Three weeks after it opened, HealthCare.gov — where millions of people are supposed to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act — remains plagued by problems. President Obama has said his administration is doing "everything we can possibly do" to get things fixed. The debacle is just one of many high-tech blunders over the years. Here are just a few:
Dec. 31, 1999
Despite cries of a digital apocalypse, no such thing happened as the computer world entered the year 2000. Billions upon billions of dollars were spent, and retired programmers were hauled in to address the Millennium bug, but few things were awry, resulting in a Chicken Little-like scene.
Shortly before iPhone debuted in 2007, Microsoft introduced Vista, an operating system packed with security and other bells and whistles. But the timing coincided with a rise in the smartphone, and Vista was dinged for being slow because of bloated features. Plus, Microsoft users were fine with XP, a predecessor of Vista.
Yahoo rejects Microsoft bid
In 2008, Yahoo said Microsoft's $44.6 billion takeover offer "substantially undervalues" the Internet icon, and decided to go it alone. While it didn't involve technology, the decision is considered among the worst in Silicon Valley history, accelerating a downturn in Yahoo's fortunes and leading to a dizzying six company CEOs over the past several years.
United, Continental merge computer systems
March and August 2012
United Airlines had problems with its reservations system in early March after it switched to Continental's computer system as the two airlines merged operations. Passengers complained as United struggled for several days to fix problems. In late August, the airline's computer system and website went down causing problems with reservations, ticketing and check-ins.
Some consider the wrong-way directions from Apple Maps last year as the biggest failure in the company's storied history. The problems led to executive firings and helped solidify Google Maps as the go-to app for navigating.
Hewlett-Packard's whopping $8.8 billion write-off in its fourth quarter of enterprise information-technology company Autonomy, amid accusations of accounting regularities, was both a financial and public-relations black eye. It came on the heels of an $8 billion charge in August for another HP acquisition, Electronic Data Systems, complicating the turnaround plans of HP CEO Meg Whitman.
American flights held for 2 hours
A computer glitch led American Airlines to hold all flights on the ground due to occasional outages in its computer system. American and regional carrier American Eagle canceled 670 flights. The number of cancellations, while significant, was a fraction of the airline's 3,400 flights.
Nasdaq goes dark
A major trading glitch knocked out the Nasdaq Stock Market for about three hours Aug. 22. Despite that, all three major U.S. stock indexes finished up that day. The fact that the Dow didn't plunge 1,000 points as it did during the "Flash Crash" in May 2010, coupled with the fact that the glitch appeared to be technical in nature and not cyberwarfare, produced a ho-hum reaction.