Here at TNW every day is a present, so it’s always our birthday. But we accept that the world can be a bit of a bummer for anybody else. After all, we write about the dark base of science and technology: Elon Musk.

Kidding, absolutely there’s a lot more wrong with science and tech than just Musk’s affection for accusing random cave divers of pedophilia. Or his Trumpian war adjoin the boilerplate media. Or his insane tweet declaring that Tesla would go public. Or him throwing his debris into space.

If you anticipation I was going to bring up Musk smoker pot on a podcast: don’t be ridiculous. That was one of the only normal things he did all year — in fact we think more tech CEOs should imbibe.

Also, Musk was in California, where such activities are altogether legal. What wasn’t normal was NASA afraid its nose into his business over it. Poor play, NASA.

And Musk absolutely wasn’t the only big tech CEO who was out of control. Mark Zuckerberg spent the year apologizing, aloof about his account habits, and basically axis Facebook into an evil empire worthy of acclaim from Skeletor and Phillip Morris.

Jack Dorsey at Twitter came under fire this year, as did Jeff Bezos. But of all the big tech CEOs, Google’s Sundar Pichai may have taken the rotten cake this year.

I’m not even sure to begin, but here’s a few links to explain just some of what’s gone wrong in Android-ville.

  • Google’s CEO is going to Washington DC – He should stay there
  • Google advisers quit over the company’s aggressive AI project
  • Congress is fed up with Google after it hid major bug for months
  • Google just turned 20 — time for it to grow up

It wasn’t just big tech that went off the rails in 2018. Science and academia also went a bit nuts. And, of course, US politicians were even worse in the year net neutrality clearly died.

But science first (because it should know better). We expect nonsense from big tech. But cheating on white papers? Hiding analysis behind a paywall? Systemic misogyny and sexual harassment? Ridiculous.

And, speaking of bad science, there were enough experts penning accessories declaring breakthrough accretion a blocked to make us all wonder if there was some sort of a troll-war going on in the world of physics.

We remind those naysayers of the abiding words of IBM‘s Watson. No not the AI, former aggregation admiral Thomas Watson who, in 1943, said:

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

But, where science experts are advantaged to their opinions, and deserve to be admired for accidental to the debate, a number of US politicians just spent 2018 proving they were ignorant, corrupt, or both when it came to affairs apropos technology and science.

There were also some engineering downfalls in 2018, including one in accurate which deserves advertence again. Tesla’s continuing use of the term Autopilot for its cars assisted-driving affection may not be new – it’s still black – but it this year it aggressive a truly evil product: Autopilot Buddy.

It’s a device you place on your Tesla’s council wheel so that the car thinks your hands are on the wheel, about disabling the admonishing system advised to anticipate people from using Autopilot as – well, as an autopilot. Because it’s not. It’s an assisted-driving system that’s only safe to use if the human driver is affianced and able to take over at a split-second’s notice.

Considering that at least two people have died as a result of misusing Tesla’s Autopilot system by blank warnings to put their hands back on the council wheel, it seems amiss to market a artefact that overrides that admonishing system.

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