What were your best nine Instagram photos from 2017?

You might have noticed a new end-of-year trend on Instagram the past few days. If so, you can thank 2017bestnine.com, a website that lets you automatically collect and collage your most-liked photos of 2017. Best Nine has been around for a while, so many of you may be familiar with the tool already. But for those of you who are new to that Best Nine game, here’s how it works. First of all, your Instagram profile must be public for this to work, so if you have it set to…

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Twitter ended the year on a fascinating run

It’s been pretty easy to point at Twitter and, with each quarterly moment when it discloses its financial guts, let out a long exasperated sigh. Twitter since going public at a now in retrospect astounding valuation has for much of its public life been quite the disappointment to Wall Street. But then something interesting happened in the back half of 2017: it went on a rather spectacular run, and though ending on a bit of a slump, it looks like it could finish the year up more than 25 percent —…

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Hyperscale data centers reached over 390 worldwide in 2017

Hyperscale operators are defined as enormous companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google that need to provide computing on a massive scale. You would think that there would be a limited number of this type of highly specialized data center, but recent research from Synergy Research found that 2017 was actually a breakout year for new hyperscale data centers across the world — with no sign of slowing down in 2018. Synergy reported that the year closed with over 390 web-scale data centers worldwide with Google being particularly active. Chinese…

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The food revolution may have just needed a cup of Blue Bottle

Each massive exit in the tech ecosystem usually follows the same cycle: an upstart becomes a huge business, it goes public or sells for a huge sum of money, many of the best people that built it take off and then they use their newfound wealth to start companies. But in addition to tech, the venture community has its own pet project: coffee. With investors pouring money into companies like Blue Bottle Coffee, La Colombe and Philz, you’d probably think it’s still a pet project. Then, earlier this year, Nestlé…

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Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacements are available starting today

Those $29 battery out-of-warranty replacements Apple promised are now available for impacted users with an iPhone 6 or later. The company was initially aiming for a late-January timeframe in the States when it first offered up the discount, following blowback against its admission that it had slowed down older model phones to maximize performance. “We expected to need more time to be ready,” the company said in a statement offered up to TechCrunch this weekend, “but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies…

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Financial technology startups emerged as serious challengers to financial services in 2017

Dana Stalder is a general partner at Matrix Partners and writes at forentrepreneurs.com. More posts by this contributor: All the attention in financial services this year has gone to the newest kids on the block: cryptocurrencies. With bitcoin now eclipsing $15,000 and Coinbase adding more than 300,000 users in one week alone, it’s easy to see why. While cryptocurrencies stole the spotlight, a clutch of companies were quietly working behind the scenes to slowly bring the financial services establishment to its knees. It may turn out that these startup entrants…

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Latin America’s Groupon Mafia

Nathan Lustig is an entrepreneur and managing partner at Magma Partners, a seed-stage investment fund in Santiago, Chile. More posts by this contributor: The founders of PayPal and its employees have produced many highly successful companies over the years. In fact, PayPal’s founding team often is referred to as the “PayPal Mafia” because they’ve had such an impact on the startup ecosystem. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and many other former PayPal employees have shaped some of the world’s biggest tech firms, founding companies like YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn,…

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Facebook has a 100-person engineering team that helps advertisers build tools and infrastructure

Stories about Facebook’s advertising business tend to focus on the big numbers — its billions of users, millions of advertisers or its enormous lead over any competitor that’s not named Google. But Facebook says that one of its success stories in recent years involves a relatively small group of engineers — in fact, originally it was just one engineer, Vastal Mehta, who serves as Facebook’s director of solutions engineering and now leads a team of more than 100 people. That team works with advertisers to build the technology and infrastructure…

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