Top tech winners of 2008

    The year 2008 has seen some big-ticket technology launches across categories -- cellphones, laptops, video games, LCDs.... While some got rave reviews on their design, others scored marks on functionalities they have and some stand apart on their green features, ie the energy efficiency. A popular tech magazine recently rated the year's tech launches. According to Stuff's Editor Fraser Macdonald, "Nominated products were judged on their performance, design and value, as well as "that elusive cool factor." Here's listing the winners.

    The award for the best gadget 2008 goes to Apple iPhone. July 2008 saw the launch of second-generation Apple iPhone. Called 3G iPhone, the gadget got many rave reviews for its unique design, touchscreen interface and other features. The magazine describes the 3G iPhone as "a faster, cleverer version of an already remarkable phone." The phone's first incarnation, launched in Britain last year, won the coolest gadget prize at last year's ceremony. In looks, the phone's black plastic skin back has been replaced by silver-aluminum back. While the 8GB model comes in black only, the 16GB version is available in both black and white. Weighing 4.8 ounces, the 3G iPhone measures 0.48 inches. The 3G technology gives iPhone fast access to the Internet and email over cellular networks around the world.

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    The new version also makes it possible to surf the Web, download email, get directions, and watch video -- even while users are on a call. The touchscreen phone promises 5 hours of 3G talktime, 10 hours of 2G talktime, 5 hours of 3G Internet time, 6 hours of Wi-Fi Internet time, 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback, and 12.5 days standby time. In India, the phone is offered by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, who sell the 8GB model for Rs 31,000 and 16GB for Rs 36,100. 3G iPhone beat Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii Fit and the B&W Zeppelin iPod speakers to bag the top award.

    The world's largest cellphone manufacturer, Nokia, won award for the best international brand of the year. Nokia with a portfolio of products ranging from high-end to low-end cellphone models, Internet services and music store posted strong results in the last quarter. In the past few months, Nokia has strengthened its focus on services. The company is turning from hardware to software and services. Several of the company's recent launches aim to direct users to its Internet services instead of Google's, or to its music stores instead of Apple's iTunes. Also, the company is fast shedding its conservative design appeal, and is turning its attention to clamshells, thin phones, and touchscreens. The company in December plans to launch its first touchscreen model codenamed Tube. Nokia is also heavily investing in research and development. The Morph concept, which Nokia is exploring with researchers in nanoscience at Cambridge University, is one example of a more consultative approach: combining know-how about tiny particles and electronics to see, for example, if a stretchy circuit could be made. Another was the way Nokia in February floated the notion of a phone made almost entirely from recycled materials. TOP Indian Television Anchors

    Apple got another award in its kitty, this one for design and style. Apple's thinnest and lightest notebook, MacBook Air, won the best gadget design of the year. Described by Apple as 'flat-out stunning', Air was launched earlier this year at MacWorld. Apple CEO Steve Jobs surprised fans with the launch of what the company claimed is the world's thinnest and lightest notebook. Measuring 0.16-0.76 inches, it weighs about 3 pounds (1.36 kg). Sporting a silvery finish, it features 13.3-inch LED backlit widescreen with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and a full-size keyboard. Air is powered by 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with 4 MB on-chip shared L2 cache running at full processor speed and uses an 800MHz front side bus. The Core 2 Duo chip is custom-built by Intel to fit within the compact dimensions of MacBook Air. The notebook comes with 2GB RAM and 80 GB hard drive. The hard drive is a Parallel ATA (PATA) model that operates at 4200 RPM.

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    However, MacBook Air's thinness leaves no room for an Ethernet jack, a removable battery and a built-in DVD drive. The notebook's peripheral connections include a single USB port, an audio out port and a micro-DVI port, and no modem. Also, it doesn't ship with an optical drive. MacBook Air's installed software include Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard (includes Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools).

    Innovation has no confines in the tech world. And with leapfrogging technology, world continues to witness new set of innovations everyday. This year the award for best innovation 2008 goes to Sony's e-book Reader, or PRS-505. It uses an electronic paper display developed by E Ink Corporation, that has 170 dpi (dot per inch) resolution and eight-level grayscale. The Reader is viewable in direct sunlight, requires no power to maintain the image, and offers portrait or landscape orientation. Measuring 175 x 122 x 8 mm, the Reader weighs 250 grams. It has a 6-inch SVGA display, and comes with the memory capacity of 256MB with memory slot. The Reader can hold around 160 eBooks. It offers minimum font size of 6 pt. Sony Reader comes bundled with Sony's software called Connect. It also supports Windows XP, but does not work on Windows Vista. The reader supports Sony’s BBeB (BroadBand eBook, LRX or LRF), TXT, RTF and PDF file formats. Hottest Bollywood Debuts, 2008

    Wondering which is the best game of 2008? Well this one must be tough. With competition sprawling from Lost Odyssey to popular Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto IV emerged as a clear winner. It's the story of Niko Bellic, an Eastern European who's just arrived in America. As soon as he lands in Liberty City, he's greeted by his cousin Roman, who's been in America for 10 years. Roman has lured Niko with promises of glamour and riches, but all he really has to offer is a dilapidated apartment and a crummy job at a car service. But things quickly take a darker turn when Niko shows up for work, only to end up running errands for a low-level crime boss. Niko also has another motive for coming to America besides trying to strike it rich, and after this, the plot escalates into a revenge drama. The game shows a lot of blood, some nudity and a nearly constant stream of filthy language. The Grand Theft Auto IV is for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 consoles. Provident Fund Full Details

    London-based Internet retailer, won the award for best online gadget and toy shop retailer. The site offers latest gadgets, tech toys, games, boys toys, lifestyle gadgets and audio-video stuff. The site was launched in early 1998 as by university pals Michael Smith and Tom Boardman. It capitalised on the huge success of Shot Glass Chess Set and relaunched as In 2002 the company opened head office and distribution centre in South London. Besides Internet, the company has now moved into mail order, corporate and wholesale/trade sectors. In 2004 Firebox was listed by the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 as the 13th fastest growing privately-owned business in the UK. Indian Premier League 2009 Updates