Technologizer’s Most of 2008

By  |  Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 1:53 am

Technologizer's Most of 2008As I write this, there are slightly fewer than 22.5 hours left to go before 2008 is history. I promise I’ll stop looking back at the year momentarily–I already summed up its twelve biggest stories–but I’m in the mood to document a few more noteworthy items that made the year what it was. I’m calling this Technologizer’s Most of 2008, and it begins after the jump…

The Most Frustrating Thing About an Otherwise Exceptional Platform. Apple’s denial of admission into the iTunes App Store for some worthy iPhone apps on the grounds that they compete with Apple products. The company has cleared up much of the mystery relating to App Store acceptance; I’d love to see it make clear that it isn’t scared of competition.

The Most Frustratingly Unreleased iPhone App. The non-jailbreak version of the Qik video-streaming application. Thanks to Qik, I have it and it’s neat; I just wish everyone who wanted it could get it.

Lala LogoThe Most Magical New Service. Lala. A wonderful, wonderfully rich music service. It’s one part iTunes, one part And it’s s a blast–even if you never give ’em a penny.

The Most Welcome News From Microsoft. Windows 7 will be less of an all-new Windows and more of a more polished, less annoying Windows Vista. I remain convinced that the best versions of Windows are the minor ones, and Windows 7 is looking decidedly minor.

Chrome IconThe Most Refreshing New Take On an Old Software Category. Google Chrome. It’s not perfect, and I won’t use it as my primary browser until it runs on OS X (and maybe not even then). But Chrome is the first browser that feels like it was built for the Web we use today.

The Most Annoying Buzzword. Cloud computing. May it go the way of its earlier near-synonym, ASP (Application Service Provider). Soon, please?

wiiThe Most Inexplicable Neverending Shortage. The Nintendo Wii, now more than two years old and still scarce. How many would they sell if it was easy to buy one?

The Most Unexpected Design Quirk. The New MacBook Pro Hinge Flop Effect. In most respects I’m a fan of the new MacBook Pro, but the wobbly hinge is a backwards for folks (I mention no names) who like to balance a notebook on their chest and use it while lying down .

The Most Obnoxious Behavior by Major Web Companies. The shutdown by Yahoo, Microsoft, and Wal-Mart of DRM-hobbled music services, and all three companies’ initial stance that the people who gave them money for music were out of luck. (They later backtracked to some degree.) Won’t it be a better world when copy protection goes away and we don’t have to worry about shenanigans like this?

yahoologoThe Most Snooze-Inducing Major Story. Microsoft’s attempted takeover of Yahoo and the failure thereof and Google’s attempted partnership with Yahoo and the failure thereof. The coverage was endless, yet Yahoo ends the year in pretty much the same shaky shape it began it.

The Most Poisonous Ongoing Rumormongering. Anything and everything involving Steve Jobs’s health.

The Most Surprising-But-Cool Trend. Small, simple, and cheap–as seen in Asus’s Eee PC and its myriad imitators and the Flip camcorder. I’d love to see it spread to other hardware categories, such as digital cameras.

mojavelady2The Most Annoying Windows Ad Campaign. No, it had nothing to do with churros. It was the Mojave Experiment, which involved fooling clueless PC users into thinking Windows Vista was an Exciting New Version of Windows, thereby patronizing both the people in the “experiment” and every Microsoft customer who developed a dislike of Vista after actually using it.

The Most Pointless Kabuki. The “discontinuation” of Windows XP and ongoing creation of new loopholes to keep it available.¬† Can we just keep this operating system on the market until there aren’t vast numbers of people who want to buy it?

The Most Inevitable End of the Road. AOL ended all support for its Netscape browser in March, killing off the browser that was synonymous with the excitement of the early Web. Rationally, it’s not a big deal, since Firefox is nothing more than the open-source, much-improved offspring of Netscape, and it’s doing just fine. But it’s still jarring to think of an Internet that doesn’t have Netscape in it.

Life Magazine LogoThe Most Delightfully Unexpected Delightful New Google Service. Google Image Search’s Life Magazine photo archive. It’s the kind of thing the Internet was made for.

The Most Endangered Profession. Journalist. At least at big-media publications.

The Most Fun I Had. Launching and running Technologizer, of course. And talking with everyone who hangs out here is a huge reason why it’s been such a blast. Thanks, everybody. Happy 2009!

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  1. Luke G Says:

    I gotta’ disagree on the “Most Annoying Windows Ad Campaign” winner.

    Yes, “Mohave” is annoying. I mute the volume every time it’s on. But, hands down, the real winner has got to be the “I’m a PC” ads.

    Maybe it’s the people they chose to confess “I’m a pc,” or it could be the low production quality (all from web-cams?). The intent to make it look “real” only makes it look bad. Today’s consumer-level cameras and computers (both Mac and PC) are capable of high-quality production. The message I get from these ads is “PC people” are less capable (or less caring) of showing that quality. A similar ad campaign made with “real” Mac people would, I’m guessing, show better image quality and better production value.

    Professing “I’m a PC” in these ads seems to translate to, “I’m okay with mediocre quality and production value.”