The year 2008 provided a cornucopia of cool new technologies and discoveries. CNET News staffers culled this bountiful harvest, chronicling everything from Mars insights to the Android launch.
Gadget and computer-related galleries were pleasing eye candy. Apple kicked off the year by unveiling new versions of the Mac Pro and Xserve. The company added multitouch controls and power to MacBooks, and it showcased the iPhone 3G, new iPod Nanos, and more.
Google garnered plenty of attention as well. The search giant made waves with Chrome, its foray into Web browsers, and with a mobile operating system called Android whose smartphone-installed prototype led the new-phone parade at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Apple's iPhone got down to business with the launch of the company's iPhone software development kit in March. The App Store has since become extremely popular with independent developers, and CNET has put several made-for-iPhone applications to the test.
Cell phones, as well as digital-music players and other gadgets, also caught the green-tech bug. A growing number of products are using solar power to charge up.
Green technology continued to be a major driver of the automotive sector. The Cadillac Provoq concept car, which runs on a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium ion battery, made its premiere at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Makers of Hummers and muscle cars similarly decided that green is cool.
Meanwhile, the cross-country Hydrogen Road Tour promoted hydrogen-powered vehicles. And one enterprising start-up showed how to make your car run on tequila--well, sort of. The green-car year finished with a look at electric vehicles, present and future.
Aerial vehicles also made for some awesome visual highlights. The Oshkosh, Wisc., air show and Airship Ventures' 246-foot Zeppelin brought life to the skies. And CNET News' Daniel Terdiman took to the air in a 1991 Grumman Tiger.
Going higher, space was the place for heavenly images. The International Space Station marked a decade aloft, the Hubble telescope served up photos of giant red storms on Jupiter, and we got to see the Phoenix Mars Lander uncover ice on the Red Planet.
Of course, space isn't just a place for NASA astronauts and their colleagues anymore. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic proved to be a real mover and shaker in the space tourism industry when it launched the high-altitude WhiteKnightTwo aircraft carrier, designed to fly the SpaceShipTwo passenger vehicle, into Earth's upper atmosphere.
The skies also became host to consumer Wi-Fi connections this year. Intel CEO Paul Otellini's vision of an always-on, always-connected experience for consumers reached lofty heights with the expansion of airborne connectivity for airplane passengers, courtesy of such carriers as Virgin America.
Back on Earth, Terdiman connected with legions of followers as Road Trip 2008 took him across the southern United States. Terdiman filed dispatches from such spots as Houston, New Orleans, and Nashville.
CNET's Kara Tsuboi joined the photographic fun, donning a motion capture suit to play the lead Iron Man character for a day.
Motion capture technology led to some other cool photo galleries. Hockey star Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Francisco Giants Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum slipped into mo-cap suits to model for upcoming 2K Sports video games.
Finally, there was an ending that loops back to the year's start: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates may have given his last keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January.
A major KDE overhaul gives a leading Linux interface a new look and new apps. Some features will be familiar to Windows and Mac OS X users.
At Mobile World Congress, ARM shows off prototype running on Google's platform, Sony Ericsson introduces an iPhone competitor, Nokia unveils updates.
What do you do when a spy satellite goes kerflooey and starts to fall back to Earth? Call in the U.S. Navy, and send up a missile.
A Florida company appears overnight to capture the interest of the tech world by claiming the first Mac clone in 11 years. But questions abound.
Born as a Web portal, the company wants to create a new experience--social and open--for both consumers and developers.
Satellite images from NASA track a cyclone and the flooding it caused--which may end up killing more than 100,000 residents of Myanmar.
Google shows off the ins and outs of its new open-source mobile platform at the I/O conference in San Francisco.
Like the tabletop Surface computer introduced last year, Sphere uses a combination of infrared cameras for input and a projector for output to create a multitouch computer.
The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, not only promises the emergence of a brave new world of physics, but it's also pretty to look at.
Search giant's new Chrome rethinks how browsers should work in a Web 2.0 world but also borrows from its competition.
Among the new varieties announced Tuesday are a redesigned iPod Nano, an upgraded and lower-price iPod Touch, a new version of iTunes, and updated software for its mobile devices.
The G1, aka HTC Dream, looks like a Sidekick and is all about Google. In New York, the first phone to use Google's Android operating system is revealed.
Microsoft researchers demonstrate their efforts in the field on new user interfaces.
T-Mobile's G1 Android cell phone went on sale Tuesday exclusively at the T-Mobile store in San Francisco. It will be available for purchase at all T-Mobile stores on Wednesday.
CNET News takes a look at Windows 7 Ultimate Build 6801, a remarkably feature-rich and performance-stable alpha version.