15 top quotes of 2011

On Facebook's lack of security, false clouds, classless outbursts, and Steve Jobs' life and death

As another year draws to a close, we look back on the IT-related comments that stuck with us.

'That day has come'

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"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

-- Steve Jobs in an Aug. 24 resignation letter to Apple employees.

And that one thing is ...

"We're focused on doing one thing incredibly well. If you look at other companies, all of these companies are doing a lot of different things but we're still, as we grow, doing exactly one thing," she said.

-- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, during an interview with Charlie Rose that CEO Mark Zuckerberg also participated in.

... not security

"If that doesn't prove that [Facebook's] developers aren't thinking about security, I don't know what would."

-- An observer posting on Hacker News after Zuckerberg's personal photos were publicly revealed when a security flaw was exploited. Either Zuckerberg doesn't post his best photos at Facebook or the guy lives an incredibly boring life, playing with his dog and eating too much fried food.

Benioff vs. Ellison, Part 1

"Beware of the false cloud."

-- Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff in one of many tweets after Oracle dared to move a Benioff speech at OracleWorld. Benioff claimed his speech had been canceled, and given that he'd just publicly jabbed Oracle and CEO Larry Ellison, that claim could be viewed as justified. But Benioff, as he tends to do, went on too long about it.

Benioff vs. Ellison, Part 2

"That is such good advice, I could not have said it better myself."

-- Ellison, in an Oct. 6 speech at OracleWorld, where he also called Salesforce.com's flagship product "the roach motel" of the cloud. "You can check in, but you can't check out ... now that is a false cloud."

IT psychology 101

"I don't mean to be Dr. Phil here, but to get out of a contract you need to be ready to leave."

-- Constellation Research CEO Ray Wang in "10 ways to beat SAP at the bargaining table."

Tricks of the trade

"You can never say all the tricks have been done. Someone always shows you something you didn't know. Every year you think, 'Gee, I didn't think you could do that.'"

-- Landon Curt Noll, a founder of the International Obfuscated C Code Contest, upon the return of the competition, in an interview in which he did not define what makes for obfuscated code. "It's like porn," he said. "You know it when you see it."

'They all suck'

"What we've actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome ... We've been over a hundred of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java."

-- Google engineer Tim Lindholm in an August 2010 email that came to play a central role in Oracle's lawsuit alleging that the Android OS violates Java patents Oracle acquired with Sun Microsystems.

"That's a pretty good document for you. That ought to be big for you at trial."

-- Judge William Alsup, to Oracle's lawyers, in reference to Lindholm's email.

Class acts

"I thought you were classier."

-- In an incendiary interview after Yahoo fired her, Carol Bartz told Fortune magazine that is what she said to Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock when she called him six minutes later than scheduled and he launched into a prepared legal statement dismissing her (though not because she failed to call on time). "I said, 'Roy, I think that's a script ... Why don't you have the balls to tell me yourself?'" she also recalled in the Fortune interview, during which she referred to the board as "doofuses." They "f---ed me over," she said of the board.

Another Sony breach

"Well, you guys were idiots for making it happen. At the same time, I hope it never happens to me."

-- Gregory Wellman, CIO at network support company Technocosm, based in Toronto, and a victim of the hacker Idach, who broke into Sony's website and stole the information of about 2,000 customers.

Wiped from the map

"This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government's actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map."

-- Internet monitoring firm Renesys when the Egyptian government severed Internet access as protesters clashed with police.

Paranoia strikes deep

"The device many of us carry in our pockets has, simply put, been turned into a virtual spy phone."

-- John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director, said in an email the day his organization called for the U.S. government to investigate Carrier IQ, maker of tracking software for mobile phones.

No uncertain terms

"The record clearly shows that -- in no uncertain terms -- this merger would result in a massive loss of U.S. jobs and investment."

-- An official with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission the day the FCC declared AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA not in the public interest.

Ballmer hopes

"We've gone from very small to very small but it's been a heck of a year. You're going to see a lot of progress in that market."

-- Steve Ballmer, referring to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 during a speech at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference.

A kind, good friend

"Steve was clearly the most outstanding business thinker.... He gets a reputation for being a strong leader and for being brash, but to me he was always just so kind and such a good friend."

-- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, on the death of Steve Jobs.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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