2010, the year that was: photos

They say a picture tells 1000 words. Here at ZDNet Australia, we've compiled 25 of the year's best tech photos so you didn't have to read so much.
Written by ZDNet Australia team , Contributor

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. Here at ZDNet Australia, we've compiled 25 of the year's best tech photos so you don't have to read so much.

2010 saw the world change before our very eyes. We saw the first of several million kilometres of National Broadband Network (NBN) cables laid, new uses for old junk, the tech behind some of the world's biggest events like the Olympics and the usual gaffes and blunders.

Come with us as we explore the year that was.


2010 saw the nation embark on the loftiest infrastructure project in its short history: the ubiquitous, high-speed NBN.

ZDNet Australia was there as crews started deploying the fibre around the country.

Stephen Conroy

(Credit: Nextgen Networks)

WA blasts blackspots with backhaul

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy beamed as he stood proudly by his all-consuming pet project during the backhaul roll-out in Western Australia.

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Tassie NBN pits

(Image licensed by Digital Tasmania)

Houses linked up in Tassie NBN

Pits containing the precious fibre were deployed all over the Apple Isle as crews worked tirelessly to connect residents.

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Cable layer

(Credit: Nextgen Networks)

Blasting blackspots in WA

Backhaul operations continued around the country. In this photo, a whacking great earth-mover has been retrofitted to roll out the precious fibre backhaul.

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Did we witness the rise of the machines in 2010? Not yet, but we're certainly getting close, as the capabilities of both manned and unmanned robotic technology moved ahead.

Targeting robots

(Credit: Marathon Robotics)

US Marines look to buy robots from Aussies

Aussie automaton vendor Marathon Robotics gave the US Marine Corps a set of test robots for advanced target practice. They're creepily human.

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NZ Defence robot
NZ Defence robot

(Credit: NZ Defence)

Robot prepares to save NZ miners

Before the series of fatal cave-ins struck New Zealand's Pike River mine, the country's defence force broke out the cutting-edge in robotics to rescue the 29 trapped miners who were ultimately claimed by the tragedy.

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(Credit: Adelaide Uni)

Adelaide Uni's Mech Expo 2010

Adelaide Uni hosted a showcase for the latest in robotic technology. Edward 2010 showed off what could very well be the future in automated transport.

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US/Australia robot teams

(Credit: DSTO)

US defeats Australia in robot comp

Australia and the United States went head to head in November, pitting the world's best robots against each other. Unfortunately, Australia walked away with nothing but a second-place ribbon and a badge for participation.

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The tech behind the scenes

More technology goes into putting on a great show these days than ever before, and ZDNet Australia brought you a peek behind the curtain in 2010 at some of the world's biggest and coolest events.

Winter Olympics control room

(Credit: Ina Fried/CNET)

Winter Olympics IT backstage tour

ZDNet Australia's sister site CNET took us behind the scenes of the world's biggest show: the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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Apple labs

(Credit: Apple)

Apple allows us to peek into its antenna labs

Following Apple's "Antennagate" scandal that marred the launch of the new iPhone 4, the tech monolith gave us a rare look inside its antenna testing labs to ensure customers that no expense was being spared in the research and development of handsets.

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Submarine torpedos

(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

Get wet with submarine tech

In what was one of the most popular photo stories of the year, we took a look inside a North Carolina submarine. In this photo, Commander Schlauder looks at two of the North Carolina's weapons, a Mark 48 torpedo (left) and a Tomahawk missile (in the sheath on the right).

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TV switcher

(Credit: Colin Ho/ZDNet Australia)

Inside ABC, WIN MediaHub

Ever wondered where your TV shows come from? Contrary to what your parents told you, it's not from the Stork or even from a mummy and daddy TV show loving each other very much. If you're watching the ABC or the regional WIN Television service, your television shows come down from MediaHub — a broadcast switching facility in Sydney.

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Weta motion capture studio

(Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia)

Avatar: behind the scenes at Weta Digital

New Zealand special effects workshop Weta Digital couldn't ship in any real Na'vi to star in the 3D blockbuster Avatar, so it had to make do with an innovative motion capture system to make the characters come to life on-screen.

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The Plastiki

(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

Keeping the Plastiki afloat

In 2010, a boat made entirely of recycled plastics sailed from the San Francisco Bay in the US to Sydney Harbour to deliver a message of sustainability to the world. It delivered that message using gear from HP and Inmarsat which, in tandem with a whole heap of plastic bottles, kept the miracle ship afloat.

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Iron Man

(Credit: Paul Corning/ZDNet Australia)

Oracle OpenWorld 2010 kicks off

Oracle spared no expense on security when it came to its annual OpenWorld conference this year, with Iron Man keeping a close eye on proceedings.

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Gadgets and Innovations

Technology has hurtled forward in 12 short months, which leaves us wondering: what can we expect to see next? The best way to see where we're going is to look at where we came from.

E-waste bike path

(Credit: Justin Brierty)

E-waste used for bicycle path

Getting on top of the nation's spiralling e-waste problem played a key role in shaping 2010. Innovative projects like this e-waste bike path made out of recycled printer cartridges is a prime example of how discarded materials can be used for more than just landfill.

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Professor Pedro Sander

(Credit: Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia)

Hong Kong from a techie's eyes

Professor Pedro Sander spoke to ZDNet Australia about creating the world's largest photo clocking in at 150 billion pixels. Will we see a bigger picture in 2011?

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NICTA booth

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

CeBIT 2010 fires up

The National ICT Authority demonstrated what was possible in 2010 at its CeBIT booth and has aired lofty plans for 2011 with the help of new government funding.

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Datacentre days

New datacentres were built in 2010, but even more are looking to come in the next few years.


(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

IBM's datacentre in a box

IBM took conceptual datacentre design back to square one in 2010. By doing so, the IT services arm of the company managed to squeeze a full service datacentre into a 6.1 metre shipping container.

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Malcolm Turnbull

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Vocus' datacentre launch

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull gets to do some pretty cool stuff in his day-to-day, including turning the air conditioning on at new datacentre facilities.

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Sake ceremony

(Credit: Tobey Black)

Fujitsu's Perth Datacentre opens

In another datacentre opening ceremony, executives from Fujitsu and Bankwest took part in a traditional sake ceremony, where participants smash the sake drum with wooden mallets that double as servers.

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What would a year be without paying homage to the best, the worst and the downright silly?

White iPhone 4

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple iPhone 4 In the flesh

Apple had its infamous antennagate scandal, but it also failed to bring the white body iPhone 4 to market. Speculation still swirls around the missing unit from Apple's product line, with consumers left wondering: will we see the white iPhone 4 before the iPhone 5?

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Tech.Ed Meter Maids

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Microsoft Tech.Ed 2010 welcome bash pics

Microsoft landed itself in hot water at this year's Tech.Ed conference on the Gold Coast after it had Meter Maid girls manning a novelty sized racetrack for remote control cars. Microsoft claimed to have been oblivious to the fact that the girls would show up wearing their trademark skimpy bikinis to the event.

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Presentation problems

(Credit: Angus Kidman/ZDNet Australia)

Linux.conf.au 2010 — tech issues

How many Linux professionals does it take to fix a projector? Six if this photo is to be believed: they're trying to fix a presentation system problem which brought a keynote speech to a screeching halt at this year's Linux conference.

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Wikileaks dominated the news over the last months, with people either violently for publishing the diplomatic cables or against. Some people chose to stand up for their beliefs.

Wikileaks protestors

(Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

Wikileaks' Sydney protest

Free speech advocates came out in droves to support the actions of Wikileaks and its then-imprisoned founder, Julian Assange. One of the most powerful protests came from three young girls who opted to say nothing at all on the day with a protest that spoke louder than words.

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