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Top 10 Disappointing Technologies

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the top-10-lists-are-a-disappointing-technology dept.

Biotech 682

Slatterz writes "Every once in a while, a product comes along that everyone from the executives to the analysts to even the crusty old reporters thinks will change the IT world. Sadly, they are often misguided. This article lists some of the top ten technology disappointments that failed to change the world, from the ludicrously priced Apple Lisa, to voice recognition, to Intel's ill-fated Itanium chip, and virtual reality, this article lists some of the top ten technology disappointments that failed to change the world." But wait! Don't give up too quickly on the Itanium, says the Register.

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What about the CueCat?! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989787)

I've got some barcodes that need scanning!

Re:What about the CueCat?! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990003)

No, CueCat doesn't apply. You can only be disappointed by things for which you had some hope.

Re:What about the CueCat?! (5, Informative)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990211)

CueCat had a lot riding on it and lots of fairly high profile partners. Perhaps if it wasn't in the retarded shape of a big plastic cat it might have taken off.

But what's this about the "ludicrously priced Apple Lisa"? Sure it was $10,000 in 1983, but it wasn't targeted to home users. The only other graphical computing package available at the time, the VisIon hardware/software kit from the makers of VisiCalc, the killer app spreadsheet, was less impressive and just as expensive.

"the base VisiOn software and a mouse cost $790, each application cost between $250 and $400, and it required a $5000 hard drive upgrade on top of a $2000 PC"

It was not hard to price a $10,000 PC in the mid-80s simply by adding a little RAM and a hard drive. The Lisa pioneered a new class of hardware at a reasonable cost compared to its newness and the competition.

Apple's Lisa also invented the Office desktop suite, which was bundled into its price. If you wanted an integrated suite of Office software, you'd have to wait out the 80s for another seven years before Microsoft could reassemble its own Office suite for the Macintosh, and then later Windows.

Office Wars 3 - How Microsoft Got Its Office Monopoly [roughlydrafted.com]

If only this had come out in a month from now! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27990231)

Then it could have included Wolfram Alpha.

Just as disappointing as... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989793)

This first post!

Re:Just as disappointing as... (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989887)

Yes, first post technology never really panned out. It is sometimes funny as a second post though, but the joke really is on the AC there.

I stopped reading... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989803)

Honourable mention: Ubuntu

Shaun Nichols: We're no doubt going to catch some flack for this one, but deep down even the hard-core evangelists will agree that Ubuntu has thus far been something of a disappointment. While Linux has definitely caught on in the enterprise server and database market, the open-source OS has never really been able to move into the greater market.

I don't know if I'm just easily offended or a fanboy, but I stopped reading the article at that point.

Re:I stopped reading... (3, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989843)

I love Linux, but sadly I agree with him.

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990083)

Maybe, maybe not.

However, I think that Ubuntu's a bit too young to call it a 'flop.' The project still has plenty of forward momentum behind it.

That it's the most popular Linux to date is certainly a feat, and major manufacturers have adopted it (albeit in limited circumstances). It may not have changed everything, though it did give things an enormous shove in the right direction. Currently, my eyes are on OpenOffice to clean up its act, or for a new competitor to emerge. The OS itself is no longer the limiting factor.

Must be an Australian thing (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989851)

In the article, Iain Thomson wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I like Ubuntu and have it running on a home system. But unless a major manufacturer starts preinstalling it it's going to be confined to the Linux enthusiast and the hobbyist market.

Is he just complaining that Dell doesn't offer the same Ubuntu packages that it offers in the United States [dell.com] ?

Re:Must be an Australian thing (3, Insightful)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990093)

Ok, let's face it, very few people buy the Dell Ubuntu computers. There are a few reasons: 1. (most importantly) You have to look for that page to buy those PCs, I've never seen it advertised. 2. Those PCs are lame, a few laptops and a desktop... I'm shaking. Dell should really just offer it as a an option on all customizable PCs the same way they offer a choice of Windows versions. 3. Most consumer-consumers buy their PCs in stores or on shopping sites (not directly from the manufacturer). I have yet (in my albeit limited browsing) to see a computer preloaded with Ubuntu at a retail outlet.

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989853)

Shaun Nichols: We're no doubt going to catch some flack for this one, but deep down even the hard-core evangelists will agree that Ubuntu has thus far been something of a disappointment. While Linux has definitely caught on in the enterprise server and database market, the open-source OS has never really been able to move into the greater market.

I don't know if I'm just easily offended or a fanboy, but I stopped reading the article at that point.

    The question is, are they wrong? Ubuntu really has remained for Linux hobbyists. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but it is, for the most part.

        Brett

Re:I stopped reading... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989951)

But did anyone promise that ubuntu would kill off MS or something? Has it actually failed to deliver?

Because from where I'm sitting Ubuntu is doing a great job of streamlining and simplifying linux. And it sure has had an impact on how a distro is expected to work these days. People even use the term "modern distro" to mean pretty much *buntu and Suse.

Re:I stopped reading... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989983)

I agree that it's an arguable point. But it's not so completely off the scale to invalidate it to the point that it shouldn't be considered.

        Brett

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990045)

But did anyone promise that ubuntu would kill off MS or something?

Ubuntu pretty much considers the fact that MS hasn't been killed off, or at least humbled, to be a bug [launchpad.net] .

Promise? No, but they're trying.

Re:I stopped reading... (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990049)

" The question is, are they wrong? Ubuntu really has remained for Linux hobbyists. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but it is, for the most part."

Yes, yes they are. The article's name is "Top 10 most disappointing technologies". Maybe the marketshare of Ubuntu has somewhat lagged behind what people hoped for, Ubuntu's tech itself is great and its improvements from release to release are worth the pain of switching to a newer OS. The fact that MS is holding the market hostage with Windows(and it's gigantuan legacy heap) can hardly be described as a fault of Ubuntu.

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Informative)

Virak (897071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989879)

You should've read further, there's this hilarious bit:

Don't get me wrong, I like Ubuntu and have it running on a home system. But unless a major manufacturer starts preinstalling it it's going to be confined to the Linux enthusiast and the hobbyist market.

You'd figure at least someone who likes Ubuntu and runs it themselves would have known that Dell has been offering systems with Ubuntu preinstalled for two years now.

Re:I stopped reading... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989955)

Dell has been offering systems with Ubuntu preinstalled for two years now.

Ya, and the incredible impact of this holy grail of Linux has been.......

That's what they should have put on this list :)

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989995)

The Dell situation is wonderfully illustrated with the rising number of netbooks out there. People buy them with Linux installed but marketing and brand loyalty blindness has taken care of making them oblivious to how to use a computer that doesn't have a "Start" button. I read stories about customers returning Linux systems because it doesn't look like they've grown to expect. I experienced that with my sister in law which wanted to get a Vista laptop instead of her Ubuntu desktop because it was more "familiar" to her. Sadly Linux COULD be a solution for many more people but they seem to be so used to Windows that they can't even figure out how to use something else.

Re:I stopped reading... (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990071)

Sadly Linux COULD be a solution for many more people but they seem to be so used to Windows that they can't even figure out how to use something else.

Uh huh. Yet people happily figure out how to use Macs. Ok, well, maybe not happily. Why do they do it?

marketing and brand loyalty blindness

Bingo. When Ubuntu started up I really got the feeling that Shuttleworth got that it wasn't about technology... sure, an OS has to do a certain amount of "stuff" before people can use it, but that's the easy part. Getting people to try something new isn't about how great the new thing is, it's about style and bullshit. Using a Mac is no easier than using a PC.. in fact, the vast majority of people find it so much harder because they're not familiar with Macs.. but go out into the street and ask a dozen people and they'll say that oh yes, those Macs are so much easier to use than PCs.. that lovely Mr Jobs told them so.

Re:I stopped reading... (2, Interesting)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990157)

I risk becomming flamebait here but Macs are more of a cult than an alternative. They do some really nice things with the user interface integration and if you don't want to anything too complicated their default ways of doing it are basically idiot proof. Then again if you dive into more advanced uses of the machine a Mac can easily out-complicate a Linux system in terms of hoops to jump through etc. It's a weird kind of mixture between foolproof default user interface and status symbolism. Many people buy Macs because they want something that is designed into it's hairtips. They buy them because the way they present themselves and how the machine becomes a part of their "outfit" in a way. At least that's my theory for why people prefer to spend 500$ on a locked down MP3 player when you could get an uglier device that does the same things for a fraction of the price. Macs come with these "I want a computer but don't want to know how to use it" features like the @mac.com email and all that bullshit. That's a selling point for some people. Jobs' media appearance and the cult leader figure he has made himself into draws a certain crowd. People that pay 300% the price for hardware simply so they can claim they got one. Ironically those people would never admit to their disability of using the machine properly since they define themselves through the design etc. Ubuntu should focus on selling the Compiz desktop as a feature and get more people into the productivity enhancing effects of it rather than trying to go head-to-head with billion dollar marketing campaigns they can't possibly match.

Re:I stopped reading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27990053)

Not in all territories. Try getting one in Europe for example.

Re:I stopped reading... (1)

Z80xxc! (1111479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990171)

How many of these systems do they sell, though? I have yet to see a Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled in the wild. Not once. I've seen people who have bought regular dells, then installed ubuntu, but they're the nerd types.

Re:I stopped reading... (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989925)

I'm not offended. More than anything, I'm disappointed in their misinformation.

Re:I stopped reading... (4, Insightful)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989947)

You probably would have disagreed with the rest of it too. I have more than half the tech listed. Quite a poor article. They didn't even say that "DRM claimed it would stop piracy..." which was the first thing to pop into my mind.

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Insightful)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989991)

I installed Ubuntu for the first time last year, and man, I was disappointed.

Right out of the box, so to speak, there were problems:
1. NVIDIA graphics card drivers weren't installed because they were proprietary. Come on. Even then, dragging windows around and typing into text boxes had a minor delay that didn't feel natural.

2. All websites looked different and ugly as sin, because the package didn't come with the fonts that every other system used. Come on!

3. Multi-monitor use was difficult to set up without having to alter configuration files ( though I do wish taskbars on multiple screens would come to Windows 7). Some things I found simply couldn't be done without writing scripts: setting up a hotkey to send a window to the other monitor, etc.

To resolve most of these issues, I had to navigate a bunch of forums and wiki help pages. I couldn't imagine trying to show my mom how to do that, for instance.

Ubuntu has a lot of strengths, and many of its features made me go "OOOO, cool!" But the Linux learning curve is freakishly steep. To do something of medium difficulty in Windows generally requires advanced console command knowledge in Ubuntu.

Re:I stopped reading... (5, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990033)

1. NVIDIA graphics card drivers weren't installed because they were proprietary. Come on. Even then, dragging windows around and typing into text boxes had a minor delay that didn't feel natural.

Ubuntu offered to install those for me after starting up the system, I clicked a checkbox and it was installed - no issue.

2. All websites looked different and ugly as sin, because the package didn't come with the fonts that every other system used. Come on!

ubuntu-restricted-extras is rather easy to install.

setting up a hotkey to send a window to the other monitor, etc.

There is a hotkey to do this on Windows? Please tell me what it is, because I have been getting very irritated recently with win7's multi monitor support.

I installed Ubuntu for the first time last year, and man, I was disappointed.

I'm sceptical after you mentioned point one.

Re:I stopped reading... (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990101)

1. NVIDIA graphics card drivers weren't installed because they were proprietary. Come on. Even then, dragging windows around and typing into text boxes had a minor delay that didn't feel natural.

Ever installed a windows machine and booted up into a 640x480 16color desktop? The only difference here is that Windows mostly comes preconfigured. Newer version of Ubuntu take pretty good care of stuff like that. And quite honestly people are way to picky about "minor delays" and such. I've never experienced anything like that but in any case the OS is free. I can't expect to get the same finish from a fully functional free product than what I get for my 100$ Microsoft tax.

2. All websites looked different and ugly as sin, because the package didn't come with the fonts that every other system used. Come on!

People have grown so accustomed to de facto standards that they can't seem to bear minor differences. How hard is it to install the mstcorefonts package? But I agree, some more distros could adapt some of the "essentials" for their default rollout. Most of these problems come from silly licensing problems that aren't Linux's fault but a direct response to the software policy of proprietary systems. After all, it's basically Microsoft closed source's fault that you can't have Arial etc. installed by default.

3. Multi-monitor use was difficult to set up without having to alter configuration files ( though I do wish taskbars on multiple screens would come to Windows 7). Some things I found simply couldn't be done without writing scripts: setting up a hotkey to send a window to the other monitor, etc.

Is there a hotkey in Windows that sends your windows to a specific display? I wouldn't know. But again, newer version take pretty good care of these issues. Like I said before, you just can't expect a product that is as polished as one that you've paid for. Most people don't seem to care though.

To resolve most of these issues, I had to navigate a bunch of forums and wiki help pages. I couldn't imagine trying to show my mom how to do that, for instance.

Agreed, there are some rollout defaults problems that make it hard for noobs to deal with a system like that. Then again, I'm glad about that since it forces many users to learn a few basics about their computer skills. Most Windows users I know are complete idiots because they never had to look up anything at all.

Ubuntu has a lot of strengths, and many of its features made me go "OOOO, cool!" But the Linux learning curve is freakishly steep. To do something of medium difficulty in Windows generally requires advanced console command knowledge in Ubuntu.

Then again, many of the "medium difficulty" applications never apply to the ordinary user primarily. Windows focusses on these problems since they can't afford to lose customers to these hurdles. Linux simply hasn't evolved to that point were someone took the time and made the effort to implement these things properly. Given the relatively short existence of the "non guru" Linux crowd and it's vast expansion in recent history I'd say this is but all a matter of time. Enough fanboy-ism. I had my share of problems with Ubuntu and Linux in general (I want to strangle someone at ATi) but overall for a free product with no clear focus it's come an awfully long way in such a relatively short time (in comparison to the intense focus of proprietary systems and their need for success).

Re:I stopped reading... (4, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990203)

1. NVIDIA graphics card drivers weren't installed because they were proprietary. Come on. Even then, dragging windows around and typing into text boxes had a minor delay that didn't feel natural.

Since when did Microsoft start shipping NVIDIA drivers with their Windows releases, anyways?

Re:I stopped reading... (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990205)

I don't know if I'm just easily offended or a fanboy

Probably a little of both. Decide (1) if you seem to get offended a lot and (2) if you would seriously consider using any other distro.

Ubuntu is a nice introductory distro for the Linux-curious user, but that's really all it is right now - an introduction into the world of Linux.

I wanted to read the Ubuntu point, because, while I may be a fanboy about some things, I like to hear other people's viewpoints, too, just to give them the chance to voice their opinions, no matter how much I may disagree. It was interesting. They had some good points. I would argue that Ubuntu is taking longer than expected to get to its desired position, but it's still working on it. It's a relatively young distro that has exploded into very significant popularity. But, I have my opinion, and they have theirs.

I stopped reading after I found more than one easily-spotted, should-have-been-easily-corrected typo in the article.

#1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989825)

pcauthority.com.au

VR (4, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989835)

I honestly think if the VR headgear had been less expensive back in the 90's, VRML would have been a LOT more mainstream; I used some of the better goggles, with (IIRC) 480x480 elements, and they rocked. Bulky, uncomfortable, HEAVY, but cool & useful as hell.

Off Topic: Can anyone tell me what I can do to get back the "you have 3 replies to your last post" info at the top of my /. page? I thought I had just been particularly un-interesting until I checked my email notifications.

Re:VR (5, Insightful)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989923)

The current 3D MMORPGs are virtual realities.... Millions of people spend the majority of their time in these virtual worlds. Just because they don't wear bulky helmets they're disqualified?

The article is a bit misguided on some of it's top 10 choices.

Nanotech, virtual reality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989837)

Nanotech, virtual reality, minidisc...

Re:Nanotech, virtual reality... (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989931)

Presumably by nanotechnology you mean molecular manufacturing.. and that should hardly be on that list because it hasn't happened yet. The list is about shit that happened but fizzed. If an assembler was created tomorrow (and it could happen if Merkle pulls his finger out) and the entire fucking materials world didn't change in under 12 months, I'd be entirely surprised and put it at #1 on this list.

Re:Nanotech, virtual reality... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989959)

Nanotech doesn't seem to me to have actually arrived yet. Which while that is disappointing, the list is focused on technologies (I would call them "products" not technologies) which have gotten here already but failed to change much.

Nanotech, flying cars, cold fusion, gene therapy, xenografts, cure for cancer, cure for the common cold are probably some of the ones that would go on the list of "Hurry up with it already" but none of those could be said to have failed to change the world, they might if and when they get here.

I mean, HAS nanotech arrived and I just didn't notice? It's not really my field, but I think I would have heard about that...

Minidisc is a good example though.

Ghey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989847)

That's what we really need.... another article bashing Windows Vista....

You know this entire article was just another excuse to do so.

Itanium? (3, Informative)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989863)

This is the first I have heard of the Tukwilla processor. With Intel not releasing a new processor in the Itanium line for such a long time, I thought they had abandoned it.

Technologies vs products (4, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989865)

I think that maybe this article cross that line far too much. It really should have focused on technologies of false promise (virtual reality, voice recognition, biometrics) instead of products. Some of the ideas were interesting when they limited themselves to the technology over the product. So what if the Zune fails? It's not the end of a technology.

And for fucks sake, can we please stop beating on 10+ year old technology? I'm sick of hearing retards go on and on about Apple Lisa, Microsoft Bob and a bunch of morons who have to make a 640k joke because they don't understand anything more than that. These are the same asshats who've probably never even touched a machine with less than 128 megs of ram.

Re:Technologies vs products (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989935)

Problems with BSD's codebase were compounded by fundamental flaws in the BSD design approach. As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, rapid, decentralized development models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software development.

BSD developers never heeded Mr. Raymond's lesson and insisted that centralized models lead to 'cleaner code.' Don't believe their hype - BSD's development model has significantly impaired its progress. Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source.

Fortunately, Linux is not prone to this exploitation, as it is licensed under the GPL.

Raymond begging the question much? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990077)

"As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, rapid, decentralized development models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software development."

What about the slow, decentralized models and the rapid centralized ones? Did he have anything to say about those?

One difference between Linux and proprietary OS's is that the former is really developing at least n software projects where n is the number of distros, so the collective power is diluted by "doing your own thing".

Re:Technologies vs products (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990111)

Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source.

Maybe the folk who adopt the BSD license just aren't in it for the fame. For some people the notion that your software is out there quietly doing what it was made to do without any fanfare is appealing. Certainly one positive aspect of a centralised (read: highly regimented) development process is that a small group of developers are able to ensure that everything is done the Right Way, however you want to define that; you don't have hundreds of coders producing code that works, but not necessarily in the same way.

Re:Technologies vs products (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990079)

First off, it's a horrible "article". It's more of an opinion piece, strung together by people who can't proof read their own material. The fact that's front page material on /. is disappointing. I motion that this "article" be removed and never spoken of again. All in favor?

Re:Technologies vs products (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990121)

Yes it sounds more like a list of personal disappopintments, someting like 'although my computer was an intanium based machine with firewire and bluetooth, speech recognition under vista did not work and i was too stupid to complete the ubuntu installation, because the biometric (fingerprint) scanner did not work'. i consider nearly nothing of what he find disappointing to be disappointing, not even vista. ALso things which comercially fail have sometime catalysing effect on other things.

Palm (4, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989871)

At one point, I could write Palm better than block letters. I remember one class where I forgot my Palm. I took notes on a piece of paper. When I got home, I noticed that I had written in Palm!

Anyway, Palm is now a could-have-been. Lost out to Smartphones I guess...

Re:Palm (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989929)

The didn't 'lose out' to smartphones exactly, they produced some called "Palm Treo". I don't know whether they're purely let down by the Windows Mobile OS, or whether they're crap to the core, but let me assure you, owning one is painful.

Re:Palm (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990139)

It wasn't that Palm didn't do what it was meant to do for its time. The problem for Palm is that they didn't add enough enhancements over time to beat their competitors that caught up. You can read all sorts about the why namely that the Palm OS wasn't very upgradeable and Palm spent too long before deciding what to do about the future.

The letter "T" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27990229)

Long before I got a Palm Pilot pro, I was writing exclusively in block letters. My teachers/professors hated it (despite its legibility), mainly the arts/English types.

When I got a palm, I adapted quickly to the new 'letters'.

To this day, I still write in block letters - and despite not having used a palm for almost a decade, now, my letter "T" still looks like a 7.

Re:Palm (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990243)

Anyway, Palm is now a could-have-been. Lost out to Smartphones I guess...

Palm didn't lose out to smart phones, they just didn't excite people into buying their smart phones. It didn't help that they kind of fell behind in terms of technology. I like my Zodiac (PalmOS based PDA/game system), it's kind of too bad that they didn't stay in business long enough to make a phone, assuming Palm would let them. The Zodiac was pretty snappy and did everything I needed, it was just too hard to carry multiple devices in my pocket.

Duke Nukem Forever (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989873)

Though not specifically a technology, DNF is definitely one of my favorite failures. What other product has managed to keep fan boys clinging on to the dear hope that it will be released one day, only to be let down and tantalized with a tech demo the following year. If Vista was a train wreck, DNF was the barren wasteland of Mars where no life formed. Even now, after being shut down, it still taunts users with a rather recent trailer of partial game play. All I can say is: Hail to the king baby!

Bluetooth? (4, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989877)

It's only now that Bluetooth is getting to be useful, and only then in very limited terms. Sure, it allows people to walk around babbling into headsets, but it could have been so much more.

Umm....the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii make major use of Bluetooth technology. In fact those are the only devices I own that I use Bluetooth for.

I wouldn't say the Bluetooth being in the Dualshock 3 and Wiimote is a disappointment at all for both the creators and consumers of the technology.

Even if Bluetooth is underperforming based on its technological potential is it really one of the 10 most disappointing technologies currently?

Re:Bluetooth? (2, Interesting)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989949)

Bluetooth is on the list because it's been around for years and you still can't get decent support for stereo headsets or other simple connections to work. It's been underwhelming.

Re:Bluetooth? (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990091)

I still plug my phones into my PCs to transfer data. That or email the data to myself (ie from my phone in my hand to the computer 2 feet in front of me via Gmail's servers in the US), because apparently it's such a hard problem to solve sending data direct to my PC via a bluetooth dongle. I don't know what it is about the problem that's so hard. I'd love to hear of a technical description of it all.

Re:Bluetooth? (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990223)

apparently it's such a hard problem to solve sending data direct to my PC via a bluetooth dongle. I don't know what it is about the problem that's so hard. I'd love to hear of a technical description of it all.

It's hard for telcos to figure out how to charge you for it, so they cripple the phone instead.

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990155)

I've been using BT to send files between computers, PDAs and mobile phones for some years now. It's slow (getting better, though), and sometimes a little cumbersome to get going because of pairing and the various manufacturers implementations but it's still easier than using samba over wi-fi and it's a damn sight quicker than IRDA was.

Unfortunately we're at the mercy of the manufacturers again; my SE phone worked without a hitch, which is more than I can say for my Motorola (who just can't seem to make a decent UI)

Apple Lisa?? (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989891)

Not following them on that one, and they have the chronology completely wrong. Jobs, in particular, knew the Lisa was DOA and knew that the Mac was the way of the future for the company, and pulled people off it all the time to work on the Mac. They are right, in that the Lisa was a very nice machine (I wanted to get my father one to replace his typewriter a few years ago - he needed and wanted no more - instead he wound up with a $299 Officemax Dell shitbox that still barely functions from day to day) but I think it certainly doesn't deserve a Top 10 list. It wasn't a big enough deal to matter. I would have put the Newton on there before the Lisa.

        Brett

Failed Product != Failed Technology (4, Insightful)

emjoi_gently (812227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990055)

Well yeah, the Lisa might have been a failed PRODUCT, but it wasn't a failed technology. Whether the Mac is a parallel product or an evolved product, the point is that the idea of user friendly computer with a WYSIWYG, mouse based GUI was not a failure. This was an early unsuccessful attempt, but in the long run the problems and costs were sorted out. You are working on a machine right now, no matter what the brand of OS, that took those basic ideas and made something successful out of them. And the Newton... same thing. It's Version One of a new tech. The Newton failed, but the Palm arose out of it, and from there a whole world of handhelds and now smartphones.

Re:Failed Product != Failed Technology (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990125)

That's true as well. Technology-wise its essentially of the same concept as the Mac turned out to be.

Itanium? (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989897)

So the Itanic still floats? Or is it just a life vest that was tossed over the side?

the problem with ubuntu (-1, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989899)

instead of sticking with the unix philosophy of simple and elegant ubuntu turned out to be more of a Linux equivalent of a hyperactive pimply faced teenager that wont sit still and shutup long enough to listen to the most educated critics = experienced users of older & more mature Linux distros, instead of focusing on stability and reliability ubuntu kicks a release out the door every 6 months regardless of its stability & reliability, heck even its parent distro (debian) does not do that, you wont win the mature users by acting like a hyperactive teenager that does not sitdown and shutup and learn to behave like a mature adult...

It's a spoiled 5 yo what did you expect? (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989973)

I see certain amount of trouble in the fact that Ubuntu is backed by a millionaire entrepreneur. They do this not like SuSe or RedHat to get into a stable business market but to follow a weird undefined "goal" of making Linux attractive for the home desktop crowd. The problem is, most of the people that are supposed to be their target audience couldn't care less WHAT comes pre-installed on their machine and since they usually "upgrade" with the hardware it's Windows indefinitely. Don't get me wrong. I run both of my computers with Ubuntu and got other people to at least try if not adapt it for full time use. The problem still is most of the folks that are the core non-nerd computer users have enough trouble figuring out what all the icons are for, let alone dive into "operating systems" and software philosophy. Unless someone manages to shove out a stable, user friendly attractive hardware solution that comes pre-equipped with Linux I don't see much hope for projects like Ubuntu to actually take up market share. There are several hurdles (games being a major one) that users would have to jump in order to use a Linux distribution for their every day needs and that just isn't happening while people get their OS with the new computer and barely manage to figure out how to use it.

Re:It's a spoiled 5 yo what did you expect? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990199)

The problem isn't that people can't use Ubuntu its that they have forgotten how to learn to use a computer. Windows has been the dominant OS for so long that any other OS, Amiga, BeOS, etc, other than Windows and Mac have been forgotten. Ubuntu is very, very, very easy and intuitive for a new computer user to understand. Everything says what it does. Its only when you get people who have used Windows all their life and everything isn't how they think it should be (not because of usability but because of MS) and those people think same hardware == same system == Ubuntu is just a version of Windows.

Take a kid who hasn't used Windows before, or an older person who hasn't really used Windows and put them on an Ubuntu box, you will see that they pick up on it pretty easily compared to that of Windows. But to move from Windows they need to un-learn what they learned with Windows.

Re:the problem with ubuntu (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989977)

what? mod me down because you are too god damn lazy to post a reply? its a fact if ubuntu wants to get onboard with major OEMs as a player like microsoft they better start thinking long term and not like some friggin ricer that wants to tweak their system or have to be playing the lab rat while the developers does the system tweaking, were talking about people that pay good money for an OEM system that want a stable platform to do their work on, some second tier dell offer on just a few systems dont count, i am talking front page baby!!!

Re:the problem with ubuntu (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990115)

Come on, everyone knows that moderation is just a lazy way to say "Right On!", "You're Wrong!", or just "Fuck You!"

On the other hand, I do get excited when people mod my jokes as funny. What can I say? I'm human.

Re:the problem with ubuntu (2, Informative)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989993)

Agreed, it can drive you nuts when there's a regression , but for the most part, Ubuntu has been great. It's important to understand that there is a long term support version, and then all the other releases. If you want stability & reliability, stay with long term support. If you don't mind getting cut on the bleeding edge, then stay with the current version.

Firewire (4, Informative)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989907)

"Outside of a few models of high-end video cameras, FireWire isn't seen much these days."

How about audio applications? If you want an audio interface for your laptop, you're almost always better off buying a Firewire model than a USB one; but also for many desktop applications Firewire can fit the bill over PCI/PCI-E. Plenty of the audio gear companies (M-Audio, RME, MOTU, Tascam) of course are still putting out new models using Firewire now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Re:Firewire (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990167)

It was disappointing because it didn't live up to what it might have been if they hadn't insisted on those outrageous (so I'm told) license fees.

Re: Firewire (3, Interesting)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990219)

How about audio applications? If you want an audio interface for your laptop, you're almost always better off buying a Firewire model than a USB one; but also for many desktop applications Firewire can fit the bill over PCI/PCI-E. Plenty of the audio gear companies (M-Audio, RME, MOTU, Tascam) of course are still putting out new models using Firewire now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I like Firewire and especially as of a few years ago, it's (finally) ubiquitously included with decent PCs/System boards and pretty much every Mac.

However, I'm concerned about the future of it. When Apple did not include FW ports on their Macbooks several months ago, I wondered what this meant for Firewire. They also didn't include them on the Air.

Firewire is Apple's brainchild and they've been pushing it for a decade, but what was the motivation for this? I like to think maybe it was to entice people to purchase the Macbook Pro (which still has FW800 ports) -- No, actually I don't like to think that -- but at least it isn't the other potential reason: The end of Firewire.

Joke (0, Offtopic)

zxjio (1475207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989909)

Look at some of the other awful shit this esteemed publication has put out:

The People's Republic of China claims to have invented the world's first completely unhackable operating system. The project, known as Kylin, is supposed to keep the evil running dog imperialist pigs from stealing all those glorous technological secrets that have made China the centre of technological development. Or at least those that its workers have used their superior technological skill to half inch from foreign servers.

Macintosh was not a replacement for Lisa (5, Informative)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989913)

"Not surprisingly, the Lisa did not sell too well and the company was sent back to the drawing board to develop the Macintosh."

Neat way to sum it up, but not accurate. Macintosh was nearly finished while Apple was still pushing the Lisa, and Jef Raskin's original concept for the Mac pre-dated the Lisa.

Of course, once Jobs got his mitts on it, he completely changed it from Raskin's vision, eventually provoking Raskin to quit Apple.

Re:Macintosh was not a replacement for Lisa (3, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989999)

Flamebait!? How? This is documented on Folklore.org among other places.

Fucking crackhead mods, you're ruining Slashdot!

I'm going back to posting anonymously. :P

MOD PARENT (and Grandparent) UP! (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990067)

I agree 100%, modding that flamebait was ridiculous, I can't even imagine what someone could be thinking....

Re:MOD PARENT (and Grandparent) UP! - OT (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990221)

Many thanks to the more level-headed moderators who abstain from crack and hopefully enjoy a good beer, which I would gladly buy you! :)

Dinosaurs were a marketing failure (2, Insightful)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989917)

In the end Apple ended up dumping nearly 3,000 Lisa's in landfill

Give me a good reason for doing this instead of lowering the price or even donating them

Re:Dinosaurs were a marketing failure (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990117)

> Give me a good reason for doing this instead of lowering the price or even donating them

Not wanting to throw good money after bad supporting them?

Real Top 10 (4, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989919)

There are much greater fails. Fails of such epic magnitude their ripples are easily confused with the tides on the ocean of technology:

10. Floptical storage. Great stuff if you want to lose data.
9. DIVX DVDs. The ones that you could only buy at Circuit City.
8. VRML. Virtual reality is still around. But VRML was an abortion.
7. CueCat. The epic fail that made Slashdot famous.
6.iOpener. What happens when you try to sell a blade free razor using the razor blade model.
5. The Apple Pippen. You've never seen it, it's that bad.
4. Windows ME. Awful, bad, hideous don't describe this one.
3. Chandler. Mitch Kapor's been a part of lots of great things, but Chandler is the PIM we'd all like to forget.
2. MS Bob. Any top 10 tech failure list without it is not credible.
1. Windows Vista. One would think ME would have taught Redmond a lesson.

Re:Real Top 10 (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990081)

10. Floptical storage. Great stuff if you want to lose data.

On the other hand, MO drives were awesome. 128Mb in the same convenient form factor as a floppy. They weren't that expensive, but just pricy enough that they never caught on outside of some specialty applications.

Bubble Memory (4, Interesting)

localroger (258128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990085)

Back when a 16K x 1 bit RAM chip cost $40, and needed a herd of glue chips to keep it refreshed, bubble RAM was supposed to save us. It was fast, nonvolatile, and (for those early 80's days) dense. There were demo systems and ads and all kinds of hype. And then it just never sort of happened. Dynamic RAM kept getting cheaper and easier to use and the bubbles never came out at all.

Bluetooth (1)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989961)

Bluetooth isn't disappointing. I mean sure it's power consumption could be better. But it's used for more than just keyboard, mouse, and headsets. Console controls would be set back without wireless. I even seen bluetooth speakers.

What they need to do is mix wireless power with bluetooth to make it extremely useful.

What's the alternative? It's pretty much improved Radio. IR sucked. And Wireless USB hasn't seen any headway.

Re:Bluetooth (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990107)

The trouble with Bluetooth isn't the technology per se(which, while it may not be optimal, is decent enough); but what a mixture of incompetence and market forces have done to the ecosystem surrounding it. Outside of the baseline use cases(HID peripherals on the PC, headsets on phones) you are apt to run into a mass of confusing and often ill documented missing or disabled, or only supported under some third party Bluetooth stack features.

Top so far (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989975)

Artificial intelligence. We have expert systems, neural networks, etc... but an "human like" artificial intelligence? The singularity that have more odds to happen near us in the future is a black hole.

The close second, if we include transportation are (antigrav) flying cars, of course.

Re:Top so far (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990195)

We've been around for millions of years, and yet we're only now just beginning to understand what makes ourselves - people - tick. Yet there are still massive, massive realms of psychology and biology of which we have an incomplete (to say the best) understanding. What makes you think we'd be able to - effectively - emulate that architecture?

Rob Malda's nullification is the real #1 (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990215)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Slow adoption rate designates failure? (5, Interesting)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990001)

Based on what appears to be their idea of how long widespread adoption of new technology should take before it is considered a failure, I'm surprised they haven't mentioned ripped on IPv6.

Re:Slow adoption rate designates failure? (0)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990097)

ARIN is telling ISPs to switch to IPv6 now before it is too late. IPv4 is could run out in as little as 18 months.

No Segway? (2)

cyofee (975070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990007)

Isn't Segway the synonym for fail?

Number 1, without a doubt (2, Funny)

Bitflicker (1556613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990019)

It's DLLs, hands down. I remember very clearly when they first erupted onto the scene, like something oozing from an immense, infected sore. The pundits were all agog over how DLLs would lets us customize every little part of Windows with third-party snap-in modules. Their favorite example was a universal search and replace dialog and engine.

Of course, these ninnies had no idea what they were talking about, and they didn't know enough about programming to tell the difference between a documented API and the semantics of that level of communication between pieces of software.

Instead of the promised wonderland, we were lured into a dark alley where Microsoft beat us with a sock full of kruegerrands and then proceeded to do all manner of horrible, system destabilizing things to us.

Oh, the binary horror...

The best line (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990025)

What is wrong is expecting businesses to pay for something they don't need.

That line can be used in many places at many times for many sides of an argument. It's my favorite argument for staying with Windows XP and Office 2003.

Re:The best line (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990147)

I agree.

However, I think that they missed the point when applying that mantra to 10GB Ethernet. I've worked on plenty of networks that were saturated with local traffic. Replacing some of the uplinks with 10GB Ethernet connections over the existing copper would be an excellent (and cheap) way to improve capacity.

Every port of every switch doesn't need to operate at 10GB. However, it'd be nice if the backbone did (and was able to do so inexpensively, and over standard ethernet cabling).

Domain please? Segway HT anyone? (2, Insightful)

bryan_is_a_kfo (976654) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990039)

Less of a top-ten, and more of a ten-random. What is the domain of this list? It seems like if you can go from Zune to Bluetooth to Biometrics, you should at least touch on something like the Segway HT: the first thing that comes to mind when I hear "tech flop".

Failed Technologies: All RISC Chips (5, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990129)

Has anyone noticed that the entire desktop market is now owned by the x86 architecture? It killed SPARC, PowerPC, Precision Architecture (PA), MIPS, and Alpha. PowerPC and SPARC held out until the very end about 2 years ago. Even they were shoved out of the market.

I literally cannot buy a non-x86 desktop or laptop even if I paid $5000.

In the early 1970s, who could have guessed that the great-great-great-grandson of the 4004 would dominate 100% of the desktop market and a sizeable chunk of the rest of the computing market?

Weird choice (4, Insightful)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990133)

They did not mention DRM? What the hell?

Also this quote about Ubuntu:

Maybe it was just the overenthusiastic marketing or the fanboys who swarmed to the system but Ubuntu really was supposed to change everything, where as the operating system landscape looks very much the same these days.

It did lower the price of XP for netbooks down to a few dollars though... In a way, desktop Linux made netbooks possible - otherwise Microsoft wouldn't lower the price of their system enough for this class of machines to become viable.

Uh, what about the SEGWAY???? (5, Funny)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990159)

Talk about the most ridiculously overhyped invention in recent memory...for a damn scooter.

Can't do better than this? (2, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990163)

Some of the products, like FireWire, are in widespread use, although maybe not for consumers. I used to work in broadcast; we had a ton of FireWire equipment where I worked.

Itanium, similarly, has a place in certain markets. If you have an HPUX or VMS shop (like lots of government agencies), you're buying Itaniums. I know that Navy and Coast Guard have quite a few Itanium systems in production.

As for Vista, after three years of use, I am very impressed. The only major issue I've had was with the audio/network performance present in the RTM build. Only bluescreen I've had during that time was due to a stick of RAM that'd gone bad. I can't say the same about 95, 98, NT4, 2K, or XP. And it's poor short-term memory on most people's part; XP was a steaming pile when it was released. The shop where I was working didn't start adopting XP over 2k until SP2 came out. People just have forgotten how bad it was, because after several years, it became a stable product. Vista was far better at release.

Similarly, I've been very impressed with 2008 Server. Am in the process of implementing it throughout an enterprise, and haven't encountered any major difficulties. /UAC is annoying, though

Bluetooth? (1)

plut4rch (1553209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990165)

"Everything is better with Bluetooth." -Dr Sheldon Cooper

Push (3, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990173)

PointCast anyone?

my friend... (5, Funny)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990185)

My friend, Duke, just read the article, and man is he pissed.

Bah! Another list... (5, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990193)

I'm sick of top ten lists. Why do I care that some group at a magazine chose an arbitrary number of things in some category at their discretion with no real measurable criteria for entering the list? Get me if I'm wrong, but the whole point of a top ten list is to attract visitors to argue about what the magazine chose, and suggest things of their own that didn't make the list. It's a pseudo-event in pure form: a news story with no real news in it.

VR, why not AI? (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990213)

AI is just as hypothetical as VR.

While both will be technologically feasible in the future, they aren't now and as such AI should have been in the article too. It was just as hyped, though it wasn't attempted as embarrassingly in the public eye (Nintento Virtualboy anyone?)

These technologies in their most fundamental form are something that will be realized some day. The thought process behind this article is full of holes. Nobody thought VR was going to be fully realized in the 90s: people were just playing with early prototypes.

What about the 432? (3, Interesting)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27990217)

No list of tech disappointments could be complete with the Intel 432 [wikipedia.org] . Object oriented machine code and hardware-assisted garbage collection - what's not to love?

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