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Tech World’s Top 10 Mistakes – Series I

There can never exist an industry in this world that can survive from making mistakes. And an industry that needs to be very meticulous in fabricating every product, service or solution can also not escape the ugly part of making blunders – I am talking quite obviously of the technology industry. There can be errors made by any and every person in this planet and technologists also cannot get away with a clean chit. Take the beginning of this very financial year for example; there was the counterfeiting of the Apple prototype iPhone. Also, reported during the same month was the blunder made by McCafe. Though it is a cliche statement it is worth mentioning here that ‘to err is human’ but should we be kind enough so as to ‘forgive the blunderers and be divine’.

Let’s take a look at the list of the top 10 technology mistakes and judge whether they can be forgiven:

10. Windows launch of Millennium Edition

It was right before Windows XP that Windows ME was launched and there is no doubt in the fact that it was not well-received and made several user-lives miserable. The number of bugs that the last edition of the Windows 9x family comprised was pretty huge and there was this one special bug that irritated users the most. What it did was whenever users had trouble with malware infections and when they cleaned up these infections and restored the repaired system component, the malware was re-installed with them, hence creating havoc.

Like every coin has a flip-side to it, ME too had few fans who did not face any trouble while using it and continue using them even now. There are another huge lot of users who were so disgusted with it that they went back to using earlier versions of Windows to revive from the trouble faced.

9. The Brain virus

I have no idea where it got its name from, but the Brain virus is supposedly the first virus to affect the MS-DOS operating system back in 1986. It took birth when two brothers from Pakistan Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi in view of protecting some medical software developed this code, but something went horribly wrong. Their plan of scaring hackers away by adapting a code which installed virus in trespassers’ systems who tried to steal or access their software backfired when someone else used the same code for MS-DOS.

This spread like wildfire as every system with MS-DOS started to crash and alerted users of their hard drives being affected. An idea to secure software toppled and created chaos amongst PC users during the 80s.

8. The Baked Facebook Beacon

Now, this one is majorly a business decision backed by technology in the field of social media. Long story cut short, Beacon was supposedly a brilliant idea for marketers and advertisers whereby the idea was to publish the purchasing habits of Facebook users online for which plenty of e-commerce sites began sharing the consuming habits of users. For some reason, this did not bode well with Facebook users who immediately protested the entire business idea. Mark Zuckerberg had to eventually kill off an idea which did not consider any sort of test-marketing with consumers. Consumer-interest was given least priority while conceiving this technological idea.

7. Sony’s rootkit mishap

While the world entered the 21st century leaving behind the Y2K worries and moving on to better and more innovative technology, Sony was bent on reviving the panic-stricken Napster and music piracy. This brought about an idea from a Professor named Mark Russinovich (who in his blog thought it was not a great initiation), wrote DRM software which let Sony know every time a disc was copied. This was actually a good idea and worked well for Sony as long as it was inside the premises of the company. But since Sony could not keep their not-so-modest selves under control, they went and spoke about the software and let out the rootkits part of the software to the public.

Rootkits are understandably a huge worry in the security community as they run at a level that normal antivirus tools can’t detect. This came as a fantastic tool for hackers and virus implanters and hence Sony’s rootkits turned out to be the 21st century Brain Virus.

6. Apple III

A potential replacement model for Apple II, Apple III was launched in 1980 to bring in more style, better performance and professional use. But, apparently that was not the case since there were major manufacturing hiccups with the product. The major problem was with regard to the casing which was given the role of a heat sinker by drawing heat away from the components and hence keeping the system cool. To make room for the casing Apple makers had to position the chips on the motherboard quite close to one another, thus causing inadequate heat sinks and zero presence of fans to cool down the board. Thus a design whose aim was to cool the system down, in turn lead to overheating and burnt down the motherboard eventually. Apart from this there were also issues with performance of the system, damaged floppy drives, dislodged chips in the motherboard, etc. One of Apple’s first and major technological blunders which created quite a dent on its brand image then.

This about sums up the first-half of the biggest technology blunders that were committed over the years. Continue reading and complete your understanding by finding out the remainder portion of this article – Top 5 Technological Errors ever committed in the next section.

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