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10 Biggest Technology Disappointments Of 2013
Information Week ^ | 01/06/2014 | Shane O'Neill

Posted on 01/06/2014 10:41:26 AM PST by SeekAndFind

1. HealthCare.gov

HealthCare.gov has been about as disappointing as it gets. The online exchange for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) had a litany of problems on day one (Oct. 1): extreme slowness, broken pull-down menus, and information on applications being deleted. The site's performance improved throughout November and December, but only slightly. In the coming months, HealthCare.gov will improve, but such a flawed rollout at a time of unprecedented technology innovation is a stain on President Obama's second term and a letdown we won't soon forget.

2. Dropbox outages and security issues

The easy-to-use cloud service that works just like your local hard drive has had some slip-ups in its short history. Stolen passwords were used to hack into Dropbox accounts in August 2012 and the service was found to be vulnerable to DDoS attacks this past fall. Dropbox also experienced a 16-hour outage in January and a shorter outage in May. Cloud outages are inevitable, and Dropbox remains popular, but when you're the top dog, every tiny outage or breach makes people wonder if you're worth the convenience.

3. BlackBerry's potential comeback

There was hope for BlackBerry (formerly RIM) in early 2013. It finally released the BlackBerry 10 OS and two phones (Q10 and Z10). But despite some snappy new features, there just weren't enough apps to compete with Apple and Google offerings. Things went downhill as the company failed to regain traction with consumers or enterprises. It fired its CEO and has abandoned plans for a sale as the year ends. In the most recent quarter, the company had a massive $4.4 billion loss. We all want more choice in mobile, so this collapse is a bummer. But BlackBerry kept its head in the sand for waaaay too long.

4. Target data breach

On Dec. 19, retailers, shoppers, and the information security industry got hit with a bombshell. Retail giant Target revealed that 40 million customers' credit and debit card accounts were exposed to hackers who had access to the store's payment data. The breach affected consumers using credit and debit cards at Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, the peak of holiday shopping. There will be plenty of finger-pointing here, but in the end it's more disheartening proof that swiping a credit card at your local mall is still a fragile act.

5. Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Wearable tech is a good idea, right? Then why have Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatches been a bust? Well, Samsung decided being first was better than being right. There have been a few issues. The watch must be tethered via Bluetooth to a Galaxy Note III phone to operate fully. It cannot connect to WiFi on its own. It costs $300. The battery life is merely adequate. Not to worry, though. These are first-generation blues, and smartwatches will only improve. (Apple, are you listening?) Still, Samsung should have waited on this one.

6. NSA snooping

Edward Snowden opened a big can of worms this year by leaking documents about a little program called Prism, which reportedly allows the NSA to pull user data from the servers of companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Other leaked documents show the NSA routinely collects metadata on private phone calls. The tech companies deny giving direct server access to the government. But who are we to believe? Should we just assume our communications are monitored? How dreadfully Orwellian! The NSA claims such access is required to fight terrorism, but more reform is also required.

7. Apple iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c was Apple's attempt to use a more affordable phone to curb the spread of Android phones and increase market share in emerging countries. But not only did the iPhone 5c seem disingenuous (it's a plastic iPhone!), the strategy actually backfired. The iPhone 5c isn't even cheap. In China, an unsubsidized iPhone 5c costs $735. The device retails in the US for $549 but can be had for $99 with a two-year contract. However, sales of the 5c have been poor, likely because people don't want a cheap product from Apple. The more expensive iPhone 5s has outsold the 5c two-to-one in the US. As Android phones of all shapes and sizes hit the market, the iPhone remains a one-dimensional device for high-end buyers.

8. Facebook's stalled newsfeed redesign

A disconnect has been brewing between how Zuckerberg and company see Facebook (an epicenter for high-quality content) and how people want to use it (family pics and cat videos). It came to a head when the company announced a drastically redesigned newsfeed in March with much bigger photos and media. But test users resisted, sending Facebook back to the drawing board, and we haven't heard much since. It's disappointing to see the company overhype a redesign and then not release it. Has Facebook lost the plot?

9. Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface

Windows 8 tablets and laptops, most notably the Microsoft Surface Pro, were unveiled in 2013 with lots of hype but a big thud. Turns out people don't want a tablet UI and a desktop UI crammed into the same operating system. On top of that, Microsoft's own Surface devices suffered from fuzzy marketing and high prices. Windows 8.1 eased some pain by adding boot-to-desktop mode and a restored Start button. But Windows 8 (now just called New Windows) remains a Frankenstein, stuck between a tablet market ruled by iPads and Androids and a PC market in rapid decline.

10. Yahoo Email outage

Yahoo experienced a massive email outage that started Dec. 9 and was not fully rectified until Dec. 14. That's a looooong time, especially for a company that had a major email overhaul in June (and another redesign in October) and has been battling to improve its services, brand, and reputation. Despite a mea culpa from CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's overall response to the outage was criticized for lacking urgency and a clear explanation. "We really let you down this week," wrote Mayer. We couldn't have written it better ourselves.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: disappointments; technology
ADD YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT HERE...
1 posted on 01/06/2014 10:41:26 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

No free boob implants in Obamacare. ;-)


2 posted on 01/06/2014 10:45:50 AM PST by Average Al
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m really enjoying Windows 8.

It takes a little getting used to but that’s all me.


3 posted on 01/06/2014 10:46:45 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Still no FTL travel, teleporter technology, flying cars, vacation trips to Moonbase one or anti grav units that I was promised when I was a kid
4 posted on 01/06/2014 10:48:18 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: cripplecreek

I’m not there yet. I’ve had Windows 8 for a couple months now and still hate it. But then again, I’m used to Microsoft taking something I like and turning it into something I hate.


5 posted on 01/06/2014 10:49:55 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: cripplecreek

RE: I’m really enjoying Windows 8.

Are you still with Windows 8? Or is it Windows 8.1 you have?


6 posted on 01/06/2014 10:49:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Average Al

Seconded.


7 posted on 01/06/2014 10:50:46 AM PST by EEGator
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To: Mad Dawgg; Slings and Arrows; JoeProBono; Salamander; TheOldLady; humblegunner; Vendome
"Still no FTL travel, teleporter technology, flying cars, vacation trips to Moonbase one or anti grav units that I was promised when I was a kid"

BUT! There's this:


8 posted on 01/06/2014 10:51:56 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Average Al
No free boob implants in Obamacare. ;-)

Not true, IF they are part of gender reassignment surgery...

9 posted on 01/06/2014 10:52:21 AM PST by null and void (It is as if they all had one head. Too bad they don’t all have one neck.)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

First off, turn on “grumpy developer mode,” and then evaluate it. You may have to find a grumpy developer to do it for you.


10 posted on 01/06/2014 10:56:13 AM PST by Ingtar (The NSA - "We're the only part of government who actually listens to the people.")
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To: SeekAndFind
Most of this is near vaporware stuff.

What about hard technologies like Cold Fusion, battery advances, solar panels, etc. ?

11 posted on 01/06/2014 10:56:54 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: Mad Dawgg

Having seen how people drive on regular roads, I’ve taken flying cars off my list of techno-wants.


12 posted on 01/06/2014 10:58:24 AM PST by Personal Responsibility (I'd use the /S tag but is it really necessary?)
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To: shibumi

Add a couple of beer can holders and tubing and you’ve got something.


13 posted on 01/06/2014 10:58:28 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: SeekAndFind

Dissapointing to see all these “10” lists where they’re unable to put all 10 on one damn page. Yeah, I know, we’re supposed to click thru but I read your list instead ;-)


14 posted on 01/06/2014 11:00:53 AM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: SeekAndFind
Yahoo Email outage

That was outrageous. No explanation, just silence. No access to e-mail for about 5 long days. Good bye, Yahoo. I'm not looking back.

15 posted on 01/06/2014 11:10:48 AM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Windows 8.1 eased some pain by adding boot-to-desktop mode and a restored Start button.

All the Windows 8 start button is missing is the start menu. !GIANT THUD!

16 posted on 01/06/2014 11:17:31 AM PST by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t get how “healthcare dot gov” qualifies as ‘technology’?

Yes, disappointment factor is high, but c’mon!


17 posted on 01/06/2014 11:18:49 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow. We don’t have any of those things. I guess it’s one of the up-sides of being retired; keeping up with technology is no longer required or expected.


18 posted on 01/06/2014 11:33:05 AM PST by MayflowerMadam ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it's free." P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: Mad Dawgg

“Still no FTL travel, teleporter technology, flying cars, vacation trips to Moonbase one or anti grav units that I was promised when I was a kid “

No battery yet that weighs five pounds and will power my whole house for a year before it needs recharging.


19 posted on 01/06/2014 11:35:57 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Personal Responsibility

“Having seen how people drive on regular roads, I’ve taken flying cars off my list of techno-wants.”

But, but, but they seemed to work just fine for the Jetsons.


20 posted on 01/06/2014 11:37:29 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Obadiah

“Good bye, Yahoo. I’m not looking back. “

Good to dump yahoo anyway: they still refuse to support IMAP for free, which most people now need because of the prevalence of reading email on multiple devices.


21 posted on 01/06/2014 11:38:56 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: SeekAndFind; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

11. Flying cars delayed again.


22 posted on 01/06/2014 11:42:23 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: cripplecreek

Yeah but, you’re frickin weird. So, of course, it would appeal to you.

/S

LOL


23 posted on 01/06/2014 12:06:32 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: cripplecreek

I like Win 8.1, but I also have an RT tablet and don’t get its reason for existence. RT is just not ready for prime time and I don’t understand why MS wasted development time on it. They should have just stuck with Win 8 which is a nice OS once you get the hang of it.


24 posted on 01/06/2014 12:07:28 PM PST by redangus
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To: Revolting cat!

Popular Mechanics illustrators unfazed.


25 posted on 01/06/2014 12:07:38 PM PST by Dagnabitt (Amnesty is Treason. Its agents are Traitors.)
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To: shibumi

Wow. She pulled her head out of her a** and still needs that contraption ?


26 posted on 01/06/2014 12:10:13 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: bigbob; humblegunner

Surprising also is his highness, HG, didn’t get in on some sort of beat down on this thread.

LOL!!!

You duh man!!! HG

Waahhssssup!!!!


27 posted on 01/06/2014 12:12:54 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Obadiah

When was this?

I have a yahoo acct but, rarely use it, as it is not secure.


28 posted on 01/06/2014 12:14:16 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Vendome

Dec 4 through Dec 9.


29 posted on 01/06/2014 12:17:50 PM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: Vendome
Surprising also is his highness, HG, didn’t get in on some sort of beat down on this thread.

The Obama regime and its policies have caused significant cutbacks in personnel assigned to the monitoring of blogpimps.

It's rough times all around.

30 posted on 01/06/2014 12:17:54 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: Vendome

Sorry, Dec 9th through the 14th. Not my main e-mail account, but one I transact business with. Five days without being able to see or to respond to e-mails from this account. Totally unreliable in my book and therefore they’re gone for my purposes. Already switched over.


31 posted on 01/06/2014 12:20:13 PM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: MarineBrat

Huh know!

I’m not even that old but, I prefer the Windows® 3.11 to NT menus .

I still prefer to rummaged through that black screen stuff and make changes at the root as well.

The Win 8 thing is their version Appleware that doesn’t give most user total control.

It’s more their evolution from DOS to GUI and of course their always lame attempt to emulate some sort of Apple experience.

But, thank God we don’t have to use a printing press to disseminate our voluminous knowledge here at FR.


32 posted on 01/06/2014 12:24:50 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Obadiah

Oh

I was asleep that week....


33 posted on 01/06/2014 12:26:43 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: catnipman
Still waiting for Mr. Fusion to arrive.


34 posted on 01/06/2014 12:28:52 PM PST by xp38
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To: humblegunner

Naw

You just lazy...

LOL

Happy New Year.

You got jobs lined up?

I heard from an investment banker that truck routes are now at 70% use.


35 posted on 01/06/2014 12:30:32 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: xp38

Where's my jet pack! Everybody was promised one at the 1964 Worlds Fair.

36 posted on 01/06/2014 12:31:04 PM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: Obadiah

Hmmm....

That’s too bad.

I know quite a few people use free accounts for transacting business and to my mind, this day and age, I can’t believe they don’t have their own web identity.


37 posted on 01/06/2014 12:34:57 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Vendome
You got jobs lined up?

The newly monetized quote process makes up for some of the lost revenue.

38 posted on 01/06/2014 12:43:07 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: Vendome

I am partial to Windows 7.

DOS 5/6 - Liked it a lot, and learned tons from it.
Win 3.x - Was OK, but preferred OS/2 and Desqview.
Win 95 - Loved it.
Win 98 - Hated its guts!
Win NT 4 - LOVED IT!!!
Win 2k - Liked it too.
Win XP - Had a love affair with it, and am still using on some older seldom used machines.
Win Vista - Hated its guts!
Win 7 - Love it long time!!!
Win 8 - Will NOT use it for any reason without 3rd party functional start button.


39 posted on 01/06/2014 12:47:55 PM PST by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: humblegunner

Monetized?

Like barreled moonshine?


40 posted on 01/06/2014 12:56:18 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Vendome
Barreled, hell. This is 2014.
We're all about efficiency. Totes.. or IBCs..
(Intermediate Bulk Containers) That's the way to go...


41 posted on 01/06/2014 1:03:14 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: SeekAndFind

The Samsung Galaxy Gear may be a lot of things, but first generation isn’t one of them. A second generation launch without superior features over existing products over a year old was a predictable recipe for failure.


42 posted on 01/06/2014 1:29:25 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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