Sometimes it's hard to really understand a thing until you see it with your own eyes. In the last year, CNET News.com reporters and photographers grabbed their cameras to get readers as close as possible to the reality of new technologies and far-off happenings.
Quite a few new aircraft were introduced in 2007--from mega-passenger jets to unmanned surveillance craft. Boeing unveiled the 787 Dreamliner, for instance, and the Airbus A380 took to the skies. We looked back at a hundred years of helicopters and brought you images of fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, and updates in space travel. Readers also got a look at astral bodies like Saturn and kept up with the travels of the Voyager spacecraft and the Mars rover.
With the U.S. military still embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan, we took a closer look at technology built for soldiers and aviators. We spent a day at a school for fighter pilots, looked at the Army's top tech, and took a tour of the blended-wing X-48 as well as the controversial new Osprey tiltrotor hybrid in action.
Last year saw a lot of fun stuff, too, like the "official" list of the top games of all time. In addition to real space travel, we covered the cinematic side, with photos from Industrial Light and Magic. We got inside ILM's hallowed halls--and server rooms--for a look at the machines behind the magic. The month of May also marked the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars movie.
Do you know what magnetic core plan memory is? Respect your elders with our retrospective of industrial artistry. We dove into computer history this year, with 1970s machines, antique computer confabs, and an artist who photographs computer innards, including 1930s collating machines, early supercomputers, the first lunar-mission guidance system, the DIY Apple 1 kit, and, yes, the Commodore 64.
Photos also brought to life breaking news on technology's bread and butter: new products and gadgets. We took you to the Geneva Auto Show for a 1001-horsepower Bugatti and an ethanol-fueled car that could be the fastest auto in history. Microsoft introduced the touch-screen-tabletop Surface computer, and Apple had a big year with the new iPhone. Everyone wants to know how electronics work, but don't necessarily want to void their warranty, so the good folks at sister site Tech Republic dive in and break things apart for the rest of us. They wasted no time in cracking the new iPhone open, along with the iPod Nano, and many other devices.
On the software side, Google introduced their Street View service--everybody wave "Hi!"--and Microsoft launched the long-awaited Vista operating system. Facebook's opening up to third-party applications revealed the dire need for people to throw sheep at their friends, and social networking in general suddenly became vital to businesses, groups, advertisers, developers, specialists, work teams, and even families. That thing called Web 2.0 took flight as a zillion new mashups, communities, and customizable applications exploded onto the Internet. Canonical released into the wild new Feisty Fawn and Gutsy Gibbon versions of its up-and-coming Ubuntu Linux operating system. Computer-aided design software even reached into the rarefied world of haute couture.
Photo galleries also allowed us to take readers around the world, bringing back timely information about the role of texting in Filipino politics. We went to Intel's Beijing office and showed One Laptop Per Child in action in Nigerian classrooms. Solar-powered cars raced across the Outback, an engineering park in Austria displays precise models of 150 of the architectural wonders of the world, an Apple store opened in Rome, and hidden mysteries of Las Vegas were revealed.
Boeing publicly unveiled the interior of its 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet.
NASA asked people to vote for the best image taken by the Cassini spacecraft as it nears two full years on its visit to the ringed planet.
One of the best things about ILM's studios in San Francisco is that scattered throughout are posters and props from films the company has worked on.
Also: The computing power behind ILM's magic
Automobile enthusiasts around the globe are trekking to Geneva, where they'll be treated by cars beyond their wildest imagination.
Curator Henry Lowood has come up with a canon that he believes represents the historical impact of video games.
Tomorrowland comes to the Paris Air Show in flavors spacey, Sukhoi and supersonic. Plus: John Travolta!
Swank new 787 passenger jet is scheduled to emerge from the factory on July 8, with a first flight anticipated for later in the summer.
Perusing images on the new service has quickly become a new favorite way to waste time--and to unearth some unexpected urban sights.
Aerial surveillance and counter-IED systems dominate the Army's top 10 list of gear that serves to protect soldiers.
It's finally in our hands! Take a look at this much-hyped gadget from all angles in our CNET photo gallery.
A step-by-step summary of one brave soul's project to take apart the iPhone, and an attempt at putting it back together.
Computer History Museum launches a visual study of how the computer has evolved from its humble punch card origins.
To get their famed Top Gun training, carrier-based naval aviators head to a landlocked airbase in Nevada.
It was 30 years ago when the first Voyager spacecraft left Earth. The ships have returned closeup views of four planets--and aren't finished yet.
From autogyros to the "flying banana" to futuristic drones, rotary-wing designs are anything but boring.
Don't call it a flying wing. The triangular prototype is pushing the envelope of what lies ahead for 21st-century aircraft.
Interactive tabletop technology uses special tags to let people play games, paint pictures and pay bills.
The Marines bring the tilt-rotor aircraft to Al-Anbar province, where it will get a real-world test in a war zone.
During the disco days of the 1970s, personal computers moved out of electronic hobbyists' garages and into offices, classrooms and homes.
Tag along as TechRepublic's Mark Kaelin fearlessly dives into the guts of the iPod Nano.
The first Airbus A380 was delivered to Singapore Airlines and one of its first stops was at Sydney Airport where ZDNet Australia staffers climbed aboard.