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The 57 Lamest Tech Moments of 2010 123

harrymcc writes "When it comes strange blunders, failed dreams, pointless legal wrangling, and other embarrassments, the technology industry had an uncommonly busy 2010. I compiled a list of the most notable examples--including the lost iPhone prototype, the short life of Microsoft's Kin, the end of Google Wave, the McAfee security meltdown, a depressingly long list of lawsuits over mobile patents, and much more."
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The 57 Lamest Tech Moments of 2010

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:52AM (#34628030)
    Endless Top ### lists with no real substance writen by writers who can neither write nor hold their own when it comes down to bare metal technology.

    Wake me up in January.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Mod parent up. This article was, politely, fucking lame. I want the 2 minutes I spent reading the first page looking for good writing back.
      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Agreed. I'll have my own lame end of year slashdot journal some time next week... and it will likely be better written. At least, I hope it will be amusing.

      • Actually I'd say it is worse than lame, as lame can sometimes be enjoyable like a good cheesy movie. What we have here is completely uninspired copypasta with a sauce made from bland quotes that can't even bother to be smarmy or smartass. I've seen lame lists rise above copypasta by putting some serious ragging on the recipients, this one couldn't even bother that.

        For those that haven't TFA don't bother, as it makes the phone book look like an interesting read.

        • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
          So leaving the verb out of acronyms is now in style as well? Damn my lawn is getting bigger...
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Might start an interesting discussion here in /. though.

          I'll start with the iPad and iPhone 4. The former has a curved back so does not lie flat on a desk and the latter shorts out the antenna when you hold it.

    • by Rotting ( 7243 ) *

      The time I spent reading that list was one of the lamest tech moments of 2010 for me :/

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      Endless Top ### lists with no real substance writen by writers who can neither write nor...

      ...make use of commas.

    • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:09PM (#34634094) Journal

      Honestly, it's no longer limited to the year-end roundup.

      Probably 40% of online "journalism" is now listographies, frequently slide-show based, in order to suck up maximal clicks and spew scripted hoo-ha, delivering almost 100 bytes of actual info per 20 seconds waiting for the fucking page to turn.

      It will be that way until advertisers stop falling for the dollars-for-page-views pricing model.

  • by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:53AM (#34628044)

    Google Wave isn't dead. It just changed its name to Apache Wave.

    • by Choad Namath ( 907723 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:10AM (#34628242)

      Google Wave isn't dead

      It's pining for the fjords.

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by truthsearch ( 249536 )

        'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

    • True, Wave the project is still alive and well, but Wave the service hosted by Google is soon to be dead. I am interested in seeing how others deploy and use this technology. We tested it for a short time at work, but we could not refrain from drawing inappropriate sketches, collaboratively, for very long.
  • by puterg33k ( 1920022 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:55AM (#34628064) Homepage
    Thank you HTC for Alpha testing the HTC EVO on the general public! So many of us were left with a phone that you have to charge every 3 hours, but the charging ports broke within the first few uses!
    HTC says their warrantys don't cover physical damage, what the hell good is it?
    Sprint says, pay me a hundred bucks for a refurb fool! So you do, and a week later; rinse and repeat!
    It was different when it was software, but hardware being beta tested on the public and they eat the cost!? I'm left with only one thing to say: W T F
    • by soupforare ( 542403 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:38AM (#34628566)
      Apple's been doing it for years, everybody else was bound to catch up to that innovation.
      • by Shemmie ( 909181 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:47AM (#34628700)
        HTC have done it for years. Their HTC Universal phone was known for having a real weak point at the charger. Many people (myself included) suffered from the USB port becoming loose, and falling into the unit. Pain in the ass. They took no responsability for what was clearly a design flaw on a heavily used part.
    • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:53AM (#34628800)
      Nokia did it with the N900 and seems to be getting away with it ...

      Much vaunted here on Slashdot, I decided to try it out as an iPhone replacement and thus talked my wife into getting it when her contract came up for renewal in April. Phone felt nice, OS was usable etc etc so I upgraded soon after and retired my iPhone 3G to the junk drawer.

      Now, 8 months on, I've been back on my iPhone for 4 months because the N900s software foibles were greater, for me, than the iPhone 3G. My wife has no such luck tho - screen scratched (through use of the stylus), ringer sometimes doesn't work, the keyboard keys have essentially almost entirely flaked off to leave the transparent backing plastic showing.

      My wife hates the N900, not because of its poor phone software (or the fact that it cannot do MMS built in) but because the hardware is literally falling apart not even half way into the 18 month contract!
      • I know you're probably wary about taking phone advice via Slashdot now, but if you really want a decent Linux-based phone, the Pre is the way to go. It has a better UI than iPhone, true multitasking, a real keyboard, and an 'App Catalog' as well as Linux command-line root access with the blessing of the manufacturer. The internet-aware contacts are awesome-you can send messages via SMS or Jabber/Gchat and the history is shared. Facebook, phone contacts, etc integrate more gracefully than I've ever seen o

      • Mine came with a cover for the screen to prevent scratching, just like palm pilots and probably even Newtons some years ago.
        • Both mine and my wifes came in the original Nokia packaging (black box) and neither had a screen protector nor case - the screen was scratched just through normal usage, it has its own little pocket in her handbag so it wasn't being scratched by anything else.

          I'm not talking about huge gouges, just small scratches which are visible and cannot be cleaned off.
    • Thank you HTC for Alpha testing the HTC EVO on the general public!

      It wasn't alpha testing, it was just typical crappy HTC design & construction quality. Complaining about a junky HTC is like complaining that the scroll wheel on a Blackberry doesn't work smoothly. Yeah, they ALL do that (thankfully BB came out with a solid-state scroller finally).

      The one phone I had that gave me zero hardware issues long-term was the iPhone 3G. YMMV.

    • by unixfan ( 571579 )

      Hmm... I bought my EVO within an hour of it being released and nothing is breaking on it. I get about a days worth of battery use out of it. Not to say that the battery life is impressive - it is not. I'm sure one can drain it in three hours. Fortunately there is after market battery that is plenty good which I plan to buy.
      Breaking the ports by applying force to the plug is probably pretty easy given the leverage. But this is true for just about any plug. I would guess to say that is probably why the larger

    • I had a problem like that with the Evo's battery life. Then one day my USB cable broke and I had to wait 4 days for a new one. The remaining charge in the phone completely disappated and when I recharged it, I can now leave it go two days without recharging same usage patterns. I think the 0 point in the battery is way off. Try letting the battery die for a couple days. (Get a new battery in the meantime so you have two. I do.) and hopefully it'll start working better for you. I'm very happy with the
  • Some poor /. user might get an iPad from his or her grandmother...and knowing the sentiment around here, that's bound to be the lamest tech moment of 2010 for that poor soul!

    (Lame attempt at humor, not trying to troll...)
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:18AM (#34628328)

      Some poor /. user might get an iPad from his or her grandmother

      Sure beats a self-knitted sweater, formed for a mutant, with asymmetric arm lengths, a hunchback and a hole in the stomach area for the tentacle.

      And yes, I speak from experience.

      • by Delusion_ ( 56114 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:38AM (#34628560) Homepage

        As an asymmetrically limbed hunchback with a torso tentacled person who likes to save on electricity by keeping the heat down, I must respectfully disagree.

        • As an asymmetrically limbed hunchback with a torso tentacled person who likes to save on electricity by keeping the heat down, I must respectfully disagree.

          I for one ... actually, never mind.

          How's the bell tower these days?

        • I'm an asymmetrically limbed hunchback with a torso tentacled person who likes to save on electricity by keeping the heat down, you insensitive clod!

          That's what you should have said.

      • Sure beats a self-knitted sweater, formed for a mutant, with asymmetric arm lengths, a hunchback and a hole in the stomach area for the tentacle.

        And yes, I speak from experience.

        Damn. There are gifts that say "I wish you'd been a boy/girl", and then there's this.

      • by euxneks ( 516538 )

        Sure beats a self-knitted sweater, formed for a mutant, with asymmetric arm lengths, a hunchback and a hole in the stomach area for the tentacle.

        And yes, I speak from experience.

        Man, school must have been rough for you.

      • At first I read that as a hole for the testicle and wondered why you would want a hole for that in your sweater.

        Now a tentacle, absolutely, gotta let that swing free.

    • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @12:10PM (#34629072) Journal

      I got a Sony HD camcorder as a gift a while back...all good, except it's a Sony, and now I have to buy an ultra-rare Memory Stick to MicroSD adapter...

      Reminds me of a funny thread on somethingawful where a software development company was having RMS come over to sign and present some prizes for employees, and the guy was asking for suggestions for prizes.

      The first 2 suggestions:

      A Windows 7 box

      An iPad

      • Thank you for that.
        I can just imagine watching RMS's head explode when he had to present either of those items.
        I will be smiling all day thinking about that. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Eh. I consider the iPad in and of itself to be a lame tech moment of 2010. I'm still flabbergasted that people are willing to pay for something that does less than a netbook, and costs more.
      • I had a netbook and for me it sucked. Hard to read and slow as ass.
        Got an iPad and it works great for me.
        Just because you don't think it'd work for you doesn't mean it doesn't have a use or value.
      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        A 2 seater soft top sports car does less than a minivan, and costs more too, yet shockingly people still buy them... perhaps because they're looking for something the minivan doesn't offer.

        It seems you are flabbergasted that people might actually like it as a product for what it does, even if it doesn't fit your personal tastes.

        I personally detest gold watches, but people still buy them. This is a fact that does not flabbergast me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why a list of 57? Did you just keep brainstorming lame moments until you couldn't come up with any more? Or is there some significance to choosing to record 57 specifically.

    • I think they were staring at a bottle of Heinz 57 and decided that was the perfect number.
    • Why a list of 57? Did you just keep brainstorming lame moments until you couldn't come up with any more? Or is there some significance to choosing to record 57 specifically.

      Because #58 "This lame article about 57 lame tech moments" would have resulted in an endless loop (not to be confused with the endless lameness of the article of 57 lame tech moments).

  • deselective memory (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DynamoJoe ( 879038 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @10:57AM (#34628094)
    No mention of Gizmodo's password breach?
    • Lame:

      # (slang) unconvincing or unbelievable

              He had a really lame excuse for missing the birthday party.

      # (slang) failing to be cool, funny, interesting or relevant

              He kept telling these extremely lame jokes all night.

      The word you're looking for for that would be something like disastrous. I wouldn't call getting your password and info stolen lame.

  • My two lamest of 2010, along with 'Duke Nukem Forever (to be Vaporware)'
  • I think we all know what's happening. The technology industry is no longer about technology, it's about bling, brother,

    More seriously, we've come full circle with mainframe/cloud and software on phones (javaME)/iPhones. Ideas that don't fly now may fly again in the future but with a different name. I suspect portals will become a lot more important again. A social portal maybe?

    Either way, I think the potential value for the web for the general public and our children will be a lot less than it is today. It

    • You nailed it. Everything old is new again.

      Bring on the 57 Most Awesome Upcoming Tech Innovations for 2011!!!

      #57 The rebranding of WebRings as CloudRings

      #56 Etc etc..

    • by jimicus ( 737525 )

      I don't know it's quite as bad as you make out. This isn't the first time the industry's gone full circle, and it probably won't be the last - right now it's a PITA if you're in IT because the current fashion for "cloud-everything" has a tendency to push jobs towards the companies running cloud services - many of whom are running the show from a country with very low labour costs. The PHBs of this world assume the outsourced provider has a whacking great infrastructure with fancy SANs, enormous numbers of

      • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
        Like being raided by the FBI, or DHS, or KGB, or whatever?
        • by jimicus ( 737525 )

          That, actually, is entirely possible (and IIRC has happened a couple of times).

          I can well imagine a scenario where business A is perfectly honest but through sheer bad luck happens to be sharing hardware with the rather less honest business B at a well-known cloud provider. (Why that absurd word? You still have to run your servers as if they were onsite, the only difference is they're virtual servers in some other buggers infrastructure).

          Law enforcement storms in with a warrant to take everything which ha


    I know it should not even register a blip in the grand scheme of business'ey things. But the whole application of technology on something so uber-stupid shoud be listed among some of the dumbest tech things seen in 2010... me thinks.

  • by Delusion_ ( 56114 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:20AM (#34628368) Homepage

    ...that way the article could have included itself as number one. Another meandering, poorly written summary of the year.

    If you're going to choose an arbitrary number to attach to an end of year list, keep it to ten and focus on the writing. Seriously, 57? I'm reminded of the Jargon File comment about 17 [] being the "least random number". This is just a blatant excuse to generate ads by breaking up an article; I'm surprised it isn't 57 pages long, in slide show form.

    • I think this (and the aforementioned absence of the Gawker breach) suggests they just kept a running list as the year went on, then wrote some copy for it when they were about to go on their holidays, and kicked it out the door.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      They wanted to serve it with ketchup.

    • A number like 57 just screams out loud 'that's all i've got'. And here's my 12 bucks for the stripper.

    • Totally opposite. If there's one thing I hate about top 10 lists, it's when something important is omitted to keep it to 10, or when a few meaningless and unrelated items are added to stretch it to said arbitrary number. If you're making a list about something, make as many items as you need. Don't artificially stretch/condense whatever items just to make some round number. Do justice to whatever topic about which you're talking, then tack on the number when you're done.

      • The key thing you said there is "do justice to whatever topic about which you're talking". 10 or 57, I don't think either one of us would argue that this article did justice to the topic. For writing as poor as this, 10 would have been no more arbitrary than 57.

  • Although Polaroid naming Lady Gaga as Creative Director is pretty strange.
    Either that or it is one of those 1 in a million oddly brilliant ideas.
    Time will tell..

    • by Sonny Yatsen ( 603655 ) * on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @11:40AM (#34628582) Journal

      Polaroid is a shell of itself. It's just a holding company nowadays that licenses the Polaroid name out to various cheap manufacturers who make random devices under that name. This is why you see crap like Polaroid DVD players and whatnot. There is no Polaroid manufacturing, R&D, or marketing divisions - it just exists to license out the trademark to anyone willing give them a bag of cash.

      That's why naming Lady Gaga as a Creative Director is bunkum. You can't have a creative director if the company DOESN'T CREATE ANYTHING.

      • by JayAEU ( 33022 )

        Then why are they building things like the Pogo ( Looks much like the old idea of Polaroid to me...

  • Mark deserves a lot of credit for building one of the worlds largest software companies. But perhaps he is hamming it up now. I just saw him inducted int he California Hall of Fame on Entertainment Tonight. And a trip to China(*), Oprah, Man of the Year, and so on.

    (*) A trip will help his Chinese-language studies, a non-trivial hobby with all he has to do.
  • What kind of dumb ass converts someone's private email account into a social networking site, letting strangers in their address book see what they do on the web.....without notice, without permission AND expects that people will like it?

  • Facebook, the movie. I'd rather watch paint dry than see a movie about some wealthy kid making money by doing nothing of value. It could have just as well been a movie about the Kardashians, except he isn't nearly as interesting to look at.
    • Surprisingly, "The Social Network" was actually a good movie because of the human drama that it is intertwined into the story. Its not about how a wealthy kid makes even more money but how and possibly why he did it. Whether or not the events actually took place as depicted in this movie is up for debate but it is a hell of a drama that is well made and very entertaining. I won't be surprised if some it gets Oscars for at least the screenplay if not more.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        "The Social Network" was actually a good movie because of the human drama that it is intertwined into the story

        So what? There was human drama taking place during the course of my own undergraduate career, but nobody is begging me to sell them the screenplay.

        Its not about how a wealthy kid makes even more money but how and possibly why he did it.

        Meh. It is only because of the fact that people are familiar with the product that the movie was even made.

      • by lee1 ( 219161 )
        Scott Adams (the author of Dilbert) thinks that this is the best movie he has ever seen []. That almost makes me curious enough to watch it.
  • Apple has promised that the white iPhone will come with a free copy of the mobile edition of Duke Nukem Forever.

  • MS only gave the Kin about 6 weeks on the market before pulling the plug. WTF? It was actually a pretty good idea and properly pushed and priced it could have taken over the high-school phone market.

    I liked the form factor as well. I wouldn't mind having a phone with that form factor, minus all the social-networking gew-gaws.

    • The Kin is actually back on the market, but as a feature phone rather than smart phone. One of the biggest problems with it the first time around was that it required a data plan, but it wasn't a smart phone.

      I seriously considered getting the re-issued Kin, because it can use a WiFi network to browse the web and not require the data plan. There's enough free WiFi out there that it seemed like a good plan.

      Then I found out it couldn't import my contacts from the Verizon Backup Assistant (or anything else), it

    • by hazydave ( 96747 )

      No, it was doomed to failure.

      The main problem was simple: it was a "feature" phone, but required a full smart phone data plan... an extra $30 per month or whatever. That made it, in essence, in competition directly with iPhones and Androids.

      Even High School Kids aren't that stupid... at least, the small percentage who's parents would shell out the cash for a smart phone (I have one kid in HS, one in College, neither gets a smart phone).

      I think the plug-pulling came from the results: by most accounts, they s

  • Naming Google Wave, and much of its associated development, after the creations of Joss Whedon was just asking for cancellation.

    He's the TV equivalent of the RMS Titanic.

    Probably a good methodology to follow if you want a lot of depressive, angry 16 year old girls to take up your product, but not if you want wider success.
  • I've noticed with these companies that even when you get the BBB involved, nothing becomes of it.
    I've read various articles about the BBB loosing it's and/or has lost its legitimacy?
    I'm left with only questions:
    1) Where is the consumer to turn? Who sticks up for the working man that spends his/her hard earned cash on these products?
    2) What the hell happened to accountability!? If no one has the consumers back, what is the consumer to do when they get screwed?
    3) Is their something that we as

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.