Top stories of 2006

Open source and Microsoft continued to soak up the limelight last year, though consumers managed to steal some away.

The start of this new year seems tinged with a sense of déjà vu.

About this time two years ago, much of Asia struggled to come to terms with the devastating effects of the Dec. 26 Tsunami which pounded the coastlines of several countries including Indonesia and Thailand, claiming over 220,000 lives.

Last month--eerily, also on Dec. 26--a major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck off Taiwan's southern coastline. Fortunately, the quake did not result in the heart-wrenching death toll that was recorded for the 2004 Tsunami.

The tremors did, however, damage several major submarine cables that connect Asia and Europe and the United States, and caused one of Asia's worst network outages since the Net revolution.

Most Internet services have since returned to near-normal status, though some network congestion is expected to remain until repair works--currently underway--are completed. Until then, it remains a hot watercooler topic.

Consumers take the limelight
But while it ended on a somber note, 2006 did see some bright lights along the way. Consumers, for one, had one heck of a year.

The amount of user-created content grew in leaps and bounds, and community networking today has never been tighter--online, at least.

There were blogs and wikis abound, and sites such as YouTube and MySpace, took center stage.

Search giant Google was quick to recognize the value in user-created content and promptly snapped up YouTube for US$1.65 billion, despite the legal implications.

In fact, market observers say consumer tools will soon make their way into the corporate IT realm, with "prosumer" applications leading the way.

Some things never changed, though, in 2006. ZDNet Asia readers still enjoyed perusing news about Microsoft and its adversary, namely, the entire open source community. As with previous years, articles that touched on issues involving these two subjects received some of the highest page views.

And, like previous years, there were more mergers and acquisitions in 2006 and spectacular squabbles that would have provided great material for any daytime soap opera.

Here are the top 10 headlines, ranked chronologically, in 2006:


Vista: Ready for a new day
Roundup of the latest news and tech tips on Windows Vista which is shipping to businesses, but will be available to consumers only in January.
Friday, December 08, 2006

Intel hits the floor running, on all four
Chipmaker launches quad-core processors across three main platforms, months ahead of archrival. But, AMD says it won't bring forward its release date.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wireless USB poised to cut the cable
After years of discussion, fast wireless connections between PCs and peripherals are getting close.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

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Do former black hats make good hires?
Some businesses find it hard to hire black hat hackers, reformed or not, noting that it takes more than knowing the hacker mindset to become good IT security consultants.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

IE 7 site leads to Firefox hole
Instead of retrieving information on Microsoft's latest browser, visitors to www.ie7.com are directed to rival Mozilla's Web site.
Monday, September 04, 2006

Linux gets its 'Moto' running
Motorola's success with its Linux-based smartphones in China shows signs of the open source platform's growing influence.
Friday, July 28, 2006

Academics break the Great Firewall of China
University of Cambridge computer experts say they breached firewall but can use it to launch denial-of-service attacks.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Taiwan mandates Linux-ready PCs
Government requires future desktop PCs to be compatible with Linux, but is not pushing for the open-source operating system to be installed.
Monday, June 26, 2006

Apple pushes to unmask product leaker
Company pushes in court to unmask product leaker, and Mac sales "pause" as users await Intel systems.
Friday, April 21, 2006

LAMP lights the way in open-source security
U.S. government-sponsored analysis finds that the most popular open-source software is also the most free of bugs.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006