CARDIFF, Wales (AP):A former English Premier League player was found not guilty of rape yesterday following a retrial, ending a five-year case.Ched Evans, a Wales international who has played for Manchester City and Sheffield United, wept and hugged his fiancee after the verdict was given at Cardiff Crown Court.The 27-year-old Evans admitted to having sex with a teenager in a hotel in north Wales in May 2011 but always insisted it was consensual. He was convicted of rape in April 2012 and released from prison after serving half of his five-year sentence.The rape conviction was overturned in April following an appeal.A jury of seven women and five men found Evans not guilty following three hours of deliberations after the eight-day trial.Evans and his partner stood outside court with supporters as his solicitor read a statement on behalf of Evans.”That incident did not involve the commission of a criminal offence,” the statement said, “and today, I am overwhelmed with relief that the jury agreed.”Thanks go, too, to my friends and family,” it added, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour. Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”Evans plays for third-tier club Chesterfield, who signed him in June despite a public outcry when he attempted to return to professional football with other clubs while his appeal was being heard.
Jamaican winger Leon Bailey came on as a second half substitute on his debut for Bayer Leverkusen during their 1-0 defeat to Hamburg in the German Bundesliga today. The 19-year-old Bailey entered the field in the 82nd minute when he replaced follow winger Admir Mehmedi. Bailey signed a five-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen from Belgian side Genk for 11.5 million pounds last week. The 19-year-old impressed during his time at the Belgian Club scoring 15 goals and providing 21 assists in 77 league games. He also slammed in seven goals and three assists in 12 European outings for Genk. Hamburg’s goal was scored by Kyriakos Papadopoulos in the 76th minute.
Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra James Harden scores 35, Rockets beat Raptors MOST READ That doesn’t mean the women won’t face extra skepticism. Kimanni Ingram, another draft-eligible player, has played with Evans and respects the way she has navigated blowback from male gamers.But even his compliments Tuesday came with a qualifier.“She has the basketball IQ for a girl,” Ingram said. “Most people would be like, ‘I’m playing with a girl. She’s not going to know what to do.’ She knows what she’s doing. You can tell.”News of Evans’ selection traveled fast. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked about her prior to a game against Boston.“I think that’s really cool that she’s passionate and inspired and broke a barrier,” Kerr said. “That’s awesome.”“Esports has become a huge thing now,” said Kevin Durant, Evans’ favorite player. “More people who enjoy the game might get an opportunity to be professionals and make some money for themselves and make some money. I think it’s cool.”Female gamers have had difficulty breaking into pro esports. Among the most popular circuits, League of Legends Championship Series and the Overwatch League have each had just one female player. Those women both received ample praise and criticism on social media.The NBA wants to help Evans and Novin manage that. The 2K League has a transition program based on the NBA’s rookie symposium, and it added sessions specifically for Evans and Novin to help them navigate their potential barrier-breaking roles, including help with social media.One item 2K hopes to change soon: The video game still does not include any female players. Unlike EA Sports’ NBA Live series — which includes WNBA rosters and the ability to create female players — NBA 2K is still male-only. Donohue says 2K is working to add women to future versions of the game.That’s not bumming out Evans right now. She’s already building out her to-do list for her new home in Oakland. LATEST STORIES View comments Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Evans was one of two women who qualified for the 2K League draft this year through the league’s online combine. The other, Brianna Novin, was not selected but could still sign as a free agent.The NBA runs the league in coordination with 2K game publisher Take-Two Interactive, and it did not have any women for its inaugural season. Prior to last year’s draft, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the lack of gender diversity “a disappointment for all of us so far.”The league set out to solve that problem by holding focus groups with top women gamers to spot potential barriers. One key problem: Data showed that male players weren’t passing the ball to their female teammates — something that wasn’t accounted for when the league analyzed players to build the 2018 draft pool.“It made us put more emphasis on how good a player was when they got the ball in their hands,” said 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue. “That’s the only part of it they can control.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Chiquita Evans poses for photographs with Brendan Donohue after being selected as the 56th pick overall by the Warriors Gaming Squad at the NBA 2K League draft Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in New York. Evans is the first woman selected in the esports league. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — After over three hours of sitting, waiting and stressing, Chiquita Evans heard her name called. She stood, smiled and put on a Warriors cap, striding to the stage backed by the loudest applause of the night.Someone put a microphone in front of her and asked her how it felt. That’s when she finally choked up.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college No more sessions as a trainer at Planet Fitness. The Chicago native is heading to the Bay Area.“It feels surreal,” she said. “I’m going to see if I can do a real-life shooting competition with (Stephen) Curry,” Evans said. “That’s what I was known for. See if I can shoot with the best.” Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “It changes everything,” she said. “It means everything to me.”Evans became the first woman ever drafted into the NBA 2K League on Tuesday night, going in the fourth round to Warriors Gaming, which is operated by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. A former college and semipro basketball player, Evans is now the esports league’s first female pro, one of the 126 players who will make between $33,000 to $37,000 per season, plus benefits and team housing.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs The league also monitored communication between players more carefully at this year’s combine, removing several players for sexist remarks.That kind of harassment isn’t new to Evans, or women in esports in general. One of the biggest challenges for women is finding teammates for games that rely so heavily on teamwork. Female gamers can try to ignore an offensive, trash-talking opponent — and there are plenty of those in the 2K community.But just like in real life, you can’t defend a pick-and-roll if your teammates aren’t willing to communicate.Evans has done most of her competitive gaming with a coed team — right now, five of its 12 players are women — and that’s helped her thrive as a shot-creating small forward.Her experience when gaming outside that team — with both teammates and opponents — hasn’t always been as rosy.“I’ve had sexual remarks put towards me,” she said. “I get told I should be back in the kitchen. ‘2K is not for women,’ I’ve had that. There’s no question about that.”Evans also got loud pushback on social media when she announced last month — on her 30th birthday, no less — that she’d qualified for the draft.“That’s the only time that it’s been discouraging for me,” Evans said. “In that moment, because it was a great moment for me, and I felt like people ruined it.”Other gamers at Tuesday’s draft were eager to welcome Evans and Novin.“Male, female, dog, cat, frog, I don’t care,” said Alexander Bernstein, a returning player with 76ers Gaming. “If you’re the best in the world, I feel like you deserve to be able to play.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title
“We look around rooms like we are today at the Lido Theatre, there are experts in this community who understand the specific needs of this region, and are able to respond most appropriately, “ Minister McRae said. “If government can help assist in that manner, I’m glad to be here to help.”One of Minster McRae’s primary topics of discussion in regard to social innovation was that of the province’s new website, a platform for like-minded individuals.“We want to make sure people are aware of what is going on in their community; what opportunities there are, what ways we can share skills, share resources,” Minister McRae said. “…It will only be strong if we have more and more people participate. It is not going to be owned by government in such a way that we are the only contributor; we need to have everybody from across the province.”- Advertisement -Some other topics Minister McRae touched on includes the power of not-for-profit organizations sustaining their own funding, the power of social innovation coming from recent graduates, a wide array of provincial initiatives, as well as the importance of the province forming strong relationships with local representatives.Local representatives speaking to the crowd includes North Peace Savings and Credit Union, NEAT, and Mayor Lori Ackerman to name a few.
Neil Warnock, the Crystal Palace manager Former Manchester City rookie Fisayo Adarabioyo has signed a short-term deal with Crystal Palace, the south London club have confirmed.The 19-year-old who has had spells, in the youth academies at City and at Birmingham, has been on trial with Neil Warnock’s side for the past month.And his performances, punctuated by a debut goal against Bristol City Under-21s last month, have been enough to persuade Palace to sign him up to their development team.Adarabioyo has been without a club since his short stint at St Johnstone finished at the end of last season. 1
Riyad Mahrez [left] 1 Manchester United are weighing up a move for Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez, according to reports in France.The winger has been in stunning form this season and already has seven Premier League goals to his name.Those goals have helped Leicester to third in the table and sparked rumours of a big-money move for the Algeria international.Manchester United, according to France Football, are the latest club to show an interest in Mahrez and they may make a move for him this January.Louis van Gaal’s side have struggled for goals in recent weeks and it is thought that attacking reinforcements will be a priority during the January window.Leicester, though, have no plans to sell Mahrez and manager Claudio Ranieri has continually expressed his desire to keep the 24-year-old.
The board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West, which represents striking Hollywood writers, has denied requests to allow members to write for the Oscar and the Golden Globe award shows. The producers of the two awards ceremonies had sought a waiver from the guild to allow writers to work on them. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — It’s taken Yolanda Griffith seven years to reach the WNBA Finals, and her debut was a splashy one. Griffith scored 25 points and dominated inside as the Sacramento Monarchs beat the Connecticut Sun, 69-65, in the opener of the best-of-5 series. With her career winding down, the 35-year-old forward knows this could be her last shot at the title. “Nothing in life is guaranteed and I’ve been preaching that from Day 1,” Griffith said. Nykesha Sales, who led the Sun with 23 points, hit a 3-pointer with 1:26 left in the game pulled Connecticut to within three at 66-63. The Sun had a chance to tie it on their next possession but Whalen missed a wide-open 3 from the right wing and the Monarchs hit 3-of-4 from the line to ice the game. MONARCH NOTES: Temeka Johnson of the Washington Mystics easily won the Rookie of the Year award and headlined the league’s first All-Rookie team. The speedy 5-3 guard received 44 of a possible 50 votes from a national media panel. The complete team is listed on B6. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “She’s got that will right now to go and try to win a championship like everybody else and you can see how possessed she is,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. The home crowd got into it early when Lindsay Whalen was announced for the starting lineup for Connecticut. The star point guard broke a bone in her left knee during the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday and was questionable for this series. The 8,200 fans erupted when Whalen ran onto the floor through bright orange jets of fire. However, Griffith had the strong shooting touch in the end. The league’s leading offensive rebounder, Griffith shot 11 for 17, mostly on inside and second-chance buckets, and finished with a team-high nine boards. The Monarchs’ defensive pressure forced the Sun into 15 turnovers. Matched up most of the game against Connecticut’s 7-foot-2 center Margo Dydek, Griffith time and again shot over Dydek’s long reach or beat her on the baseline. “She’s like a wall,” Griffith said of Dydek. “She sits right there in the paint, so when you get a jump shot, you’ve got to have confidence and knock the shot down.” The Monarchs lost both regular-season meetings but used a strong inside game, anchored by Griffith, and relentless defense to hand Connecticut a rare home loss. The Sun, making their second consecutive appearance in the finals, had lost only three games this season at the Mohegan Sun arena coming in. Game 2 is tonight in Connecticut. Griffith’s 25 points are the fifth-highest single-game total in WNBA Finals history.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every year, the approaching autumn stirs the memories and dreams of Buckeye deer hunters. The sportsman begins to dream of the deer he is soon to harvest and the venison he is soon to eat. He looks forward to the many sights, sounds, and feelings associated with the hunt itself: the spooky sound of deer snorting and blowing in the predawn woods; deer appearing from out of nowhere, like apparitions, out of the foggy bottomlands on a misty morning; the nervous, adrenaline pumping moments as deer slowly wander within range under the tree stand; an arrow striking true and the deer bolting as it jumps, kicks, darts, and crashes into the brush.Solitary though it can be, deer hunting is also a communal sport, where cohorts gather annually for deer camp, coworkers share experiences and tactics with each other around the water cooler, and the best deer jerky is shared with a select group of friends. Long-time deer hunters know well their buddies’ tales of exultant conquest and bitter defeat. Also valued are the lessons learned and time shared with family and friends, and the excellent, bountiful table fare that venison provides.This is all illustrated when Ohio huntsmen share their stories and deer recipes, capturing the essence and flavor of deer hunting and down-home game cooking. Baltimore’s Joel McCreery hunts several days of the week during deer gun season on his family farm in Fairfield County. The farm includes a u-pick strawberry patch, pigs and heritage poultry on its 53 gently rolling acres of prairie grasses — excellent game cover for McCreery to hunt.Joel McCreery enjoys the ability to put food in the freezer through hunting.McCreery’s interest in natural history and his love of the outdoors is what draws him to hunting but putting nutritious, wild game in the larder is also an important part of the hunt for Joel.“I am definitely a meat hunter and not a head hunter. I pretty much rely on venison for my red meat. I enjoy getting venison for the health benefits of having low-fat protein in the freezer. I like the flavor of deer meat and I like the idea of providing my own meat. I prefer that to getting it at the store,” McCreery said.Harvesting game meat is part of McCreery’s philosophy of self-reliance and ties to his ambition to have a connection to the food that he eats.“Many years ago, I became convinced that I did not want to rely on others for my food. That led to my raising chicken and pork — partly for ethical reasons. I want animals to live well until harvested and I want to know what is being fed to them. And partly, I do it because I like the self-reliance and knowing how to provide for myself. Gardening and the canning and storing of food stuffs follows the same path,” Joel said “Hunting plays into the same feelings for me. I know where the meat is coming from. I’m being self-reliant, and I get to enjoy the outdoors. Maintaining the prairie grasses on our farm is perfect for my philosophy of providing good habitat for fauna, keeping the soil intact and enriched for small scale agriculture if needed, and it provides basically unlimited opportunities for harvesting game from squirrel to deer.”From a culinary standpoint, McCreery uses as much of the deer as he can and he enjoys cooking fresh organ meat soon after the deer is harvested.“When I don’t shoot the deer clean through the heart, I will use the heart in a couple of different dishes and I will also fry the liver up with some onions,” Joel said. “A very simple and surprisingly good way to prepare liver is to cut it in strips, and cook it on a stick over campfire coals until medium rare. The heart lunch meat recipe is really good — it has the consistency of and tastes like bologna.” Deer Heart Lunch MeatSoak heart in salt water overnightCover heart in salted water in a panAdd 1 small onion (minced), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon peppercornsBring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.Let cool and slice thin. Serve on crusty bread with mayonnaise. Deer Heart and NoodlesSoak heart in salt water overnight.Peel silver skin and valves on the inside of the heart off.Slice heart into 2-inch long strips, dredge in seasoned flour and fry in oil. Put to the side.Cook noodles in chicken (or venison) broth. Add heart strips after noodles are cooked in the broth. Greg Leasure, of Pleasantville, is an avid bow hunter. One of his favorite places to be in the fall and winter is high in a tree stand. Leasure appreciates having time for quiet thought in the deer woods andGreg Leasure, of Pleasantville, is an avid bow hunterlikes the opportunity to observe animal behavior in the natural environment. Many of his favorite deer hunting memories involve chasing deer in western Pennsylvania with his Dad and Grandpap.“My Dad and I once shot two does within 5 minutes of each other from stands about 30 yards apart. We got to watch each other kill the deer. Maybe my best memory was when I killed my first buck with my Grandpap on top of a mountain on the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border when I was 12,” Leasure said. “My Dad and Grandpap are both getting older and have slowed down. Neither of them hunt much anymore and it is good to have those memories of hunting with them. When I was a kid, as soon as I’d get off the school bus, we were gone and off into the woods and up in a tree, bow hunting.Another major aspect of the hunt for Leasure is the large amount of venison that he puts in his freezer; Leasure harvests three to four deer each year and venison is the staple meat on his dinner table.“Deer provides a lot of freezer meat, which is a big thing for us. I do my own butchering and I save the back straps and a couple of roasts and grind the rest. I have never bought ground beef from the grocery store, ever,” Leasure said. “I have a simple, but very delicious crock pot recipe.” Greg’s Crock Pot VenisonCut a back strap or roast into steak slices and place in the cooker. Then, add 1-2 brown gravy packets, 1 package of fresh mushrooms, one sliced onion, and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. Cook it for 8-12 hours on low. Serve with mashed potatoes. For deer burgers, combine 1 pound of ground meat, 1 egg, 5 tablespoons Worchester sauce, 1-2 tablespoons liquid smoke, Cajun seasoning, and 1 cup bread crumbs. Make into patties and grill to your liking.For Trent Ball, of Logan, the fall deer hunt is a family affair where priceless memories are made and paternal wisdom and humor is imparted. This is shown when Trent reflects about youth huntingTrevor Ball, son of Trent Ball, continued the family deer hunting tradition.adventures in his following story about “Mist-a Buck.”“This past bow season was the first time my son had ever gone deer hunting and, unfortunately for him, it was also his first experience with buck fever. When his first deer walked under our tree stand, the excitement of the moment got the better of him and he totally missed his mark,” Ball said. “To say my son was disappointed would be an understatement, so I told him about my first deer hunt in hopes of making him feel better.“Deer gun season in Ohio is a special time and a rite of passage for many young men and when I was 13, after years of hounding him to let me go, my dad finally relented and agreed to take me deer hunting for the first time. Unlike my son, I was a very hyperactive and excitable boy who had messed up a few small game hunts with my inability to stay still, so looking back, I can understand Dad’s hesitance.”After a fruitless morning’s hunt on a snowy opening day, Trent’s hunting party decided to put on a deer drive in the afternoon, leaving him posted up for deer alone in the woods. After being told repeatedly about where to stand, shoot, and to “make sure it’s a deer you’re shooting at” by his father, Trent was left at his post and eventually became bored and started daydreaming.“All of the sudden, I was snapped back to reality when I heard some brush snap in the pine forest out in front of me. I moved a little closer towards the pine forest to get a better look. Then, I heard the brush crack again, and with my heart beating so fast I could hear it in my ears, I knelt down to look under the limbs, when a small button buck came through at a dead run right at me! I nearly jumped out of my skin and by the time I got the gun shouldered and got the safety off, the deer was so close that it had to jump to get by me—practically jumping over my legs. Even though the deer was so close I could have hit it with the gun, somehow my first shot missed, as did the second and third shots,” Ball said.Pretty soon, the rest of the hunting party came out of the woods to find the 13-year-old agape.“My dad looked mad after first seeing what he must have thought were snow angels in the middle of the road. It was only after hearing my story and seeing the deer tracks run right up to the imprints that my floundering had created, that he and the rest of the hunters started to laugh so hard they had to wipe the tears out of their eyes. I was embarrassed enough as it was, but my face turned red enough to melt the snow when my dad suggested that instead of naming me ‘Mr. Buck,’ from now on I would be known as ‘Mist-a Buck.’ This, of course, brought on a whole new round of laughter and back-slapping from the others, all at my expense,” Ball said. “The story brought a smile to my son’s face and his mood started to brighten. I told my son that even to this day I still take the occasional ‘Mist-a Buck’ ribbing from the guys that were on that hunt. My son told me he would have probably never gone deer hunting again and I agreed and said I might not have either if it weren’t for a similar talk I had with my dad and the fact that later that evening I shot my first deer. Both went a long way in soothing my bruised pride.“My story and a little food must have made my son feel better because after getting a bite to eat my son agreed to go back out with me that evening for another hunt. No sooner did we get settled when a six-point buck walked under our tree stand. My son’s shot put the buck down almost where it stood and as soon as the deer fell, my son forgot about the morning hunt and had a smile from ear to ear the rest of the night.” “Mist-a Buck” Summer Sausage5 lbs Ground Venison¼ cup Morton “Tender Quick” curing salt mix2½ tsp. Mustard seed1½ tsp. Garlic Powder2½ tsp. Course black pepper1 tsp. Liquid smoke1 tsp. Hickory smoke saltMix thoroughly, cover and chill. Each day (for three days) mix by hand, cover and chill. On the fourth day, mix and roll into 2”x 3” logs. Place on broiler pan and bake for 1- 1½ hours at 300 degrees. Let cool and enjoy. These Ohio hunters who pursue this state’s only big game animal, the whitetail deer, understand what President Theodore Roosevelt was talking about when discussing blood sport and the “cult of the strenuous.” As Roosevelt once said, “In hunting, the finding and killing of game is after all but a part of the whole. The free, self-reliant, adventurous life with its rugged and stalwart democracy, the wild surroundings, the grand beauty of the scenery, the chance to study the ways and habits of woodland creatures — all these unite to give to the career of the wilderness hunter its peculiar charm.”The wild hillsides and forests of Ohio offer hunters prime opportunities to put some fresh, lean game meat in the freezer. The deer herd is healthy and robust in most parts of the state and the hunting season is a long one. Part of the reason for deer hunting’s popularity is, as outdoor writer George Mattis says, “the whitetail appeals to every type of outdoorsman from the rugged still hunter of the back country to the occasional gunner in the densely populated areas…whether you pursue the sport alone or are a member of a congenial group that prefers a social hunt, the whitetail fills your requirements.”This year’s archery season opened on Sept. 30, 2017 and runs through Feb. 4, 2018. Youth gun season is on Nov. 18 and 19, 2017, while the statewide deer gun season runs from Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, 2017 and Dec. 16 and 17, 2017. For those who hunt with a smoke pole, muzzleloader season will be Jan. 6 to 9, 2018.
Tags:#2009 in Review#Features#web#Year in Review In one of ReadWriteWeb’s longest-running traditions, every year we review the top Internet companies and their impact over the past 12 months. Today we’re announcing the 6th annual Best BigCo, a.k.a. big Internet company. Next week we’ll announce Best LittleCo and Most Promising Company.In 2008 the Best BigCo went to Apple, due largely to the iPhone and App Store. Facebook won in 2007, Google in 2006 and 2004, and Yahoo! in 2005. Who will be Best BigCo of 2009? Will Apple be the first company to win it two years running? Will Google win the honor for a 3rd year? How about Facebook, which grew significantly this year. Let’s find out…Best BigCo of 2009 The ReadWriteWeb team has chosen Google as our Best BigCo of 2009! Google last won it in 2006 and this is the third time we’ve honored the Mountain View company.Google is without question the predominant Internet company of our time; in large part because it continues to innovate and stay one step ahead of its competition.In our top 100 products list for 2009, seven Google products made the cut:Android platformGoogle App EngineGoogle Apps Google Chrome Google Maps Google Search Options and Rich Snippets Google VoiceAnd we didn’t even include Google Wave, its biggest launch of the year. We think Wave has a lot of potential, but it’s clearly at the experimental stage still. The web browser Chrome was probably the Google product that had the biggest impact this year. Launched in late 2008, Chrome still only holds a small share of the browser market and doesn’t offer a stable version for OSX or Linux yet. However it has already changed the browser market. As we wrote in our Top 10 Consumer Web Apps of 2009 review, Chrome’s relentless focus on speed helped to reignite the browser wars, and is changing the way developers and Google’s competitors think about browsers.Chrome is also the basis for Google’s upcoming Chrome OS, designed for netbooks – a growing fad in computers. So expect to see a lot more of Chrome in 2010.Runners-Up: Apple, Facebook It’s been another good year for Apple and its iPhone platform. The iPhone is the leading smartphone in the market and the App Store now features over 100,000 applications. This year, as we mentioned in our Top 10 Web Platforms of 2009 review, Apple extended the SDK with version 3.0 of the iPhone OS. The updates included better support for 3D gaming, augmented reality apps, easier access to maps, in-app purchases and support for push notifications. With these kinds of improvements, we expect Apple to continue its success on the mobile Web in 2010 – despite increasing competition from Google’s Android platform.Facebook had a stellar year too, passing the 300 million active user mark in September. It also continued to add features to the site, ranging from vanity URLs to a new sharing widget and a focus on real-time updates of its users’ news streams. Facebook’s user base is increasingly diverse, and it is now clearly the number one social network in the world, leaving MySpace in its dust. What’s more, Facebook’s user base is now bigger than the population of all but three countries in the world.Honorable Mentions: Microsoft, Amazon, AdobeWhile Microsoft continued to struggle with its Windows Live brand, it did come out with at least one compelling new product in 2009. Until earlier this year, Google didn’t have any serious competition in the search market. But with the launch of Microsoft’s Bing in July, users suddenly had a new choice of search engine. Bing bills itself as a “decision engine” and its market share has climbed steadily over the last few months. Microsoft keeps adding interesting new features like visual search, hover previews, integrated Twitter search and a smart integration of some of Wolfram Alpha’s most compelling features.We also recognized Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, among our Top Products of 2009. Amazon had another good year in 2009. Its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) was one of our top 100 products this year. However Amazon had the most impact this year with a piece of hardware: its e-book reader, the Kindle. In May, Amazon unveiled the Kindle DX, featuring a 9.7-inch display that is about two-and-a-half-times larger than the Kindle 2. November was Amazon’s best month ever for Kindle sales, and, according to the company, the Kindle is the “most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across all product categories on Amazon.” Very few Web platforms have the cross-platform reach of Adobe AIR. It allows developers to create one application and run it on all of the major operating systems. This year Adobe launched AIR 2, which now allows developers to access mass storage devices, drag-and-drop support for remote files and rudimentary support for P2P networking. In addition, AIR 2 enables developers to use the multi-touch capabilities of modern screens.Also Rans Unfortunately, the less said about Yahoo!, AOL, Mozilla, eBay – the better. It hasn’t been a great year for any of them. Yahoo! struggled gamely and impressed us with its YQL (Yahoo Query Language) and SearchMonkey. But it is far from the Internet force it was in 2005, when we named it our Best BigCo. Yahoo still has a wide reach and is very popular amongst mainstream audiences, but it just isn’t the force it once was.AOL has resorted to becoming a content farm in order to compete, eBay has squandered a valuable asset in Skype, and Mozilla – while continuing to innovate – has been hurt by Google’s Chrome browser entering the market.Now let us know your thoughts. Do you think that Google deserves the Best BigCo of 2009?Ed: Thanks Frederic Lardinois, one of our writers whose year-end posts I liberally quoted from to create this article! Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts richard macmanus A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market