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商业 - 科技

没有最糟只有更糟:2018年科技行业最惨案例盘点

Eric Zeman 2019年01月08日

2018年黑客攻击和破坏导致上亿个人资料泄露,所以人们特别关注隐私问题。除此之外还有一系列失败的新品、糟透的硬件故障,还有其他很多。

2018年终于过去了,很多人松了口气。过去一年里经历了许多起伏动荡,科技行业也不例外。2018年黑客攻击和破坏导致上亿个人资料泄露,所以人们特别关注隐私问题。除此之外还有一系列失败的新品、糟透的硬件故障,还有其他很多。

以下是2018年科技行业的十大失败案例。

5G

2018年,美国四大运营商美国电话电报公司、Sprint、T-Mobile和威瑞森无线都在疯狂宣传5G,称该技术比当前的4G技术快10倍。但实际并未达到那么高的预期。威瑞森在几个社区推出了人造5G,替代家庭宽带。临近2018年年末,美国电话电报公司终于在几个市场中推出了服务。可悲的是,要等到2019年年中才会多几个城市用上5G。

苹果无线充电座AirPower

早在2017年9月,苹果就宣布要推出AirPower,可为iPhone和苹果手表充电的无线充电座。没错,已经过去15个月了。苹果推迟发布,然后一而再再而三地跳票。现在都到2019年了,AirPower还是没影。以前苹果推出新品还从没有这么艰难过。

Facebook

可以说,2018年各大科技公司里社交媒体巨头Facebook过得最惨。Facebook经历了一系列隐私泄露事件重创,而且影响还在持续过大。解释不力加上缺乏真正的问责机制导致事态越发恶化。不幸的是,2019年阴云不会那么快散去。

Facebook聊天设备Portal

Facebook推出了帮人们保持联系的聊天软件Facebook Portal,堪称最低调的新产品。人们可以用来聊天,也可以发送照片和视频,还能用上Alexa数字助理。不过到最后还是要在厨房或起居室安装连接Facebook的摄像头。Facebook一再保证会保护隐私,但人们很难彻底放下心中的怀疑。

华为/中兴禁令

2018年1月,华为原本打算跟美国电话电报公司和威瑞森合作推出旗舰手机Mate 10 Pro,美国白宫就安全问题施加压力后只得取消,其他发行合作计划也一并泡汤,华为基本上被赶出了美国市场。4月,美国政府指控中兴违反了有关制裁的和解协议,采取了严重的封杀禁令。三个月内中兴不得从美国进口手机零件或软件。结果呢?中兴在美国的销售暴跌而且可能永远无法恢复。

Hydrogen One

一家名叫“红”的相机公司宣布,在2017年夏天要推出一款听起来革新性的手机,但直到一年多后的2018年11月才上市。Hydrogen One配备了“全息”显示器,看3D内容不再需要戴特制眼睛,工业设计独特,而且可以拍摄3D照片和视频。听起来是不错,但由于软件糟糕,表现极差,整个手机简直一团乱。哦对了,价格还高达1300美元。还是算了吧。

微软的Windows 10更新

PC用户最担心的可能就是更新系统时文件丢失。微软于2018年10月推出的更新让用户噩梦成真,因为电脑真会在硬盘上随机删除文件。干得好啊,微软!后来问题实在太严重,微软只得取消更新,还花了好几周重新调试代码防止问题再现。但还不只这些。10月的更新会严重损坏英特尔的音频驱动,导致声音出现问题。还有,更新后键盘驱动受损,还会导致蓝屏。微软的脸都要被臭鸡蛋打肿了。

Palm Phone

一家加州创业公司收购了2011年后已经被放弃的Palm品牌,推出了新款智能手机Palm Phone。但这款并非普通的具有各种功能的新手机,公司的新主人决定走极简路线。原来Palm Phone并非单独可以使用的产品,而是手机的手机。Palm Phone只具备最基本的功能(接打电话、收发信息和导航),不可装社交网络,以免浪费时间。小小的设备是很可爱,但电池只能用几个小时,简直太烂了。再说,谁愿意花350美元给手机买个配件?还不如买个智能手表呢。

Pixel Slate

2018年谷歌路走得不太顺,硬件部门推出的Pixel Slate摔得最惨。本来谷歌想用这款平板填补安卓平板和Chromebook笔记本之间的市场空白,但软件非常不稳定,硬件再好也救不了。评论界骂声一片。

Uber无人车导致死亡事件

2018年3月,Uber成了第一家旗下无人驾驶汽车导致行人死亡的公司。在亚利桑那州坦佩市一次测试中,无人驾驶车撞死了正在过马路的伊莱恩·赫茨伯格。目前并未公布所有细节,但看起来无人车发现了赫茨伯格但未减速、转向或停车。该事故发生后,Uber将无人驾驶车测试中止了八个月。此外,该起死亡事件还导致一起官司,好几个州也因此禁止Uber测试无人车。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

Many of us are likely relieved that 2018 is in the rear view mirror. The year provided lots of ups and downs, and the tech industry was no exception. Privacy concerns factored big in 2018, with hacks and breaches exposing the personal details of millions. Moreover, there was a spate of missed product launches, abysmal hardware failures, and much worse.

Here are the 10 worst tech failures of 2018.

5G

All four major U.S. carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, spent much of the year hyping 5G, the wireless technology that is 10-times faster than current 4G tech. But the reality didn’t live up to those lofty expectations. Verizon launched faux 5G as a home broadband replacement in just a few neighborhoods and AT&T lit up its service in only a handful of markets mere days before the end of the year. The sad fact is that it will be mid-2019 before we see 5G available in a respectable number of cities.

AirPower

Apple announced AirPower, a wireless dock that can charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time, in September 2017. Yes, that’s right, 15 months ago. The company delayed the launch, and then delayed it again and again. Here we are at the start of 2019 and still no AirPower. Apple has never failed so hard at getting a product onto store shelves.

Facebook

It’s safe to say Facebook had the worst year of any tech company. The social networking giant was rocked by a cascading series of privacy breaches that continues to snowball. Facebook’s explanations and lack of real accountability haven’t helped matters. Unfortunately, this story will color much of the company’s 2019 too.

Facebook Portal

In one of Facebook’s most tone-deaf moves, it announced Facebook Portal, a video-chatting hub that it pitched as a way for people to stay in touch. It handles chats, as well as photo and video content, and the Alexa digital assistant. At the end of the day, however, it entails putting a Facebook-connected camera in your kitchen or living room. Despite the company’s assurances about privacy, it’s hard to give Facebook any benefit of the doubt here.

Huawei/ZTE Ban

In January 2018, Huawei was prepared to launch its flagship phone, the Mate 10 Pro, with AT&T and Verizon. Pressure from the White House over security squashed those and other distribution deals, leaving Huawei effectively squeezed out of the U.S. market. In April, the U.S. accused ZTE of violating a settlement agreement over sanctions that led to a crushing ban. For three months, ZTE was unable to export U.S. parts or software for its phones. The result? Its sales cratered in the U.S. and may never recover. In December, the White House threatened to ban the use of both Huawei’s and ZTE’s telecommunications gear and had Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada for violating sanctions.

Hydrogen One

A camera company called Red announced a revolutionary-sounding phone in summer 2017, but it didn’t reach stores until more than a year later in November 2018. The Hydrogen One boasts a “holographic” display that doesn’t require special glasses for 3D content, a unique industrial design, and the ability to capture 3D photos and videos. This all sounds neat, but the phone is a train wreck from top to bottom thanks to awful software and janky performance. Oh yeah, it costs $1,300. No thank you.

Microsoft Windows 1 train wreck0 Update

Perhaps the one thing that worries PC owners most is that they may lose their files during a system update. Microsoft capitalized on this fear with its October 2018 update to Windows 10, which saw computers randomly deleting files from hard drives. Well done, Microsoft! The issue was so bad Microsoft cancelled the update and spent weeks re-tooling the code to prevent the problem from happening again. But wait, there’s more. The October update also wreaked havoc on Intel audio drivers, which caused sound issues. Last, the update included a borked keyboard driver that caused the screen to go blue. Smelly egg lands on Microsoft’s face once again.

Palm Phone

A California startup bought the Palm brand, which has been dead since 2011, and cooked up a new smartphone called the Palm Phone. Rather than create a regular, fully-functional phone, Palm’s new owners decided to take a minimalist approach. The Palm Phone isn’t a stand-alone product; instead, it’s a phone for your phone. The Palm is meant to offer basic services (calls, messaging, navigation) while preventing time-sapping social networks from wasting your time. The miniature hardware is cute, but at just a few hours battery life is simply the worst. And who needs a $350 accessory for a phone anyway? You’d be better off with a smartwatch.

Pixel Slate

Google hit a few bumps in the road that was 2018. The company’s hardware division generated a pretty epic failure in the Pixel Slate. The tablet initially promised to bridge the gap between Android tablet and Chromebook, but the uneven software ruins the fine hardware. It was widely panned by reviewers.

Uber Death

In March 2018, Uber became the first company developing autonomous cars to kill a pedestrian. A test vehicle in Tempe, Ariz., ran into Elaine Herzberg as she crossed a street. Not all the details are clear, but it appears that the car was able to see Herzberg and yet didn’t slow, swerve or stop. Following the accident, Uber halted its self-driving car tests for eight months. The company also suffered fallout in the form of a lawsuit over the death and bans from operating autonomous cars in several states.

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