After a year full of iiNet, iPhones, politicians and broadband, we checked out the years most popular news stories. Surprisingly enough Conroy, Telstra and the NBN fail to make an appearance on the list, with the iPhone, Google and the iiTrial dominating the top 10 most popular stories in 2009.
Apple comes in at first place with news of the iPhone 3GS release in June. While the 3GS release wasn't as widely anticipated as Apple's first mobile offering, details of carrier price plans and news that the phone would be available for outright purchase made it ZDNet.com.au's number one story for 2009.
Coverage of the Victorian Bushfires managed to score two spots on the top 10 list for 2009, with Google Maps providing satellite views of the fire-struck areas. The second most viewed story for 2009 detailed the Victorian Government's refusal to provide the necessary data for Google to increase its images of the disaster.
ZDNet.com.au's April Fools Day prank took out the title of the third most read story this year, with news of NBN contracts being won by media giants Murdoch and Packer. Represented by 'The Dude', a middle aged bachelor with questionable hygiene, the story detailed the duo's plans for success, and announced Conroy's plans to monopolise the telecommunications industry. However reader's weren't fooled — a monopoly in Australian telcos? Come on, that would never happen...
The iiTrial attracted a lot of attention, both in mainstream media and on Twitter. ZDNet.com.au reporter Liam Tung traversed both, covering the trial both on ZDNet.com.au and in court, tweeting hundreds of updates throughout the trial. The iiTrial managed to claim two spots on the top 10 list, with Justice Cowdroy's request for a demonstration of BitTorrent coming in 4th.
News of Google Maps' moves to provide locals and lookers-on with images of the disaster areas was the fifth most viewed story this year as satellite images allowed users to keep up to date with the bushfires and those stuck in the fire struck areas.
News of RailCorp's opposition to the Transit Sydney mobile app was the sixth most read story this year. The app, which provides users with RailCorp timetables, quickly became the second most popular app, but was quickly opposed by RailCorp who cited a breach of copyright as reason for their actions.
In March, Wikileaks released the ACMA blacklist, detailing 2,395 URLs banned by ACMA and its filtering software. The exposure revealed Australian censorship, with comparisons being made to the freedoms of countries like China and the Arab Emirates by Whirlpool host, Bulletproof Networks. In light of Conroy's filtering plans, the list is an enlightening preview into what local ISPs may blacklist in the future.
The iPhone does it again, with Apple's announcement of new tethering capabilities for the iPhone following the 3.0 software update. Optus was the first to allow customers access to the new feature, with Vodafone following shortly after and Telstra coming in last, enabling tethering only this month.
With the iiTrial set, iiNet's rejected request to limit the scope of investigation to 86 films came in as the 9th most read story for 2009. The ISP sought to limit potential consequences of the trial by limiting it to only 86 titles but was rejected by Cowdroy, opening iiNet up to the fate of similar cases including Kazaa and Universal Music versus Cooper
The merger of Vodafone and 3 into Vodafone Hutchison Australia was the tenth most read story this year. The story, published in February, detailed the announcement of the 50:50 merger subject to a successful shareholder vote in April.