Overheard: Word of the Day


December 20, 2007  9:53 PM

Who’s sorry now? Sony

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
sony_games.jpg Sony spent a fair amount of apologizing for their games this year.

First there was the God of War II press party where topless women and a dead goat centerpiece got more press than the game did.

“It has come to our attention that at the God Of War II launch showcase, an element of the event was of an unsuitable nature. We recognize that the use of a dead goat was in poor taste and fell below the high standards of conduct we set ourselves. God of War II. Sony does not condone or sanction any inappropriate behaviour by its staff or sub-contracted staff.”

They also had to apologize to the Church of England for using Manchester Cathedral as a backdrop for the game Resistance: Fall of Man.

“It was not our intention to cause offense by using a representation of Manchester Cathedral in chapter eight of the work. If we have done so, we sincerely apologize.”

December 20, 2007  9:49 PM

Who’s sorry now? David Maynor

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
david_maynor.gif David Maynor, the hacker who unveiled a security hole in the Mac OS X 10.4.6 operating system last summer apologized for not disclosing the vulnerabilities to Apple before his public demonstration at the Black Hat conference.

“I made mistakes, I screwed up. I probably shouldn’t have done that demo. I probably shouldn’t have talked to a reporter about it before the information was made available. There are a lot of things you can blame me for. I was wrong. At the same time, I also didn’t try to assassinate Apple.”


December 20, 2007  9:43 PM

Who’s sorry now? Steve Jobs

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
steve_jobs.jpg Steve Jobs apologized  for alienating early adopters.

When the price of the iPhone was slashed $200 in September, Apple support forums were flooded with hate mail from customers who had paid full price.

“We need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. We apologize for disappointing some of you.”


December 20, 2007  9:36 PM

Who’s sorry now? Microsoft

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
barrygoffe.jpg No, they haven’t apologized for Vista — yet.

But Barry Goffe, Director Windows Vista Ultimate, did apologize for not delivering the remaining Extras.

“We want to let our Windows Vista Ultimate customers know that we are actively working to deliver the remaining Extras that we identified in January. Our goal is to provide the highest-quality, most secure and reliable offerings, and as a result we are continuing our work on these offerings. We apologize for taking so long to provide a status update to customers.”

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December 20, 2007  9:32 PM

Who’s sorry now? AMD

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
hector_ruiz.gif AMD apologized for its 2007 performance at its annual Financial Analyst Day this year.

Even CEO Hector Ruiz acknowledged the difficulties AMD is currently experiencing, apologized and pledged that 2008 would be different.


December 20, 2007  9:18 PM

Who’s sorry now? Steve Rubel

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
steve-rubel.jpg After announcing to the world through Twitter that he gets a free subscription to PC Magazine but throws it in the trash, Steve Rubel posted an open letter on his Web site.

The letter was addressed to Jim Louderback, Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine, and any of the several hundred employees who work for Ziff Davis Media.

“I apologize if you and the editorial team at Ziff Davis took offense to my post. I look forward to meeting you one day for a drink to discuss [this] the next time we’re on the same coast.”


December 20, 2007  9:13 PM

Who’s sorry now? Michael Callahan

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
michael_callahan.gif Michael Callahan, executive vice president and general counsel at Yahoo, apologized for failing to inform the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the circumstances under which Yahoo gave the Chinese government information about one of its users.

The user happened to be Chinese journalist Shi Tao.

Tao was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for divulging state secrets.


December 20, 2007  9:07 PM

Who’s sorry now? Facebook

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
steve-webb.gif  

Facebook apologized for suspending Steve Webb from their social networking site.

Webb, a British member of Parliament known for his interest in technology, received a letter from Facebook reps saying: “I’m very sorry for the confusion here. We received a report that indicated that this was an imposter account, but after further investigation, it is obviously real.”


December 20, 2007  8:46 PM

Who’s sorry now? Intel

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
intel-ad.gif Intel apologized for a print advertisement that was widely criticised as being racist. The ad could be slammed for being sexist too, but nobody seemed to be bothered by that particular bit of political incorrectness.

“We made a bad mistake. I know why and how, but that simply doesn’t make it better.The intent behind our ad campaign “Multiply Computing Performance and Maximize the Power of Your Employees” was to convey the performance capabilities of our processors through a number of visual metaphors. Unfortunately, while we have used a visual of sprinters in the past appropriately, this ad of using African-American sprinters did not deliver our intended message and in fact proved to be culturally insensitive and insulting.”

Here’s a larger version of the ad.


December 20, 2007  8:43 PM

Who’s sorry now? The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
cibc.gif The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce issued several apologies this year.

  • They experienced technical difficulties that caused inaccurate account balances
  • They accidently provided inaccurate information that caused the Canada Revenue Agency to bill customers incorrectly
  • They sent confidential faxes by mistake to a U.S. junkyard and a Montreal shopping-cart company
  • They had one of its automatic bank machines issue Canadian Tire money instead of legal tender.


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