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CNET Top 5
Worst tech namesWhat were these companies thinking when they cursed their products with these names?
Let�s face it: Tech manufacturers make tech for a living. They do screens, OS, processors, buttons. Where they fall down too often is names, what they call their gear. I�m B.C. with the Top 5 Stupidest Names for Tech Products in recent memory, ranked in order of how much they made us cringe around the CNET offices. 5. A tie: Between two products that violate the first rule of reading the room socially: Never call yourself �cool� unless you rap for a living. But the Cool-er e-reader and the Cuilsearch engine missed that lesson. The Cool-er reader wasn�t. It was just a 2nd rate, half-baked, cut-priced rip of both the Kindle and the iPod, so has they called it the �unoriginal-er� it would have missed this list. Cuil was a search engine that claimed to do what Google does faster and better. The name was one of those we in the media biz say needs a pronouncer: Never go to market with that kind of name. Some saw �cool� as the founders intended, others saw �quill� which had *founding* fathers tonality to it, and I just saw Cull. Which is what happened to it. #4 is the Samsung Smiley, you know, smiley. They branded it with both the word and the emoticon. They tried to position it as the happy phone. Asking what about it will make you happy? You know what will make me happy? This thing going off the f*cking market. #3 is the Pentax *ist, pronounced �ist�, but with a leading asterisk in the structural form of a DOS wild card, cuz, that�s cool. The idea was sort of that �this is the DSLR for whatever your passions are� artist� botanist�naturist�or anesthesiologist which works because they put this line to sleep in late 2006. #2 is the Olympus m:robe. I actually forgot about this one, had to look it up. It was a line of portable audio and video players. The name was supposedly a contraction of Music WardROBE, which is idiotic. And it used proprietary file transfer software called m:trip which made Sony SonicStage look good. Olympus is blessedly out of the media player business now, but that unfortunately gives them more time to come up with unnerving stuff like this colonoscopy camera with an obscene flexible tip. Before we get to our #1 worst names tech product, a reminder: A bad name can�t keep a good product down: Remember the groaning when Steveo announced �iPad�? And we all had our jaws in our lap when Nintendo announced �Wii� And can there be a dorkier, geekier name than Android? �Danger Will Robinson� So, you see, Cool-er, you could have been a hit if you just hadn�t sucked. OK, the #1 worst tech name for a product, hands down, without any exception, is this media player: iBeat Blaxx. What? I mean, Sharpton�s on the phone just for me just *saying* it. Alright, in defense of maker TrekStore, they are a small company located in Lorsch, South Hessia, Germany, well known as the Silicon Valley of the former Third Reich. Anyway, from what I�ve seen they were genuinely horrified when someone who has actually heard English spoken explained to them what they just did. They fired their VP of Brand Development, David Duke, and soldiered on with a name change to the only moderately disturbing TrekStore Blaxx. For more Top 5�s like this one � well,none is quite like this one � got to Top5.cnet.com