TECHGEEK Year In Review 2008 : December

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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; 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 month of December 2008.


This is the season to be jolly, but most of the news was either bad or sad. With Pownce shutting down its doors, Microsoft announcing that every version of Internet Explorer had a security hole, an Ohio boy kills his mother over Halo 3 and Telstra gets its bid for the NBN rejected, then loses $12 billion in its market value – that’s got to but a bummer on Christmas.

And as well, like the past few months, we had a couple of layoffs from Sony and Gawker Media (again), and Yahoo this month starting axing several jobs after previously announcing them. Also, Motorola had their credit rating downgraded to “below investment grade” as the company suffers because of its mobile devices division.

However, there is some more bad news: Chrome is less secure than Firefox, Steve Jobs won’t make his keynote at Macworld 2009 (and its their last one), China restarts the Great Firewall, Fears of Chinese espionage on Optus’ NBN bid, Polaroid files for Chapter 11, a new undersea cable gets cut, Warner Music pulls off all videos from YouTube, TPN suffers a major outage and loses all of its data, Vietnam to impose new restrictions on blogging, Apple, Microsoft and Google sued over thumbnail previews, Podango might be ending soon, and a WSJ reports says that Google might move away from Net Neutrality.

But there was also good news like Python 3 was released – too bad it isn’t backwards compatible, while EA’s “Spore” became the most pirated game of 2008, even though its protected by DRM and Telstra said no to the ISP filter trials, but Optus said yes, but with conditions like it would affect one small area, and use sites already blacklisted by ACMA. Also, Hasbro drops its lawsuit against Scrabulous; but the French aren’t too happy with the exclusive deal with the iPhone between French Telecom and Apple.

In the UK, the BBC considers offering its iPlayer technology in order to keep BBC Worldwide away from Channel 4, while the Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart to play those homebrew games. Also in the news were the end of year search results, with Britney Spears topping Yahoo and Barack Obama taking the crown of the fastest rising result in the US, the iPlayer now supports Mac and Linux OS for downloading its programmes, and Windows XP’s life has been extended – again.

In Gadget-related news, we went red with Vista, saw a iPod Shuffle concept that looks like a Nano wristwatch, craved the new Nokia N97 phone and jumped over a portable Xbox 360. We also learnt how to teach your iPhone to swear. And since Christmas was here, we treated you with some new holiday “Get A Mac” ads from Apple.

Updates from both Macworld and CES made the news, with rumours of the iPhone nano, Snow Leopard and a new Mac Mini coming up. CES, however, saw reports that LG might bring out the thinnest LED LCD TV and a new watch phone, a new 26-inch 3D monitor from iZ3D, and Toshiba brings out a 512GB SSD drive. We also heard reports that Dell is bringing the Adamo out to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air.

Gawker sells its Consumerist blog to Consumer Union; while the iPhone starts selling at Wal-Mart with a $2 discount, Verizon lands a huge settlement with a cybersquatter, Denmark and Thailand’s censorship lists were released, the Filter got delayed (but after Conroy announced that it will filter P2P traffic), YouTube goes all HD on our videos, the iPhone 3G is finally unlocked, and WordPress 2.7 got released.

But in 2009 – we are holding our breaths to see if Microsoft will act on rumours about job cuts.

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