Tech companies had lots to be sorry for in 2009

Here's a recap of the big names from Amazon to Apple to Microsoft who were forced to issue mea culpas in the wake of bad and worse decisions

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The only thing I can offer as an explanation is that emotions wind up getting very high on a show like this. I was around some swarming emotions yesterday. Now I feel like a heel who stuck his shoe in his mouth, no puns intended. I have done it before and been on the other end of it as well, and it's not nice either way.

My last hope is that you can see inside of me and know that I am telling the truth from the bottom of my heart, and forgive the loudmouth emotional notes I wrote earlier.

I'm on to have fun with the show now, and you may see me dance in minutes.

regards, Woz

Google apologizes again and again and…

Google has so many darn services these days that it seems the company is always apologizing for some outage or other, but as some point out, it's not so bad when you consider so much of the stuff is free. Gmail, Google News and Google Docs all got users up in arms at one point or another this year because of outages, and Google kept apologizing. One example, from the Gmail blog on Feb. 24:

The Gmail outage that affected many consumers and Google Apps users worldwide is now over. Users should find that they’re able to access their email now without any further problems.

Before you can access your Gmail, you may be asked to fill in what's called a 'CAPTCHA' which asks you to type in a word or some letters before you can proceed. This is perfectly normal when you repeatedly request access to your e-mail account, so please do go through the extra step -– it's just to verify you are who you say you are.

The outage itself lasted approximately two and a half hours from 9.30 a.m. GMT. We know that for many of you this disrupted your working day. We're really sorry about this, and we did do everything to restore access as soon as we could. Our priority was to get you back up and running. Our engineers are still investigating the root cause of the problem.

Obviously we're never happy when outages occur, but we would like to stress that this is an unusual occurrence. We know how important Gmail is to you, and how much people rely on the service.

Thanks again for bearing with us.

Posted by Acacio Cruz, Gmail Site Reliability Manager

Hotel comes clean

Data breach apologies are tricky. Companies might want to share their regrets, but lawyers might instruct them otherwise. Regardless, many organizations are forced by law to at least acknowledge leaks and some, such as Radisson Hotels & Resorts, do issue honest to goodness apologies:

OPEN LETTER TO RADISSON® GUESTSAugust 19, 2009To Radisson® Hotels & Resorts guests:Radisson values your business and respects the privacy of your information, which is why we wish to inform you that between November 2008 and May 2009, the computer systems of some Radisson® hotels in the U.S. and Canada were accessed without authorization. This unauthorized access was in violation of both civil and criminal laws. Radisson has been coordinating with federal law enforcement to assist in the investigation of this incident. While the number of potentially affected hotels involved in this incident is limited, the data accessed may have included guest information such as the name printed on a guest's credit card or debit card, a credit or debit card number, and/or a card expiration date.We recommend that you review your account statements and credit reports closely. To the extent there is any suspected unauthorized card activity, it should be reported to the bank that issued your credit card, as well as proper law enforcement authorities, your state attorney general's office, or the Federal Trade Commission. Please also visit our website for instructions on how to receive free credit monitoring for one year.Radisson values guest privacy and deeply regrets this incident occurred. Working with law enforcement and forensic investigators, Radisson is conducting a thorough review of the potentially affected computer systems, and has implemented additional security measures designed to prevent a recurrence of such an attack and to protect the privacy of Radisson's valued guests. The company also is working closely with major credit card suppliers and law enforcement to ensure the incident is properly addressed.For further assistance regarding this incident, please visit Radisson at or call (866) 584-9255 between 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. CST daily. Radisson is focused on delivering guest satisfaction and value for our guests and is committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue expediently and thoroughly to reinforce your confidence.Sincerely,Fredrik KorallusExecutive Vice President & Chief Operating OfficerRadisson® Hotels & Resorts

This story, "Tech companies had lots to be sorry for in 2009" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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