TECHGEEK Year In Review 2008 : November

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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 November 2008.


November saw London introducing new “bomb-proof” bins, Microsoft tries to lure people to the PC… outside a Apple Store, learning that the DSi breaks homebrew flashcards, a Road sign gets the wrong translation because of an email, TiVos in Australia finally get some freaking interactivity, the RAZR may be dead after Motorola axes the RAZR3, Streem admits defeat and shuts down, YouTube goes widescreen, and an Israeli politician borrows Obama’s site design.

An Adelaide man tries to pay a bill with a spider, some teachers get dismissed over some Facebook comments, Rudd gets a Twitter profile, we get some IP spam from Amsterdam, the cute Chumby comes to Australia (thanks Internode!), Google execs. face trial in Italy over YouTube video, Sprint Nextel faces a $1.2 billion lawsuit, the French passes the “three strikes” rule, and EA tells you to try brute force after one of its games failed to print the last digit for the CD key.

Ten says screw you to Sci-Fi fans and pushes ahead with its HD Sports channel – effectively replacing Ten HD, Freeview gets launched, Optus’ subsidiary of the iPhone costs them $44 million, Google ends the Yahoo deal, another bug is found on the iPhone, WPA gets “partially cracked” in 15 minutes, Microhoo is not dead – according to the Times, Google Maps and Street View get a refresh, Apple gives Australians some “Black Friday” deals, and the iPhone 2.2 gets jail broken. Oh, and the RAZR saved someone’s life.

More bad news in the turbulent economy with more job cuts coming from EA, Motorola, Circuit City (and they will shut down stores) and THQ. As well, Gawker Media announces more reorganisation with Valleywag now part of its main Gawker blog, and they are trying to sell off The Consumerist. Good news is that Jerry Yang has decided to step down as CEO, but he will remain as the “Head Yahoo!” and chairman.

But with bad news, comes some weird or gadget-related news to keep us a bit geeky – like more news of Windows 7, Chroming your Firefox browser, a very small Mac Pro Ultra, some bacon for your iPhone, or the PETA game that features Cooking Mama killing turkeys. As well, Three announced a new Facebook and Skype phone called the INQ1; and we review the beta of WordPress 2.7.

In local news, Foxtel has had a great month, after introducing new channels to its current line-up, with the BBC’s Cbeebies and BBC Knowledge, and its own 111 Hits – all launched on different times on the first day of November. Also, apparently, people don’t like Austar anymore because they are not putting these channels in their own line-up.

Telstra, meanwhile, has decided to drop its threat to not bid for the National Broadband Network over the fact that it will not belong to them after building it, and made a last-minute “bid” for it. Well, you can’t really call it a bid when they sent out a 12-page letter proposing to use the money to upgrade the network; and their competitor made a 1,000 report.

And guess what? More Filter News. iiNet has decided to opt-in to the trials, before calling Senator Stephen Conroy as the worst Communications Minister we had since the birth of the Internet. While iiNet decided to go for the trials, it has also said that once a person bypasses it or the filter filters something that it shouldn’t, it would make it public. Jay Day also expressed his thoughts on the new filter, which you can find here.