December 30, 2012

Technology Reflections For 2012

For my 2012 technology reflections, I thought I would do a best of the worst technology ideas blog. Though I do write about technology on occasion, it is not my forté. Science, nature, health, and education are more my areas, but technology plays a role in each of those, so here’s my technology reflections.

To do this, I found an article on the Huffington Post called “11 Biggest Tech Fails of 2012: Apple Maps, Nexus Q, And More Flops That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype.” I will touch on each of these briefly. Onto bad tech ideas from 2012:

11. Nexus Q

In an attempt to get into the media connection world, Google rolled out the Nexus Q. The problem: it did not really work, looked like a cannon ball, and there are numbers of media streaming devices out there for less money and with more reliability. It was almost immediately pulled from the shelves. Yikes.

10. Airtime

This was a video chat site that caught everyone’s attention on the day it released, but has since seen almost no movement. Poor Napster creators—just can’t get a break.

9, 8, 7. Facebook…Facebook…Facebook.

Facebook unleashed several tech fails this year. So many that I’m just going to talk about all of them here although they did have the ninth, eighth, and seventh slots on Huff Post’s article. First there was Facebook Camera, an Instagram wannabe. The confusion is that Facebook released its camera app a month after purchasing Instagram, so it already owned a camera app. Silly move, Facebook.

Then Facebook faced the embarrassing stock plummet when it went public. With a prescient moment, the Nasdaq’s software went berserk causing a thirty-minute delay. I guess people should have known then that the stock would be more embarrassment than profit.

As if the Facebook Camera and the stock incident were not enough, Facebook has a third tech guffaw this year: the chair commercial. Wow…what a nonsensical commercial. What a bad choice for advertisement on Facebook’s part especially since it was their very first commercial. I definitely hear Homer Simpson saying “Doh!”

Okay, enough pain for Facebook. Let’s move onto…

6 and 5. Apple and Apple

Yep, even Apple rolled out some technology flops. The first was its Genius Commercials. Like Facebook, Apple totally missed the target with this commercial and yanked it almost immediately. It was condescending and offensive to many. Unlike Facebook, though, Apple has a history of great marketing, so it has no excuse for such a dumb move.

And Apple’s second technology boo-boo of 2012 was, of course, Apple Maps. This is a classic case of messing with a good thing. Google Maps worked; it worked really well. But Apple just had to try to “fix” it and make it better. Uh, oops. Not only did it not make it better, Apple Maps was worse. Story after story of getting lost or bad directions led to an apology in late September from Apple and eventually to a new Google Map app in early December. Lesson learned? I hope so.

4. Microsoft

Yeah, that’s supposed to pronounced “social” and is yet another social media site for users a la Google+. Aren’t Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and all the others enough? Based on’s success, I’d say yes.

3. New MySpace

All I have to say is it’s over, MySpace. Every other social media site won. Sorry, but it’s true. Move on.

2. Instagram’s Terms of Service

Um, yeah, when you basically say in your ToS that you have the right to use people’s pictures however you want, there’s gonna be backlash. And oh what a backlash it was. Instagram has since reverted back to its original ToS, but that bad taste is still left in users’ mouths.


Yep, the hated Stop Online Piracy Act holds the number one seat. Way to go Congress. Way to go.

Of course, the year also saw release of new smart phones, tablets, apps, and technology galore that we absolutely loved, but we can’t forget the technoflops of the year. Here’s to hoping 2013 has less.

Image Credit: Moncho / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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