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Apple history, Google Street View, Windows 7 and fried chicken

Photos of the year: Part two
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By Jo Best on
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1 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

Photos of the year: Part two

Welcome to part two of silicon.com's photos of the year, with the second instalment being distinctly software themed.

This year saw the launch of Google's Street View in the UK, giving silicon.com the opportunity to take a tour around the tech sites featured on the mapping service.

Shown above is the BT Tower - a 1960s icon and now a Grade II listed building.

More of the top tech sites on Street View can be found in this photo story.

Image credit: Google Street View

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2 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

If you like your historical sites a little more watery or historical, then check out our latest tour through Google Earth 5.0, released earlier this year.

The app lets users travel underwater to see the sea floor. It also lets them travel back in time to see earlier versions of the service's aerial and satellite photography.

Google Earth also highlights areas of the ocean that are not capable of supporting life such as this dead zone off the coast of Florida.

Dive into Google Earth 5.0 with the full photo gallery here.

Photo credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET News

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3 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

There's more to life than Google of course, and if you're looking for an alternative to the Mountain View behemoth, silicon.com has a choice of 10 for you.

Among them is the search service pictured above, called Cooliris. It's a search engine designed for finding images and video and delivers results from popular photosharing sites such as Flickr and Picasa.

To see which other search options made our top 10 alternatives to Google, click here.

Image credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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4 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

Microsoft also featured among our most popular photo stories of the year, including this photo story exploring the next version of Redmond's productivity software, Office 2010.

Shown above is the screen for creating a new document in Word 2010.

You can find a more in-depth look at the technical preview of Office 2010 here.

Photo credit: Renai LeMay/ZDNet Australia

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5 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

Another exploration of an upcoming Microsoft product came in the form of a story entitled Windows 7 - How it will look on your desktop, part 2.

The latest Microsoft OS features this new Device Stage which gives users one place to corral and handle their devices, from USB-connected cameras to networked printers.

For more on how Windows 7 will look for you, click here.

Photo credit: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

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6 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

So how did Microsoft go about creating Windows 7? With a "whacky brainstorm" or two, of course.

At the Mix 09 event in Las Vegas earlier this year, Microsoft designer Stephan Hoefnagels took the wraps off the early sketches of the operating system, including the brainstorm shown here.

To see more of the thinking behind Windows 7, click here.

Photo credit: Ina Fried/CNET

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7 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

While Windows 7 might be Microsoft's release of the year, the software giant is already working on all manner of potential future products at its R&D labs in Cambridge.

silicon.com visited the facility earlier this year and saw a range of tech including this - the NodeXL project, which focuses on visualising and contextualising Excel spreadsheet data.

This image shows the links between senators in the US Congress. The connecting lines indicate how often votes are aligned. The cluster on the left is Republicans, while the one on the right is Democrats and independent senators.

To see the full range of tech Microsoft is working on in Cambridge, click here.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

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8 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

If Apple is more your thing, there's a slew of photo stories to keep you happy, including a look at the iPhone 3.0 software launched in May.

3.0 brought with it the long awaited cut and paste functionality, which allows users to drag grab points around a block of text to copy or cut it into another location. The functionality also works across all apps, including emails, text messages and websites, as well as photos.

To see what else made it into iPhone 3.0, click here.

Photo credit: CNET

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9 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

If it's all play and no work for your iPhone, take a look at our suggestions for the apps you need to transform your Apple device into a portable office.

For a voice recording app with some nice bells and whistles, there's the SpeakEasy Voice Recorder. It smoothly navigates through a list of saving or rerecording options, lets you title and comment on recordings, and can categorise them into areas such as meetings, reminders, shopping lists etc.

To see what else you can do to make your working day go smoother using your iPhone, check out the full list of apps here.

Photo credit: Zarboo

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10 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

2009 was the 25th anniversary of the release of the first Apple Macintosh.

silicon.com marked the event with a retrospective of Apple's hardware over the last quarter of a century including this early PowerBook.

To see more of the Mac's evolution, check out this photo story.

Photo credit: James Martin/CNET News

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11 of 15 Marco Mioli via Wikimedia under the following Creative Commons Licence

The Mac wasn't the only piece of hardware that got its own retrospective this year: silicon.com also took a look back at how Apple's mouse has evolved over the company's history.

The mouse was a key selling point of the first Macintosh in 1984, as it allowed the Mac user to break free from the command-line prompt and explore exciting new graphical user interfaces.

Take a tour through the history of the Apple mouse here.

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12 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

Food-themed stories also made it onto our most popular list, including a tour through a restaurant where the table takes your order.

At inamo in London's West End, diners can order their choice of food by tapping onto menus projected onto their table top.

Shown here is some of the 62 covers that can use the interactive system.

For more detail on how the restaurant's touch ordering system works, click here.

Photo credit: inamo

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13 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

It's not just haute cuisine that knows how to make use of technology - fast food restaurants are in on it too.

silicon.com went along to a KFC earlier this year to see how it was trialling a self-service kiosk which now accounts for 15 per cent of business at the franchise.

To see how the KFC self-service kiosk works, click here.

Photo credit: Gastronomy Foods

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14 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

What would make it onto your list of the seven tech wonders of the world? silicon.com reporter Natasha Lomas chose her favourite technological marvels this year.

Lomas included the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland, pictured above, for its "sheer breathtaking scale".

To see what else made Lomas' list of tech wonders, click here.

Photo credit: Cern

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15 of 15 Jo Best/ZDNet

And from one set of tech wonders to another: the CIOs that made silicon.com's CIO50 list of the most influential heads of IT in the country.

This list was unveiled at an event in June, attended by those who made the 2009 list as well as alumni from other years.

Among those in attendance was the winner of the 2009 silicon.com CIO50 - Catherine Doran, director of corporate development at Network Rail.

To see more photos from the CIO50 champagne reception, click here.

Photo credit: Chris Beaumont/CBS Interactive

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