TECHGEEK Year In Review 2008 : March & April

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The year that was known as 2008 can’t be called an easy one. From Barack Obama winning the election to an entire year of worry on our economic stability, or the fact that Australia might be acting like China to implement a filter that we didn’t want; TECHGEEK.com.au recollects on the year that was, in a series of posts from the entire year that were in our archives since 2008.

The following retrospective covers the months March and April 2008.

March

March saw a New Zealand teenager who apparently ran a spybot network got bail, Ziff Davis Media filing for bankruptcy, Hulu becoming open and no longer a private beta, Wikipedia under another scandal from its co-founder, Jimmy Wales, trading edits for donations, Facebook angering the Israeli for listing them as from Palestine, Scientology starting a war to counter attacks and protests from a group called “Anonymous”, and AnyDVD cracks the DRM on the Blu-Ray disks.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s internal e-mails showed their fury with Vista, a Vista update causing havoc, and  XP SP3 being released. Apple, on the other hand, was reported to be opening three stores in Australia (which turned out to be true), and Smarthouse saying that a hacker was putting up plagiarising content on its site, even though Media Watch did a story about them this year.

Western Australia launched a world-first by starting a study on cyber-bulling, with 4,000+ children from Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia participating. Well Done WA! Speaking about the web, an investigation was started by YouTube to find out why one clip (Music is My Hot Hot Sex by the Brazilian band Cansei De Ser Sexy) managed to get 40 million additional views in three weeks.

Finally, Qantas also announced that it would be conducting trials on its on-flight internet system, the MacBook Air was hacked in two minutes because of a vulnerability in Safari, and Guitar Hero gets sued by Gisbon by violating a patent for a “virtual-reality guitar-playing device”.

April

April saw a brand new era in technology – Microsoft has accomplished its mission to make the new OOXML standard as an official ISO standard. However, we also learnt that the only user of the software, Microsoft Office 2007, is not “compatible” with the new changes it made to make it pass the ISO vote. But in other news, a hacker claimed that News Corp. hired him to develop pirating software against rival Dish.

Another historic moment was made by Google, by announcing its first job axing in its new acquisition DoubleClick – axing 300 jobs, or one-quarter of its entire workforce in the US. Also, HP shipped some Proliant Server USBs with malware, the eBay hacker was arrested in Romania, AT&T warning that the internet could reach full capacity by 2010, France cracking down on anorexic-promoting sites, and civil liberty groups got angry over a new bill by the Rudd Government that could see employers snooping on emails sent by their employees.

Anti-CNN groups from China managed to take down several sports sites, including its Sports Illustrated name, and replacing it with a message saying that “Tibet WAS, IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE a part of China!”, before every “citizen” of China sued CNN for US$1.4 billion. The UK announced that FreeView will go HD in 2009, Microsoft re-evaluates its bid for Yahoo, Pranksters arrested after a prank saw a house being looted in Oregon, Sony BMG being caught using pirated software, and a hacker group in Germany threatens to publish Angela Merkel’s fingerprints.

In Gaming, GTA IV for the Xbox 360 managed to be leaked (and it weighs 6.32GB) – with a twist. The people who made it online also asks you to go buy the original game. Oh, how sweet – piracy helping those who actually created the game.

Locally, Telstra has said that it will not bow down to the recording industry’s pressure to introduce the three-strikes rule (OMG, they did something good for once?), but Exetel sold out and has approved the three-strikes rule. As well, the Government scraps the OPEL contract, and several tech companies were caught in the web of Opes Prime’s collapse – including iiNet and Destra.

April was also the biggest month in TECHGEEK’s entire history. Not only was it was the one year celebration of when we started the site on the servers of ScoreRight Services, but it was the month when we moved from being a .reawaken.info subdomain to become the new TECHGEEK.com.au website (we have to add the .com.au bit so you don’t get confused with the techgeek.com – which has no relevance to us).