A lot of major news stories broke in the tech world last year, from the Nintendo Switch adapting a classic to the expectations of a new generation of gamers, to social media changing the conversation around sexual harassment. So, to celebrate the arrival of 2018 and all the good things it has in store, let’s take a look back at the top trending technology stories of 2017.
- Bye-bye to 3D TVs
Major electronics manufacturers finally accepted that the 3D gimmick just doesn’t translate well to the small screen. Samsung and Philips gave up on 3D TV technology in 2016, and Sony and LG followed suit this past year; the companies’ new models showcased at CES 2017 did not support 3D at all. Panasonic was the last to cling to this technology, releasing a new 3D TV set in February, to an overall apathetic reception.
- Million-dollar Amazon scam
Like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, one married couple found a way to take advantage of Amazon’s automated systems to scam the company out of approximately $1.2 million. Using fake identities, they purchased goods from Amazon.com and then reported the items as damaged, triggering an automated replacement to be processed. The couple then turned around and sold both the original and the replacement for a profit. Charged with mail fraud and money laundering, they were scheduled to be sentenced in November, but now it appears that Amazon isn’t the only online retailer they ripped off, and so their sentencing has been delayed.
- Self-driving shuttle’s future cut short
Self-driving cars are in practically everyone’s vision of the future, so it didn’t seem unreasonable to plaster the words “The future is here” on a AAA self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas. But the future was cut short when a delivery truck backed right into it as the shuttle sat stationary, without taking action to prevent the accident. There was no major damage, but the truck driver was found at-fault for the accident. In his defense, though, he had turned on his hazard lights and reversing warning alarm—the shuttle bus simply didn’t respond the way he would have expected.
- Bitcoin blows everyone’s minds
Cryptocurrency darling Bitcoin started raising eyebrows again in July 2017, when its price suddenly jumped up to around $2,400 in light of news that its blockchain technology was going to be made more efficient. That ended up falling through, but it didn’t stop BTC from reaching unprecedented values of nearly $20,000 the week before Christmas.
- Secrecy and slow iPhones
The dust still hasn’t settled from the uproar that ensued when Apple confirmed that it had intentionally slowed down older iPhone models, allegedly to address problems with short battery life. Customers felt deceived and disappointed, and although the company has tried to make amends, it is still facing at least 8 separate court cases in the United States as a result of the secret slow down.