13 tech trends that would have terrified us ten years ago

13 tech trends that would have terrified us ten years ago

Summary: Ten years ago we could have foreseen choppy waters in the not so distant future. But little could we envisage some of the horrors that we face today. Here are 13 of the scariest, most terrifying tech trends of the 21st century, all in the name of the Halloween spirit.


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  • The multi-million dollar Obamacare site that didn't work

    You would think that after several years and millions of dollars of investment, one single website might be able to cope with a good hearty slice of the population all visiting at once. Alas, no. Healthcare.gov crumbled on its first day, and almost everyone visiting was impacted by the government's worst IT snafu seen during Obama's second run in the Oval Office.

    It's not just about keeping a website afloat. If Reddit, Imgur, Google, and the BBC News can stay up and running, so can Healthcare.gov, surely? That wasn't the problem. It was the backend infrastructure that failed. Databases weren't syncing, pages weren't loading, and forms were broken. Enter your data once, twice, three times, and for many it would slip behind the technology couch never to be seen again.

    The American people were subject to the Healthcare.gov "beta test." Things should be ticking over nicely by 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is meant to really kick in. (At least, let's hope so.)

    Image: ZDNet

  • So many Android versions, so much fragmentation hell

    Android has become the most popular smartphone platform, thanks to its reach and spread across various different devices and manufacturers. But Google, which develops Android, is regularly mocked by Apple for having a fragmentation issue. So many devices in the world, and yet more than half are running older versions.

    Developers, first and foremost, are suffering the most, as they try to tailor their apps to as many people as they can. Many are still running Android versions more than three years old because the cellular carriers and phone makers are not supporting the latest versions of Android. Why? It's probably because they want their customers to ditch their old phones and spend, spend, spend even more on the latest and greatest. A conspiracy? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it's not stopping Google. The search giant is still trying desperately to fix it.

    Image: Google

  • Hacks and data breaches are all too commonplace

    A decade ago, hackers were mostly unseen. They were occasionally glamorized in the movies, but they were often few and far between in terms of numbers. They were not as popular as they were today, where almost anyone can be with the tools available on the darkest corners of the Web.

    Hackers have exploded in numbers. Attacks are taking place all the time. Almost indiscriminate in nature, your cloud-stored data is at risk every minute of the day. With lax security and poor IT policies, millions of people's data last year alone was swiped by the unauthorized. Data breaches are becoming increasingly commonplace. For a time last year, it seemed as though there was a hack every week. 

    And once hackers began to target the financial industry and credit card institutions, what was once the safest thing (bar the economy tipping over and sinking every few years) was reduced to a humble, bumbling mess.

    Image: Rick Broida/CNET

Topics: Enterprise Software, Cloud

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  • Browsing galleries on zdnet is so 1990's

    How hard is it to update it?
    • The 14th Trend that still scares us


      The 15th Trend that scares me: The rise of the disposable computer. Thanks to Apple, computers are only expected to last 2 years or less depending on your contract after which you are expected to discard it so you can get the latest operating system update.

      Say what you will about Microsoft, they have managed to keep operating systems backward compatible with older equipment, extending the life of that equipment for many, many years.
  • Now that's a thought.

    I'd much rather live with the suffering of a Pentium-class CPU in 1998 than live with the ever-present threats in the IT industry today that make me contemplate becoming Amish. I am getting to the point where I see so much abuse of new technology that it makes me almost neo-luddite, because I hope new technologies will fail simply because I am so used to them being abused and my mind subconsciously assumes no good can come from them.
  • Well . . .

    "If Reddit, Imgur, Google, and the BBC News can stay up and running, so can Healthcare.gov, surely?"

    Well, healthcare.gov was virtually untested, and they weren't quite expecting everybody to show up all at once (even though they do require by law for everybody to have the insurance).

    Personally, I'd like to see the law tossed out, or at least the part requiring you to buy the insurance. Requiring people to buy a product isn't something I associate with freedom and democracy. If you want the government to force you to buy products, find a good communist nation to join.
    • Not everybody showed up at once.

      That's the irony. The thing can't handle even trivial loads.
    • What do you suggest?

      CobraA1, I agree that requiring people to buy insurance is not a great solution. What do you suggest happens when a person who has declined purchasing insurance shows up at the emergency room missing an arm?

  • PC Sales in Decline.

    Yes,we like our tablets but will continue to prefer our large screen PCs for home use.
    However many of us refrained from buying a new PC as we don't want Windows 8. We'll either remain on our present Windows versions to the bitter end or eventually switch to Linux unless M$ comes out with a system we consider worth buying.
  • i was aware of these things 13 years ago...

    except for windows which were irrelevant than and now.