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The top 10 tech ‘fails’ of 2013
Doug Gross, CNN
8:46 AM EST, Sat December 28, 2013
HealthCare.gov rollout —
The Affordable Care Act has been a hallmark of President Barack Obama's time in the White House. But it sure didn't get off to a smooth start when the website used to access the plan stalled in its crucial opening days. What was initially thought to be sluggishness due to heavy traffic turned out to be dozens of bugs that took nearly two months to fix. Heavy hitters from Silicon Valley were brought in for a "tech surge" -- raising the question of why they weren't involved from the beginning.
Twitter Music —
There's a thing called Twitter Music. Don't feel bad if you didn't notice -- you're not alone. Announced with fanfare on "Good Morning America" in April, the service suggests bands you might like based on who you follow. But it never gained traction on a Web seemingly happy with its Pandoras and Spotifys. A promised Android version never followed the iOS rollout, and reports in recent months say it could be scrapped any day.
BlackBerry's free fall continues —
The once-mighty BlackBerry seems to make this list every year now. In 2013, the Canadian company hit a sobering milestone when its once-dominant devices accounted for less than 1% of the smartphone market. Plans to sell the company fell through, 4,500 layoffs were announced in September and CEO Thorsten Heins was shown the door in November. Not a good year.
BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images/File
Surface struggles —
It felt like Microsoft was on to something: a hybrid that paired the form of a tablet with the keyboard and souped-up specs of a laptop. But the Surface has, thus far, failed to put a scare in the iPad. This summer, Microsoft had to take a nearly $1 billion write-off because of unsold Surface tablets. Don't count them out yet, though: Second-generation Surface tablets are out and getting improved marks from reviewers.
Reddit names wrong guys —
Crowdsourcing solutions to all sorts of problems has been an increasingly valuable Web tactic. But sometimes it goes the other way. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings in April, well-intentioned Reddit users pored through video, photos and other documents in trying to identify the attackers. What they did instead was surface the names and images of several innocent people who were put under intense and unfair scrutiny. The site noticed. When a similar subreddit sprang up in September to help find the Washington Navy Yard shooter, Reddit quickly shut it down.