Stupid Technology Tricks of 2003

From spyware to activation, there were plenty of stupid tech tricks in '03.

DMCA Misuse
A number of organizations this year invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—written to stave off Internet piracy—in an attempt to limit their competition. Whether theyll succeed remains to be seen.

Product Activation
In 2003, many software vendors introduced product activation schemes that inconvenienced and annoyed customers by working only some of the time and almost always failing to stop piracy.

Microsoft Patching the Patches
In Microsofts zeal to fix new vulnerabilities, initial patches often provided, er, less-than-optimal results. End result? Another patch.

SCO Lawsuit
Thrashing about like a bull in a china shop of intellectual property practice and precedent, The SCO Groups unsupported threats against Linux developers and users did all of IT a grave disservice.

Rise of Spyware
Spyware rounded the corner from mild annoyance to major grievance in 2003. As a result, Ad-aware, Hijack This and Spycop became part of the IT toolbox as techs wrestled the beast.

Next page: More things wed like to see less of in 2004