/>
X

Technology 2010: What scares us most

In the spirit of the Halloween season, we asked our bloggers to tell us what disturbing, distasteful, dreary or downright dastardly technologies (or technology applications) keep them awake at night. Here are 10 things to be afraid of.
dgroberthumbnail.jpg
476350.jpg
1 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

You've seen these poor, lifeless beings everywhere. People — if you can still call them that — with pallid, emotionless faces, staring down at small screens while they walk direction-less down the street, completely unaware of their surroundings. They've become the 21st-century equivalent of Smeagol. Sometimes they return to real life, and have real interactions with living human beings, but then this horrible urge compells them to pull out their iPhone, their Android, their BlackBerry. Their PRECIOUS.

See Jason Perlow's 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

476351.jpg
2 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

Apple’s suing HTC and Nokia, and Microsoft is suing Apple and Motorola. Motorola is also suing Apple and Motorola is being sued by RIM, and Oracle is suing Google. And that’s the simple version.

What’s it all about? Patent infringement and enforcement in the mobile industry. Not only is this tying up the legal system and essentially just making blood-sucking attorneys and law firms richer, but it’s also slowing the progress of the technology industry and hurting consumers. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

See Jason Perlow's 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

476352.jpg
3 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

What scares me the most: Business decision-makers selecting complex technology based solely on what they read in a non-technical, business-oriented journal or overheard at a business gathering. Blind adoption creates the ghosts and ghouls of failed IT solutions.

See Dan Kusnetzky's Blind adoption that creates ghosts and ghouls of failed IT solutions

476353.jpg
4 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

Where's Waldo? Who cares! For what purpose do you need to broadcast your whereabouts to every single one of your Facebook contacts or the entire Internet on your Twitter stream in real time? Because you have so much vanity that your actual location being accurate within minutes is so important to your friends and family? Do they need to know that you buy a bear claw and a large cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts at 8:24am every morning? That you just walked into the Planned Parenting clinic? You think it’s some kind of incredible achievement that you just became Mayor of the Route 4 McDonalds in Paramus?

See Jason Perlow's 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

476354.jpg
5 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

Far too many IT people tend to perpetuate the voodoo mythology surrounding what they do instead of empowering an organization's users to solve more of their problems themselves.

See Christopher Dawson's Scary Tech: Voodoo IT support

476355.jpg
6 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

We may very well be looking at a future where critical aspects of our national infrastructure running on Windows are brought to a halt by complex worms created by hostile governments or terrorist groups on an on-going basis.

Or will we learn from our mistakes by migrating our mission-critical systems to hardened Mainframe, UNIX and Linux-based systems in favor of their vulnerable Microsoft counterparts?

See Jason Perlow's 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

476356.jpg
7 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

The seemingly ubiquitous FaceBook “Like” button is penetrating every web site and, on the surface, appears harmless. But should we really be exposing so much of our identity and privacy, even a little bit at a time?

See Jason Perlow's 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

476357.jpg
8 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

The government has started work on a real life version of Minority Report, where you can be arrested for crimes you might do. DARPA is working on algorithms that can be used to predict when someone is getting ready to commit a crime.

See Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' Real Life ‘Pre-Crime’ Technology

476358.jpg
9 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

Ask any parent what are the greatest dangers to kids online, and you’re likely to hear about scary individuals: the pedophile masquerading as a friend on a social site, game, or virtual world; the bullying schoolmate who taunts online; the inconsiderate, callous, or hormone-addled peer who posts inappropriate pictures or encourages one’s little angel to “sext.” But online pedophiles, bullies, and sex maniacs are stealing the spotlight from a more stealthy, insidious, and concrete danger: the routine collection and sale of profiles built from records of online activity.

See Denise Howell's Sites harvesting kids' data fly under the radar, even for the FTC

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Jeff Standen

476359.png
10 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

You can now get almost-real-time flight data and tracking in Google Earth. Is this new feature a cool novelty that’ll help kids everywhere see just about where Dad is on his way home to San Mateo from Worcester? Or are there more sinister possibilities?

See David Gewirtz's Is Google's new real-time flight data in Google Earth a gift to terrorists?

476360.jpg
11 of 11 David Grober/ZDNet

Bump.com is a new service that allows users to communicate with each other on the road by sending messages to each other, via license plates. At first glance, the concept is scary, creepy and slightly disturbing - an opportunity for road ragers to send each other nasty messages.

See Sam Diaz's The goods and bads of Bump, which links you to your license plate

Related Galleries

Linux turns 30: The biggest events in its history so far
05-debian.jpg

Related Galleries

Linux turns 30: The biggest events in its history so far

31 Photos
Say hello to the early days of web browsers
netscape-shutterstock-189041855.jpg

Related Galleries

Say hello to the early days of web browsers

9 Photos
Parallels Toolbox 5.0 for Windows and Mac, in pictures
Mac Dashboard

Related Galleries

Parallels Toolbox 5.0 for Windows and Mac, in pictures

12 Photos
Parallels Toolbox 4.5 for PCs, M1 and Intel Macs
Parallels Toolbox

Related Galleries

Parallels Toolbox 4.5 for PCs, M1 and Intel Macs

39 Photos
Parallels Toolbox 4 for Windows and Mac
parallels-toolbox-show-desktop-macos-screenshot

Related Galleries

Parallels Toolbox 4 for Windows and Mac

10 Photos
How to perform a clean install of Windows 10: Here's a step-by-step checklist
00-before-you-start.jpg

Related Galleries

How to perform a clean install of Windows 10: Here's a step-by-step checklist

17 Photos
Linux survival guide: These 21 applications let you move easily between Linux and Windows
apps-for-linux-and-windows.jpg

Related Galleries

Linux survival guide: These 21 applications let you move easily between Linux and Windows

22 Photos