Weekly Rewind: The best of 2017, the truth on eggnog, the future of photography

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Flickr/Kevin Gill
A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from the best products of 2017 to the biggest failures of the year — it’s all here.

The Best Products of 2017

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If you need to buy a new tech product, we’re here to help. Digital Trends has dozens of reviewers and editors who evaluate hundreds of new devices to find the best products every year. Smartphones, laptops, cameras, cars, smart thermostats, appliances, headphones, televisions, speakers, monitors, drones, tablets, 3D printers, ebook readers, video games, fitness bands … these are just a few of our major review categories, and we’re adding more each year as tech evolves.

Read: Best Products

Rest in pieces: The biggest tech demises of 2017

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It’s the holiday season — the happiest time of the year — so it’s only natural that our thoughts should turn to death and decay. Sadly, 2017 has given us a lot of fodder. While it’s been a great year for some tech companies and products, others have fared less well, succumbing to mismanagement or just plain sad old user indifference.

Well, light your candles and ready your handkerchiefs because here’s our list of the tech startups, products and (in one case) ideal that won’t make it to 2018.

Read: Rest in pieces: The biggest tech demises of 2017

Does eggnog actually get safer to drink the longer it ages?

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Nothing divides a holiday party quite like the serving of eggnog. Some love it, others hate it. Let’s say you make a boozy batch for Christmas, but you inadvertently find yourself in a group of nog loathers. How long can you keep the dairy-laden brew around? It depends on how much alcohol you added, essentially.

In 2009, we heard a story on Science Friday about Rockefeller University microbiologists Vince Fischetti and Raymond Schuch testing the salmonella levels in eggnog from Dr. Rebecca Lancefield’s recipe, which had been chilling in the fridge since before Thanksgiving. They’d added a bunch of salmonella and tested it at one, two, and three weeks. The longer the eggnog sat, the fewer bacteria there were, until it was completely sterile by week three.

Read: Does eggnog actually get safer to drink the longer it ages?

Authentic content is in: 2018 photography trends fuse reality and creativity

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StoryBlocks

StoryBlocks

Photography has long ditched the trend of business-suit perfection for images of people that could have come straight from our social media feeds, but 2018 could mix the trend toward authenticity with an opposite but equally dominant trend: creativity. As 2017 comes to a close, stock photography companies tally data from the previous year to predict what imaging styles are going to dominate in the next year. The reports help not just stock photographers but various photographers, videographers, and other creatives in a number of different disciplines pinpoint what will help their work make an impact on viewers.

Read: Authentic content is in: 2018 photography trends fuse reality and creativity

Gaming disorder is now officially a mental condition, according to the WHO

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In what can only be described as a sign of the times, the World Health Organization has recognized a new kind of mental health condition. It’s a familiar ailment, though some of us may be slow to call it a medical condition. It’s called gaming disorder, and it’s characterized by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior,” or more simply, an addiction to gaming.

Read: Gaming disorder is now officially a mental condition, according to the WHO

Samsung chairman’s derailed appeal means he faces 12 years in prison

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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

In August 2017 Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s billionaire acting chairman, and the third-richest man in South Korea, was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison. The court ruled he approved bribes from Samsung to secure government backing. The five-year sentence is lower than the 12 years sought by the prosecutors, and Lee’s lawyers appealed the verdict. Lee’s appeal hit problems in December, when president Park’s former secretary said on the stand that Lee had visited the president in 2014. During the trial Lee’s defense team claimed he had only met the president once and for a few minutes.

At least one further meeting, not revealed by Lee before, potentially strengthens the prosecutors’ case against him. Since then, prosecutors have pushed to increase Lee’s prison sentence to the original 12 years. Prosecutors told the court Lee’s control over Samsung and his massive wealth was, “none other than a result of bribery.” It’s also argued that the stricter sentence would, “establish the rule of law,” and deter similar actions in the future. The appeal is set to close at the end of this year, with a final decision is expected in January 2018.

Read: Samsung chairman’s derailed appeal means he faces 12 years in prison

With $40 million, you could book a trip to a luxury hotel on the ISS

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NASA
NASA

For your next out-of-this-world vacation, you now have the option of literally going out of this world — but it’ll cost you $40 million. Then again, can you really put a price tag on having the time of your life? As per a new report from Popular Mechanics, Russia is looking to build a luxury hotel in outer space. Slated to be stationed on the International Space Station, this hotel, if it ever comes to fruition, is likely to offer some seriously breathtaking views. And if you have $40 million to spare, you might as well tack on an extra $20 million for the opportunity to go on a spacewalk with a professional (which is to say, a cosmonaut).

Read: With $40 million, you could book a trip to a luxury hotel on the ISS

Dash cam captures the dramatic moment a SpaceX rocket launch led to a car crash

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Discussions about distracted driving usually focus on smartphones, a device that you can choose whether or not to use when you’re behind the wheel. Reach for your handset at 70 mph, and suddenly you’re no longer in control of that large chunk of metal motoring along the freeway, and pretty much anything can happen.

But there are other kinds of distractions that we have absolutely no control over, and one of them appeared to cause a nasty smash on a Southern Californian freeway on the night of Friday, December 22.

Read: Dash cam captures the dramatic moment a SpaceX rocket launch led to a car crash

10 huge movies with stars you totally missed

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Lucas Arts

Lucas Arts

Sometimes, even when pondering a rather simple subject, you have an epiphany. And epiphanies, no matter how trivial the subject matter, are always refreshing. Our most recent example was seeing an incredible dramatic actor — let’s call him Michael Shannon — in a very famous movie — let’s call it Groundhog Day. This is a movie we’ve watched dozens of times — enough to almost feel we’ve lived old Phil Connors’ 72-plus years in Punxsutawney ourselves. But suddenly, there he was, in all his compelling, Michael Shannon glory.

That got us thinking: who else have we missed in huge films throughout the years? So, we crowdsourced. We asked around the office, dug around on IMDB, and mined up 10 epic moments of major stars you all but assuredly missed the first time.

Read: 10 huge movies with stars you totally missed

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Photography news: Best spot for fall photos, new firmware from Fuji and Nikon

Where's the best spot to take fall photos? Michigan, according to social media and a Nikon contest. The results and more in this week's photography news, including significant firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T3, X-H1, and GFX 50S.
Mobile

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.
Mobile

Samsung will reportedly announce its folding smartphone at MWC in February

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.