Technology that gives us the creeps

Summary:Sure, IT matters -- and technology is cool. Except when it's just plain scary. Fom DRM to PattyMail, floating nuke plants to IT Frankensteins, here are the techno bogeymen that haunt us.

Last month, a Cisco chief technology officer called Windows Vista "scary". While our bloggers -- including Mary Jo Foley and Ed Bott and George Ou -- might argue with that assessment (see our complete Vista coverage to help you decide for yourself) the comment did get us thinking about other scary technologies -- and scary uses of technology.

In the spirit of the Halloween season, we asked our bloggers to tell us what disturbing, distasteful, dreary

Why is this iPod scary?
or downright dastardly technology keeps them awake at night.

Why is this iPod scary?

David Berlind, for one, is suffering from a recurring DRM nightmare, and it keeps getting worse. Depending on your point of view, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management or Digital Restrictions Management. David calls it C.R.A.P. -- and warns that we should all be very afraid.

The bogeyman that haunts Ed Bott and so many other Windows users has been Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage. In Vista, this anti-piracy program will only get worse, warns Ed. "Technically, it's not a kill switch, but it's arguably a near-death experience for your PC."

What other terrors has technology wrought? Ten troubling examples:

  1. Malware tricks
  2. 64-bit drivers
  3. Web 2.0 insecurity
  4. Honest consumers driven to piracy
  5. Virtualized SOA
  6. Microsoft Zune
  7. Floating nuclear plant
  8. The DMCA
  9. Electronic voting
  10. Traceable 'PattyMail'

And there's plenty more scary tech here...

Have you had a personal encounter with technology gone awry? Tell us about your own technology fear factor in TalkBack.

Topics: Hardware, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Mobility, Security, Windows


David Grober has worked a variety of editorial roles in the technology media since 1982, when he joined the copy desk at IDG's Computer Business News. He served as managing editor for PC Week (now eWeek) and, later, Digital News. David made the leap from print to online publishing in 1994, when he joined Ziff-Net's Software Library. Sinc... Full Bio

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