Computers are science, not magic!

The Top Ten Stupidest Things That Happened In Tech In 2011

Date/Time Permalink: 12/27/11 11:13:36 am
Category: LINKS and Lists

1. There was a movie called "Source Code" that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with programming.

And you just know that it's only called "source code" because some studio executive caught the phrase from some TV set nearby that was jabbering about a tech story and he glommed onto it because it sounded cool, without the slightest idea that source code is a real thing.

2. Millions of cowardly Microsoft shills assassinate Steve Jobs' character the minute he's safely dead.

My former position on Steve Jobs: "Meh, he's not so bad." Post-Micro-turfing when millions of trolls post online comparing Jobs to Darth Vader, Hitler, and bin Laden, my new position on Steve Jobs: "Blast them all, I think Steve Jobs was a living saint, with a halo and wings, with flowers blooming in his footprints and the power to cure leprosy with a touch. And Bill Gates isn't fit enough to drink Steve Jobs' piss." Actually, I've always thought that last part.

3. Gnome 3 came out.

Man, with half the tech journalism out there screaming "You SUUUUUCK!" at the Gnome team, you think one or two of them might wonder if all was not rainbows in Happyland. Hey, Gnome. It's not working. Just roll it back. You just lost Ubuntu. That's like your wife, kids, and dog all leaving you and you're still not getting the message.

4. SOPA was even attempted in the first place.

I've already spake the prophecy that SOPA shall not pass, so I will not go into in depth here until after it doesn't pass. But the online SOPA opera has become a story of its own, a witchhunt beyond all ridiculousness. We seem to need a winter witchhunt every year... I'll explain why later down this list. But anyway, what were they even thinking when they wrote this thing?

5. Nobody cared when Dennis Ritchie or John McCarthy died.

HEY! Dennis Ritchie! Invented the C programming language and Unix along with Ken Thompson! John McCarthy! Invented Lisp and coined the term "artificial intelligence"! Between these two people alone, the entire concept of computing as we understand it would not exist! Not even His Hyphenship, Tim Berners-Lee, would have been able to start the World Wide Web! I wouldn't be writing this, you wouldn't be reading it, we'd be squatting in caves gnawing raw buffalo haunch.

If there was the slightest ounce of justice in this world, there would be Kim-Jong-il-style 50-foot-tall statues of John McCarthy and Dennis Ritchie in the middle of the biggest intersection in Silicon Valley. Instead, Wikipedia doesn't even list either one of them in its list of deaths in 2011. But bet your bronze baby shoes that they have tons of boxers, footballers, and hockey players listed.

6. Facebook was caught astroturfing against Google.

Yep, here's the story. Facebook got caught red-handed, secretly hiring a PR firm to plant negative stories about Google. Facebook...

"hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post."

Your news, bought and sold. Your news, mostly lies. Your news, exactly what corporations want you to hear, and furthermore it's usually only what the richest corporation wants you to hear. For the thousandth time, I wonder when people will understand that corporate asstroturf exists in our universe?

7. Anonymous became famous.

In fact, the TV set cannot shut up about Anonymous, particularly during that LULZSec fiasco. They're not hackers, they're not terrorists, they're not protesters, they're not anything at all but idiots, and furthermore random idiots whose median age is 14. I can say that, a lone blogger with a one-man show, been saying it for years, can go to 4chan and say it, and nothing happens to me. Quit blowing them up into this James-Bond-villain. Secure your damn servers with a password stronger than "1234" and they won't be a problem.

8. NewEgg and Best Buy got into a bitchy slap-fight.

Because of this NewEgg commercial, which I see nothing wrong with since that is exactly verbatim my experience with every tech-shopping attempt at every major chain retailer ever. In fact, I'll bet I could stump NewEgg's best tech support in one question, and even give them a ten-minute headstart to Google it. But anyway, Best Buy sent them a takedown C&D, so BAAAAW!

In passing, I also made a little story-arc in my webcomic parodying "Bust Buy", starting here and running along for 5 clicks of the 'next' button.

9. People still cared about Wikileaks.

This is the part I'm talking about with a winter witchhunt. The winter witchhunt of 2010/2011 was Wikileaks.

I want to point something out about SOPA now. You know how you're all pissing and raging and flaming and hopping around about SOPA this year? Every single one of you were pissing and raging and flaming and hopping around about Wikileaks just about this time last year. And now you don't remember anything about it. Wikileaks is still in business, Julian Assange is still in trouble for some weird misdemeanor sex law that only exists in Sweden, he still didn't pay his fine (which amounts to what Americans pay for a speeding ticket), he still hasn't been extradited out of Britain... nothing has changed since December 2010. I repeat: Nothing has changed, despite all of the p.ing and r.ing and f.ing and h.ing a.

I have much more to say on this subject, but like I say about my prophecy, it's no fun if I show my cards too soon.

And, the tenth stupid thing to happen in tech in 2011 issssss:

10. I rage-blogged about Mozilla removing the 'page source' entry from the 'view' menu, readers pointed out it was still in the right-click menu.

I deleted the post now, but a while back I got my new Firefox upgrade and discovered that they removed the "view source" option from the 'view' menu. And I sailed to my blog and raged like a neckbeard, how DAAAARE THEY! Burn the witch! And then three or four of you Twittered and emailed and variously sent pings at me to remind me that the "view source" option is still available in the floating menu when you right-click.

Oh. Well, hand me the Stupid Hat. Never mind, then. So I deleted the post and never thought about it again until now.

And that is how you handle being wrong.

Happy 2012!

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