The Biggest WTF Tech Moments in 2013


Open Source producer/editor Hector Batista dishes on the tech industry disasters and controversies that made headlines in 2013.


10: Amazon previews its drone fleet
Amazon announced the company plans on using drones to make deliveries in the future. (Thankfully, not the kind they use in Afghanistan.) Great PR coup by Amazon using 60 Minutes to lobby the FCC and get all of that free press the day before Cyber Monday.

9: gives Obamacare advocates a heart attack
Talk about a mess. How could anyone launch this site knowing just a few days before it goes live that it would crash with only 500 users? Wait – let’s just privatize the process!

8: Oracle proves privatization can’t fix everything
The tech giant hired by the great state of Oregon to build and handle their healthcare exchange is next on the list. How’d that go? Well, while Oracle continues to figure it out, the state has had to go back to paper applications for its citizens. WTF?

7: SnapChat says “nah” to Zuckerberg money
Next up is SnapChat. Who? Exactly. These guys turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. Let’s see how many times in 2014 we say, “They blew it.”

6: Apple is dead. Long live Apple.
The phrase “Apple is dead” is a pundit favorite that’s starting to sound like a broken record. Apple is the most valuable brand in the world for the third year in a row. It’s currently worth $104.3 billion; up 20 percent from its valuation last year. It is worth nearly twice as much as any other brand on the planet, according to Forbes. We wish we could afford some stock in this “dead” company.

5: Samsung goes for the gold in second place
According to the same high-tech pundits who eulogize Apple every couple months, Samsung is the true innovator in the handset space. Really? Right after Apple released the iPhone 5S in gold, Samsung tweeted a promo pic of the Galaxy S4 in – you guessed it – gold. I’m sure there’s more flattery to come from Samsung.


4: Edward Snowden justifies your Internet paranoia
If you had any doubts that “1984” had arrived, this guy should have put them to bed by now.

3: Blackberry gets closer to complete irrelevance
At number three, we mourn what was once a giant in the tech field: Blackberry. This is what hubris did to the once-dominant handset maker, which now continues to struggle with obtaining and retaining users.


2: Google is following you
You can’t have a tech list without Google, which comes in at our number two spot. Lots of people love their Android phones, but people don’t seem to care that Google and lots of other developers are creating apps for the platform that follow your every move. Creepy.

1: Google and Facebook unveil plans to sell your face to advertisers
Our number one WTF tech story of 2013 is about Google and Facebook. The two leading tech companies announced they will sell your face, photos and everything else about you to advertisers to better move their products. So much for Google's “don’t be evil" corporate motto.