In 2010, we saw social networking skyrocket in popularity. We embraced a new category of tablet computer. And we rushed to new gaming systems that let us play video games without a controller.
But in the technology world, not all valleys are made of silicon. While the highs were high for the tech winners this year, the low points were equally low.
Even tech titans such as Apple and Google had some rough moments in 2010. And some ambitious ideas that must have made sense behind closed doors just didn't translate well to the real world.
So here are our top "tech fails" of the year: the missteps, misdeeds and mistakes that remind us that no one -- not even Steve Jobs -- is perfect. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.
There is something plainly fascinating about Paul Butler's map of the world. The Facebook intern used data from the social networking site to create a map of people's friendships across the globe and to see how they related to geographical and political boundaries. After experimenting with different techniques, he ended up using arced, weighted lines to connect cities based on the volume of the Facebook friendships between them.
In Butler's words, the result is "a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships."
The lines also map out, to a large extent, Facebook's global penetration. One is struck by the fluorescent clusters in the United States and Europe, where Facebook is widely used; the clear contours of Indonesia, home of the most Facebook users in Asia; and the giant hole where China should be.
The technology industry's latest rivalry takes centerstage next week when Internet powers Google Inc and Facebook lay out their competing visions to create a new generation of Web services at a high-profile conference in San Francisco.
The relationship between the two Internet icons has become increasingly confrontational, and the battle will likely intensify on Monday when Facebook is expected to introduce a revamped version of its messaging technology that could pose a challenge to Google's Gmail.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Google Chief Eric Schmidt will each take the stage, along with dozens of other Internet industry heavyweights, during the 3-day Web 2.0 conference that kicks off Monday.
With reports swirling that Yahoo Inc is being eyed for a takeover by private equity firms, possibly in coordination with AOL Inc or News Corp. Yahoo Inc CEO Carol Bartz's talk at the conference on Tuesday will also be closely watched.