Top 10 Tech Fails of 2014
Here are the top 10 tech fails from this past year. From Mt. Gox to the Icloud nude photo leaks and the more recent Sony hacks, there have been several serious tech fails in 2014: here are the highlights in no particular order.
Also read: Top 10 Things Bitcoin Can Offer the World
Top 10 Tech Fails
ICloud Nude Photos
Nude photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Scarlet Johansson, Ariana Grande, Kate Upton and more than 100 others. Hackers were able to obtain access to celebrities accounts through their ICloud accounts through a phishing scheme. By taking advantage of a security flaw in ICloud that allowed unlimited password guesses, the attackers more than likely used brute-force to gain access into the celebrities accounts. While ICloud itself was not hacked, it still brought into question the safety of users accounts on Apple servers – something you don’t want on the heels of the release your mobile-payment service.
The Amazon Fire Phone and Blackberry Passport
Aptly named, the Amazon Fire phone went up in flames and left nothing but a plume of smoke. While Amazon successful generated much hype for their smartphone, it failed to live up the expectations – especially with their poor 3-D display. Amazon is literally giving away their phones for free now. Blackberry didn’t do so well either with their Passport. The phone is big a clunky, too big to hold in one hand and heavy. Combine this with the buggy performance and poor camera, and it’s easy to see why the Passport never made it.
Despite receiving investments that valued the company at more than $40 billion, 2014 hasn’t been the best year for Uber. In fact, one might say that was the only good thing to happen to Uber this year. It has been reported that several Uber drivers harassed and raped passengers, and one driver ran over a six-year-old child. Uber stalked reporters, and an executive suggested the company should dig up personal information on its biggest critics. Uber has pushed subprime loans on cab operators and sabotaged its biggest rival by ordering nearly 6,000 riders and then canceling them all. They even ran a sexist ad campaign in France!
The Sony Hack
A hack on Sony Pictures released information including personal information and emails from executives, internal memos, compromising the upcoming James Bond movie ‘Spectre’ and emails reportedly suggesting star Andrew Garfield might be booted from the Spider-Man series and more. North Korea is the prime suspect for the hacking in retaliation for their upcoming release of “The Interview” – a film where about a plot to kill Kim Jong-Un.
The Home Depot and Chase Bank Hacked
Ignoring urges made by Home Deports contractors to strengthen its cyber defense by activating a key, unused feature of its current security software; Home Depot fell victim to cyber attacks. Hackers stole 56 million credit and debit cards as well as 53 million email address from Home Depot customers over the spring and summer.
Not to be outdone, hackers were able to break into servers hosting data for JPMorgan Chase & Co, stealing the contact information for 7 million small business and 76 million households, nearly 65% of the US households. This has been one of the largest data breaches in history.
Microsoft and Karma
In October, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella implied that instead of asking for a raise, women should have faith that their effort and work will be noticed and rewarded. When asked, “What do you advise women who are interested in advancing their careers, but not comfortable … with asking for a raise?”, Nadella replied, “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.” He added that “women who don’t ask for raises” have a “superpower … because that’s good karma, that’ll come back … that’s the kind of person that I want to trust.”
Later Satya Nadella disavowed his controversial comments and apologized saying, “I answered that question completely wrong,” he wrote. “I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it’s deserved, Maria’s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.”
Bendgate and iOS 8.0.1 Bricking
Immediately after Apple began selling the Iphone 6 Plus in September, the internet was abuzz with images of bent phones. The hashtag “bendgate” was created by internet personality Lewis Hilsenteger after he posted a video of himself bending the much-anticipated IPhone. Apple insisted that only nine customers had complained about their phone bending during the first week of sales. But wait, there’s more!
A week after the Iphone 6 was launched, Apple released an iOS 8.0.1 update to fix some bugs. Instead of fixing these bugs, Apple only made things worse. After updating, users complained that their IPhones were unable to connect to cell networks, and the fingerprint reader no longer worked. Apple quickly pulled the update and released iOS 8.0.2 a few days later.
$400 Million Mt Gox
What began as a website for users of the Magic: The Gathering Online service to let them trade cards like stocks grew into the world’s largest trading platform for Bitcoin, only to crash and burn after losing nearly $400 million worth of Bitcoin valued at the time. Cyber attackers tricked Mt.Gox and were able to siphon off users Bitcoins into their own account. In what only can be called a series of blunders, Mt.Gox made things worse by locked down accounts, stopping investors from withdrawing their funds.
Microsoft Kinect 2.0 and Sony PlayStation TV
The Kinect 2.0 was supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to the PS4, but it turned out that gamers were more interested in playing games over talking to their consoles. Despite voice recognition and other features, it just didn’t do well. Microsoft unbundled the Kinect 2.0 in May to make their console more price-competitive. Despite this set back, the Xbox One outsold PS4 in November – so there’s that.
It seems like a no-brainer, but gamers care about the gaming experience first and the TV second. The PlayStation TV fails to deliver on both accounts. If you’re going to launch a streaming box, you need to have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Youtube at the very least. The gaming experience was lacking as well – the PS Vita graphics look blurry on big screens. The PlayStation TV doesn’t even support 1080p resolution.
At least 81% of sites run on the web server programs Apache and Nginx, which were both vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. These sites include Amazon, Google and Yahoo to name a few. Security researchers discovered a fatal flaw in the key safety feature for surfing the web – the one that turns your emails, banking, shopping and passwords into strings of random numbers and letters. It’s the padlock image in the address bar you seen when you supposedly on a secure website. The bug was exploited in August and resulted in the theft of 4.5 million records from one of the country’s largest hospital networks.
Images from Shutterstock.