TECHGEEK Year In Review 2008 : July & August

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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 months March and April 2008.


You could say July was a very, very, very busy month – but we are a daily technology news blog… Anyway, here’s what happened during July – 80,000 UK AOL subscribers face the boot off the original AOL network, we saw the merger of Sirius and XM, and the CNET and CBS buyout completed and both Optus and Telstra show off their plans for the (sexy) BlackBerry Bold.

Reports of a fourth carrier in Australia for the iPhone continuing (with Virgin Mobile eventually announced to be it), the ABC iView is launched and is a hit, Ryan Block announced that he will step down as Editor-in-Chief of Engadget, and Apple has a meltdown with MobileMe – forcing it to give everyone a free month.

Facebook sues a German clone, Internode announced that it will start supporting the new IPv6 protocol, Optus unveils its new “unlimited” plans, The ex-Samsung boss gets a huge fine for tax evasion but no jail term, Queensland goes dark without telecommunication services, Konami sues Harmonix and Viacom over a patent that Rock Band is alleged to infringe, and Activision Blizzard gets the go-ahead, making a new super-power in the gaming industry.

Fallout 3 is given a Refused Classification by the OFLC, Malware authors declare that World War III has started, Windows 3.11 OEM licensing is to end, Apple faces no charges in a two-year criminal probe over backdating stock options, the Judge declares that your privacy doesn’t matter in the Google/Viacom lawsuit, and Apple has said that we are going to get movies…

The App Store is released, and we get an exclusive look; The Guardian’s parent company buys paidContent for $30 million, Carl Ichan joins the Yahoo board after a proxy fight, a Police director sues to get a blogger’s name, Nintendo declares war on the companies that make it easier for people to get illegal copies of DS games, Windows suffers from another broken patch, and the world sees the iPhone 3G and sees problems with activation. Meanwhile, we geek out over the TARDIS MAME console.

But the biggest news has to be the hacking of the San Francisco’s network, and we reported on that the hacker was being paid still, the Mayor manages to get the password out of the hacker, and that the passwords will be made public because of the prosecutor. And while we are still speaking about security, the government released a report showing that the filters that they tested all have holes, with all not able to block IM and Peer-to-peer networks.

Oh, and we released an updated version of our theme, called “Crystalline Blue”.


August, however, can’t be said as a quiet month either as the Olympics were on. And why not celebrate with an Birds Nest MP3 player or some Lenovo Olympic-themed USB drives. August also saw the introduction to many of our new categories, especially for our Mobile section – when we covered the new Skypephone redesign, the Nokia N96, the Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte and the fact that IKEA wants to launch a mobile service.

Developers were sad to see PHP4 getting the end-of-life tag, while The Pirate Bay faced being censored in Italy. We also took a look at a PC made out of a known Danish toy (Lego), AMD’s “world’s fastest graphics card” HD 4870, the PS3 releasing an 160GB version with functions being taken out, the Xbox 360 being sold out in Japan, and Apple faces a probe over its combustible iPod Nanos in Japan.

As well, Apple announced that it has made another free extension to its MobileMe users, IE8 could get a “porn mode” to make itself popular again, Pandora’s founder says that the company is on the verge of collapse if the royalty fees go up, Vista being crammed onto a PS3, a Spanish hacker being jailed over sending out the private emails of his former manager, a kid fakes his abduction to get a Nintendo Wii, and that the US agents can now take your electronics at the border.

Also, while the US complain about being capped (apparently, they never heard about the rest of the world’s situation), Internode announced during the month that it would now offer ADSL2+ to those far away from exchanges and Simon Hackett is no longer the CEO for the company, but remains as its managing director.

iPhone still dominates the month, with Optus having problems with the iPhone’s congestion of its 3G network, with it crediting people because of it. As well, a report showed that it was the slowest network, being beaten by 3, Telstra and Vodafone. For 3, however, it announced that it has partnered with Telstra to offer the Next G network to fill in the gaps in its network.

Toshiba, though axing HD DVD, believes that DVD is the future, while Twitter says that Australian and European users will no longer be able to receive text messages on their phones of the latest tweets. Also, Diebold admitted that the company’s flagship election machines were faulty (and people have been saying it for the past 10 years) and apparently texting is love.

However, it was plagued by the Georgia-Russia crisis over the Georgian province of South Ossetia, with the Georgian government accusing the Russian government in participating in cyber-terrorism against the country. Meanwhile, Australia’s privacy laws are set to get a makeover to be more relevant to the modern technology age.

As well, the App Store managed to gain some attention when Armin Heinrich managed to put up an US$999 (or $1,999.99) application called “I Am Rich”, which showed a background image of a gem to tell your friends that you were rich. Too bad that an idiot bought one and now wants his money back…

Finally, TECHGEEK reached a milestone of having 1,000 posts in its entire archive. That’s a lot…

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