This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Technology: Unpredictable, Unreliable and Unforgiving

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- We've had a number of examples of technology mishaps that have wreaked havoc on investors, from network breakdowns to seemingly rogue trading algorithms -- the latest being from Knight Capital (KCG).

That "glitch" entered an erroneous trade last week that put the firm's survival in jeopardy by costing it more than $400 million on the balance sheet. It also forced the company into accepting "partners" under the worst of desperate situations.

Most know me as just shy of a total luddite who, for the record, made a very handsome living early in my career selling executives on the benefits of voice, video and data technology. However, I have come to see the downside of technology's transition from tool to master.

Consider the advancing psychology profession's acceptance of "Internet addiction." Even the current president of the U.S. admitted early on to his "CrackBerry" (BlackBerry) addiction. As an aside, consider the company value devastation that Research in Motion (RIMM) has experienced with its BlackBerry platform and network crashes over the past year.

We are becoming so reliant on being connected all the time, in every way possible, that people have two and three communication devices that they're constantly checking, especially if they don't ring or vibrate within fifteen minutes.

There is no relief in sight to being constantly connected to work and social media sites, and anticipating the next buzz for attention.

Technology has turned into the greatest ego-booster, prompting us to announce we have the latest and greatest upgrade that made obsolete the last product in four months time. We have become obsessed with the number of apps we have, many of which we rarely, if ever, use.

From the beginnings of our technological advances in manufacturing, we have embraced the replacement of human beings with automation. While machines may certainly appear cheaper in terms of benefits and they don't take sick days, clearly the machines have carried over their human creators' fallibility amid fatigue and what I'll call "oops factor." After all, it seems every time a machine fails, it's explained away as "operator error," "programming error" or "a glitch." Translation: "Oops!"

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,039.49 +60.36 0.36%
S&P 500 1,992.37 +5.86 0.30%
NASDAQ 4,532.1040 +5.6220 0.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs