- What if online news that you have been consuming is fake?
- Would you expect a premium smartphone from a seasoned OEM to blow up in flames?
- What if technology that has been a universal standard suddenly goes kaput?
Technology is progressive and evolving. What can probably go wrong with the latest advancements in tech? Well, a lot! And, that is exactly what the year 2016 taught us. Let's take a quick look at 5 times that technology turned out to be a total let down this year.
Fake news problem is real
Over the years, the way we consume news has changed. Social channels are slowly yet steadily becoming the source of your daily dose to what's happening in the world. But, what if the news that you believed to be genuine is actually fake. While we've cracked how to get access to news in the quickest way possible, authenticity of the news is becoming the new-age problem. Off late, Facebook was under the line of fire for promoting fake news post the US Presidential elections.
But Facebook is not the only one as Google - yes, the source of all that happens on the web - is equally accused of promoting such news. The algorithms used by their search engines select trending topics based on the popularity/interest (people clicking on the link) of the news, with no means to authenticate the news links.
After repeated backlash from government bodies, Facebook has started testing tools to tackle the issue this month. It is working with select companies and will also let readers flag off fake news. Whether you like it or not, fake news problem exists and could be the beginning of a new new-age problem, and you and me are equally responsible for it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blowing up in flames
When you buy a high-end premium smartphone from a seasoned OEM like Samsung, the least you expect is it to blow up in flames. With a price that costs over half a lakh, we can't blame consumers to be unforgiving for such instances.
The incidents came to light before the device hit store shelves in India, and many who had pre-ordered the device were lured with freebies, before being asked to proceed for refunds.
So, what could get worse? Samsung hurriedly arranged for replacements without sufficient tests, but the replacement batch was no different and soon many started hurling accuses at Samsung for its least concern for customer safety. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the device the tech world won't forget, but for all wrong reasons.
Finally, Samsung called for a total recall and adding to embarrassment it had to send fire-proof boxes to avoid any further dangerous incidents.
Goodbye modular phones?
While modular phones were believed to be the way forward, there is a sudden uncertainty over the future of this category. A modular phone would mean, in future, you can replace the camera or battery, without the need to replace the entire phone. And Google was at the forefront with its ambitious Project Ara, under which it would introduce modular phones.
However, after repeated delays, a Reuters report recently said that Google has suspended Project Ara. Yes, Ara is dead! Adding to the woes, LG, who gave us the modular G5, has reportedly planned the G6 without a modular design. While LG has been tight lipped about the decision, rumours are rife that the modular design strategy has failed. A similar attempt was seen by Lenovo with Moto Mods lately, but there is no word on the company's plans for future.
All in all, a newer refreshing take on the monotonous smartphone design may not see the day of light. It could be the end of the road for modular phones.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are the future, or so we are made to believe. Tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others are working to implement machine learning. Bots are getting intelligent, and many believe they could replace apps.
However, it does look like a long journey before we get there. Earlier this year, Microsoft released AI chatbot Tay. Tay, basically a robotic parrot, learnt what was being tweeted to him, and soon started sending out outrageous and racist remarks. It is quite similar to how a child learns depending upon his surrounding.
Tay's remarks didn't go down well with the Twitterati and soon everyone was up with arms against Tay and Microsoft. Microsoft soon had to work on damage control and even apologised for Tay's remarks.
Look at one such racist remark by Tay below.
While Apple served a rather old design with the iPhone 7, it did make a significant change by conveniently eliminating the audio jack. You do get an adaptor that will let you listen to music using headphones supporting 3.5mm jack.
While the iPhone was loved by fans, the missing audio jack received a lot of flak. Soon there were theories a dime a dozen, which varied from how Apple wants to give a push to Bluetooth as Apple owns Beats to how selling Airpods separately will add to its revenue.
Whatever the reason be, killing a technology that is being used as a universal standard across the globe isn't the wisest thing to do. Besides, we also saw a shift towards USB Type-C charging from the universally accepted microUSB ports. What can you do about the changes? Well, nothing!
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:45 PM IST