Reader's Choice: iPhone, Google, Security & More
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If there was any doubt that 2008 was the year of the smartphone and the iPhone, a quick study of the year's most-trafficked stories on InternetNews.com just waves it away.
Not only did readers hunt for any and all news about the iPhone (with all the religious zeal Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) appears to inspire in its base) they came to Google/Android stories in droves this year. The arrival of the G1 by T-Mobile and HTC, built on the Google-backed Android platform, kept Google at the center of all the hottest topics in Web tech this year -- especially mobile technology.
It could be that readers wanted to note which was hotter, the iPhone or this new upstart G1. As we noted in October, ahead of the arrival of the Android G1 in stores, reviewer David Pogue of The New York Times described the handset as "polished enough to give Windows Mobile an inferiority complex the size of Australia."
Yet Pogue's scorecard similarly illustrated that the G1 isn't perfect. He gave it an A-minus for software, a B-minus for phone capabilities and a C for network capabilities.
Avi Greengart, mobile device research director at Current Analysis, called the G1 an iPhone "challenger" that "falls short in every area."
Sarah Palin's hack
But there were moments when it wasn't all about gadgets or smartphones.
Along came Sarah Palin, the then-largely unknown Alaska governor thrust into the media glare when Sen. John McCain named her to the Republican presidential ticket. Palin became a huge sensation on the Web. When a hacker broke into her Yahoo e-mail account, readers came out in droves as we delved into some behind-the-scenes looks at how the hacker did it -- and where he bragged about it on the Web, thereby creating a digital trail for investigators.
As Andy Patrizio of InternetNews.com reported, the FBI would later search the apartment of a University of Tennessee student suspected in the hacking of the Republican vice presidential candidate's e-mail. He was later charged in the case.
While that was going on, other hackers broke into the personal site of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly -- who had been carrying on for several days in anger over the Palin hacks -- and posted information on his site's subscribers to the WikiLeaks Web site. Readers poured over Andy Patrizio's account of how much the suspects were bragging about their exploits on the Web.
Google: Seemingly omnipresent
And then there was Google. The search leader's relentless pace blazed along in 2008 with the release of its Chrome browser in September.
[cob:Special_Report]And Chrome may not have been just another of Google's high-profile experiments: Sean Michael Kerner noted in his coverage that it might even make money for the already cash-flush Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Also topping off the Google news of the year was Andy Patrizio's exclusive story that uncovered possible evidence of what Google's own operating system. Or, as longtime Silicon Valley watchers have put it: the long-rumored, software-as-a-service-oriented Google OS.
Cisco: A new Linux platform?
Google wasn't the only one striking out into new territory this year. Readers interested in open source remained strong supporters of the site this year, but responded in droves to Cisco's moves to turn its routers into Linux Application Servers.
Page 2: Social networking's dangers, iPhone mania and (of course) Microsoft