Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

Summary: Amid the pending crash of the Nasa climate satellite from Earth's orbit, ZDNet takes a look at other gadgets, products and services that crashed and burned.

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  • The games console that never even had the chance to succeed. 

    Launched in November 1998 in Japan, nearly a year later in September 1999 in North America and shortly after in Europe in October 1999, the 128-bit video games console was discontinued only a couple of years later after poor sales and its lack of available games. The new chair of Sega, who manufactured the device, wanted to focus on software instead of games consoles.

    Having said that, despite its short lifespan, the games console was vastly ahead of its time, but suffered with poor marketing and other rival games consoles of the time. Only 10 million consoles were sold during its time, but many can still be found on eBay for cult collectors.

  • RealPlayer, though hard to believe, is nearly 17 years old this year. Available on a wide variety of platforms, and even on mobile devices, in theory it could be one of the best media players on the planet.

    But the sluggish, slow and packed full of crapware software was nothing but a plague on millions of computers worldwide. Spyware was even found to be in the software, which led to a massive boycott and controversy surrounding the company that makes the software.

    Though it supports MP3s, MPEG-4 formats, QuickTime and Windows Media formats, the only reason anyone would use it is if they were forced to, by needing to view or listen to its propriety RealAudio and RealVideo formats. 

    It's no VLC, suffice to say.

  • When Sony declared a war on software and music piracy in 2005, little did the world consider that the company could be putting malware on the discs it sold.

    When the CD was inserted into a computer, it would install a rootkit invisible even to the most advanced anti-spyware or anti-virus software of the time. But Sony was found up the creek when hackers and cyber-attackers would use the same rootkit to hide malware of their own to capture keystrokes or steal data. 

    Over half a million machines were infected, which was only made worse by a "fix" that Sony brought out to try and solve the problem. Lawsuits flew everywhere as a result, and Sony was left very red-faced after the whole incident.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Microsoft, Networking

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  • What other tech junk do you remember?

    If you remember a technology, product or service that flopped to Earth after crashing from orbit, <b>leave your thoughts below</b>.
    zwhittaker
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    You can add SACD, DVD-Audio, the laser disc, HD-DVD to your list of crash and burn tech.
    Oh yeah almost forgot, the HP Touchpad.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @MG537

      + 1

      I also believe clunky Blu-Ray will be joining that list in a couple of years.
      ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        @ScorpioBlue

        Surely. I can't stand the gorgeous image quality and it's only a matter of time before 1080p streaming is possible...
        peterseb80
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    How about a real one?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-07-13/esperance-will-never-forget-skylab-crash/1351410

    I wonder if it will land in Australia again.
    bannedagain
    • Falling Sat

      @bannedagain I hope it lands on Rupert Murdochs head, that would be ironic.
      ben.rattigan
      • I think you mean...

        @ben.rattigan ... that would be poetic justice. :)
        IslandBoy_77
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    The security protection of Vista was certainly not nominal. It wasn't perfect (security never is), and was certainly annoying, but it was real and effective.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @CobraA1

      It was junk, but some of you die-hards refuse to give up.
      ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        @ScorpioBlue Ditto to the die-hards who never gave it a chance after the first service pack.

        But hey, we have Windows 7 now, so Vista is the past. You believe what you like.
        CobraA1
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        <i>Ditto to the die-hards who never gave it a chance after the first service pack.</i><br><br>By then it was too little too late. Some people weren't gonna wait around a fukking year for MS to at attempt to get it's act straight. Even MS couldn't run away from it fast enough. <br><br>Nope, you lost on that one. Even Jason Perlow and Zack don't agree with you so I doubt you're gonna change any minds about it at this point in time.<br><br><i>But hey, we have Windows 7 now, so Vista is the past. You believe what you like.</i><br><br>I will. And everytime you die-hards come on here defending this POS, I'll be right there to bring some truth to your corporate rip-off propaganda.
        ScorpioBlue
  • IBM's Micro Channel Architecture

    IBM's attempt to lock-out the clone makers was a major disaster. Rather than have the aftermarket card producers flock to the new IBM standard the so called "Gang Of 9" (AST Research, Compaq Computer, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE and Zenith Data Systems) banded together to produce the EISA card slot which had the significant advantage of being backwardly compatible with the ISA card slot.
    Scubajrr
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    What is with all the Microsoft hate? 3 items listed were Microsoft that should not have been on there. You should have listed linux since it never took off, corel linux crashed and burned. VA linux stocks crashed and burned. Tablets are on a plummet. 3D-Blu-ray players due to their outrageous prices.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @LoverockDavidson_

      Flagged for trolling. No wonder you changed your name.
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    I like my netbook it serves my purpose as a computer I can take it on holiday with me.<br>I go camping with a bicycle and the netbook fits in my camera bag along with the Pentax and several lenses, a larger computer will not.<br>when I go to the pub at night I can transfer the photos to the netbook using Shotwell and do some image manipulation.<br>The netbook was intended for someone who needed a computer when a larger one is not an option,I find my netbook serves me well in that respect.
    johnhgy@...
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @johnhgy@...
      I too love my netbook. It does everything I want it to beautifully.

      Instead of saying "crashed to earth, I'd say it came down to a smooth landing. Certainly, it's not the high flier it use to be. Tablets have taken over most of its niche. But there are some things tablets simply don't do well that a netbook does better.
      mheartwood
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    I love my Zune, yes it's not an ipod, and the accessories aren't out there for it, but the player works very well. The fact that it doesn't work with iTunes is actually a plus as that is one of the absolute worst media software programs out there and the only reason people use it is because the iXXXX products require it, not because it's such a great product.
    BrewmanNH
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @BrewmanNH
      I own no Apple hardware at all and yet I manage my entire library in iTunes. It's really great software if you ever tried it (did you?). Have you tried to manage a +50GB music library in windows media player? It's nearly impossible, THAT's a piece of junk software...
      belli_bettens@...
  • How about the ZX-80?

    If you trundle a bit further back into tech history, the ground is fair littered with tech-junk. I had a ZX-81, but remember the white-elephant that almost choked Sinclair, the ZX-80. And how about the last from the Sinclair stable (albeit by Miles Gordon who bought out the failed Sinclair), the Sam Coupe? It was well ahead of PCs of the day, but was just too little, too late. Cost me NZ$2,000, sold for $900-odd a year or so later. Twin 3.5" FDDs, 512kb expansion pack - all it was missing was a hard drive.
    IslandBoy_77
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    And RealPlayer is the only player that seems to play Shockwave Flash video (.swf) reliably (even VLC crashes all the time).
    smayer97@...