VentureBeat's top 10 tech trends of 2011 (vote for your favorite)

As we begin 2011, optimism is on the upswing. And we’ll need it: The technology industry has a lot of potential, as embodied in these 10 trends we’re seeing, but it will take continued growth — and a lot of hard work — to make them happen. What do you think of our crystal ball-gazing? Vote for your favorite trend in our poll at the end.

The biggest surprises of 2010: A lost iPhone prototype, Groupon snubs Google, and more

Sometimes the most memorable stories of the year aren’t necessarily the biggest ones — instead, they’re the bits of news that completely blindside us. While many of those surprising stories may indeed go on to be among the biggest of the year, we’ve already covered those in our top stories of 2010 feature (see also our best and worst in mobile for 2010, and our top games).

Apple sued over spying mobile apps

This was bound to happen sooner or later. A Los Angeles county man has filed a lawsuit against Apple, along with several mobile app developers, for allowing apps that transmit private user information to ad networks without user consent.

iPads, super angels, and Facebook's trip to the movies: VentureBeat's 10 biggest stories of 2010

Now that 2010 is almost over, we’re looking back at the year in tech business news. Any “top stories” list that’s not based purely on traffic is going to be ridiculously subjective, but with the help of VentureBeat’s writers, I’ve tried to focus on the news that had the biggest effect on the tech world and drew the most interest from readers, while also touching on the biggest companies and trends of the year.

How mobile apps are spying on us

Your favorite mobile apps could be collecting and transmitting your personal information, including your name, contacts, location and even your phone’s unique ID number, to ad networks and other third parties. And worst of all, there’s little you can do about it.

Neal Stephenson’s digital novel The Mongoliad invades mobile

Startup Subutai continues to charge ahead with its digital publishing experiment The Mongoliad. The writing team, which includes popular science fiction authors Neal Stephenson (who is the company’s chairman) and Greg Bear (its senior creative advisor), has now published around 15 chapters, and the company has also released applications for the iPhone and iPad.