17 Stupidest Tech Fails of all Time.
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And the only thing that you really need to know about it is that it is an actual working oven made for children. So of course we're gonna try it. So you rest your cake on the edge here, you push it in with this. Can't believe this is a real product. You probably won't be surprised then to find out that the Easy Bake Oven had to be urgently recalled after five kids managed to get their fingers trapped in the door and burnt from the inside of the oven. And not just surface level burns, deep third degree burns from not being able to get them out. Hasbro did then offer a free grate for parents to attach to their models to stop any further fingers going through, except turns out it wasn't such a great idea. Because quite possibly in the process of trying to install the grate, a further 77 kids managed to get Easy Baked.
Monumentally stupid idea. But I'll only give this a 2 out of 10 fail because it does seem like Hasbro has finally swooped in and made it almost impossible to singe yourself in the latest models. Maybe I'll downgrade it at the end if the cake sucks. Number 16 on the subject of food, Apple.
Most people think that the iPhone was Apple's first ever smart device when it exploded onto the scene in 2007. But that's because they want you to forget their actual first attempt. The Apple Newton in 1993.
It was the first to call itself a personal digital assistant, or PDA. It could store your contacts, manage your calendar, it even came with a stylus inside of it for handwriting notes. And it was basically being sold as the way to have an organized life. " Actively helps you as you capture, organize, and communicate your ideas and information". Except that if you bought one, you were almost guaranteeing the opposite. I've just realized the date is set to 1994. I wasn't born then. The Newton's key selling point was that it could understand your handwriting.
But the product came out 20 years before the tech was good enough to do that. Hello, my name is Aaron. Hello, my non is Ridd. I can get rid of you. Oh yeah, and it also cost $1,400 in today's money. Three out of ten fail. Man, I feel like I'm getting stupider as this video goes on.
So you might have heard that Tesla's electric cars are absolutely flying right now. There's a two-year waiting list for them here in the UK.
But it's kind of strange because at the same time, one of their key main selling points, their so-called full self-driving mode is kind of a lie. See, there's a big difference between full-on self-driving and just driver assist. One actually drives the car for you, which would be a game changer. And the other just means that you sit in the same seat as normal, you pay full attention to the road as normal, and the only actual difference is that instead of holding your hands on the wheel, you just hold them slightly off the wheel, but ready to take it should anything go wrong. Which, to make matters worse, has happened a lot during their public beta testing. Three out of ten fail. Advertising the car as self-driving, charging people extra to buy the feature, but then using the fact that it's still in beta as a cover-up for whenever there's an incident, seems a little dodged to me. Now, if you spend a reasonable amount of time on the internet, there's a pretty good chance you came across the Grand Theft Auto 6 footage that recently leaked. Info leaks from big video game publishers all the time, but this one in particular was at a whole new scale. The hacker managed to acquire over 90 video files of this top secret unannounced game, probably the most anticipated game ever. He leaked hours of not-yet-ready-to-show gameplay for the world to see, which has greatly hampered the public's perception of it, while also apparently stealing the entire source code, which could be worth hundreds of millions. It's almost Grand Theft... Grand Theft Auto. And what makes the whole thing sting ten times more is the fact that the suspect is currently believed to be a teenager who used a smartphone to do it. Someone on the GTA security team seriously dropped the ball on this one. But there is a company with a much more consistent...
Mutation for miscalculations.
Google. In fact, Google has had so many fails over the years that there is an entire website dedicated to hosting them, and it's got over 270 entries. But Google+ stands out as probably their biggest flop of them all. It was Google's attempt at launching a social media platform in 2011 with a unique selling point that they called Circles. It allowed you to split your friends into the various social circles that they fall into for you, your work friends, your gym friends, your exes, so that you can then post tailored things that specifically appeal to those groups of people. This was not a good idea. It ended up being such a burden on users, forcing them to manually sort every single person they added. And then on top of that, half the time it didn't even make sense to sort people. Like many of your close friends are going to span many of your different circles, and so you're just left with this complex web of somewhat overlapping groups. At which point, Facebook's much simpler friend system, where you could just add someone once and that's it, was far more appealing. And so when you combine the fact that their key differentiator was just a hassle, with the fact that Google+ was late to the game of social media, whilst also being late with just about every standard social media feature, like having a smartphone app that you could message people through, it's not surprising that it was also a plus-sized, very expensive, four out of 10 failure. Do you know what never works? Celebrities using their vast amounts of money to build tech products. I mean, just look what happened with Soulja Boy when he tried to make a games console. The reality of it is, making a good tech product requires expertise, and vision, neither of which Will.i.am had when he decided to make the Pulse smartwatch. Will.i.am came in very strong with this product. He told us how it wasn't just a companion to your smartphone but that this was a smartphone, with its own SIM card inside of it. But the product's astonishingly quick failure was very much deserved. It's 50% the fact that it looked, and more alarmingly felt, like a handcuff, with some reviewers even saying it sliced their wrists while putting it on, and the other 50% that, I don't know how he didn't see this coming, but there's absolutely no way you can do all the smartphone things you want to do on a 1.7 inch screen. It was being sold as this really slick, incognito way of keeping up to date with your life, but the reality of it was you crouched over in some alleyway fumbling around with your oversized thumbs trying to figure out how you were going to possibly type a complete sentence before wanting to burn this piece of junk. It was a great meme, but as a tech product, widely described as the worst thing I've touched all year, five out of 10. But who would have thought that the biggest smartwatch fail potentially ever would actually come from Apple?
We all know that Apple is no stranger to luxury, and that they've always been on the premium end in terms of price, but in 2015, they really let their reputation get to their heads. When alongside their standard and sport model watches, they released the Apple Watch Edition, a line of hyper premium $10,000 18 karat gold versions. They handed them out to big celebrities like Kanye West and Beyonce for marketing. This was going to be Apple's huge cash in, a way to multiply their income beyond anything previously thought possible. But if you think about it for more than about two seconds, who wants to spend upwards of 10K on a smartwatch whose functionality, display and battery will be instantly dated as soon as Apple releases the next model? Very few is the answer. Since the Apple Watch Edition shipped in the low tens of thousands of units, which is bad for any major tech firm, but completely abysmal by Apple standards. The key thing they overlooked is that the smartwatch market is not like the normal watch market. The kinds of people who buy smartwatches are people who love tech. And someone who loves tech isn't going to sacrifice their ability to buy the next 20 Apple Watches just so they can afford one now that's a little bit shinier. Starting to smell this cake now. Quite excited to try it. Now, with all the crazy developments in AI happening every day, like that Dali website that can literally create any image you want by just typing it, it often feels like we're on the very brink of what's called the singularity. The point at which super intelligent AI becomes so intelligent that its actions can't be controlled or predicted by humanity. Think Skynet in Terminator or GLaDOS in Portal. But then every now and again, you just see something that reminds you, maybe we're okay for a bit.
Like the Nightscope K5, the fully autonomous outdoor security robot. It was designed to scope out potential criminals with a whole suite of sensors, video camera, thermal imaging, a distance measuring laser, radar, air quality sensors, even a detector for suspicious wireless signals. And then anything it picks up, it can alert to human security guards who can then take action. Problem was, the robot was its own biggest obstacle. Like in 2016, a K5 unit deployed at a shopping center in California decided to take the law into its own hands by directly tackling a perpetrator who happened to be a 16 month old toddler.
- I'm in danger.
- And then in 2017, a drunk 41 year old man proved just how tough these would be Robocops are by knocking one over in a parking lot where it stayed because they don't have any way of picking themselves up. You'd think that at least one of the advantages of hiring a robot over a human security guard would be that they don't get tired or feel pain. Well, not these guys. Because later that year, it all seemed to just become a bit too much for one K5 who threw itself dramatically to its death, drowning in a mall fountain. I think the Robocalypse might be a little further away than we thought. Number nine takes the dumbness to new heights. And we're back to Apple again. In fact, of all of Apple's misfires in recent history, you could argue that none have been greater than what Apple Maps was at launch. And it's not just that it was riddled with glitches and issues, but the fact that it was based on pretty low quality geography data from TomTom led to landmarks that looked straight out of a Marvel Doctor Strange film, not in a good way. And then even putting the sludgy melting roads and cavernous ravines in the middle of the street aside, the app was actually sending people to places that don't exist. Like a completely made up airport in Dublin where many users found themselves just scratching their heads. Not to mention that releasing a Maps app to the world when the software was so far from ready was also dangerous. In Australia, police had to issue a warning to motorists after multiple people were led to a park in the middle of the outback where they were stranded in potentially life-threatening 46 degrees Celsius heat without any water supply. This is a seven, and the situation was serious enough that Apple Maps has become one of the very few times that this company has actively come out and apologized publicly. But don't worry, there's plenty of fails to go around 'cause at number eight is Samsung.
And not for a smartphone like you might expect, but actually a washing machine. Or more accurately, 34 different models of washing machine. No points for guessing why they had to be recalled. Yes, explosions were involved. Specifically, there was a fault with these devices where the machines would shake so violently that the entire roof of the unit would unfasten and fly off, bruising, injuring, and taking out customers like it was some kind of planted military weapon, which forced Samsung to recall millions of units and offer a free repair to fix the loose fastening issue in the top of the unit. But even then, how ignorant do you have to be to design and test 34 different models of washing machine to the point where they're ready to go on store shelves without realizing that they're self-destructing?
Number seven is the Sinclair C5. And this thing was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation back in 1985. It was a tiny three-wheeled, one-person bike-car hybrid vehicle with a range of up to 20 miles per charge. And yeah, that means it was electric, well before most people even thought of electric as an option for transport. And sure, while 20 miles might not sound like a lot, the idea was that it was just enough to cover most people's daily commutes in an eco-friendly, affordable manner. The Sinclair was literally $500.
- Designed by Lotus, powered by a Philips hair dryer, built by Hoover, and road-tested by people who tried hard not to look like a pillock.
- Yeah, it does look ridiculous.
And the enthusiasm died off pretty quickly when people realized a few more things about it. That its top speed of 15 miles per hour meant that you might genuinely get to work faster on a normal bike. That its open design didn't give you any kind of weatherproofing, especially unthoughtful given that it was made for the UK first. And that it didn't have a reverse gear. This is no exaggeration. If you got stuck, you would have to get out your car, go around to the front, lift up the nose, and manually turn it around. Imagine the scenes. I'll give it a seven, but just imagine if you got into an accident in this thing. Could have been worse. Well, have no fear, 'cause this next one definitely is. See, back in 2012, when cable TV was still the standard and Netflix was just a baby, a new company called Aereo entered the scene. And they had an idea. Many people still wanted to watch these cable TV shows, but they wanted to do so in a way that was convenient for them, as opposed to making sure that they were specifically available when that show aired. And so what Aereo did was rented warehouses, at least thousands of tiny satellite antennas that allowed them to access those cable TV shows, all the main US channels like CBS, NBC, Fox, et cetera, and then basically recorded them and then allowed their paying subscribers to watch those recorded shows over the internet. And this was really popular with their subscribers. This was genuinely fixing a real life problem that people had. So how could it go wrong? In the most brainless way possible, of course. Intelligent concept and advanced technology aside, the one key thing that Aereo overlooked was actually securing the rights to redistribute any of the channels they were streaming, which effectively earned them a fast track ticket all the way to the Supreme Court, the highest federal court in America, where several of the biggest TV networks in the entire country sued them into oblivion for profiting off their products. Aereo had to immediately shut down their services after the case in 2014 and filed for bankruptcy the same year.
- All right, we're in the top five. So you've heard of GMO Foods, right?
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. And it's where biologists use genetic engineering tech to edit the DNA of crops to make them more appealing to eat, like creating tomatoes that can grow larger and last longer on store shelves. But someone always takes it too far, like we found out with the company Recombinetics, who apparently found a way to genetically modify the DNA of a cow so that they could grow up without sprouting any horns. Usually, farmers have to remove the horns from their bulls for safety reasons.
So this would be huge for both the farmers and the animals. Recombinetics claimed that they'd only done what could already be done through standard breeding practices, just a lot faster. So they argued that their GMO bulls didn't need to be regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, which is always a little sus. And of course, when they inevitably did get investigated, we found out why. Turns out, scientists at the company had accidentally spliced bacteria DNA into the cow's genes. And I mean, the fact that they'd unknowingly contaminated the gene pool was already catastrophic enough. But the fact that it also potentially made them resistant to antibiotics would have made them a serious hazard for future cows birthed by them and humans who were gonna eat them. I'm gonna give this one an eight out of 10, because once authorities realized what had happened, they had no choice but to kill the animals by incineration to stop the further spread of these genes. And the violence is only about to escalate with number four. So you've probably heard America has a bit of a gun violence problem.
And the debate over the solution is unbelievably deep and complex. So it was equal parts worrying and hilarious when Axon, a company whose mission statement is to protect life, very publicly announced their solution to mass shootings. Let's put police drones with remote operated tasers built into them in high schools.
- My goodness, what an idea.
- Why didn't I think of that?
- Don't get me wrong, I applaud them for trying to make a difference, but it's such a tone deaf idea that you could very easily see actually increasing the levels of violence.
The announcement immediately became the laughingstock of Twitter. And then what made the situation even more ridiculous was seeing the backlash. Axon then responded by admitting that the majority of its ethics advisory board actually strongly opposed the project, but that the company had basically ignored them, which actually makes them look even worse, and led to nine of the 12 board members resigning in protest, all making this Axon company look like one big joke. You know, maybe if they'd come out with something more like Samsung's washing machines, people might've taken them more seriously. Now, thankfully, Axon's Taser drone never made it to production, but the Russian chess robot did.
And much like the K5 robot from before, also managed to attack a child. I get you wanna win, but that is too far. From the video, it seems like the seven-year-old boy tried to make his move, while the robot still thought it was its turn. And so the robot ended up grabbing his finger, squeezing too hard, and fracturing it. And then on top of that, officials from the Russian Chess Federation also had some slightly strange responses to the incident.
Like the vice president, Sergei Smagin, kind of blamed the boy, claiming that it happened because he violated the safety protocols.
- Stupid kid who committed that terrible crime.
- And then I remember the Chess Federation's president made a truly insightful and emotional statement. The robot broke the child's finger. " This is, of course, bad". You know, I wasn't sure how to feel before hearing that, but now that I know it's bad, really cleared things up for me. Eight out of 10 fail. Wait, did I just lose?
Now, every now and again you hear an idea that's just too good to be true. Like the fact that you can subscribe to this channel for free. And it usually ends up that that's just because the consequences haven't been thought through properly. And maybe the worst example of this in history is MoviePass, a subscription service that allowed users to see a movie a day in cinemas for only $9.95 a month. Now, considering that that's barely a dollar more than the average price of a single movie ticket, that's an insane deal. Like if you took full advantage and went to see a movie for 31 days of the month, you'd be saving upwards of 95% on those tickets. MoviePass could have saved more. But wait, slight issue. MoviePass still had to actually pay cinemas to get the tickets. Their profit model was supposed to be that they were offering a deal that was so good that the majority of consumers would buy it and not even feel the need to take full advantage of it, thereby making their money back on the users who used it just once a month, or the ones who just forgot they subscribed and didn't use it at all. Now if that sounds stupid, that's because it is. This profit model was so fragile that even if those users only bought an average of just 1.5 tickets a month, MoviePass would still be spending more paying the cinemas than they were earning from subscriptions. And obviously, MoviePass subscribers were going to book more than 1.5 tickets. People were seeing movies every other day, stocking up on tickets for later dates, and being so careless with what they were booking because it wasn't costing them anything that half the time they didn't even show up to the viewings, leading to MoviePass leaking cash from every angle and pretty shortly filing for bankruptcy. 9/10. Did not see that one coming.
But MoviePass has got nothing on the stupidity of the Gilbert U238 Atomic Energy Laboratory. Sorry, what? The Gilbert U238 Atomic Energy Laboratory was a playset launched for kids all the way back in 1950. Think of it like those modern day chemistry sets you can buy at home. Except this set allowed children to create and watch nuclear reactions using real radioactive chemicals. It's bad enough what an actual piece of uranium can do to a fully formed adult from metres away, let alone what it can do to kids physically playing with it and sometimes eating it. 10/10. And speaking of which, I think our cake is done. So you stick this attachment in. Ow! I'm kind of demonstrating my own point here. Okay, here it is. Speaking of moments of stupidity, I actually had one myself not that long ago. I managed to compromise my email account because one of the sites I'd signed into had a data breach, and my personal data, alongside hundreds of thousands of others, just got ejected into public space. Just like I'm about to eject this into my space. Now this could have been a major problem if it weren't for the Surfshark alert feature, which monitors all the sites you have accounts with, and the moment it detects a vulnerability lets you know so you can do something about it. And alert is just one small part of the total Surfshark package, which gives you a high speed unlimited user VPN, the simplest antivirus I've ever used, and a secure internet search that's not just private, but also ad free. And the craziest part of it is that this whole Surfshark package together is not $10 a month or even $5 a month, it's $2.49, which split between the 7 people I share it with, literally works out to 36 cents. So give it a go. And if you hit the link in the description and use the code BOSS, you'll get it not just for that $2.49 a month price, but also 3 months for free on top of that, fully refundable. You know what, after all that, this is actually a 10 out of 10 cake. I'll take the credit for this one.