Tech turkeys of 2021: Zuck tops the list
Does anybody or anything come even close?
It’s time again for our annual look back at the biggest tech turkeys of the year, the 2021 edition. Past years have included such worthy candidates as Google, for walking back its promise to always have Google Photos free, Samsung for making a phone that went up in flames and GoPro for making a drone that fell from the skies.
This year, is there no more worthy candidate for no. 1 than Facebook and its leader, Mark Zuckerberg? (Thanks to Sam Graham for the great illustration!)
For the reasons, begin with the whistleblower, Frances Haugan, and all she uncovered in 2021. This is a company that did knew darn well that it was creating rage on its pages, was well aware what it was doing to self esteem among younger folks and did little to stop misinformation from running free on its site all over the world. How’s that for a starter? And what the heck is a Metaverse anyway?
Haugan says Zuckerberg “has unilateral control over 3 billion people” and while we all know the good things Facebook does (I still love the Social Network and connecting with so many people daily) we’re all also totally aware of the evil, and so is Zuck. So why doesn’t the company take pro-active steps to rein it in? Is it truly just greed that stops him?
It became way too common in 2021 for thieves to snatch and grab our camera bags when we were out on shoots, most noticeably, in San Francisco, and for mobs to attack and run out with loot from our retail stores. Even in the smartphone era, many of us are spending thousands of dollars to buy high end cameras and lenses and the thieves know an easy, lucrative hit when they see one. So Boo to manufacturers for not adding remote tools to lock our cameras after the steal, an easy tech solution we have available with phones. Also very guilty: re-sale websites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and more that make it way too easy to move stolen goods online.
Uber and Lyft
How things have changed! Remember when rideshare companies first came out, promising dramatically lower fares and easier payments, through credit cards?
I recently returned from the airport to discover that I’d have to wait 30 minutes for a Lyft or Uber and pay $40 to go 3 miles. I said forget it and jumped into a traditional Yellow Cab. Fare: $15, and yes, I could pay for credit card easily.
I’m apparently not alone on this. And don’t even get me started on surge pricing.
Yes, the pandemic changed everything, and made it harder for Uber and Lyft to get drivers, I understand that. And if a ride is going to be easier to come by and cheaper in a cab in 2022, guess where I’m going?
Streaming service Hulu just added another $5 to its monthly charge, Disney+ and Sling went up in 2021 as well, and you know where this trend is headed. The cutting the cord movement that started as a way to save money from the gouges of cable is set to like cabs, make cable look attractive again. Of course, whether you actually want to watch anything on cable is another story.
The holidays are a terrible time for us in our battle again Ransomware, which steals our credentials and holds us for ransom to get our data back. They like to strike when we have our guard down, like when we’re celebrating.
Ransomware struck too many companies and people in 2021, most notably Colonial Pipeline, which made gas scarce in the south for awhile. Why? Read this Vox headline and let it sink in: “The largest petroleum pipeline in the country was reportedly breached by a single leaked password.”
It sucks that we have to have our guards up like this, but we do, so please remember the big 4 things we all have to do to help prevent ransomware. Like this weekend!
—Back up your computer systems now. That way, if you do get held up, it’s no problem, because you’re backed up. Nothing to lose.
—Change your passwords to have one unique, hard to crack code for every website you go to. Use a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password to make remembering them easier.
—Update your operating system software.
—And if you get an e-mail asking you to click a link, don’t. This is the easiest way to have your system taken over by a turkey. You click and they take over your system. Don’t fall for the $50 Gift Card scam, and other ones of its kind. Look at the link request closely and carefully, and think long and hard before you give it up. Better yet, don’t click it at all.
Another note on those sunsets
I heard from many of you regarding the recent edition on the amazing November sunsets. What kind of camera did I use?
I apologize. I clicked Publish before adding that vital info.
So here’s the skinny: iPhone 13 Pro Max, handheld. Several of the shots were panoramas, and they were all lightly edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, my go-to app, which happens to be free.
The companion video was made on an iPhone 12 Pro Max
Yes, we’ve succumbed to the hype, and we’re having a Black Friday print sale. What that means to you: 20% off normal prices. In the market for a nice sunset shot for your wall. Happy shopping!
Thanks as always for reading, watching and listening, and have a great Thanksgiving everyone!