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The Year's Dumbest Moments in Tech 96

Posted by timothy
from the you-mean-outside-my-house-right? dept.
harrymcc writes "Over at TIME.com, I rounded up the year's dumbest moments in technology. Yes, the launch of Healthcare.gov is included, as are Edward Snowden's revelations. But so are a bunch of people embarrassing themselves on Twitter, both BlackBerry and Lenovo hiring celebrities to (supposedly) design products, the release of glitchy products ranging from OS X 10.9 Mavericks to the new Yahoo Mail, and much more." I can't think of anything dumber than the NSA's claims that metadata isn't data.
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The Year's Dumbest Moments in Tech

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  • by mveloso (325617) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:00PM (#45833621)

    Seems fine to me. You must have mistaken it for iOS 7.

    • by redmid17 (1217076) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:05PM (#45833637)
      Came here to say this. Haven't had a peep of any issues, and it's made my laptops perform better (battery, wifi) in a few ways. Definitely nothing negative about it from my POV.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        No doubt Mavericks improves upon at least a few things, but there are definite problems with it. I hit the ARP issue (http://www.macstadium.com/blog/osx-10-9-mavericks-bugs/), which made the application I was using (VMWare View) unusable.

        • No doubt Mavericks improves upon at least a few things, but there are definite problems with it. I hit the ARP issue (http://www.macstadium.com/blog/osx-10-9-mavericks-bugs/), which made the application I was using (VMWare View) unusable.

          So Apple's "bug" is to do what others have been doing for ages? Take this 8 year old bug report [novell.com] - and weep for the bug fix is actually what Apple supposedly does wrong now.

          If a dynamic ARP entry expires at the Cisco router, the router will not broadcast its ARP request again, but, for efficiency purposes, it will unicast the ARP request to the Ethernet address mapped to the IP address in the expiring ARP entry. When this Ethernet address is of a secondary interface in the Load Balancing interface group of t

      • What about iCloud requirement? That pissed a lot of people off like myself. We don't want to use the darn cloud. There's no more local USB synchronization with Mavericks and probably for now on. :(

    • by sribe (304414)

      Seems fine to me. You must have mistaken it for iOS 7.

      TFA refers to Apple's fuck-up with Mail.app gmail.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @09:07PM (#45833979)

      Mavericks is glitchy.

      It broke a lot of things in the Adobe suites that still haven't been fixed (yeah, I know this is partly Adobe's fault- but the backwards compatibility with Mavericks kinda stinks, especially for a closed platform). It introduced a lot of bugs relating to App Nap and the new memory compression, both of which are unfortunately opt-out rather then opt-in (as they should have been). There's still issues with ColorSync (going back to 10.7), which they kinda improved but also messed up with the way ICNS (icon) files are rendered (which now appear over saturated and darker then they should). Likewise, file labelling was replaced with that abomination called "Tags", which is such a horrible hap-hazard hack on top of Spotlight and the Finder that I'm surprised they even released it.

      I'm sure a lot of this stuff will be resolved in the next version or two, but the unfortunate issue with Apple these days is that their operating systems are in a perpetual state of "almost working" and "not quite there yet". By the time you get 10.x.4 or 10.x.5, they're already working on the next major version that comes with it's own useless features that nobody wants or needs, and the existing features are basically abandoned and left to stagnate.

      IMHO; their yearly release cycle is the worst thing to happen to OS X in a long time, and the effects of that are starting to become apparent in operating systems like Mavericks. It will only get worse until they decide enough is enough, and the next version will come when it's done (remember the days of10.6? We got all the way up to 10.6.8, and it was a damned fine OS as a result).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387)

        I'm sure a lot of this stuff will be resolved in the next version or two

        That's optimistic....as you mention, Apple has a habit of abandoning features that work perfectly well, leaving them to stagnate. They also seem actively hostile to backwards compatibility for some reason.

      • Speaking of Adobe, how is the Adobe user account leak not on this list? Storing passwords encrypted rather than salted and hashed, using single-DES encryption rather than 3DES, using ECB instead of CBC, and storing the password hints in plain text? How in the seven hells did that not make this list when there's bullshit like the Mavericks Mail bug in here?

  • by dugancent (2616577) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:02PM (#45833623)
  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Funny)

    by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:22PM (#45833733)
    Surely the list must include the "Angry Fruit Salad" operating system that sucks worse than anything previously offered?

    Yeah, I bought it cheap and I tried it. $40 and it sits unused currently because even after installing Classic Shell and doing a lot of unpaid work to fix what they broke, I still hate it.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Surely the list must include the "Angry Fruit Salad" operating system that sucks worse than anything previously offered?

      He already addressed Mac OS X.

    • by fermion (181285)
      It seems to me that the list is really 'products I don't like'. Certainly the dumbest idea of the year was MS WIndows 8, and Surface, write down of nearly 1 billion.

      As far as the lack of professionalism in the IT sector, I worked in various professional enterprises. Some allow men to do whatever they want. Others have higher standards and require men to think. Say that men cannot think is silly. Men can think before they say or do stupid things. The trick is to fire the incompetent men who refuse

      • by taxman_10m (41083)

        I'd put releasing the XBone with Kinect on a list. It'll be out of the box by April is my guess.

        • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Wednesday January 01, 2014 @02:15AM (#45835183)

          I'd put releasing the XBone with Kinect on a list. It'll be out of the box by April is my guess.

          I don't think it's a bad plan at all - because developers know they can rely on the user to have a Kinect, even if it's unplugged. So they can assume stuff like voice recognition and even body motion because it's in the box.

          If it's unplugged, well, the devs will simulate it some other way - even it requires going through a million menus to do what would've taken 2 seconds by voice.

          Now, if Microsoft didn't put it in the box, you're looking at what's happening with Sony's Move - sure you save a tiny bit of money, but now you've just relegated it to niche status. Just a toy that some people may have, and this early in the game, pretty much just good for putting sex shows online on Twitch.

          The end effect is "enhanced with Kinect" is probably standard with Xbone, while the PS4 gets some lame ass implementation of what Kinect does. After all, the PS4 camera lets you do face recognition login and a modicum of voice commands that were put in as an afterthought to compete.

          Hell, Sony's wasted money on the PS4 controller by adding in the parts for the Move when most users won't have it - every controller has a (2D - only X-Y positioning) Move emitter, but not every PS4 has a camera. Sure RGB LEDs are cheap, but it's still an extra expense. Especially as it's 2D only - for 3D positioning you need a regular Move controller with the ball as the camera can't see depth with the controller's built-in Move. (And really, who puts in 720p cameras? Yes, the PS4 cameras are 720p stereo).

          Sony probably removed the cameras at the last minute just to undercut Microsoft. Not necessarily a good or bad idea - the Xbox360 was around $400-500 at launch, the PS3 was way out there, and the Wii was $250. When the prices tightened down a couple of years alter, it was $200, $300 and $400 and the PS3 took off.

          The price these days is not an issue - $200, $400, $500, it's not a huge range. Hell, a PS4 + Camera is only $40 cheaper.

          No, Microsoft won't be taking it out of the box. Especially as the first round of new games since release would be out assuming Kinect.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It seems to me that the list is really 'products I don't like'. Certainly the dumbest idea of the year was MS WIndows 8, and Surface, write down of nearly 1 billion.

        The irony.

    • I like Windows 8, and it's better with Classic Shell. But your issues with Windows 8 don't really belong here since Windows 8 came out in August, 2012. Of course back then I upgraded from Windows 7 Home premium to Windows 8 Professional for $15 for each of my two computers. I wouldn't have liked it as much if I had to pay more.

    • by Barbarian (9467)

      The other bad part with this crappy OS is losing your locense to the previous version when you do an upgrade.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @08:43PM (#45833871)

    The NSA is spying on us all... and their powerpoint slides are ugly! HAHAAAHAAH!!!1!one!!11

    Look - I'm not going to try and make the argument that we should all stop what we're doing and go on humor strikes until they shut down the NSA. But seriously, if you're so desperate for column inches that you feel the need to spin the Snowden affair as "dumb", then you really need to ask yourself whether you're Part of the Problem.

    Tip for next time: be funnier.

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)
      The point is that the NSA has apparently become rather adept at snooping on the activities of everyone in the world... except those who work for the NSA. It perhaps gives a bit too much credit towards the effectiveness of investigation into all the data that's collected in assuming that had it turned its gaze inward, Snowden might not have been able to sneak away with a treasure trove of embarrassing and classified documents. The awful powerpoint slides was just an aside tacked onto the end.
  • As this is a more or less duplicate top-10 style list to the one posted yesterday, among many other "biggest foul ups" and "worst dressed" articles, the floor is open for meta-discussion.

    I get that laughing at others' misfortune and fuckups makes sad people feel better about themselves and sells lots of glossy magazines, but you've got to admit it's all a bit depressing that we can't get past the psychology of school yard bullies and instead have at least one in five of these top 10 lists be about the great

  • No Slashdot Beta? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @11:21PM (#45834599)

    I'm disappointed that /.'s beta didn't make the list.

  • Doesn’t it seem like there’s been an epidemic lately of large, established and respectable tech companies rolling out “new” products (actually just unneeded and unwanted updates of existing products, but that‘s how it goes these days) that just scream FAIL!!! loudly and clearly to anyone and everyone remotely resembling the actual end users who will eventually have to work with the final badly flawed product? I mean, honestly, Windows 8, how the hell could MS not have known tha
  • It's turtles all the way (up in this case.)

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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