2009 – A Year In Tech: Worst Tech Products

As we all know, the economic climate in 2009 was a bit shaky. Despite that, it was a great year for technology. However, as there were several winners- hello Microsoft!- there were also losers who, in my opinion, produced products that are not short of a disgrace! Here are the most eminent worst products of the year 2009:

Linux Fedora 12:

Let’s face it, 2009 was all about new operating systems; Apple continued its winning ways with the OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), which was described as the most beautiful consumer-oriented OS available anywhere. Microsoft was able to clean up the mess of Vista and made one of the most successful tech launches this decade with the business-saving Windows 7. Linux, on the other hand, had only Fedora 12 to offer, an OS with minimal new features that are not the least bit close to its Apple and Microsoft competitors, and, as a result and as usual, Linux could not grow any kind of market share or consumers support and continued to be nothing but an OS for the open source fanatics.

Wolfram Alpha:

For those of you who do not know what that is, Wolfram Alpha is a search engine developed by Wolfram Research that was released to the public on May last year. Ever since it was announced last March, much hype has gone about it and how it could be the black horse that would give Google and Bing a hard time. Well, it simply wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be! It cannot be even classified as a search engine! It is an online service that answers queries computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine would. In the end, all it was about was just the hype, with so little importance for just about everyone.

Note: to get an idea of what I am saying, type “Google” in the search field on the Web site.

iCarta iPod Dock:

I really could not believe my eyes when I saw this. An iPod dock with a toilet papers holder? Really? Maybe I am wrong but I do not believe that it is a necessary to listen to music or talk on the phone while you are… “doing it”, what if your precious device falls in the toilet?! Reading the features alone is actually a joke: 4 integrated high performance moisture-free speakers deliver exceptional

clarity and high quality sound! Honestly?! Glad they thought about moisture! This definitely has got to be the most disgusting thing ever created, or at least it comes high in that list.

Google Wave:

And the winner is… Google Wave! When first announced at the Google I/O developer conference in the spring, Google Wave became such a hot topic that made people claim it would replace email. The hype increased even more in the fall when Google’s policy of making the Beta available via invitation-only caused a feeding frenzy on social networks for people begging for Google Wave invitations. Google Wave remained a trending topic on Twitter for more than three months. However, after Google provided more invitations in November, it all went silent; no one talked about Google Wave, no one asked for invitations, and Google Wave stopped being a trending topic on Twitter. The reason behind this is simple; people realized the truth about Google Wave. It does not combine the best of the email and IM worlds, it is not very useful, and it definitely will not replace email. It is just a fancy IM client that is too noisy. And as Robert Scoble predicted, Google Wave did crash hard onto the beach of overhype. And for that, I believe it is the worst tech product of 2009.

Again, let me know your opinions. Of course I am pretty sure many people will not agree with me on Linux Fedora! I just happen to know too many open source enthusiasts! Sorry people, it is the truth, face it!!!



2009 – A Year In Tech: Most Influential Tech People

First, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year and thank you for all the support in the past three months. Instead of posting just another “Things That Not All Programmers Know” post as in the first day of the past two months, I decided to do something different. 2009 was a big and long year in technology, with a number of rises and falls that probably outnumbers those of any previous year. So, throughout the month of January, I am going to write a new series; 2009 – A Year In Tech, where I will make lists of the best (and worst!) everything related to technology in 2009.

This week I am starting with the people! The following is a list of the top 5 people that I believe made the biggest impact in the technology world throughout the course of 2009:

5. Omar Hamoui:

Omar Hamoui is the founder, CEO, and a member of the board of directors of AdMob. AdMob is a mobile advertising marketplace that allows advertisers to connect with mobile publishers and create ads, choose landing pages, and target their ads with plenty of detail. In 2009, Google acquired AdMob for $750 million in stock. Susan Wojcicki, Vice President of Product Management at Google said regarding the acquirement: “AdMob is the quintessential Silicon Valley startup, generating impressive year on year revenue growth, and we’re excited to welcome this talented team to Google”. For an Arab entrepreneur, Omar Hamoui has come a long way, and that is why he is number five on my list.

4. Mark Zuckerberg:

Show me someone who does not know him and I will show you something who does not know what a social network is! Mark is the co-founder and CEO of the very addictive and fastest growing social network on the Web: Facebook. Mark was able to turn Facebook from a Harvard-exclusive meeting space to the most used social network. Facebook currently has over 350 million active users, 70% of which live OUTSIDE of the US, statistics show that half of Facebook users log on to the site at least once on any given day, and spend more than an hour a day on the site. Mark’s policies have been the subject of much controversy this year due to the recent privacy and terms of service changes.

3. Steve Jobs:

Co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. Despite his health issues that caused him to take a six-month leave of absence, and the following speculations that he may never return to Apple, he returned to make Apple stronger than ever before and enhance its position in the market with a new and improved iPhone, new and fancier iPods, a new lineup of Macintosh computers, including the amazing ultra-thin MacBook Air, and a new iTunes with a much more appealing look. These new products, specially the iPhone 3Gs, which is predicted to sell more than 50 million units, definitely livened up Steve’s career, killing all rumours about the end of his future at Apple.

2. Steve Ballmer:

Steve Ballmer is the CEO of Microsoft Corporation. Because of the several imperfections in Windows Vista, Microsoft had lost the goodwill and confidence of most of its customers and investors. However, all of that changed with the release of the robust Windows 7 in 2009, which included a massive array of new features while being fully compatible with applications and hardware with which Windows Vista was compatible and, at the same time, continuing on the path of the incremental upgrade to the Microsoft Windows line. Ballmer was able to restore the faith of the Microsoft fan base with the new OS, not to mention Bing, the Microsoft search engine that is causing bad dreams for Google!

1. Evan Williams and Biz Stone (Ev and Biz):

Co-founders and CEOs of Twitter; a social network and micro-blogging Web site that enables its users to write updates in up to 140-character statuses. Despite being launched in 2006, Twitter became a wide-ranging media platform for documenting major events in 2009, especially after the crash landing of the US Airway Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, whose very first picture was posted on Twitter. Several celebrities were attracted to Twitter, such as Ashton Kutcher, who challenged CNN to a popularity contest on who to reach 1 million followers first! US president Barrack Obama also used Twitter in his elections campaign and currently as the US president. In short, Ev and Biz are the one behind a social network that achieved a superstar status and got more than 5 million people hooked on in a very short period, and for that, I believe that they were the most influential tech people in 2009.

So, what do you think? Do you think someone there does not deserve their spot? Was there someone left out? Let me know your opinion.

Next: worst tech products of 2009.