Google's Chrome OS peek, Christmas wishlists and an antivirus tour
Photos of the month - December 2010
Google had a busy December starting with the unveiling of its long-awaited Chrome operating system, which it demoed at an event in San Francisco ahead of a full launch in mid-2011.
The web-based OS will support multiple user accounts which instantly sync user-specific apps (shown above).
To find out what other features are in store with Chrome OS, see: Photos: A look at Google Chrome OS.
Chrome OS was first made available on a limited-edition laptop known as the Cr-48.
Some Cr-48s were given to those who attended Google's Chrome OS announcement in San Francisco, along with a package of stickers to decorate their laptops, as shown above.
Take a closer look at the Cr-48 in: Photos: A look at Google's first Chrome OS laptop.
Google was also in attendance at LeWeb - a Paris-based internet conference organised by web entrepreneur Loïc Le Meur, pictured above dressed in an Angry Birds costume while interviewing the makers of the game.
For more photos from LeWeb, see: Photos: What went down at the LeWeb tech conference.
The web giant also launched Google Earth Engine last month, a global mapping tool designed to track changes to the environment.
The engine consists of a database of satellite images of the Earth's surface dating back more than 25 years, and a set of software tools that spot and map environmental changes in those images.
This is one of the maps created using the engine, showing different types of vegetation and soil throughout the Amazon region in South America. This kind of map can be used to spot deforestation and forest degradation.
To explore more pictures produced by Google Earth Engine, see: Photos: Google Earth goes green.
In December, Google also unveiled its second attempt at an Android smartphone - the Nexus S - which it developed with Samsung.
The Nexus S (shown above) is the first smartphone to run the latest version of Google's operating system, Android 2.3 - also known as Gingerbread, and is equipped with a five-megapixel camera capable of HD video capture.
Take a look at some of the other features of the phone in: Photos: Google and Samsung unveil Nexus S.
LG revealed its latest stab at the smartphone market in the shape of the Optimus 2X, which the company touts as the world's first smartphone to carry a dual-core processor.
Featuring an Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz processor, the Optimus 2X should give users quicker response times when multitasking and faster web browsing, according to LG.
To find out more about the device, see: Photos: LG unveils Optimus 2X dual-core smartphone.
Meanwhile, RIM updated its Bold line-up with the BlackBerry Bold 9780, which uses the company's latest operating system - BlackBerry OS 6.
The Bold 9780 is similar to the Bold 9700 in design but adds a better camera and has twice the amount of flash memory compared to its predecessor.
For more details, see: Photos: BlackBerry Bold gets an update with the 9780.
Following a visit to Russian antivirus company Kaspersky Lab, silicon.com editor Steve Ranger provided a pictorial tour of its antivirus labs in Moscow as the year drew to an end.
Shown above is the virus lab in which Kaspersky's researchers devise new ways of combating malware. The researchers are dubbed 'woodpeckers' as it's their job to peck bugs and worms out of software.
To see what else goes on in the antivirus labs, click: Photos: Inside Kaspersky Lab's antivirus HQ.
Last month, silicon.com sister site CNET also took a look at how software and web companies are furthering the green cause by investing in renewable energy or developing technology to promote efficient energy use.
Cisco is investing in smart grid technology, such as networking gear for substations, and datacentre equipment to process data coming in from sensors and smart meters on the electric grid.
The company has a deal with US-based Duke Energy in which it supplies networking equipment and home energy controllers like the one shown above.
To find out what other tech companies are working on in terms of efficient energy use, take a look at: Photos: The IT giants with big plans for green tech.
And with Christmas approaching, December saw silicon.com choose a selection of the best presents to thank techie colleagues for all their hard work in 2010.
One of the highlights was a magic wand that doubles as a television remote. The device transmits commands to the television using predefined gestures. If you want to change channels, simply give it a swish and say 'abracadabra!'
Find out what other goodies made the list in: Photos: Top Christmas presents for techies.
silicon.com didn't forget about CIOs at Christmas, either, with a round-up of festive present ideas.
The most unusual present to make the list was probably the robotic guard dog, the Rovio, which can be programmed to walk any route and record what's going on with its head-mounted camera. It's also possible to view a live feed of its progress using a built-in wi-fi connection.
To see what other gifts CIOs may have received on Christmas day, click here: Photos: Top 10 presents for a CIO this Christmas.
And to help get iPad owners into the festive spirit, silicon.com did some digging to turn up the 10 best Christmas-themed iPad apps.
The Holiday Bells app (above) allows the user to turn their iPad into a hand bell, jingle bells or a set of hand bells that are triggered by swinging the device. For those worried about throwing their new tablet across the room, you can also simply tap the device to ring the bells.
If you're not ready to farewell the festive season just yet, take a look at some of the other iPad apps out there in: Photos: Apple iPad - 10 festive apps for Christmas.
Screenshot credit: Holiday Bells/iTunes