Kanye West, President Obama and David Letterman grabbed headlines this year when they apologized for assorted ill-advised acts or rash statements. But they more than met their match in the high tech industry, where big names from Amazon to Apple to Microsoft were forced to issue mea culpas in the wake of bad and worse decisions. Here's a recap of what the tech industry has been most sorry about in 2009.
Amazon apologizes for Kindle book deletions
In what might have been the most blunt apology of the year, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos in July pleaded stupidity and thoughtlessness for his company's decision to delete copies of George Orwell's "1984" and other books from Kindle e-readers that Amazon had not gained permission to sell in the first place:
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This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.
With deep apology to our customers,
Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon.com
iPhone apology #1: Baby Shaker
Granted, Apple does have a lot of apps to keep track of in its App Store – the number was at 100,000 as of November -- but that didn't excuse it from letting the notorious "Baby Shaker" app onto its site in April. That app, if you don't recall, involved shaking the iPhone vigorously to get an on-screen baby to stop crying. And its existence in the App Store got brain injury activists on the case in a hurry. Apple yanked the app and issuing the following apology:
This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention.
A Web site bearing the name of Sikalosoft, the developer of the app, also contained an apology of sort, plus information about Shaken Baby Syndrome: