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A look back on the biggest tech fails of 2014

A look back on the biggest tech fails of 2014
photo courtesy of shutterstock

2014 was a great year with lots of great inventions. There were some amazing Kickstarter campaigns, new movement on electric cars, not to mention breakthroughs with 3-D printing.

And, according to astronaut Chris Hadfield, we have a lot to look forward to in 2015. But not all is sunshine and rainbows - there were some big oopses and failures, too.

Let’s have a little reality check here at the closing day of 2014, and look back on the biggest tech failures of the year. And there were so many. But right now, we’ll spotlight my top five.

5. Bitcoin

If you haven't heard of bitcoins yet, then I'll tell you this for sure: Stay away. Bitcoins are the all-new cryptocurrency that spent several years gaining momentum and made it big in 2014.

Of course, its good press was short-lived and since then it's been nothing but bad news. In fact, this year, bitcoins lost 56% of their value.

A lot of the bad press involved bitcoins being used by criminals to fund their illegal activities.

4. Amazon’s Fire Phone

The hype! In the end, it was clunky, heavy, gimmicky and just boring. Amazon slashed the price a few times to get rid of the phone - from the initial $449 to $199 - and still couldn't sell it.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2014, Amazon had a reported $83 million worth of Fire Phones sitting in the warehouse, collecting dust.

Amazon has done a lot of things right this year, but the Fire Phone wasn't one of them.

3. BlackBerry's tablet

Did you hear about BlackBerry's high-end smartphone attempt? It was called the Passport. Never seen one? You're not alone.

The reviews for the huge phone actually weren't too bad. People actually liked its physical keyboard, good battery life and user interface. But, it also got panned for being too large and very awkward to use. It also suffered from a lack of apps.

The Passport did OK initially, selling about 200,000 units out of the gate. But, it appears to have lost steam. Now, BlackBerry is trying to convince iPhone users to trade in their Apple phones with a "trade-up" offer that could be worth $550.

No thanks, BlackBerry, I'll stick with my iPhone.

2. Tie - Home Depot and Sony hacks

Home Depot and Sony tie in the list of data hacks, both in what was compromised and how their execs bungled the entire affair.

The Home Depot hack led to the unprecedented release of the payment information of 56 million customers. Even worse, the hack was a result of outdated POS systems in stores that should have been updated to protect customers. It allowed hackers to steal payment information from April to September. Many of the stolen credit card numbers found their way onto the black market.

The Sony hack was a complete embarrassment for a different reason. The company lost tons of information, including financial data, employee info, films and emails. The hackers then leaked some of those emails, which were full of embarrassing and sometimes racist remarks about celebrities - and even the president - made by Sony executives.

The hack also resulted in Sony bowing to terrorist demands and removing "The Interview" from theaters only to change its mind days later and release the film online and in some small chains. Meanwhile, the FBI and security researchers still can't agree on who was behind the attack.

1. Google Glass.

And topping the list is Google Glass. After all the hype, nobody – and I mean nobody - wants one. It's a cool concept that simply failed to take off because it's too expensive and not all that practical for consumers.

At $1,500, the item is a very big buy, especially since its features are limited and the battery life leaves a lot to be desired. It only has about 100 apps and developers just aren't interested in designing new ones. Twitter has already scrapped its Glass app and many other developers appear to be ready to do the same.

Need more proof that it's a total dud? You can find Google Glass models on eBay selling for half of what the gadget costs brand new.

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