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Back to the Webby’s

While there’s no shortage of new and exciting technology in the world, even the high-tech industry goes through its doldrums.

While there’s no shortage of new and exciting technology in the world, even the high-tech industry goes through its doldrums.

The only interesting snippet I found in reading about a dozen tech publications was an announcement by Samsung that they’re releasing high capacity flash memory cards starting at 4GB – about the same capacity as the smallest iPod Mini. Future memory cards will allow an amazing 16GB of flash storage, all but making the whole concept of mini hard drives obsolete.

Aside from that, it’s been a bit of a snooze recently, forcing me to flog a dead horse once more – the Webby Awards. Now in their ninth year, these awards were presented to outstanding websites in 63 categories on Monday after first being pared down to the top five by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

I covered this event for three years in a row but decided to take a break last year for the reason that the same sites kept appearing in the top-five every year, and the same websites kept winning in different categories. I checked it out again this year, to see if things had changed much and was pleasantly surprised.

The full list of Webby Award nominees, runners up and winners is available at . Without going into too much detail, here’s a partial list of my favourite 2005 Webby winners:

The World Citizen Guide – . The winner in the Activism category, this American site was put together as a travel resource for citizens and students traveling around the world. If you do a lot of traveling it’s a great starting point for any trip.

Graffiti Archaeology – . Whether you think graffiti is art or blight, this is amazingly constructed site presents some rather intense images of graffiti in a very unique and interactive way.

Boing Boing – . This site won the Webby’s Blog category. Considering the quality and quantity of Web logs out there that means a lot.

CBC Radio 3 – . This site did not win the Broadband category, but it’s a damn good music and culture site that every savvy Canadian should bookmark and visit at least once a week.

Celebrity/Fan category – Too much good stuff here to pick favourites, so check out chef Jamie Oliver’s blog at , Adam Sandler’s website at , and the Muppet site at .

Metaphorical – . This neat site won the incredibly competitive Games category, which is weird because I couldn’t find a single playable game anywhere. But it’s a neat site nonetheless.

The Merck Manual – . This is the official site of Merck, which publishes home health manuals, medical textbooks and more. It’s a good place to go for basic health information, and won this year’s Health award.

Epicurious – . This awesome food, wine and recipe appreciation site won the Lifestyle category. If you’re sick of the same old, same old, bookmark this site.

BBC OneMusic – . The Brits have always been light years ahead of the world musically, and this site is light years ahead of other British music pages. As well as tracks from featured performers, this Music category winner includes industry news, tips on operating digital music studios and more.

Virgin Radio – . Say what you want about Richard Branson and his pathetic reality show, the Virgin Radio website, winner of the Radio category, is one thing he’s definitely done right.

Singing Fish – . This is a weird but strangely useful website that enables you to search the web for audio and video files. Developed by America Online, Singing Fish won the Services category.

Skype – . If you’ve been living under a rock, or under two rocks in Whistler’s case, Skype is the real deal. Winning the Telecommunications category, Skype basically offers a free Internet telephone service that allows you to call people around the world for free. Yes. Free.

Comedy Central – . Comedy Central won the Television category this year for their coverage of the 2004 U.S. Election. Most of that coverage is buried somewhere, but there’s still lots of clips, games and features to entertain.

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