The biggest technological failures in 2021

The biggest technological failures in 2021

The drug, sold by Biogen, is an antibody that binds to brain plaques. Aduhelm failed in a large study in humans, which showed no concrete benefit for patients with brain disease. However, the company and the US Food and Drug Administration decided to move forward in June, due to the objections of the agency’s expert advisers. Several of them resigned. One, Aaron Kesselheim, called the episode “probably the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history.”

Yes, we need new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. But this approval marked a worrying trend toward drug approval using a weaker type of evidence known as “surrogate markers.” Because Aduhelm causes a measurable reduction in brain plaque – a marker of dementia – the FDA has concluded that there is a “reasonable likelihood” that this will benefit patients. One of the problems with such speculations is that no one knows whether these plaques cause the disease or are just among its symptoms.

Aduhelm, the first new cure for Alzheimer’s disease in 20 years, is already a fiasco. Few patients received it, Biogen sales were low, and at least one person died of brain swelling. Since the approval, the company has halved the price of the drug, and its head of research has suddenly resigned.

Read more:How the unproven cure for Alzheimer’s disease received approval, ”New York Times.

Zillow’s home buying algorithm

“Don’t inflate your own stocks” is a well-known business maxim. The real estate company Zillow did just that, with disastrous results.

The site of the real estate company is popular, as well as its computer-generated house values, known as “Zestimates”. The company’s mistake was to use its estimates to buy houses itself, an invisible view, to reverse them and collect transaction fees. Zillow soon learned that his algorithm did not accurately predict changes in apartment prices. And that was not the only problem.

Zillow competed with other digital providers, known as “iBuyers”. So he did what any home hunter would decide to do: he overpaid. To date, Zillow has listed hundreds of homes for less than its own purchase price. In November, the company closed its iBuying unit Zillow Offers, laid off 2,000 jobs and wrote off $ 500 million in what the Wall Street Journal called “one of the sharpest recent U.S. corporate withdrawals.”

Zillow will stick to its original job of selling ads to real estate brokers. His Zestimates still have a home on site.

Read more: What went wrong with Zillow? The real estate algorithm has thrown out a big bet, ” Wall Street Journal

Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that hijacks a company’s computer files by encrypting them. Criminals then ask for money to regain access. It’s a thriving business. Ransomware set a new record in 2021 with more than 500 million attacks, according to cyber security company SonicWall.



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