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The Biggest Tech Mishap of 2013? 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the anything-involving-a-marketing-department dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Some high-profile tech initiatives really crashed-and-burned this year. Did BlackBerry executives really think that BlackBerry 10 would spark a miraculous turnaround, or were they simply going through the motions of promoting it? That's the key question as BlackBerry 10 devices fail to sell. Then there's Facebook's misbegotten attempt at 'skinning' the Android OS with its Home app. Or maybe Healthcare.gov counts as 2013's biggest debacle, with its repeated crashes and glitches and inability to carry out core functions. What do you think was the biggest software or hardware (or both) mishap of the past twelve months?"
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The Biggest Tech Mishap of 2013?

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  • My company (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:15AM (#45826795) Journal
    My company got bought by private equity. It's depressing to watch as the company is managed by people who don't understand our products and don't care.
  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:27AM (#45826855)

    For demonstrating that forcing a tablet interface on desktop users does not help your bottom line.

  • by PapayaSF (721268) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:33AM (#45826895) Journal

    No contest. It's got everything: hubris, cronyism, bureaucratic bungling, political idiocy, numerous huge IT errors, hundreds of millions of dollars. Once all the details come out, this massive fail will be studied in universities. Books will be written. The political consequences will last for years. Coming soon: the doctor shortages. And does everyone know that in 2014, the health plan tax kicks in? I don't mean the "Cadillac plan" tax, or the tax if you don't have insurance. I mean the 2% tax on every health plan. [nypost.com] Yes, in order to make health insurance more "affordable," they are taxing health insurance! Words fail.

  • Re:That's easy.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dubdays (410710) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:40AM (#45826919)

    Healthcare.gov? That's a junior league fuck-up... I nominate the NSA for getting pwned and punked by one Edward Joseph Snowden who walked out of their secure computer facility with all of Americas dirty laundry on a USB stick.

    Too bad it's pretty much amounted to nothing positive thus far. The president hasn't done shit to change anything, congress critters NEVER do shit (except contribute massive amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere), and the general public pretty much doesn't give a shit. Don't get me wrong, Snowden's a hero in my book, but the revelations really haven't had a significant impact on US society as a whole, sad as that may be.

  • Re:NSA leaking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MobSwatter (2884921) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:43AM (#45826929)

    Then why does the economic damage predate the leak? Everyone knew what was going on from the days of the AT&T disclosure, Snowden only provided the physical evidence for Americans to act on it. I happen to have a little experience with the intelligence community, had a great uncle that was OSS when it incepted to be the CIA in 1947. Keep secrets they did, spy on Americans; no they didn't, weaken encryption resulting in fraudulent sales of security devices, no they did not, were they saints, not really however that was a matter of prospective, but as a nation we were stronger. Our constitution meant something then, so did a mans word, and sworn oath.

  • by Kevin Fishburne (1296859) <kevinfishburne.eightvirtues@com> on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @05:48AM (#45827155) Homepage
    "Tech Companies" for allowing the NSA infiltration for fear of the federal and state governments frowning upon them and shifting their privileges to other industries and companies. It's like a no-choice NDA; it's just put on you without your agreement or consent, but with an expectation of fulfillment or consequence. For shame no decent leaks came from Google, Apple, Microsoft, random users/hackers/crackers, designers and manufacturers, etc. before Snowden. Only now companies position themselves with the product/customer, saying they were forced but are glad they can admit to (and hopefully reform) it. Strange and mistrustful times.
  • Re:Windows 8.1 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oji-sama (1151023) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @07:07AM (#45827437)

    If you set it up to use the same background as on the desktop the transition is less disturbing. After tweaking the location of the little squares I find it usable, although not an improvement. I set a few updating columns to left, then a couple of columns of static icons related to different tasks and now along with the win+q (which doesn't open the whole modern UI anymore) can find/open stuff pretty quickly.

    I still dislike the way right button is handled in the modern UI. Give me my context menus back. Unnecessary useless movements are unnecessary.

  • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:06AM (#45827669)

    No contest. It's got everything: hubris, cronyism, bureaucratic bungling, political idiocy, numerous huge IT errors, hundreds of millions of dollars. Once all the details come out, this massive fail will be studied in universities. Books will be written. The political consequences will last for years. Coming soon: the doctor shortages. And does everyone know that in 2014, the health plan tax kicks in? I don't mean the "Cadillac plan" tax, or the tax if you don't have insurance. I mean the 2% tax on every health plan. [nypost.com] Yes, in order to make health insurance more "affordable," they are taxing health insurance! Words fail.

    Yep.

    The idea that there is even some question about what the biggest tech mishap of 2013 is says a lot about Slashdot/techie politics. When you go all in for someone, it's very hard to admit later that you were wrong.

  • Blackberry 10 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @09:58AM (#45828237)

    I have the Z10. I don't play games. The phone was built around communication. E-mail, face book, phone calls, BBM. I feel sorry for anyone that chooses Android or iOS over a new Z10 or Z30 if they use it primarily for communications.

    There are less games/apps but I can do everything I want to do with it. There are enough games to keep me entertained. And with the exception of no Netflix, it does everything most would want. Thing is, you can install Android apps on the phone and support for that improves with every OS release.

    The phone's user interface also shows how last gen Android and iOS are.

  • Re:iOS 7 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @10:03AM (#45828263) Homepage

    My girlfriend wanted an iPad Air for xmas, and when I suggested a Nexus 7 she thought I was just being cheap... So I got her one. I'm not that familiar with iOS or previous iPads but it was pretty disappointing out of the box.

    The box itself has the iPad, a USB charger and a cable. That's it. Not even headphones or a cleaning cloth or a stand or something. Turning the iPad on the first thing you see is a white screen that shows up how uneven the backlight is at the edges of the screen perfectly. The set up process is rather long... She set it to Chinese so I couldn't read all of it, but considering she already had an Apple account for her iPhone 4 I would have expected a single log-in to be pretty much all that was required. It seems to duplicate a lot of questions too, like asking you for interface language, then keyboards, then location... on a device with GPS, wifi and mobile network access.

    Once you get into the main OS it is slick enough, as smooth as my Nexus 5. None of her apps were installed though, she had to do that manually. That seems to be the way of iOS: it makes you work, do everything manually. For example, when you install an app it just dumps the icon on the home screen in the order you installed it. There isn't an app tray, no alphabetical list. You have to organize all apps yourself, sort and categorize them. No widgets, so you have to open an app to get some tiny bit of information. The notification area only has basic controls so most notifications require opening an app too. When you want to move data from app to app there is no simple sharing mechanism, it's a save/switch/load or copy/switch/paste operation.

    The UI is inconsistent too. Maybe this is an iOS7 thing, I don't know. For example, there is no back button, so backing out or cancelling things is handled differently by each app. In some apps it isn't even obvious what is a button and what isn't, which is an issue for Android as well but at least you can always just hit back if you don't want to do something.

    I suppose it's okay as a tablet. You can learn to use it. Not having used iOS extensively I assumed most of the issues I knew about were geek things that normal people didn't care about, but actually a lot of it is basic usability issues. I guess with all the hype I was surprised, I expected more. Definitely expected more for the money.

  • Fukushima (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jasenj1 (575309) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @11:09AM (#45828775)

    The disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to be mismanaged. Incompetence and corruption abound and give a giant black eye to nuclear power in general.

    healthcare.gov is a great example of corruption in government contracts and the cost of rolling out something that isn't done. Maybe nerds around the world will now have another line for over-eager managers: "Do you want another healthcare.gov?"

    - Jasen.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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