It's ironic for a professional critic to have a hard time picking her one favourite thing, but these kinds of questions are always a challenge for me. I like lots of things for lots of different reasons, so I have chosen to interpret this challenge with a little more flexibility than perhaps intended and hope I can sneak it in.
My favourite thing of 2008 is my Portable Office!
My portable office consists of a laptop, a smartphone, a camera, and of course all the requisite cables, plugs and power sources. Since I need to work anywhere from the lobby of Le Germain to the wilds of a rural island in New Brunswick, I carry these three items with me everywhere and I've been doing it for years.
2008's upgrades have really made a huge difference in the load I'm carrying around, my connectivity and what I can accomplish while sitting on a beach (er… in a co-working space).
My 2008 cell phone the HTC S720 has let me wrangle orders, interviews and blog from a kayak a mile from shore. When in past years, these requests would have gone unnoticed for at least a week until I returned to the mainland.
For more heavy lifting, without heavy lifting, I recently snagged an Acer AspireOne netbook. Yes those toy-looking ones they are selling on the Shopping Channel. No I didn't get the pink one. I got mine in black.
Even with a six-cell battery & 160G harddrive it weights less then 3lbs. That's bigger than the drive on my workhorse Toshiba, but it weighs 5lbs LESS and lasts 5 hours longer. That's a delight since I don't have to constantly be trolling for power.
My camera, the Canon S5is, isn't all that small but since I can do video interview with it with the same ease as zooming in on the speakers at the front of the conference and snapping macro food photos, it really does cover a lot of bases.
With all of these tucked nicely into my slick new Golla laptop bag, I can carry my office around with me all day long without having to reach for any motrin at all (thought frankly I'm an advil girl).