The Golden Gobblers: Biggest tech turkeys of 2010

What do Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Eric Schmidt, and the National Pork Board have in common? They're all winners of Cringely's awards for achievements in turkeydom

Think of it as an appetizer before the big meal on Thursday. For the fourth year, I'm trotting out my nominations for the biggest turkeys of tech.

Last year's winners included Fox News' Glenn Beck, everyone's favorite skank gracefully aging cover model Liskula Cohen, Apple tablet fiends, and Mr. Crunchy himself, Michael Arrington. In the past I've honored such notables as rocker Axl Rose, Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang, escort-friendly AG Eliot Spitzer, and everybody's favorite capitalist-communist-tyrant-Facebook fanboy, Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao.

[ Get the spin on key tech news that you'll find nowhere else at InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

This year we've got another flock of flight-impaired game birds ready for plucking. Please greet the Golden Gobblers for 2010 (and pass the mashed potatoes):

Mark Zuckerberg. The world's sweatiest billionaire keeps telling us how much Facebook values its members' privacy, then proceeds to butter their personal information all over the InterWebs. Turns out that when Zuckerberg uses the word "value" he actually means "valuation" -- as in Facebook's mind-boggling $41 billion pre-IPO value, which is almost entirely dependent on its ability to slice and dice the data its members hand over for free. So yes, he absolutely values your privacy, as long as you don't try to have any.

Eric Schmidt. Because every time the Google CEO opens his mouth, he scares the children. People want Google to tell them where to go and what to do? If today's kids want to erase their Web histories they'll need to change their names? If we don't want people to know what we're doing online we probably shouldn't be doing it? "We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about." Yes, he said all that and more. Gobble gobble gobble.

Lower Merion School District officials. Did it never occur to any of these people that remotely turning on a Webcam in a teenager's bedroom might be a little beyond stupid, not to mention immoral, illegal, and just plain creepy? Shame on the geeks for not thinking, and shame on their managers for not knowing.

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