Top 12 tech embarrassments of 2010

The year in tech had plenty of highs -- and plenty of lows. Here are 12 mortifying moments we won't soon forget.

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3. Most embarrassing use of Photoshop

And the winner is: BP

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When a company causes the world's worst accidental oil spill, you'd think it'd be tough for its reputation to sink any lower. In the midst of this summer's Gulf Coast disaster, though, BP managed to make itself even more loathsome.

While millions of gallons of oil gushed into the ocean, BP focused on rebuilding its image online. It created a website showing photos from its cleanup and containment efforts. Lovely, right? Not exactly: Some of the photos were doctored -- quite poorly, I might add -- with Photoshop.

The changes were relatively minor, but they were enough to further erode the public's trust in a company already at the bottom of the barrel. BP eventually owned up to the embarrassment, but -- much like with that little whoopsie in the Gulf -- the damage was already done.

4. Most embarrassing offline appearance

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And the winner is: Mark Zuckerberg

He may be Time's "Person of the Year," but 2010 wasn't all smooth sailing for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. There was the seemingly endless string of privacy problems, a major motion picture about the controversy surrounding his company, and -- my personal favorite -- a public appearance so awkward it made Michael Cera look like a smooth-talking stud.

The ill-fated appearance occurred at the D8 Conference, hosted by tech site All Things Digital in August. During a special panel, Zuckerberg sat down for some Q&A with All Things D's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. The only thing more painful than Zuck's rambling, noncommittal answers were the puddles of sweat rapidly forming at his feet.

The unforgettable moment came when Swisher, noticing her subject's overheating, suggested he take off his trademark hoodie. After boldly stating that he never takes off the hoodie -- how dare you, ye garment-pilfering blasphemer! -- Zuck peeled off the sweat-soaked garment and revealed a strange-looking insignia in its lining.

Swisher's response set the tone for the world's reaction. Her words: "What are you, in some kind of cult?"

Altogether, I suspect this made for one moment Zuckerberg did not "like."

Next page: Most embarrassing overreaction

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