All posts in “Events”

Tech in 2017: Crazy, troubled and out of control?

There’s no doubt about it, it’s been a difficult year for the technology industry.

It’s also been a crazy year for tech, with cryptocurrencies surging and rollercoastering in value — presumably minting a few millionaires along the way, assuming they actually cashed their coin out.

Yet even those strange crypto-highs have come with some equal and opposite lows: Scams, hacks, pointlessly wasteful energy consumption, and — zooming out — the baffled confusion of anyone outside the crypto-boom trying to understand what logic (if any) it runs on.

Meanwhile AI’s touted efficiency gains have also been weighed down by counternarratives this year — the stories where AI is shown preferring to promote clickbait. Or to be biased. Or worse.

AI blowing “bubbles of hate” as one YouTube policy staffer memorably put it during a political grilling. Though he merely advocated the use of yet more AI to fix the problem.

The naivety and irresponsibility of tech giants whose platforms have scaled so big and got so powerful left the strongest impression in 2017, as marketing claims about fostering ‘openness and connection’ unravelled in the face of the literal opposite: Rising division and social strife.

If only Twitter had listened to all the users telling it to fix its troll problem for years. Ditto YouTube and its below-the-fold comment hellscape. And Facebook and fake news.

Worse was on show too: Uber’s reputation lies in tatters for a reason. And massive data breaches came to seem like an almost routine occurrence in 2017.

Sexism and sexual harassment were also shown to be an ugly and embedded problem across the industry.

Going into 2018, tech certainly has a lot of cleaning house to do.

Looking ahead, companies of all sizes should be trying to see outside their own filter bubbles and Kool-Aid-stocked canteens — and asking themselves genuinely tough questions about who and what will be impacted by their technology.

The unpopularity being sharply directed at once shiny tech brands should be a paradigm shifting wake up call.

Questions are being asked about platform power. Regulatory rules and knives are being sharpened. Politicians are eager to point the finger of blame. And with so much tech-fueled ammunition, who can blame them?

After the surge, the crash.

Tap the arrows to take an A to Z tour through the tech that troubled the news this year.

TechCrunch’s Favorite Things of 2017

Good news, everyone! We survived 2017!

Each December, the TechCrunch staff members (our writers, editors, video, and social teams) get together and make a big ol’ list of our favorite things from that year. The apps, or gadgets, or movies, or music (or really anything) we loved.

We tend to be a pretty picky bunch, and these are the things that made, and continue to make, the cut. These are the things that made our year better, and made it through to the end of 2017 right alongside us.

Tap that right arrow to proceed — or if you’re on mobile, just scroll.

A look at 42 women in tech who crushed it in 2017

What a challenging, exhilarating year it has been for women everywhere, starting from the women’s March on Washington to former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s eye-opening and now famous blog post to the #metoo movement that has swept the country, washing dozens of sexual predators out of their powerful roles in the process.

All the while, women in tech have been driving their tech companies to new levels of success, including reaching difficult product development milestones and, in many of the cases you’re about to read, raising meaningful follow-on funding.

That’s not always an easy task, as many will tell you. In 2016, companies with at least one female founder raised 19 percent of all seed rounds, 14 percent of early-stage venture, and just 8 percent of late-stage venture rounds, according to Crunchbase.

Herewith, just 42 of the many women who defied the stats this year — and who are posed to kick more ass in 2018.

1st Annual Winter Party At Galvanize

Oscar Health expects to generate $1 billion in revenue and sign up 250,000 members in 2018

16 minutes ago by Sarah Buhr

Instagram now lets you share live videos through direct messages

47 minutes ago by Sarah Perez

Thank Kim Jong Un for your crypto gains

1 hour ago by Danny Crichton

Startup incubator Nailab invests $25K in East African startups

2 hours ago by Megan Rose Dickey

FabFitFun expands its empire with a new app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire

2 hours ago by Jonathan Shieber

Tesla vehicles to get a “major navigation overhaul” in 2018

2 hours ago by Darrell Etherington

Long Island Iced Tea shares went gangbusters after changing its name to Long Blockchain

3 hours ago by Sarah Buhr

Talent trickles out of Snapchat as Timehop founder leaves

3 hours ago by Josh Constine

Civilization VI lands on iPad

3 hours ago by Darrell Etherington

The Kronos Lift standing desk brings a little class to getting off your chair

4 hours ago by John Biggs

Gift Guide: Last minute gifts and stocking stuffers that are actually good

We’ve only got a few more days until Christmas, and maybe you’re starting get a little nervous about all the folks who are still on your gift-giving list. Sure, they might not be your closest friends or best-loved family members… but you can’t ignore them entirely, can you?

Don’t worry, TechCrunch has you covered. Whether you’ve got a lot of last-minute shopping to do, or you’re just looking to add a little something extra to your gifts, we’ve rounded up an array of options — all quick, easy, and pretty affordable (sub-$40). We tried to limit it to stuff we’d actually be happy to receive, but which should still be easy enough to find in your nearest big box store.

Tap that right arrow key to get started — or if you’re on mobile, just scroll.