2009: A year in review, August
The only people who weren't on holiday in August seem to be those in the camera industry. It was a bumper August for imaging with the superb Canon 7D breaking cover, while the company's compact range exploded to life with the launch of the fantastic G11 and PowerShot S90, the latter of which was to eventually make it into our nominees for best camera of the year.
Old adversary Nikon, had some pretty unique ideas of its own with world's first projector-come-camera, the Nikon S1000pj. At the same time Sony made further inroads towards some serious competition with the Alpha 500, 550 and 850 DSLRs, and Olympus came out with the E6000 big snapper too. Even Leica launched not one but two whole products with the M9 digital rangefinder and the super expensive, super resolution Leica S2.
Photography was also playful in August with the Sony Party Shot camera shooting module, the dual-screened Samsung ST5500, the full HD Samsung HMX-U10 pocket camcorder, whilst webcams went HD with the arrival of the update to the Microsoft Lifecam range. Kodak also showed that the old dog was happy to learn some new tricks as it set a competition to crowd source the name for its next product. The Pocket Rocket was appreciated but ultimately not accepted.
Elsewhere, the tech world was deathly quiet. Just three phones launched - the Android-running Samsung Galaxy and two INQ phones - the Mini and the Chat. The Dell Mini 3i smartphone appeared in images from Asia and we heard that RIM was the fastest growing company in the world. For mobile phone news though, that lot was the equivalent of tumbleweed.
Even Apple was relatively schtum. The TomTom app landed, as did Snow Leopard but we'd known they were coming for ages. The confirmation of the 9 September iPod launch was no massive surprise and most people were too busy putting that 2 with the Beatles Rock Band 2 together and making 5 to really notice that, for the first time, Steve Jobs made a comment acknowledging the existence of an Apple tablet.
Rivals Microsoft managed to take centre stage instead with one small but very significant piece of photo editing, as a black man was photo-shopped out of an advert to be aired in Eastern Europe. Cue furore and an entire battery farm of egg on face.
Mercifully, the world of AV was looking more progressive. Channel 4 announced it would screen a week of 3D in the autumn while the 3D event of the year itself, Avatar, launched a trailer for us all to enjoy. Samsung talked up TV technology with the promise of 400Hz panels, LG confirmed its 15-inch OLED and Toshiba finally bit the bullet and joined the Blu-ray Association. And, for those looking for something a little more simple, YouTube hosted an entire week of streaming Ghostbusters to all and sundry.
The only other hardware of significance was the arrival of the Sony Reader Touch and Pocket Editions, and the launch of the MSI laptop range which included the X600 slimline.
Otherwise, World of Warcraft launched its own magazine after the news of the Cataclysm update to come in the future - shock, horror, Twitter went down - a terrible thing given that London was named the Twitter capitol of the world, Star Trek launched its own cologne, cash machines went Cockney, a squirrel was the hot new meme, the Loch Ness Monster was spotted on Google Earth and a man was caught trying to sell an oven door dressed up as a TV. You'd never have guessed it was the silly season, would you?