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The Tech Industry Is Getting Ridiculous 102

An anonymous reader writes "Columnist Jon Evans points out that the tech industry has been slowly getting stranger over the past several years. When you look at the headlines individually, they all seem to make sense, but putting them together and trying to imagine them popping up a decade ago really illustrates how odd it has become. Quoting: 'In Japan, some half-billion dollars' worth of cryptocurrency vanished from a site founded to trade Magic: The Gathering cards. In New Zealand, the world's greatest Call of Duty player has launched a political party to revenge himself on those who had him arrested and seized his sports cars. In Britain, the secret service is busy collecting and watching homegrown porn. Here in Silicon Valley, mighty Apple just revealed that a flagrant, basic programming error gutted the security of all its devices for years. Google, "more wood behind fewer arrows" Google, now has its own navy, to go with its air force and robot army.'"
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The Tech Industry Is Getting Ridiculous

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  • Getting? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @03:58PM (#46377299)
    It has been ridiculous for a long time. It is just now that more people are noticing that it is getting embarrassing... :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Zactly. Every day we are confronted with what, to the old tech guard is old new, stories about what you post online is not private etc and so on. Everyone who got on the tech train early needs to learn how to be patient with the latecomers. They will keep getting online for a long time. Forever, actually. We need to figure out how to give everyone a gentle introduction. We can't just shame people for being ignorant of internet norms. IT literacy, whatever that means, should be societies number one pr

      • Re:Literacy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Saturday March 01, 2014 @09:08PM (#46378825) Homepage Journal

        While that's a nice ideal, you are speaking of a group of people who lose their minds over trivial shit like what brand of phone someone bought. Or that someone else may find a tablet useful/desirable. These are not people with the slightest bit of social grace.

        • Ah yes, of course, the those digerati elitists giving out sage advice too rudely. It must be their fault your phone got hacked, your email account got hacked, your home network got hacked, your laptop computer got rooted, (despite not even being sure what "rooted" means in this context) your credit card numbers got stolen, and all your home made porn ended up on 4chan and then your girlfriend found out and dumped you. Its obviously all their fault for not being more polite to you when they told you how mu

          • I don't necessarily disagree with you, but aren't you kind of making the previous poster's point?

            • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

              The funny thing is that I don't necessarily disagree with him either. And yeah, that post indicates he may be the poster child for the type of person of whom I'm speaking .

      • Whenever I hear of a data spill, I recall that twice in the Before Digital era I, just an average nobody, stumbled on to great big piles of paper medical records just piled on the corner waiting for the garbage truck, not even in a sealed plastic bag, from two completely unrelated institutions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01, 2014 @03:58PM (#46377303)

    generalization based upon outliers

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      It *is* clickbait. 20-30 years ago, this wouldn't be remarked. Rather it would be a case of outliers in society trying to do something to make the world a better or worse place depending your views.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To be fair, anything that google does falls into the center of the distribution more or less by default.

  • This is new, how? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:04PM (#46377339)

    Places that handle large amounts of money get taken by thieves and embezzlers, people of all stripes go into politics because they're vengeful, overgrown security services monitor lots of petty and unimportant things, minor errors get overlooked for years on end, and massively wealthy people maintain semi-militarized forces.

    Congratulations, you've just described literally any point of time in human history.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most of the incidents mentioned have nothing to do with the "tech industry". Mt Gox was not part of the "tech industry" - it was a financial exchange. Neither are the NSA or GCHQ or the world's best Call of Battle player (although he might have a day job in the tech industry, dunno). These stories are about various nontechnical parts of society adapting old behaviors to a new medium. This is mostly a consequence of real, mostly invisible tech industry being so successful.

  • by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:05PM (#46377349)

    Google, now has its own navy, to go with its air force and robot army.'"

    How else do you expect them to defend themselves from Oracle?

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:05PM (#46377351) Journal

    TFA's premise is off...the whole 20th Century was a giant clusterfuck of human rights & technology.

    "getting" ridiculous...that notion itself is ridiculous

    Here's what I find really ridiculous...this happened in 1968 []& basically all computing now is just an upscale version of that tech...faster, more colors, bigger...

    The only difference is that so many people have been screwed over by so many different expressions of our modern greed that **they can't hide anymore**

  • Its not jut tech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Over the last 10 years, the NSA has declared war on privacy while having secret courts and our president got the nobel peace prize for something he didn't end up doing.

    Egypt has gone through 2 governments, and there have been uprisings in many other places, including now Ukraine.

    I could legally marry another man while smoking pot, but telling people in Russia being gay isn't evil is now a crime.

    All these would seem pretty crazy 10 years ago. Its not just Tech, its simply time: Things happen, and stuff chang

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:07PM (#46377363)

    Boy, when you remove context from misleading headline excerpts, things sure do get wacky!

    You know those jokes that sometimes aren't funny from old movies, that your relatives laugh real hard about? A large number of those came from the same logic - taking a topical story, removing the context, and applying hyperbole to the idea. They know the idea is misleading, and are 'in' on a joke that they just can't explain to you and still be funny.

    Just bundling some of those together with a 'technology' theme isn't making a point - its bungling a joke. Not as bad as that whole 'beta' attempt, but still, a bad attempt at a joke.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:14PM (#46377415) Homepage Journal
    That's how you know you're getting old. Stand aside, grandpa, we have a future to build!
  • I can describe that insanity in 140 characters [] or less.

  • ... and counter control.
  • In Britain we're surprised to learn we have a Secret Service. We have GCHQ, MI5, MI6, and various other things, but I don't think we have a Secret Service.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The tech industry does what people are willing to pay for, within the limits of the law (usually). We are bending norms at a pace far exceeding anything humanity has ever had to deal with before. It's enough to make even staunch liberals question their orthodoxy. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's better. Change is easier than ever before, but there are good reasons for putting limits on the rate of change. We need time to adapt. "Revolution" used to be an anomaly, but these days it's becoming so

  • I'd bet that someone else got the #1 spot in COD and then Kim Dotcom pirated the account. Publicity stunts and piracy are his MO.
  • Back in the day, the April issue of Byte used to run several parody articles. Funny stuff, I miss it. They quit because too many people took the bait.

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:41PM (#46377561) Homepage Journal

    Any significant industry is going to be ridiculous if you first cherry-pick your examples, selecting for lunacy/idiocy, and then state them in the most exaggerated, sensationalist way you can think of.

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      This just in: the whole world is crazy. [] And it just happened. Just now. Nothing crazy has ever happened before. Anywhere. Ever.

      What a worthless, piece of shit clickbait article.

      Dice, if you want to do something to actually make Slashdot better, let us moderate articles, and let me browse them at +5.

      And then add a rich text editor for comments. Doesn't need to be fancy, just support the tags you already allow. (Oh, and then fix how lists display.)

  • When I was young (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kruach aum ( 1934852 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @04:42PM (#46377567)

    I wanted to live in the future, the future I read about, the future I saw on tv, in movies. Now that that future is here, I find myself increasingly wanting to go back to a past that's no longer there, scheduling 'no internet' days and turning off my cell phone so that I can go back to a more peaceful time, a more thoughtful time, a time with more focus, if only for a few hours.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      so that I can go back to a more peaceful time, a more thoughtful time, a time with more focus

      It was none of those things. But it did have people wistfully pining for their own bygone Golden Age that never actually existed.

      • 1968 was AWESOME. I was there. Except for Johnson that d**n war it was golden.
      • It was all of those things, because there was no constant stream of interruption from a gaggle (a glaring? a murder?) of devices calling for my attention at any time of day. This has nothing to do with rosy glasses and everything to do with how technology has come to play a different role in our lives over the years. I thought my examples made that implication clear, but alas, having all of the world's knowledge at your fingertips is apparently not enough to foster comprehension.

  • Much was already predicted, society and hence laws if needed don't adapt as fast as 'progress' is made.

    Keiretsu on the rize, interesting times indeed.

    Not that surprising though for people who are into tech and into SiFi or other literature, and for most stuff you don't need a Ph D to predict them.

  • Weird outliers exist in every industry, and in every time. It's just that now get mroe examples of it worldwide, in realtime.

    Five bits of anecdotal weirdness do not a trend make.

  • Information technology is the only large-scale class of science/engineering work that "activists" will still allow to be built in the US, because its origins were too decentralized to attract their attention. There is no single large structure, like a dam, that they can focus their attention against. And because this area of technology has flourished, the inevitable mistakes that occur from time to time are what makes our news. You have to look at Asian news for stories about nuclear meltdowns, cost overrun

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There needs to be new challenges to the whole human race, or we need to start living over 200 years old to have enough time to retrain to something we consider meaningful. Perhaps the rapid rate of change is corroding the experienced value of the work. Tech industry is like the cycles of history in Battlestar Galactica, only sped up.

  • Wait, some people believe "goto fail" was a "programming error"?


    • No, but the fact that the compiler doesn't warn on the unreachable code that follows is a programming error.
    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      Even worse is the assertion by the click bait summary that it "gutted Apple's security for years" when it only affected Mavericks and iOS versions 6 and 7.

      Mavericks was released as a GM in September 2013, iOS 7 around the same time. iOS 6 was released in September 2013, which is hardly "years" ago - it is 16 months ago. "Over a year" might be a more accurate, if less click bait worthy, phrase to use there.

      It was a programming error, though, through a simple lack of QA on the code. If you;re trying to claim

  • by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @05:44PM (#46377913)

    A former cowboy became President of the United States. Oh, that was in 1901. And the U.S. overthrew the government of Guatemala to help out a fruit company. Oh, that was in 1954.

    You can make anything sound crazy if you just say it in a silly enough way and leave out most of the important details. Heck, conservatives are fond of pointing out that Obama is a "former community organizer." Also a former senator, but who cares about that?

    • by RDW ( 41497 )

      A former cowboy became President of the United States. Oh, that was in 1901. And the U.S. overthrew the government of Guatemala to help out a fruit company. Oh, that was in 1954.

      ...and in 1979: []

    • No one if you equate eight years ago with a hundred and ten.
    • The USA fucked over more or less every south american nation.
      But the US citizens don't know or don't care.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      All too often, it sounds crazy because it is crazy. The 'important details' just distract us from the emperor's nudity.

  • by 14erCleaner ( 745600 ) <> on Saturday March 01, 2014 @06:39PM (#46378203) Homepage Journal

    Techies have always been strange - for example, consider the average /. reader. Or Richard Stallman.

    Another great example of an outlier is the so-called "Spam King", Dale Begg-Smith [], who, when not making millions off spam and malware, won two Olympic medals and three World Cup championships in mogul skiing, starting in 2006. If that isn't a bizarre combination of pursuits, I don't know what is.

  • Ah, the modern tech industry, creating solutions for problems that don't exist.

    Such as Windows 8 or the Slashdot beta.

  • You're only just now noticing this? I've been feeling like I've been living in a Bruce Sterling novel for the past seven years or so.

  • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @11:22PM (#46379273) Journal
    Online donations of a 2-month-old cryptocurrency named for an internet meme featuring a dog that talks in broken English raised $30,000 to send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Olympics.

    Seriously, I'm not sure it gets any weirder than that.

  • "putting them together and trying to imagine them popping up a decade ago really illustrates how odd it has become"

    So news stories today wouldn't have made sense ten years ago, when we had different technology and expectations. That's some crack journalism right there.
  • Far more than ridiculous, non-specialised IT magazines are B-O-R-I-N-G. Bigger hard disk, bigger RAM, faster processor, new anti-virus, how to clean your PC from anti-virus, rinse, repeat.
  • Weird, Hey! I was just getting comfortable!

  • How is this the tech industry and not the news media? The media is devising the click bait; Evans is just piling on.
  • Sounds like a Rudy Rucker novel.
  • I thought the article was going to talk about all the hipsters and Apple-lovers reducing the idea of geek culture to some big bang theory pussy with an iPad.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM