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Revisit tech's 2017 in 15 photos

From California to Rwanda, from Apple to Amazon, here are CNET senior photographer James Martin's favorite shots from the past year.

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James Martin

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Las Vegas Neon Museum
1 of 15 James Martin/CNET

In January, we stepped away from the hustle and bustle of the CES tech show

Forget wafer-thin TVs, laptops and quantum dots. The loveliest technology in Las Vegas lights up a junkyard/museum in the middle of the desert.

"Las Vegas did neon signs like it does everything else -- big, bright and spectacular -- so our city's story is intricately linked with the story of neon," said Maggie Zakri, collections manager at the Neon Museum. "We consider neon Las Vegas' native art form, and we have been entrusted by our community to care for and protect its heritage."

Facebook Friends Day
2 of 15 James Martin/CNET

For Friends Day, an event to celebrate Facebook's 13th birthday on Feb. 4, the company invited people from across the world who use Facebook Groups. The guests talked about what they're doing to better connect with their communities.

Apple's Steve Jobs Theater
3 of 15 James Martin/CNET

We got our first official look at Apple's new "spaceship" campus and its impressive Steve Jobs Theater on Sept. 12 in Cupertino, California, during the unveiling of the iPhone X.

Golden Gate Bridge shot on the iPhone 8 Plus
4 of 15 James Martin/CNET

The cameras in our phones got much better in 2017. 

I had early access to the iPhone 8 Plus to try out the camera, and I hiked out to the Marin Headlands near San Francisco early one morning to capture the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge with the iPhone 8 Plus.

Facebook is making brains type and skin hear inside its secretive Building 8, home of the company's hardware lab that's rethinking communication. Shown here: Regina Dugan, who led the lab before leaving Facebook this past October.
5 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Facebook is making brains type and skin hear inside its secretive Building 8, home of the company's hardware lab that's rethinking communication. Shown here: Regina Dugan, who led the lab before leaving Facebook this past October.

Fiber internet infrastructure in Rwanda
6 of 15 James Martin/CNET

The development of health care infrastructure in Rwanda has spurred other infrastructure investment in surrounding areas, including roads and internet. In 2017, we bumped along this road to the Butaro Hospital. It's now being paved.

Normally, these fiber internet cables go under existing roads. But in this case, they'll be buried as the road is paved.

Salesforce Tower
7 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff this year presided over an official "topping off" ceremony for the Salesforce Tower, now San Francisco's tallest building, at 1,070 feet.

Benioff said the top floor, the 61st, will become a community gathering space called the Ohana Floor, after the Hawaiian word for family. The space, with sweeping views of the city, will be a Salesforce conference and event space during business hours. At night and during the weekends, the space will be available to a wider community of partners and nonprofits for use free of charge.

The taller of the buildings in the distance is the residential One Rincon Hill South Tower, which was completed in 2008 and stands 60 stories and 641 feet tall. San Francisco Bay provides the backdrop.

At this outdoor base in Angola, the only light is the glow of the stars and the dying embers of a campfire at a guard post near the back.
8 of 15 James Martin/CNET

At this outdoor base in Angola, the only light is the glow of the stars and the dying embers of a campfire at a guard post near the back. 

A night watchman rubs his hands together over the embers to fend off the cold. The crow of a rooster announces it's 5 a.m. here in Cuito Cuanavale, a region so remote it's known as "the land at the end of the world."

CNET traveled to Angola this year to report on landmine removal.

The year 2017 was otherworldly in many ways, and art was no exception. Augmented reality art, which you can see only through special apps on your phone, is coming. And with it, questions about what's real and what's not.
9 of 15 James Martin/CNET

The year 2017 was otherworldly in many ways, and art was no exception. Augmented reality art, which you can see only through special apps on your phone, is coming. And with it, questions about what's real and what's not.

Take a look at Facebook's plan to turn the world into the MoMA.

Baobab Studios VR
10 of 15 James Martin/CNET

It's 2017, and cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain. VR's mind tricks can teleport you into a Pixar-like world where your role and "smart" characters suck you deeper into the story.

Astro Teller rollerblades
11 of 15 James Martin/CNET

We get a peek inside the Project Loon lab with Astro Teller, head of X, and a look at Alphabet's Wi-Fi-beaming moon shot.

The company can now better control its high-flying balloons that aim to blanket remote areas with internet signals.

Mitchell Baker Firefox 57
12 of 15 James Martin/CNET

We went inside Mozilla to get a peek as CEO Chris Beard, Mitchell Baker and the team prepared to outmaneuver Google's Chrome browser with their release of Firefox 57.

iPhone X
13 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Apple this year ushered in its next wave of iPhone innovation with the AR equipped iPhone X.

Seattle Amazon spheres
14 of 15 James Martin/CNET

CNET visited Amazon's sprawling downtown Seattle "campus" where construction cranes, green roofs, and three giant glass spheres clearly show how Amazon has made its mark on the town.

Yes, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors can seem unreal at times, but as the NBA adds virtual reality viewing to its quiver, spectators can be right up in the action, while still sitting comfortably at home.
15 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Yes, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors can seem unreal at times, but as the NBA adds virtual reality viewing to its quiver, spectators can be right up in the action, while still sitting comfortably at home.

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