Chrome future, vintage PCs and credit crunch IT

Stories of the month - September 2008

Stories of the month - September 2008

September's big stories were a mixed bag, with PCs of yesteryear, credit crunch crystal-ball gazing, 'virtual archaeology' and a variety of iPhone moans all garnering more than their fair share of readers' eyeballs.

But there was also a distinctly metallic flavour to the month as Google dived into the web browser world with an open source offering called Chrome. senior reporter Nick Heath put on his news analysis hat with a pair of articles imagining two very different futures for Google's latest-born: Five reasons Chrome will take over the world and, on the flip side, Five reasons why Chrome will crash and burn.

The majority of readers seem to believe the former future is the more likely one, with Matt H from Staffordshire writing in with this experience: "I decided to try the Google Chrome, and have to say that so far it's the most reliable well behaved browser I've used. I never thought I'd shy away from Firefox but after the trouble I've had just trying to email someone with the problem, I've just given up."

However, not all readers are quite so ready to tie their flag to Google's mast - and some seem downright suspicious of Mountain Valley. Here's reader Craig Reilly, from Newcastle, with his take: "Given that Google makes its money from advertising, what are the chances of ad-blocking features in Chrome? Zero per cent I'd say. I don't relish the idea of browsing the web without an ad-blocker!"

So what's your favourite web browser? Is it IE all the way or does Opera hit your high note? Vote now in the reader poll and let us know what you think.

Stories of the month - September 2008

Click on the links below to read the stories everyone is talking about...

Apple niche player in touchscreen world

UK crime fighters grapple with iPhone wipe threat

Photos: Exploring virtual shipwrecks

10 ways the credit crunch will hit IT

Photos: A dip into Bletchley's classic PC archive

Five reasons Chrome will take over the world

Five reasons why Chrome will crash and burn

Five reasons I don't miss my 3G iPhone

ID card 'will drown in a billion mismatches'

Five iPhone apps for business

Another story that went large this month was the very topical 10 ways the credit crunch will hit IT.

As banks across the world started shedding staff,'s Heath explored ways the global financial crisis could affect IT - from causing pain for FS divisions and hardware and software vendors, to expediting the shift to software as a service and boosting outsourcing and even home working.

But even as the world was gripped by the fear of imminent financial meltdown and the end of capitalism as we know it - or perhaps because of all this economic gloom and doom - readers were harking back to the halcyon days of computing and ogling hardware homed at the UK's National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in this photo story.

From the rubber-keyed Sinclair ZX Spectrum to the chunky Commodore PET with its delightfully dated styling, it's a walk down memory lane guaranteed to warm the cockles of every techie's heart.

Meanwhile, another popular photo story this month was about a very different kind of hardware - specifically shipwrecks. Not just any shipwrecks, mind - these are virtual shipwrecks, digitally mapped so they can be recreated (and thus 'explored') long after the real wrecks have become dust in the bellies of a thousand sea worms. Preserved for posterity - and perhaps eternity. Bletchley take note.

Intrigued? Click here to get a taste of the virtual explorer life.

Now it wouldn't be a Stories of the Month without an iPhone story or three. And here's one's Natasha Lomas wrote earlier, where she invites the ire of Apple lovers everywhere with Five reasons I don't miss my 3G iPhone.

Disagree? Love your iPhone? Feel free to post a Reader Comment and make your views known.

Also getting the readers excited this September was this ID cards story - with its warning the system is (surprise, surprise) not fit for purpose.

John Daugman, academic and former member of the Biometrics Assurance Group which reviewed the ID scheme, says the project's reliance on fingerprints and facial photos will lead to a billion mismatched identifications.

In Daugman's view, only eyeballs will do: "The government was badly advised by its internal scientists in the Home Office when it took the decision to base the biometric system on fingerprints instead of iris patterns. Only iris patterns have enough randomness and distinctiveness to survive so many comparisons without making false matches."

So on that note of doom and gloom, until next month…