Top 7 Tech Turkeys of 2007


Top 7 Turkeys

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is about turkey, football, lounging around the house, and dealing with people we’d rather not see but once a year.  But it’s still all about the turkey, which reminds us of some of the real Turkeys we’ve seen in the technology and gaming industry.

You know what a Turkey is.  You’re all excited about it.  You can smell it in the air; it gives you a big craving.  The anticipation is overwhelming and you can’t wait to get your hands on it… and then and then it ends up putting you to sleep.

The same thing goes for Tech Turkeys.  They are the products that may have been hyped as the next big thing, but in the end put many of us to sleep.  We now present to you [OC]ModShop’s Top 7 Technology Turkeys of 2007.

7. DDR3

In electronic engineering, DDR3 SDRAM or double-data-rate three synchronous dynamic random access memory is a random access memory technology used for high speed storage of the working data of a computer or other digital electronic devices.

Its primary benefit is the ability to run its I/O bus at four times the speed of the memory cells it contains, thus enabling faster bus speeds and higher peak throughputs than earlier technologies. This is achieved at the cost of higher latency. Also, the DDR3 standard allows for chip capacities of 512 mebibit to 8 gibibit, effectively enabling memory modules of maximum 16 gibibyte in size.

DDR3 also has an improvement over DDR2 in its power consumption (a reduction of 30%), but since it runs at higher frequencies, it often runs hotter than DDR2, which is why heatspreaders are required in the DDR3 specification. The main benefit of DDR3 comes from the higher bandwidth made possible by DDR3’s 8 bit deep prefetch buffer, whereas DDR2’s is 4 bits, and DDR’s is 2 bits deep. The latency of DDR3 modules is commonly much higher than DDR2, and is currently way more expensive.

I’m all for the evolution of new technology, but if you don’t let the consumers catch their breath then they’re going to get pissed off.  The industry may want us to move to DDR3, but many of us just got used to DDR2.  It is too soon, and DDR3 is currently too expensive.  To paraphrase Hamlet: The same meat used for the funeral also sets the wedding table.

6. Apple’s iPhone

The iPhone is a multimedia and Internet-enabled quad-band GSM EDGE-supported mobile phone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It has a multi-touch screen with virtual keyboard and buttons. The iPhone’s functions include those of a camera phone and a portable media player, in addition to text messaging and visual voicemail. It also offers Internet services including e-mail, web browsing, and local Wi-Fi connectivity.

The iPhone is a hybrid PIM / cell phone / MP3 player… it packages all of these things into one device but is lacking in a key area in each category.

  1. As an MP3 player it is extremely expensive, and has a maximum 8GB capacity. Those with 80GB iPods won’t be replacing them with an iPhone.
  2. As a phone it works great, and the integration with the OS is brilliant.  However, 6 to 8 hours of battery life for a cell phone is unacceptable by any other standard.
  3. As a PIM it is ok, but consumers are very limited with the number of software choices.

Consumers don’t like being told what to do, and it was only a (short) matter of time before someone “unlocked” the iPhone to work with any cell carrier (originally designed to work with AT&T’s network).  There are a few limitations to using a hacked iPhone, but is overall very usable.

iPhone fanboys may disagree with its placement on our Turkey list.  The reality is that for most consumers the device isn’t the killer product that Steve Jobs promised it would be.  The iPhone received alot of hype but in the end doesn’t really excite us.