From the lowlights to the highlights, CrunchGear's "Best of 2008" takes you through the year's best and brightest from the world of tech. The writers from TechCrunch's sister site weigh in with their professional opinions, then present the results of a public poll -- and the two views don't always match up. In the "Best Phone" award, for example, the staff picks the Android-based T-Mobile G1, while the people pick the iPhone 3G. Surf on over and get in on the debate.
So many year-ender lists tackle big name products and stories. Mashable takes a different approach by focusing on two dozen new Web sites that didn't get their deserved day in the spotlight. The list profiles some promising startups you might not have seen, such as a site that lets you hear words pronounced in practically any language by a native speaker. "24 Most Underrated" is an interesting read that stands out from the rest.
Perhaps the most practical entry of this list, LifeHacker's duo of "Most Popular Free Downloads" presents the most popular free programs downloaded by Windows and Mac users over the past year (using the site's own traffic measurement as a guide). You'll find tools like a PDF to Word document converter, a simple audio/video file converter, and an open source challenger to the iTunes beast.