices.
On May 31, 2012, Guinness World Records certified the world record for the most expensive hot dog at USD$145.49. The "California Capitol City Dawg", served at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California, features a grilled 460 mm (18 in) all-beef, natural-casing frank from Chicago, served on a fresh-baked herb-and-oil focaccia roll, spread with white truffle butter, then grilled. It is topped with whole-grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise, sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup-marinated and fruitwood-smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire, chopped tomato, moose cheese from Sweden, sweetened dried cranberries, basil olive oil and pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette, and ground peppercorn. Proceeds from the sale of each 1.4 kg (3 lb) super dog were donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Hernandez was investigated in connection with a double homicide that took place on July 16, 2012, near the Cure Lounge in Boston's South End. Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28, both immigrants from Cape Verde and living in Dorchester, were killed by gunshots fired into their vehicle. Witnesses testified that Hernandez's silver SUV pulled up next to the victims and someone from his car yelled, "What's up now, niggers?" Someone from the car then fired five shots, killing the two immigrants. Police immediately identified Hernandez, who was then playing for the Patriots, in the club's security camera footage, but thought it was a coincidence that the NFL star happened to be at the club that evening.
On July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises. Dressed in tactical clothing, James Eagan Holmes set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms. Twelve people were killed and seventy others were injured, 58 of them from gunfire.
On July 23, at Raw 1000, The Rock announced he would wrestle for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. During the show, he encountered then-reigning WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena, all of whom expressed a desire to face him. The Rock later saved Cena from an assault by Big Show, only to be laid out by CM Punk.
Kyle paired with FITCO Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization that created the Heroes Project to provide free in-home fitness equipment, individualized programs, personal training, and life-coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families, or those suffering from PTSD. On August 13, 2012, Kyle appeared on the reality television show Stars Earn Stripes, which features celebrities pairing up with a Special Operations or law enforcement professionals who train them in weapons and combat tactics. Kyle was teamed with actor Dean Cain.
While on holiday in Las Vegas in August 2012, Harry and an unknown young woman were photographed naked in a Wynn Las Vegas hotel room, reportedly during a game of strip billiards. The pictures were leaked by American celebrity website TMZ on 21 August 2012, in May 2019, Splash News issued a formal apology to Harry and his wife for sending photographers to their Cotswolds residence, which put their privacy at risk. The agency also agreed to pay a "substantial" sum of damages and legal costs associated with the case.
On 24 August 2012, nine American jurors ruled that Samsung Electronics had to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for violating six of its patents on smartphone technology. The award was still less than the $2.5 billion requested by Apple. The decision also ruled that Apple did not violate five Samsung patents cited in the case. Samsung decried the decision saying that the move could harm innovation in the sector. It also followed a South Korean ruling stating that both companies were guilty of infringing on each other's intellectual property.
On August 27, 2012, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year, $39.58 million contract extension that included $15.95 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $12.50 million. The $12.5 million signing bonus was the largest signing bonus ever received by an NFL tight end. His $40 million total was the second-largest contract extension ever given to a tight end, after teammate Gronkowski's $53 million. Hernandez gave $50,000 of that bonus to a charity named for the late wife of the Patriots owner. Hernandez was sidelined during the Patriots' Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals with a high ankle sprain and missed several weeks. On December 10, during the Monday Night Football game against the Houston Texans, Hernandez recorded eight receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Hernandez's last NFL appearance was the 2012 AFC Championship game on January 20, 2013, against the Baltimore Ravens.
On September 24, 2012, Google launched Google for Entrepreneurs, a largely not-for-profit business incubator providing startups with co-working spaces known as Campuses, with assistance to startup founders that may include workshops, conferences, and mentorships.
After a series of network issues during the Season 2 World Playoffs that led to several matches being delayed, Riot revealed on October 13, 2012, that a special LAN-based client had been quickly developed, designed for use in tournament environments where the effects of lag and other network issues can be detrimental to the proper organization of an event. The LAN client was deployed for the first time during the first quarter-final and semi-final matches played following the rescheduled matches and were in use during the finals. On October 13, 2012, the Taipei Assassins (TPA) of Taiwan triumphed over Azubu Frost of South Korea in the Finals of Season 2 World Championship with a score of 3 to 1 and claimed the $1 million in prize money.
On October 24, 2012, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan filed a lawsuit alleging that Bank of America fraudulently cost American taxpayers more than $1 billion when Countrywide Financial sold toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The scheme was called 'Hustle', or High-Speed Swim Lane.
On October 24, 2012, American federal prosecutors filed a $1 billion civil lawsuit against Bank of America for mortgage fraud under the False Claims Act, which provides for possible penalties of triple the damages suffered. The government asserted that Countrywide, which was acquired by Bank of America, rubber-stamped mortgage loans to risky borrowers and forced taxpayers to guarantee billions of bad loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The suit was filed by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, the inspector general of FHFA, and the special inspector for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Windows 8, the successor to Windows 7, was released generally on October 26, 2012. A number of significant changes were made on Windows 8, including the introduction of a user interface based around Microsoft's Metro design language with optimizations for touch-based devices such as tablets and all-in-one PCs. These changes include the Start screen, which uses large tiles that are more convenient for touch interactions and allow for the display of continually updated information, and a new class of apps that are designed primarily for use on touch-based devices. The new Windows version required a minimum resolution of 1024×768 pixels, effectively making it unfit for netbooks with 800x600-pixel screens.
On November 6, 2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be reelected as president. With 51.1% of the popular vote, Obama became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win the majority of the popular vote twice.
Though Pelosi was re-elected by a comfortable margin in the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats lost 63 seats and ceded control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans. After the electoral setback suffered by her party, Pelosi sought to continue leading the House Democratic Caucus in the position of minority leader, the office she held prior to becoming speaker. After Pelosi's disparate intra-party opposition failed to pass a motion to delay the leadership vote, Pelosi was elected minority leader for the 112th Congress. On November 14, 2012, Pelosi announced she would remain on as Democratic leader.
On November 27, 2012, a federal judge entered an order granting preliminary approval to a proposed settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by merchants and trade associations against Mastercard and Visa. The suit was filed due to alleged price fixing practices employed by Mastercard and Visa. About one quarter of the named class plaintiffs have decided to opt "out of the settlement". Opponents object to provisions that would bar future lawsuits and even prevent merchants from opting out of significant portions of the proposed settlement.
On December 5 against New Orleans, Bryant became the youngest player (34 years and 104 days) in league history to score 30,000 points, joining Hall of Famers Chamberlain, Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Karl Malone as one of five players to reach that milestone.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. Before driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the school, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.