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The L.A. Times Names Its Favorite Flops of the Year

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the always-too-many-to-choose-from dept.

Technology 145

SternisheFan writes "Salvador Rodriguez and Deborah Netburn of The Los Angeles Times have a rundown of the top 10 tech gaffes of 2012. From their article: 'As 2012 comes to a close we take a look back at the biggest "oops" moments of the last year. Whether it was an advertising misstep (Facebook's "Chair" commercial), or a product released before it was ready (Apple Maps), or just an idea that was ill-received (homeless men as Wi-Fi hotspots), we tried to compose a list of the times when the major players lost control of the narrative. It's also a reminder that everyone makes mistakes--even exacting tech companies.'"

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145 comments

No Dice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422281)

Don't forget /. going down the drain/tubes for reals.

Oh, and firrst pst.

Homeless men? (0)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422363)

Basement-dwelling nerds would obviously have preferred homeless women (preferably nubile/cute) as wifi hotspots. But the reality of homeless persons in the US, whether male or female, is not attractive and is no joke...

Re:No Dice (2)

Andrewkov (140579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423369)

But this list is for 2012..

Samsung 'Puppy' Video (4, Interesting)

adibe (2480114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422325)

So where can I find the video described at #10?

Re:Samsung 'Puppy' Video (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423335)

Facebook IPO (5, Insightful)

Bizzeh (851225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422335)

Facebook IPO wasnt a gaffe, it was a hedge fund scam. facebook was advised to give their IPO at a much higher value than they knew it could sustain, and the advisers hedged against facebook. made a lot of rich people richer, and fucked over some other rich people, and also fucked over some not so rich people.

as for apple maps, that deserves to be number 1, why the hell did apple even bother to release such a poor piece of software...

Re:Facebook IPO (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422377)

Um, Apple Maps fiasco wasn't about the software. The software works fine; the data behind the software is the problem. Google maps also had issues in the beginning until they spent lots of time and money on better data. Remember the war driving scandal with Google? That was when their mapping cars were found to be collecting Wifi data in addition to simply mapping streets. Maybe Apple should have relied on Google map data for another year (as they still had a year left on their contract) but the software was fine.

Re:Facebook IPO (3, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422403)

Um, Apple Maps fiasco wasn't about the software. The software works fine; the data behind the software is the problem.

So you agree with GP even as you try to contradict him/her. The software was the problem. Hint: software is more than just an algorithm expressed in a program; it's the data that the algorithm/program accesses, too.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422467)

Analogy: The problem with the Ford Pinto was its horrible engine design. Do you agree or disagree? Or do you point out the problem was in the design (and location) of the fuel tank? Software is more than algorithms but in this exact case the issue is in the data quality not the mapping software itself.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422493)

Actually the analogy works against you.

Both Apple Maps and the Ford Pinto suck. Apple Maps suck because their data sucks. The Pinto sucked because of it's engine (and hideous design).

IOW, both products were crap that shouldn't have been released, and once again you're pretending to argue with the OP while proving his point.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422573)

Both Apple Maps and the Ford Pinto suck. Apple Maps suck because their data sucks. The Pinto sucked because of it's engine (and hideous design).

So what you are saying is that the NTHSA and many consumer groups wanted (and got) the Pinto to be recalled based on the engine? That Ford spent lots of time and money fixing the engine? Or did they focus on the fuel tank? In retrospect, the fuel tank problem wasn't as bad as it was made to be but the engine exploding due to a rear end crash wasn't the controversy.

IOW, both products were crap that shouldn't have been released, and once again you're pretending to argue with the OP while proving his point.

I am clarifying his point by providing sufficient detail. Details matter. After all if your next car is recalled due to a problem with a fuel tank, do you bring it in to have the engine replaced?

Apple releasing a new mapping app does not solve their problem in the slightest bit unless they changed the source of their data from their own internal data to use Google's. In fact, many people I know have not upgraded to IOS 6 until Google released their own app (which used their data).

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422663)

They are pointing out their expertise and wit, not their ability to use the web, reason, or facts.
Hope that helps.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423119)

I actually was hit from behind in my 74 Ford Pinto. The engine died as I was a foot on the clutch and a foot on the brake but it was leaking gas when I checked before heading across the street to check on the lady (she hit her brakes, the back end jumped up and she turned to the left hitting the back of the Pinto and shooting across southbound traffic missing everyone else and hitting a street sign).

[John]

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422953)

I had a Pinto, and it's V6 cousin the AMC Bobcat. Seized the engine on the Pinto, was always worried about getting rear ended, and friends made fun of the Bobcat because a label next to the shift read something like, "Make sure lever is fully engaged in "Park". Vehicle may slip into reverse." If it it didn't lock into place with a 'click', I'd sometimes have to chase it down on foot.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422701)

Ford pinto is its a horrible car. Apple maps is its a horrible piece of software. Ford pinto = car Apple Maps = software Arguing details like some autist doesnt make Apple Maps a horrible piece of software.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423091)

I thought that on a site like Slashdot, geeks would understand the difference between bad data and bad coding. For example, I could argue that Java is a horrible language because it is interpreted, right? Facts and details don't matter do they?

Re:Facebook IPO (2)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423397)

And the rest of Slashdot assumes you would understand that the rest of the world is talking about the software product, not the source code we can't see anyway. It doesn't matter if the data or the software sucks. The end product apparently sucked. Without the ability to audit the code myself I'll just assume they both sucked. You are off on tangents that don't make sense. If Java was horrible (I, personally, think it is) what makes it horrible only matter to the person fixing it. It's just Apple, you don't have to defend them, they'll be alright.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423967)

My point is you can argue all day long whether Java is horrible; you can correct me if I incorrectly called Java interpreted. The main differences between functionality in their Maps app that they used for the first 4 years and their most recent one is: 1) 3D and 2) turn-by-turn voice instructions. Considering that Apple had turn-by-turn instructions without voice with an issue for 4 years, you can't really say Apple doesn't know how to code this functionality. However the major change is their dataset is now completely different. All major malfunctions of the app point not to bugs in programming but rather data issues. Logic would dictate the problem most likely is in the data.

Re:Facebook IPO (2, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423191)

The thing is, Apple used the data from a 'reputable' vendor (TomTom). Nobody made any noise ever about stand-alone TomTom devices.

Where I am and in most other places (North America and Europe), the data is as good as any (Google, Garmin, OSM or others) and you can find mistakes on any maps, heck, if there is a mistake in the data for any of the above mentioned, blame the government(s) because they are the ones that release the vector data for all streets in their jurisdictions. The biggest problems with it seem to be in Asia where government data isn't all that accurate.

That's talking about actual map data (the thing that may get you lost). There is a lot more POI data that Apple Maps is either missing or inaccurate and that is directly due to the TomTom data. I also have a Garmin device personally and the POI data is even worse than either the TomTom device or the Apple device, again, nobody has complained about that in years because the address (instead of the POI) usually gets you to the right place and who uses that silly POI data anyway?

Why is the POI data so inaccurate? Because most of it is gleaned from mobile devices with very inaccurate GPS data. For that you can blame all non-iOS and non-Android devices (and even some very cheap Android devices). Symbian and Blackberry both had major issues with the GPS coordinates and when those are then passed through apps to things like Yelp (which resells to the GPS vendors), hilarity ensues.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422439)

Lame excuses. Apple released a product before it was ready; that's indisputable. Your excuse is that Google had the same problems therefore it's okay for Apple to choose the path of mediocrity and failure. The war-driving scandal is a non-sequitur.

Look, millions of people relied on the Maps app on the iPhone. Apple decided to pull the rug out from under them and replace it with a shoddy half-baked app. Google Maps might have sucked when it came out but the key difference is that nobody used Google Maps when it came to market since it was a brand new product.

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422485)

Yes, the initial Apple maps was a bit of a black eye. But the response to it was amazing. From the headlines I was sure that the civilized world was coming to an end. Cats and dogs sleeping together, etc.

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Interesting)

Bizzeh (851225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423145)

The response was justified, apple took away what most people use as their GPS device, and replaced it with one that doesnt work, and doesnt work in spectacular fashion.

Re:Facebook IPO (-1, Redundant)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422509)

Again, there is nothing wrong with the app; the problem is the data that Apple is using with the app. If Apple released the app and used Google's data their would not have been any major issues. Using their own data is the problem. Google had years to get their data correct.

Re:Facebook IPO (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422565)

From the standpoint of the end user - the 99% - Apple maps is the problem. Yes, we can tease it out into more subtle nuances but as far as the person staring at the screen it was an APPLE mistake. It was hubris, plain and simple. They certainly could have waited another year until they were ready but they didn't.

So they got dinged, some heads rolled and the world continued. It's a pure Apple play. Roll out crap in the beginning, get it running sooner or later. Cf, OS X, iTunes (OK, the STILL haven't got it right), Final Cut X, the iPhone and pretty much any Rev. 1 bit of Apple hardware. Where ever they get the idea that 'it just works' is quite beyond me. Hell, and I even like Apple stuff, I just know not to buy it when it first comes out and not to install software before the x.3 version.

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Insightful)

Terrasque (796014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423085)

Where ever they get the idea that 'it just works' is quite beyond me.

Lots and lots of PR money. And IMHO a brilliant move. You see, computers are hard. Everyone knows computers are hard. And if something happens, you can't do anything, because everyone knows computers are hard.

But then comes something different. Something that is EASY. They say it everywhere. It just works, and is easy to use! So when something happens, it can't be that difficult to get it working, surely? This is after all easy.

The difference it makes is that in first scenario people give up at once, without even trying. In the second, they try their best because it's after all supposed to be easy.

And it turns out, that when you actually try to solve the problem, then it actually is easy to get it working again (compared to giving up at once and not even trying, at least).

It just works, and is easy because they tell people it is so. Pure genius :)

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423207)

Mod parent insightful-- I think that's a major part of iDevice's success. Don't forget that with iDevices you can't really tinker under the hood to get it working, either-- you have to trust that if you keep tapping the screen eventually something will happen. It's easier to make that leap of faith since "it's easy and just works".

No one will ever say "it's hard to get my microwave working" because at the end of the day, all you have to do is keep hitting buttons and something will eventually get hot.. but I find microwaves' UI to be kind of baffling. "Dinner plate" setting? What does that even mean-- is it the same cooking time for collard greens and corn as for a steak? (That's a real button on my microwave, BTW).

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422607)

Can you take Steve Job's dead dick out of your mouth? Can't really understand anything you are saying. Really.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423087)

Without the data the app is worthless, from what I hear, with the data the app is worse than worthless. You are making a distinction that is not a distinction. Does any other app use the same data as Apple Maps? Does an Apple Maps user have the option of using different data? If the answer to both questions is "no", than whether the app stinks because it was badly coded or because the data it used is bad is irrelevant. In that case, the app stinks.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423239)

Apple has only two choices: fix their data or using other data. Changing the app otherwise helps no one.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423865)

Actually Apple had the choice of not ditching the app that worked perfectly for 5 years.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423947)

Or they could return to using the app that they used before they started using this one. The fact of the matter is that as things stand, the app is broken. It makes no difference to anyone outside of Apple whether the reason the app is broken is because it has bad data or because it has bad code.

Re:Facebook IPO (-1, Troll)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42424005)

Hello? The App is not broken. The data is broken. Fixing the app by removing functionality that isn't broken does absolutely no good unless the changed the app to use Google again.

It makes no difference to anyone outside of Apple whether the reason the app is broken is because it has bad data or because it has bad code.

I would think geeks here on slashdot would able to discern the technical details of why something is broken and care about it. If details don't matter then the Mars Climate Observer was lost due to bad structural engineering and not a unit conversion error.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424019)

The App is not broken. The data is broken

Why do you keep repeating this as if it mattered?

Apple screwed this up. It doesn't matter where the fault lays, what matters is that the functionality is subpar as compared to the old app.

I would think geeks here on slashdot would able to discern the technical details of why something is broken and care about it. If details don't matter then the Mars Climate Observer was lost due to bad structural engineering and not a unit conversion error.

This is a story about the biggest tech blunders of 2012. Your contribution to this discussion is to find ways to absolve Apple of blame for fucking up the mapping experience of iOS users rather than to admit that Apple screwed up.

Can you admit that Apple screwed up or do you only have more excuses as a response?

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423755)

Who gives a shit? How does it change what the user sees? You're a moron.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423893)

there is nothing wrong with the app; the problem is the data that Apple is using with the app

An irrelevant distinction. When a user upgrades from iOS 5 to iOS 6 and finds that cities and landmarks are missing or completely wrong, do you think they care what the specific reason is for the problem? All they see is that Apple has failed them by replacing a perfectly good mapping tool with one that is broken.

As far as I am concerned and the user is concerned, the APP and the DATA are the same fucking thing.

Google had years to get their data correct.

Who cares? Do you think the user will forgive Apple because of that? The user will just see that his old maps app was removed and replaced with one that is total garbage.

At least Google has a standalone app in the app store now - an app that is (or at least was) #1 in the app store rankings. I'd say that is a pretty strong rebuke of the Apple maps app.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422593)

> The software works fine

What? You mean those weird bridges going up and down across a single span was a data problem?

I see. How can it be Apple's fault ever?

Until? Google still has data problems (1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422899)

The data behind Apple Maps is actually pretty decent at this point for most areas. There may be some that it's behind, but I'm not sure where that would be - almost all the early data gaffes appear to have been fixed.

Google still has data errors also, of the same magnitude. Searching for "Airport" [flickr.com] in Denver does not list at all the main airport, Denver International Airport.

The other issue Google has is it is way too eager to give you SOME result when it can't figure out what you want. So it makes up something, like claiming a baptist church in wyoming is the place to find a "demon statue" [flickr.com] .

It also means that when you zoom all the way in to Denver International Airport on the map and search for "airport" again, you get some absurd results (but still not the airport you have filling the screen on your map).

Also personally I have found that Apple Maps has better routing for driving than Google. For metro use, there are a number of transit apps that have better presentation of data than Google does in their mobile app, and also some have real-time position data that Google Maps does not show.

Re:Facebook IPO (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423037)

Uhhh, Apple contracted TomTom for the maps where they work fine, it really was Apple's software that doesn't know what to do with the maps.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423227)

Remember the war driving scandal with Google?

You got it right, it was wardriving at the biggest scale - the most massive spying operation, ever. By the way, was it punished in some way? Well, I heard the french dropped a small fine on Google. In the US, the FTC closed the expedient - just four days after Barack Obama got $1.5M for the legislative elections with the help of Google's vice-president. Just saying.-Ignacio Agulló

Re:Facebook IPO (5, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422495)

Facebook IPO wasnt a gaffe, it was a hedge fund scam. facebook was advised to give their IPO at a much higher value than they knew it could sustain, and the advisers hedged against facebook. made a lot of rich people richer, and fucked over some other rich people, and also fucked over some not so rich people.

Well, this is what gets me about the "Facebook IPO was a failure" argument. An IPO takes place for the benefit of the existing investors and stakeholders, whether or not that happens to be at the expense of anyone buying in.

Of course, normally one has to convince the would-be investors that it's also in *their* interest to do so, and obviously if you can be shown to have actually defrauded them, then that might not work out so well for you. But that doesn't change the basic principle- the people organising the IPO are doing so to benefit the existing stakeholders. From that somewhat amoral (but truthful) point of view, the Facebook IPO was a roaring success- for them.

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422579)

Meh the list sucks, no Lumia, no Surface, no Windows 8. When you look at how much money has been shat right down the drain launching those 3 products its just insanity and its pretty much agreed by most that all 3 are megabombs. Just look at the figures of the Surface, as low as 500k after massive advertising [bgr.com] and with Windows 8 the finger pointing has begun [tech-thoughts.net] with OEMs coming out of the woodwork to say Win 8 is a poor product (the latest is Fujitsu, I'd provide a link but its on Yahoo Finance which creates insanely long URLs) and Ballmer proving he's not afraid to go full retard by basically giving the finger to the OEMs and deciding to make overpriced laptops, phones, and desktops [bgr.com] so that if anybody doubted Ballmer's MSFT was just a poorly built Apple those doubts are over.

I don't see how this could be anything but the #1 spot, we are talking billions of dollars wasted on products nobody wanted, retailers can't move the things and in fact the sales from Oct-Dec were down 13% over the same period last year and so far every indication is its Win 8 that kept those shoppers away, we are talking HP buying Palm levels of uberfail here folks. I believe history will look back on this and say this was when we saw that marketing droids simply can't shovel overpriced shit down the throats of consumers and get them to buy based on nothing but flashy ads, because 4 billion in flashy ads couldn't keep Lumia and Win 8 from being another Vista. Talk about a trainwreck, this deserves the "WTF were they thinking?" award of 2012, no competition came even close to this level of fail.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423011)

I want an MS Surface. But $200 is all I'm going to pay.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423165)

I want an MS Surface. But $200 is all I'm going to pay.

Then I guess you ain't gettin' one, is you?

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423225)

Thanks as you just PERFECTLY illustrated the problem with Ballmer's MSFT! Ballmer has it in his head that the ONLY difference between a Walmart brand and a Macy's brand is the price, while being completely fucking clueless that for a brand like Apple it literally took decades to build up the brand identity and get the products perceived the way the are. A perfect example of the "Ballmer Disconnect" is this little gem from earlier this year when it was announced they were pulling the plug on Windows Home Server "We have all those features in Windows SBS now so its not that we are leaving the market, I'm sure everyone will just switch to SBS"...hmmm...lets look at the numbers, shall we? Windows Home Server? $40, and that's OEM retail price, more like $25 to the OEMs themselves. Windows SBS? $400!!!! And that is for the OEMs!

This is why the Ballmer reign is gonna go down as a bigger disaster than the Pepsi guy at Apple, because while the Pepsi guy simply pout out too many similar products with price points all over the place Ballmer thinks he can slap a paintjob on a Pinto and it will magically compete with a Porsche. You see Windows 8 and Surface is NOT MADE FOR YOU the consumer, nope its made for WALL STREET, to please the stock jockies that love to see high prices as an indicator of a high end product. But that doesn't work if nobody buys the product and the consumer doesn't consider the brand worth the money, it would be like raising the price of coke to 1 million dollars for a 2 liter. Sure if they manage to sell one they make plenty of profits but when you look at the lost sales and the warehouses full of rapidly expiring products (because just like Cola PCs have a shelf life, nobody is gonna want to buy the old chips when the new chips come out, not without STEEP discounts) they end up losing their shirts. This is the exact same thing that Ballmer is doing and if you'll look at the last link he is going "full retard" by putting MSFT into the hardware business, selling grossly overpriced laptops and desktops as well...why? Well that what Apple does isn't it?

If your customers won't buy the product as it is jacking the price 50% isn't gonna make it more valuable, its gonna torpedo it. Instead of cutting the shit out of the prices so they could get people to use Metro and the new Windows design they jacked the living shit out of prices (higher than an iPad? Are you shitting me?) and he is gonna fucking kill the company. I think the only real hope MSFT has is if the board quits smoking weed and fires Ballmer's fat ass and brings in one of the old guard, since Gates won't come back I'd try to get Allchin or Ozzie, and have them LISTEN TO THE CONSUMER and put out products that people want, not what Wall Street wants to hear.

This is why I think Lumia, Surface and Win 8 deserve the top spot, as its a multi-billion dollar disaster that is a perfect illustration of Wall Street and Madison Avenue thinking over common sense.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423955)

In hindsight, MS should have done what they did with the original Xbox and sold their tablets at a loss, flood the market and made them ubiquitous. Then make money on the accessories, apps. They were late to the mobile game, and needed to come out strong.

Re:Facebook IPO (1, Informative)

sottitron (923868) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422611)

I think that people keep forgetting that Google Maps on the iPhone does turn-by-turn driving directions now. I think this is the #1 reason Apple put their maps on the iPhone. Google wasn't going to put turn by turn directions on the iPhone if they weren't prodded.

Re:Facebook IPO (4, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422689)

By all accounts, Google was not *allowed* by Apple to release a version of Google Maps that was Google branded. Google was willing to compromise by offering a non-branded version that collected more information from iOS users than Apple would like to allow. That was the impasse that led Apple's ill fated venture into GIS.

Re: Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422761)

Can we stop this bullshit? Apple paid Google to provide xyz. Google then developed turn by turn on top of it later on. Why should Apple get it for free? Google was supplying what was agreed upon.

Stop blaming Google. Maps was Apple's fault alone.

You fanbois deserved nothing less either.

Re:Facebook IPO (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422763)

Indeed, the greatest success of Apple Maps was getting Google to finally release a function version of Google Maps for the iPhone. It's so much better than the service I used to use for turn by turn directions.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423201)

I think that people keep forgetting that Google Maps on the iPhone does turn-by-turn driving directions now. I think this is the #1 reason Apple put their maps on the iPhone. Google wasn't going to put turn by turn directions on the iPhone if they weren't prodded.

Then why did the majority of iPhone5 owners hold off on the IOS6 update until google rolled out their maps app? On that day everyone did the update.

Re:Facebook IPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422939)

Facebook IPO wasnt a gaffe, it was a hedge fund scam. facebook was advised to give their IPO at a much higher value than they knew it could sustain, and the advisers hedged against facebook. made a lot of rich people richer, and fucked over some other rich people, and also fucked over some not so rich people.

Bullshit IMO. The Facebook IPO was a simple example of an economic idea called the 'winner's curse' - the people who win an auction (such as an IPO) are, by definition, those who were prepared to pay more than anyone else. Therefore the winners should not be surprised that they cannot find anyone who is prepared to pay the same or more than they paid unless a) there has been some time or some substantive events since the auction b) the auction was not conducted properly or c) there are people who were not allowed or able to participate in the auction but who now want to buy. In most tech IPOs there has been a combination of b) and c) so people have an expectation of an early 'pop' in the stock price.

The advisers also weren't hedge funds and weren't 'hedged against facebook' - they were using a completely conventional device called a 'greenshoe' which is actually a price support mechanism that reduced the volatility in the early trading by artificially creating demand.

Re:Facebook IPO (1)

jelizondo (183861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423999)

You must be European; in America POS does not translate into "poor piece of software", it means "poor piece of shit"

Hope you're enlightened now

Seriously? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422339)

They manage to not put Windows 8 on that list? It deserves the top spot by far. And I say this as a C# dev!

Re:Seriously? (0)

Bizzeh (851225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422371)

http://readwrite.com/2012/06/05/5-ways-to-tell-which-programming-lanugages-are-most-popular [readwrite.com] seems C# is one of the most popular languages in use at the moment. how would you put C# down as a flop?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422401)

Except it's about the OS and not the code, so how did C# come to mind?

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422407)

He's not complaining about C#. He's saying he thinks windows 8 is a flop, and that because he is a c# developer we should believe he is normally at least somewhat pro-windows.

for what its worth, i don't think windows 8 is a flop although I do think they botched the launch pretty badly in a variety of ways. (And there is no question that the windows 8 desktop has some issues to address; i just don't think they are nearly as bad as the hype.)

Re:Seriously? (0, Flamebait)

Goaway (82658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422527)

SPOILERS:

* Windows 8 isn't that bad.
* Apple Maps isn't that bad.
* The iPhone 4 antenna was not that bad.
* That terrible patent you just heard about isn't that bad.
* The internet always lies to you.

Re:Seriously? (4, Funny)

Terrasque (796014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423113)

* Windows 8 isn't that bad.
* Apple Maps isn't that bad.
* The iPhone 4 antenna was not that bad.
* That terrible patent you just heard about isn't that bad.
* The internet always lies to you.

* You read that list on the internet.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423539)

* Windows 8 isn't that bad.

It's bad enough that it's bad.

* Apple Maps isn't that bad.

Tell that to my car. It's still in therapy after trying to follow those directions across a bridge that resembled the Tacoma Narrows Bridge [youtube.com] in Apple's map app.

* The iPhone 4 antenna was not that bad.

It was, and not just for cell service. The bluetooth reception on the 4 was craptastic.

* That terrible patent you just heard about isn't that bad.

You'll need to be more specific.

* The internet always lies to you.

Not always. Dog Shaming [dogshaming.com] looks pretty authentic to me.

Re:Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422421)

I never said anything about C# sucking, I said that Windows 8 sucks. And that this comes from someone who writes C# for a living, not a FOSS zealot who hates teh M$ and who claims Linux is the one and only OS.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422861)

Microsoft has an amazing track record with backwards compatibility. Take a deeper look at Windows 8 and use it for a while. Of course there is a learning curve, but in the long run it will the bridge the gap between the desktop and the tile interface to transition over their existing customers to the next generation of computing. I think it is going to be hailed as a smart move in the future when everyone uses Microsoft Live cloud and their Windows 8 phone and glass tables with Windows 8 OS embedded on them.

No more desktop computer just Windows OS and a phone to do business.

  I am not a MS zealot, a paid shrill or what ever the latest /. scapegoat is for posts that are counter to the prevailing opinion.

Re:Seriously? (3, Interesting)

Bizzeh (851225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422453)

sorry, mis-read. Windows 8 i wouldnt say is a flop, its a flop in waiting, or a success in waiting. its too early to tell as of yet if it will or will not be a flop as its market share is still increasing. http://betanews.com/2012/12/03/like-it-or-not-windows-8-usage-rises/ [betanews.com] , its also increasing pretty quickly.

Re:Seriously? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422993)

So if Windows 8/Surface/WinPhone8 don't sell this december as much as Microsoft predicted, would be a 2013 flop? Or we will have to wait till 2020 to list them in the flops of the decade?

Re:Seriously? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422393)

Surface ought to have made that list too, big time.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422431)

Surface ought to have made that list too, big time.

It's about time someone put serious tablet users in a completely different group than simple Angry Birds players like yourself.

I bought a Surface with WinRT and use it with RemoteFX.

Can you run AutoDesk Rev-it on your iPad or Galaxy with Direct3D accelerated graphics via your workstations GPU? What about Crysis 2?

Didn't think so.

LOL

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422499)

Nice try Mr Ballmer. Surface production has been cut down significantly because there's no demand, it has high return rates and many problems, but mainly there's no demand.

It's about time someone put serious tablet users in a completely different group than simple Cut The Rope players like yourself.

I bought a iPad with iOS and use it with TeamViewer, SplashTop, PocketCloud, RealVNC, LogMeIn and others that work across multiple OSes

Surface is quite expensive for the useless toy it is!

Re:Seriously? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422633)

It's about time someone put serious tablet users in a completely different group than simple Angry Birds players like yourself.

MS has had "serious" Windows tablets for 10 years. They failed to make any significant sales.

Can you run AutoDesk Rev-it on your iPad or Galaxy with Direct3D accelerated graphics via your workstations GPU? What about Crysis 2?

The main reason I feel Apple succeeded is that they were well aware that the vast, vast majority of consumers do not care about Auto Desk or Crysis. You sound like a guy bragging that his truck can haul a stack of plywood in the back and tow a boat at the same time. While that sounds great for you, I don't see myself needing to do either. So I bought a sedan.

Yes, you can do that an on iPad (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423305)

Why not just get RemoteFX for the iPad? [windowsitpro.com]

The you could also use Autodesk Design Review Mobile also...

Basically you bought a dumb terminal. Slow clap.

I personally like the surface but it's crazy to pretend it's more functional than an iPad.

Re:Seriously? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422405)

Most likely because of the MS monopoly, few consumers have a choice. OEMs will install Win 8 on most new PCs; some OEMs may be forced to offer Win 7 downgrades if the uproar is loud enough. Now the Surface tablets may be a flop as consumers when presented with the choice between Android, iPad, or Surface most likely are picking iPad and Android over Surface.

Re:Seriously? (0)

linebackn (131821) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422501)

Cue all the Microsoft shills posting crap like "I've been using it for months and it works great for me and I'm not going to support my statements with any kind of reasoning. A 3 year old can learn to use it, get used to it you Luddite! Now, where is my check, Balmer?"

Re:Seriously? (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422585)

No way, dude! It's paradigm shifting! You just don't get it. What, are you like a 80??

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423577)

No way, dude! It's paradigm shifting! You just don't get it. What, are you like a 80??

I used to be 80, but now I'm 83 because using a Surface RT aged me 3 years.

Obligatory... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422601)

I've been using it for months and it works great for me and I'm not going to support my statements with any kind of reasoning. A 3 year old can learn to use it, get used to it you Luddite!

Re:Obligatory... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423117)

The problems I've read about Windows8 is A) They don't have a touchscreen monitor, and B) Expect a more professional non-smartphone acting interface. From what I read you can revert to a more 'normal' setup with a button or two, it's still like an improved Win7 OS.

And aren't MS products still #1 where security is concerned? I'm asking for when I get another computer going I don't know whether to get a Win7 or Win8.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423517)

Shame you did not read my responses.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423591)

Shame you did not read my responses.

Just went through some, you say it took you 15 minutes to figure 8 out. If I'm buying new, I do want the best. My dilemma is I've got a few thousand rare songs on 9 Win7 dvd restore disks, so I'll be looking for that os, then I'd pay for the upgrade.

Think of it more as a nail (1)

smartin (942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422775)

As in the final nail in Ballmer's coffin.

Why are we linking to the LA Times? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422373)

They are no longer free and require registration, unless linked to from Google News.

Re:Why are we linking to the LA Times? (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422483)

1. Apple Maps fiasco How bad was it when Apple replaced Google Maps with its own mapping system on iOS 6? Well, a Tumblr blog showing Apple Maps' biggest fails emerged days after the release, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook issued an apology and suggested iOS 6 users download alternate mapping tools. Then in December, Australian police accused Apple Maps of stranding motorists in a national park, shaming the company once again.

2. Path privacy breach It all started when Arun Thampi, a programmer in Singapore, blogged that the app for the social network Path was downloading his entire address book—including names, emaill addresses, and phone numbers--without asking his permission. The tech blogs took the story and ran with it, and before long, Path had a major publicity issue on its hands. Eventually, company founder Dave Morin issued an apology, and updated the app so users can opt in or out of sharing their contact list.

3. Facebook IPO When Facebook went public in May, many people bought its stock thinking they’d strike it rich quick. Many thought the IPO would be the most successful since Google went public in 2004. After a few hours of gains, the stock slide back to its opening price, but concerns over Facebook’s position on the mobile platform kept the slide going for going for the next few months.

The stock seems to have finally stabilized and has made gains since bottoming out, but it’s still more than $10 below its $38 opening day price. 4. Nokia's fake photos Nokia impressed quite a few people when it announced its latest flagship phone the Lumia 920 in September. Specifically, a Web ad showing the phone’s video recording and night-photographing capabilities made the Lumia 920 noteworthy. Unfortunately, Nokia’s positive press coverage went away when it was discovered the footage and photos used in the ad were not actually taken by the phone. In the end, Nokia had to issue an apology and label the video as a simulation.

4. Nokia's fake photos Nokia impressed quite a few people when it announced its latest flagship phone the Lumia 920 in September. Specifically, a Web ad showing the phone’s video recording and night-photographing capabilities made the Lumia 920 noteworthy. Unfortunately, Nokia’s positive press coverage went away when it was discovered the footage and photos used in the ad were not actually taken by the phone. In the end, Nokia had to issue an apology and label the video as a simulation.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/27/tech/web/top-tech-stories-2012/ [cnn.com]

Re:Why are we linking to the LA Times? (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422503)

5. Instagram Instagram felt the wrath of its user base after announcing new terms of service that said the social network could let companies pay to use people’s photos for ads that would run within Instagram. That angered a lot of the service’s users, who began threatening to leave Instagram and take their photos with rival apps. Within days, Instagram caved to users’ demands and reverted back to its older terms of service.

6. Research In Motion The last year has been a tough one in general for Research In Motion, filled with plenty of embarrassments. For starters, the company failed to deliver on its goal of releasing BlackBerry 10, the next version of its mobile operating system, before the year’s end and delayed the software multiple times. So what did the Canadian company do to keep developers from leaving? It gathered several senior executives for an embarrassing cover of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You,” with words changed to entice developers not to lose faith on the BlackBerry platform. Then, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins and a company vice president were spotted at a Lakers game with what were believed to be new BlackBerry 10 phones. It seemed the CEO was making a sneaky attempt at getting some free shots of his upcoming device in the press.

7. Oprah’s Surface tweet The Microsoft Surface got one of the best endorsements any product can get when Oprah Winfrey tweeted about how much she loved the tablet and had already bought 12 of them as holiday gifts. Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, it was quickly discovered that Oprah sent the tweet using an iPad. The embarrassing endorsement, though probably still helpful, highlighted the biggest issue about the product: its lack of apps, including a Twitter app. 8. The Facebook chair: In October, Facebook announced it had reached 1 billion monthly users. To celebrate, the company released its first ad, comparing Facebook to.chairs. “Chairs are for people,” a heartfelt voice over tell us, “and that is why chairs are like Facebook.” The toilet-themed parody was inevitable and swift. After all, toilets are for people too. 9. Homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots: It's hard to imagine how anyone at BBH Labs thought that using homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots at SXSW was a good idea, but it happened, and it got a lot of attention. Wired wrote that it sounds "like something out of a darkly satirical science fiction dystopia" but BBH Labs called it "a charitable experiment." 10. Samsung's killing puppies commercial: If you blinked, you missed it, but for a few hours in November, Samsung was running a commercial that showed people beating on computers cutely animated with puppy dog eyes, ears, and tails. The commercial for SSD 840--a flash drive--was quickly taken down. But those of us who saw it, wish we hadn't.

Re:Why are we linking to the LA Times? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422569)

Re:Why are we linking to the LA Times? (3, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422753)

So the major tech gaffes of the year, according to the LA Times, are mainly advertising fiascos.

Re:Why are we linking to the LA Times? (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422681)

An easy way to get around the LA Times Paywall and similar ones is to just select Private Browsing. Then you can read all you want. Assuming there is something worth reading.

How about the Vita? (4, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422389)

Okay, its japanese release was in december last year, but I think it still counts. Darn thing can't even outsell the PSP!

Re:How about the Vita? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423635)

and A lot of that has to do with how sony treated the PSP, that was an expensive toy that more hardware revisions and new connectors than quality software (endless amounts of shit and shovel-ware) I got a psp fat, and they are not getting a second check from me

Designed for browsing on a phone (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422469)

There is no shortage of these lists.
International Buisness Times http://www.ibtimes.com/biggest-tech-flops-2012-top-5-failures-facebook-ipo-microsoft-surface-977488 [ibtimes.com]
Think Digit http://www.thinkdigit.com/General/The-5-biggest-tech-failures-of-2012_11866.html [thinkdigit.com]
Read Write http://readwrite.com/2012/12/14/top-10-epic-tech-gadget-failures [readwrite.com] ...
Why pick the one that is designed for a tablet..or one that doesn't mention Windows 8; Windows Phone 8...or Surface.

Re:Designed for browsing on a phone (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422693)

I used my android phone to post/submit, my laptop was sabotaged by a "so called friend" who poured water into it some time ago. One does what one can with what one has. :^(

http://www.valuewalk.com/2012/12/the-top-10-colossal-tech-fails-of-2012/ [valuewalk.com]

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/28/tech/web/tech-fails-2012/ [cnn.com]

4G is missing. LTE (1, Interesting)

Bizzeh (851225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422513)

4G was supposed to be a high speed standard that allowed all users with a 4G enabled phone to get those high speeds. but, turns out that there are at least 3 specifications in use, and major manufacturers are picking sides (apple with LTE), making your new phone incompatible with your current network, forcing you to switch.

iphone5, i wouldn't put it on as a flop, but still an embarrassment, an embarrassment that apple assumed that their customers were stupid enough to buy the 4S from them again, just because they changed the number from 4S to 5 and re-released the same phone, and the pain is, they were right, their customers are that stupid.

Re:4G is missing. LTE (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422713)

The internals to the iPhone 5 are different from the iPhone 4S. Big deal the outside still looks the same. Who cares if the body looks the same or different? it's a nicer phone than the one before it(which was pretty nice to begin with).

Re:4G is missing. LTE (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423025)

Car analogy. It is like buying the next year model of your favorite car, that regardless the engineering differences, gets the same gas mileage/performance at the previous years model. Except for in terms of a car, the lifetime of which it exists matters. In the case of a cell phone, it is a disposable computer

Re:4G is missing. LTE (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422797)

Most upgrades to the iPhone 5 are from the 4, not the 4S.

That said, the 5 is a lot faster than the 4S, plus it's a different body.

Calling The Kettle Black (0)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422657)

I think it's ironic that a journalism flop like the LA Times has the guts to call anything else a flop. I cancled my subscription to that rag years ago. These dinosaurs should be allowed to go extinct.

Apple Maps - what went wrong (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422811)

The consensus in the SEO industry is that Apple bought all low-end data sources for business data. Somebody thought they were saving money.

Point-of-interest map data wasn't that great, either, so presumably Apple bought low-end data there, too. Map data cleanup is expensive and labor-intensive. Because business info isn't a substantial revenue generator for Apple, it's not surprising that Apple cut costs there. Over at Apple, business info drives search and ads, so it's crucial to the revenue stream.

The reverse is true for phones and tablets - Apple makes most of their money from phones and tablets, while for Google the whole Android thing generates a small fraction of revenue.

nah, you are reading it wrong (0)

superwiz (655733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422841)

The media really is evil. Actually, by design. It's an evil business. Any business which produces physical things that enable or improve life must have waste. Such business must take natural resources (which have no use) and turn it into something useful. News business just has to talk. When there a true danger, the "real" news businesses are often too late to cover it. So they must constantly invent reasons to complain. The ones which don't invent reasons to complain simply go out of business. One must, therefore, assume that the only general news outlets which survive are the ones which complain about the side effects of real life-enabling businesses. And since they cannot be sued for lying or exaggerating, they have little to lose by lying or exaggerating the extent of harm brought about by life-enabling businesses vs the benefit they produce for society. They pooh pooh anyone who does something useful by pointing out the waste that useful activity generates. Of course, they could complain about their own harm (exorbitant salaries, social unrest, excessive political influence and waste of resources which they are responsible for) but they rarely do.

Re:nah, you are reading it wrong (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423033)

News business just has to talk

Someone needs to learn the difference between data and information

Missing -- Knight (3, Informative)

istartedi (132515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423177)

They should have Knight Capital [wikipedia.org] on the list. They probably thought it belonged in the finance category as opposed to tech; but it was a tech problem. They also could have put HFT in general on the list, of which Knight is just one example.

#1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423451)

windows 8

nothing else is even close.

Facebook IPO was a huge success (1)

drew_eckhardt (30709) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423899)

The Facebook IPO was a _huge_ success.

When a stock goes up and stays up following an IPO that means the company screwed up pricing their shares, raising less cash than they could have for a given dilution and/or unnecessarily devaluing investors' shares.

Facebook did it right.

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