Who's been naughty and nice in 2008?

Why should Santa have all the fun? I've also been making a list and checking it twice to figure out who deserves treats in their stockings and who's getting a big honkin' lump of coal.

Here in no particular order are my picks for the good/bad boys and girls of tech for 2008.

Naughty: Apple arbitrarily pulls software from its iPhone App Store – no explanations, no apologies, and no refunds.

Nice: Microsoft relents and gives XP another few months before it's scheduled to visit the gallows. I'm betting this isn't the last last-minute reprieve for XP, either.

Naughty: “Vista Capable” class action suit unveils emails that show Microsoft execs knew exactly how big a bowser Vista was – and how steamed companies like HP were about it. “Wow,” my ass.

Nice: I know I'm in the minority here, but I liked the first Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld commercial (discount shoe store, churros). But the second one was just creepy.

Naughty: Gawker Media shrinks Valleywag to the point where you need a microscope to find it. Personally, I always enjoyed the 'Wag – it was a guilty, bitchy pleasure.

Nice: The Technologizer blog launches. Written by Harry McCracken, former editor in chief at PC World, current friend and colleague. Finally a tech blog by somebody who actually knows tech and can write.

Naughty: Guns N Roses drops the hammer on a fan who streams songs from their first album in 14 years on his blog. Later, China drops the hammer on GNR, banning sales of “Chinese Democracy” due to incendiary lyrics.

Nice: Hulu.com and Fancast.com, where you can watch what you want, when you want to. TV finally grows up and enters the Internet age.

Naughty: Apple shafts Macworld Expo by pulling out at the 11th hour. Proving that Steve Jobs still manages to create drama even when he has nothing to say.

Nice: Apple introduces the iPhone it should have released the first time out, with high-speed 3G access and a more reasonable price tag.

Naughty: Apple screws the pooch on 3G phone activation, launching MobileMe, the Apps store, and its new phones within 24 hours of each other, totally overwhelming its own servers.

Nice: Google Android phones finally appear, and nearly 50 major companies join the Open Handset Alliance.

Naughty: Bloomberg.com mistakenly runs Steve Jobs' obituary, causing Apple stock to temporarily nose dive. A month later a “citizen journalist” does something similar on a CNN-affiliated site, only on purpose.

Nice: Rogue Web hosting operation McColo gets booted offline, offering the world a much less spammy Internet – for about a week.

Naughty: The RIAA. Its latest move to make ISPs play the heavy just earns the group even more coal in their stockings – though they've already got enough to power the entire Northeast.

Nice: Obama campaign proves that it “gets” Web 2.0. Now the question is, can the yet-to-be-named national CTO do anything about the DMCA, net neutrality, and all our other high-tech ills?

And a very Merry Happy to all of you out there in blogland. See y'all next week.

Culture Crash blogger Dan Tynan is hoping Santa brings something nice this year. But he'll settle for more sleep.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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