TECHGEEK Year In Review 2008 : September & October

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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 September & October 2008.


September saw the launch of Google’s Chrome browser, the Apple Store coming to Chadstone, the introduction of a new “BlueTrack” mouse, the potential end-of-the-world scenario at CERN, Microsoft introducing two ads featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld – before ditching them for the “I’m a PC” campaign, the relationship between porn and you, net radio survives another day, looking at iPhone knockoffs, and the iPhone being unlocked in Hong Kong.

Joost and Hulu compete to see who is the leader in anime, The T-Mobile G1 gets launched,  Adobe releases the much-anticipated update to the Creative Suite line, SanDisk has a new way to listen to music, Vodafone announcing an “unlimited” music plan, Apple recalling the USB power adaptors for the iPhone 3G, Telstra gets a restructure that sees it being split into three, Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account hacked, and porn was found on a phone.

Best Buy bought Napster, which was surprising to say the least; while GigaOM bought TheAppleBlog, the LHC system was hacked, we learnt that your iPhone can be used to spy on you, eBay is bringing back the PayPal only policy to the US, the ABC apologises for the Fallout 3 discussion on Q&A, uTorrent’s Mac version gets leaked, and Exetel updates its plans.

We also unleashed the Super Kid, reviewed Windows Live Messenger 9 Beta and saw Twitter joining the election coverage, while releasing an update to their interface. Oh, and apparently the Olympics aren’t over if you have this phone.

But the main topic was Apple, with us finding out that the iPod was invented by a salesman. However, a special conference happened during September, and we saw the announcement that NBC was back (with HD downloads), the iPod gets a new software update, the iPod touch gets a minor change, but the iPod nano goes back to being thin and has a wide screen.


October has to be the only time I remember that we had to be so pro-active in our news coverage, we covered a lot of topics – from job cuts to the new Apple announcements, it was a hectic month, especially once we launched this new design (which I hope I will keep, or alter it a bit). But remember, Barack Obama wasn’t president by that time.

We reported on the job cuts (like I mentioned) on Gawker Media, Yahoo, Revision3, and Optus; heard that New Zealand introducing the “three-strikes” rule, LittleBigPlanet getting an early recall over Qur’an references, finally get a date when we can switch off our analogue television signals, Jeeves becoming a porn star, a women deletes her husband over a messy divorce – in MapleStory, Apple bashing the new Microsoft ads, and the RAZR was still (at the time) the top-selling handset in the US.

We learnt who hacked Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account, Hollywood targets kindergartners to collect royalties, RapidShare forced to remove copyright-infringing content, Skype in China records your messages, a MI6 agent forgot to delete the “top secret” photos on a camera that was then sold on eBay, an iPod touch can survive after being run over by a pickup truck, Sony gets another battery recall – again, and the CSM is ditching daily newspapers for publishing on the web.

Also happening was the identities of two scammers who ran were made public, RealDVD sues Hollywood and gets a temporary shut down, Nigeria has a different meaning for HIV, 3AW missed a news bulletin for Facebook, Developers and businesses shouted praise that Snow Leopard will have a Cocoa-based Finder and Exchange support, WordPress buys PollDaddy, an iPod knock-off maker sues Apple and the US releases a PSA for digital television featuring a 99-year-old grandmother.

Apparently porn can lead to depression, while Silicon Valley leaders go against Proposition 8 (which banned gay marriage, and that passed). But hey, you can always go to McDonalds to get yourself some free (filtered) internet access. And Turkey blocked Blogger – before allowing access again, and Sprint’s CEO said the G1 phone wasn’t good enough for Sprint.

The economic crisis took up much of the entire coverage of the month, with Samsung forced to drop its bid for SanDisk. But that did not stop us adding to our gadget lust, with news of the BlackBerry Storm, the new Prada phone, the Nintendo DSi, and the new MacBook and MacBook Pros (and one got dissected). We also took a look inside the Firefox 3.1 Beta.

But the biggest topics locally were the filter again, and we learnt it will be split into a two-tiered system; the Terria consortium loses TPG-Soul and TransACT; and the R18+ rating campaign gets started, but the SA Attorney General refuses to give his support. Speaking of banned games, Manhunt 2 gets a release date in the UK.

But the biggest news came over from the Seattle-based company named Microsoft; with us reporting on their support of the new OpenID, news of the beta of Vista SP2, it supporting open-source web applications, it announcing that it will make the next version of Office online as well, and Live Mesh will support Macs and Windows Mobile 6. Am I forgetting one more thing? Well, yes, we also got news and a look at Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista.