2009: A year in review, November
The hairiest month of the year has to be November. For men across the world it's the chance to down razors for 30 days and partake in Movember - a charity moustache-growing marathon in aid of the fight against prostate cancer. This year, team TechMo - spearheaded by the Mo Bros at Pocket-lint - raised a whopping £1667 for the cause.
But there were important events in November that occurred away from the top lips of Pocket-lint writers, too. The biggest of which was probably the mammoth launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The titanic game was the biggest-selling entertainment launch in history, grossing $310 million in the first day - more than any movie or album in history.
Within 5 days that rose to $550 million, with 8 million players online. Publishers Activision pointed out that this was the largest "army" of video game players in the world. Over the month of November, US sales topped 4.2 million units for the Xbox 360 and 1.87 million units for the PlayStation 3.
However, the launch was marred with controversy over a scene that involved the player in a massacre at a Russian airport. This led to some outrage in the media, causing MP Tom Watson to form a pressure group of video game players called "Gamers' Voice", which has 16,462 members at the time of writing.
Over on the hardware side of things, a handful of phones appeared - most notably the First ELSE - an Israeli design agency's take on how a touchscreen mobile should work, complete with circular menus and plenty of spangly graphics which will be rather taxing on any mobile processor. We'll see how that one pans out.
There was also Sony Ericsson's first Android handset - the Xperia X10, the Sony Ericsson U10i Aino, and the rugged Casio G'zone Rock. Android showed up on a photo frame, too - the 10-inch Grande Specchio from Parrot, which costs a massive $650 but provides USB, SD, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to email pics to the device.
Dell showed off its Zino HD Mini desktop PC too, and a handful more Windows 7 laptops and touchscreen desktops appeared, the most notable of which was the Dell Adamo XPS - an innovative laptop with a powerful set of features, some genuine experimentation, and design chops at least in the same league as Apple, even if not quite beating it.
The hardware end of the netbook world was quiet, but the software side exploded with the release of the source code for Google's forthcoming open-source, browser-based operating system Chrome OS. Within hours of release, enterprising hackers had managed to put together a working version that could be run in a virtualised window, so we had a play with it and found it to be a little lacking - just a browser window and nothing else. Hopefully Google can do a little better before it's finally released in 2010.
In the world of photography, the Leica M7 Hermes came out, as did the Ricoh GXR and the Canon Powershot S90. Olympus also issued its Pen EP-2 - a slight upgrade in functionality and massive upgrade in cost on the EP-1 which still remains on sale.
The filesharing world gained strength again in November, having been on the defensive for a few months since the Pirate Bay defendants were sentenced to jail. The BitTorrent protocol was boosted with an anti-throttling update, and the Pirate Bay decentralised by shutting down its tracker to make things more difficult for the major content companies trying to close it up.
Lastly, the villages of Aughton and Omskirk in Lancashire were puzzled to discover a previously unheard-of town called Argleton on Google Maps in what they thought was an empty field. Neither residents, Google, or Google's mapping data provider Tele Atlas, was able to explain where Argleton had come from.
Oh, and the Pocket-lint award nominees were announced. But who won? Find out in December.