Top Tech Quotes of 2011

From high-profile product releases, security breaches and the death of a tech legend, 2011 was a big year for the industry. As another year draws to a close, we look back on the IT-related comments that stuck with us.

By Nancy Weil, IDG News Service

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  • ‘That day has come’

    “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.

    Read more: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO; Tim Cook takes over
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  • 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.

    Read more: SMBs don’t have time, money for social media

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  • … 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.

    Read more: Security measures launched after attack on Zuckerberg’s Facebook fan page

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  • Benioff vs. Ellison, Part 1

    “Beware of the false cloud.”

    — 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.

    Read more: Cloud computing disrupts the vendor landscape

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  • 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’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.”

    Read more: Oracle Solaris goes to 11

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  • ‘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.

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  • 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.

    Read more: Report: Yahoo board not focused on finding new CEO for now

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  • 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 information of about 2,000 customers.

    Read more: PSN breach: Sony’s security approach ‘outdated’, experts say

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  • Heading

    “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.

    Read more: Why it’s not too late for Windows Phone 7

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  • 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

    Read more: Apple Canada’s channel reacts to the death of Steve Jobs

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