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December 19, 2008

Internet 2008: Thank you and good night

Posted: 01:14 PM ET

My love for technology began in 1988 when I enrolled in my high school’s radio production class. Yes, my high school had its own radio station. How perfect was it to be doing air guitar while listening to stacks and stacks of my favorite vinyl records –- and getting class credit? The science of radio hooked me from the start. It was accessible. It was fun. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. That is, until a few years later when the World Wide Web arrived.

What are your favorite Web sites of 2008?

Oh, Internet. How I love thee. You have given us so much this year. And I’m not just talking about that webcam of the puppies. But as those dogs in a box and so many other time-wasters sucked up so much of your life, there were so many other Web sites that you probably missed. Here are five of my favorites you should visit before the credits roll on 2008: Free streaming tunes. But here’s the kicker: You can buy any track you want and part of the proceeds goes to the artist, while part goes to the registered user who uploaded the track. The ultimate how-to on the Web. Fun, relatively easy instructions on making everything from gift bags from cereal boxes to animated LED snowflake window decorations. Teaches kids safe surfing habits while trying to keep things fun. Blogs, games, computer shortcuts. It’s all there. Parents will learn a lot, too. Gas prices are pretty low now. But who are we kidding? They’ll be frustrating us sooner than we can say “fill 'er up.” gives you real-time prices from some 750,000 volunteer price spotters. Handmade, one-of-a-kind items of all sorts. And if you’re hip to the DIY scene, you can sell your wares here, too.

Now it's your turn. What Web sites could you have not done without this year? Submit yours here!

- Stephen Walsh,

Filed under: computers • Gasoline • Internet

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Amanda   December 19th, 2008 2:08 pm ET – FREE, POPULAR, EASY, MODERATED...could not have done without it this year and probably will not manage without it in 2009! Happy New Year!

Steve   December 19th, 2008 5:33 pm ET Unknown, extremely funny website.

Drew   December 19th, 2008 6:41 pm ET

Ars Technica, - probably the most in-depth tech site in English, with really excellent coverage of science.

Chris   December 19th, 2008 7:59 pm ET – an online, free document viewer. . . no need to install all those expensive office document programs. It's all done online and you can create an account for free to keep documents private and view your documents (including e-books) anywhere.

Richard Howes   December 19th, 2008 8:02 pm ET !!!! Radar detectors don't work anymore. Trapster is a social networking website that works with smart phones to alert you to speed traps. The only technology that is free and saves you time and money.

MarcyK   December 19th, 2008 10:41 pm ET

Definitely You can waste an eternity looking at all the gadgets to create your own iGoogle webpage but it has really put everything under my fingertips in one place and made my life easier.
I have my gmail gadget, my rss reader, GasBuddy for my neighborhood, Google maps for any area I want, psalm readings for the day, quote of the day, my Google calendar synced to my Microsoft Outlook, scenic photos of the day, recipe of the day gadget, weather for my area, today's syndicated comics from the newspaper, a list program to keep organized and even a fishtank program for movement (I can feed my "fish" electronic food). There are TONS of gadgets for all kinds of interests. A great tool.

Bill Jackson   December 20th, 2008 12:14 am ET – a great little website builder that I used to make my music portfolio – great features and no ads on your pages

Steve Chan MD   December 20th, 2008 9:03 am ET

2008 is the year of the social network! I am a doc and got into social networking tihs year. I think radRounds and Sermo are my favorite physician social networking sites!

Paul   December 20th, 2008 9:23 am ET

Sue   December 20th, 2008 12:42 pm ET

I heartily agree with your choices! When I told the owner of my local gas station that I added his station to, he was elated! The station is now busier than it's ever been thanks to falling prices and web exposure. has some wonderful art, jewelry, etc, all at reasonable prices. For several years a friend has made me jewelry for which I've received many compliments. Finally, is as much fun to watch as it is from which to learn something new. Always fresh, it leaves one with a, "So that's how they do that!" sense of childlike wonder.

Dennis B Drake   December 20th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

As we are saving the USA and all who live here I belive my sites are the most important on the Web . We are Improving Fuel Mileage right now 50% to 300% w/ Less Pollution W/ our HAFC System for any gas powered vehicle and early next year our PICC will be released for any fuel used and NO Pollution and 400% to over 900% increase in MPG And July 10 2009 Is Energy Independence Day in USA & Canada So I urge everyone to completely check out

LeAnn   December 20th, 2008 4:03 pm ET – I love this site!

Franko   January 6th, 2009 3:32 pm ET

Quick CNN, explore all caches and web archivers
Recover the lost Blog Posts
I was not able to work through the suggested sites till all Gone

Did a Global Warming Worm in the Apple migrate into the CNN Blogs ?

Kenny   January 9th, 2009 12:50 am ET is awesome. check it out. it is a website that fuctions as a radiostation with no commercials, and lets you choose an artist... it then plays popular songs by that artist as well as music with similar "identities" or genes if you will. "Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony." -pandora. i was turned onto the site by a good friend. it is also user friendly and follows all music copyright laws.

another really good site that i'm sure has more of a following would have to be it is a social networking utility that keeps people in touch with friends and aquaintences around the world. I was brought up in a military family, and needless to say i was moved around quite a lot. it was nice to join this website and finally be reconnected with people that i grew up around.

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Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

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