Current’s Top 10 Stories of the Year, Part Two

5. Leeton locals close the door on Harvey Norman (by Patrick Avenell)

Leeton may be a sleepy hamlet of just 7,000 residents, set in New South Wales’ beautiful rice belt, but the locals proved they had the might to take on the nation’s biggest electrical retailer when they bandied together to stop a discount sale at the local club. As there are only a handful of Leetonians in our industry, the popularity of this story showed just how much all Australians were amused by the residents’ small town sass.

4. Canon’s 1000D focuses on overcoming entry barriers (by Martin Vedris)

Extensive market research by Canon found numerous entry barriers obstructing the uptake of DSLR cameras. The photography specialists responded to this by releasing an entry level model with features designed to suit consumers making the great leap forward from the point-and-shoot category. “This camera allows you to preview images and focus in the Live View screen and a lot of people are already familiar with this feature on their compact digital cameras,” said Canon product manager Chris MacLeod.

3. Whitegoods empire on the brink of bankruptcy (by James Wells)

Wells had a world first with this article on the collapse of Italian entrepreneur Antonio Merloni’s whitegoods empire. Merloni was forced to file for Italy’s Marazano Law – an equivalent of Chapter 11 in the US – to allow the company one last chance to stave off extinction. “The decision has been taken to allow the Group to perform its restructuring plan in a controlled environment, with maximum protection for all stakeholders,” wrote an unnamed source in a letter intercepted by Current.com.au.

2. Dick Smith store sells phone with pornographic images (by Patrick Avenell)

The old adage ‘sex sells’ was given new meaning when a Cairns woman claimed she found pornographic images on a Samsung mobile phone bought from Dick Smith Electronics. The images allegedly showed persons in Dick Smith uniforms engaged in adult activities. For those that can appreciate the lighter side of any story, we were amused by her quote, “It’s sickening to think I’ve been using this phone near my face”.

1. Microsoft confirms details of the upcoming new Xbox Live Dashboard (by Martin Vedris)

Speak to any retailer, and they’ll tell you that gaming is so hot right now, and when Vedris spoke with Microsoft senior product manager Andrew Jenkins about the new Live Dashboard feature, our website was just as hot. Jenkins used Current.com.au to confirm the release date for the then much-anticipated interactive add-on, and our readers responded, making this story the biggest of the year.

"With this new dashboard experience you will be able to install the entire game onto the hard drive, and by using the disc you can initiate the game start up, which allows to you to have even quicker load times, an even quieter box and even better experience,” said Jenkins.

And so 2008 is almost behind us. It’s been a good year for Beijing, Barack and Blu-ray, and bad one for Heath, Hitachi and HD DVD. So let old acquaintance be forgot, for 2009 is soon upon us, and with that, a whole new year of news from this wonderful industry.

From the team at Current.com.au, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Martin Vedris
Patrick Avenell
James Wells

The first part can be found by clicking here.

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