What's In A Name? The Apple iPad And 15 Other Poorly Named Tech Products

The jury is still out on the Apple iPad and whether it will shake up the market and create a new form factor between the smartphone and the notebook. One thing many pundits and casual observers agree upon, however, is the name. The Apple iPad was an unfortunate choice. From an old "MadTV" skit with a product of the same name to other comparisons that really have no place in a high-tech conversation, the iPad's name is just plain bad.

The iPad's misguided moniker got us thinking: The iPad isn't the first and surely won't be the last poorly named product foisted upon the technology hungry masses. We've combed the depths and compiled 15 products that were plagued by preposterous names. Some of them were successful; others quickly went bust. Some made us chuckle like children; others made us hang our heads and wonder, "What were they thinking?"

These poorly named products span the industry from consumer gadgets to business software. There's something for everyone. Sit back and enjoy. Maybe you'll realize that the Apple iPad isn't such a horrible handle after all.

Rising from the ashes of Michael Arrington's ill-fated CrunchPad project, Fusion Garage is working to release the JooJoo, a new tablet PC where "the Internet is the application." Unfortunately for the JooJoo, its name is just as bad as its history. While the JooJoo has been plagued by starts and stops, lawsuits and investor pullouts, it's its name that's a real problem. While CrunchPad wasn't easy on the ears, JooJoo isn't any better. It conjures up images of the filling-ripping Jujubes candy. Fusion Garage says the name is based on the African world "JouJou," which means magical device. Either way, the JooJoo is going to duke it out with the iPad for the honor of most poorly named tablet.

Asus rolled out its line of Eee PCs, a line of small notebooks, netbooks and tablets that derives its name from what Asus calls the three Es: Easy to learn, easy to work and easy to play. There's no two ways around it, it's a silly name. It brings to mind monkey calls of "e-e-e."

Microsoft's Bob software, which was released in 1995, was a flop. Essentially, Bob was a nontechnical interface to desktop computing operations for Windows 3.1x and Windows 95. Bob was supposed to be an interface for regular folks, supplementing the Program Manager. It didn't take, despite Microsoft's massive campaign. Users just weren't ready to plunk down $100 for Bob. Microsoft quickly killed Bob. We can't help but wonder if it was the name that ultimately did Bob in.

Luckily for Nintendo, gamers were forgiving of the silly name given to the Nintendo Wii. Despite its childish moniker, which some can use as a play on bathroom humor, the Wii has been wildly successful. Nintendo has given various reasons for calling it Wii, the most plausible being that it sounds like "we" and is a console for everyone. It's also said the when Wii is spelled out, the pairing of the letter "i" resembles two people standing side by side. Either way, Wii got panned for its name, prompting many gamers to wish Nintendo had just stuck with the Wii's original handle: The Nintendo Revolution.

3Com had good intentions when it named its Internet appliance the Audrey after Audrey Hepburn. Heck, 3Com had good intentions while developing the Audrey under the code name Kojak, Telly Savalas' famed TV character. Still, the ill-fated Audrey lasted less than a year. The Audrey appliance was basically a television with a keyboard used to access the Internet, e-mail and calendar applications. The idea was a bust, but we can't help but wonder if the 3Com Audrey would've taken off had it not sounded like a female robot and sounded more like an actual Internet appliance.

Laptop screen and keyboard protectors are no laughing matter, but with a name like LappyMats, we can't help but chuckle a little bit. There are many potential alternate meanings that can be read into LappyMats. We'll let you think of those on your own.

Nope, this isn't a steamy e-mail sent to you by an old college buddy. Email Stripper is an actual product. Well, it's freeware, but still. Email Stripper is a downloadable application that strips unnecessary characters out of e-mails.

"Maybe the dingoo ate your baby." That's all we can think of when it comes to the Dingoo A320, a handheld gaming machine that also plays music and offers open game development. Released last year and available in black and white, the Dingoo is made by Shenzhen Dingoo Digital. The Dingoo is seen as China's oddly named answer to the PSP.

Doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it? Say it five times fast. Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram ... Give up yet?

Wolfram Alpha is an "answer engine." Essentially, it's an Internet service that answers queries by computing the answers from structured data, where search engines provide documents and Web pages that may contain the answer. Wolfram Alpha gets its name from creator Stephen Wolfram, who unveiled it in March 2009. Despite its unfortunate name, Wolfram Alpha has received plenty of accolades, being voted the greatest computer innovation of 2009 by Popular Science.

This is just gibberish, right? Zonbu Zonbox? Nope, the Zonbu Zonbox is no joke. It's a green machine. The zero-emission computer has received accolades for its environmental friendliness. The Zonbox (now more commonly referred to as the Zonbu Mini PC or Desktop Mini) is a pint-size Linux-based desktop PC with its own auto-updating OS and applications. It uses about 10 percent of the power of an average desktop and does so on the cheap. The best part is Zonbu will take old Zonboxes and recycle them. Now if they could only recycle that name.

Well be still my heart! It's the Tonium Pacemaker. No, the Tonium Pacemaker isn't a device to give your heart a jolt, despite what its name implies. Instead, it's a portable DJ system that lets users mix, play and perform anywhere at any time. Basically, the Pacemaker ties in all of the functionality of a professional DJ setup. Users can make mixes, save them to the hard drive and upload them to the Web to be edited. So instead of ensuring your heart beats, the Tonium Pacemaker ensures you can make beats.

This free photo editing software (which is now known as Splashup) promises PhotoShop-like editing. Fauxto is supposed to be said like "photo" -- at least we think so, because we have no idea what "fox-two," "foe-to," "fousto" or "faux-to" has to do with photography. Luckily, Splashup is better.

Designed for senior citizens and others seeking a simple-to-use cell phone with giant buttons at an affordable price, Jitterbug is keeping people connected and is a great tool to have in case of an emergency. It's the second part of the name that gets us. Device manufacturers, especially those making cell phones, should probably stay away from using the word "bug" in their product names. That goes double if those devices were created to be used in emergency situations.

Hewlett-Packard's return to the U.S. smartphone market late last year yielded a device which, by many accounts, is a force to be reckoned with. The 3G Windows Mobile-based device has it all. Yeah, it's a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. But people likely won't pay. Why? The name. HP called the smartphone the iPAQ Glisten. Like the glistening of morning dew or sprinkles of moisture, whatever. It's quite a peaceful vision, but does anyone want a smartphone that glistens? If your smartphone is moist, it's probably time to replace it.

Google is the granddaddy of all poorly named products, yet the term "Google" has worked its way into our lexicon like no other tech product has. It's a noun, it's a verb, heck, it can be an adjective if you want it to be. Google is said to have originated from the word googolplex, or googol, which refers to the number 1 with 100 zeros after it. Legend has it Google's founders went to search the availability of "googol.com" and due to a typo searched "google.com," which was available and registered hours later. And while Google is a pretty unfortunate name, it could've been worse. Google's creators could have stuck with their original search engine moniker: "BackRub." Imagine, we'd be "BackRubbing" ourselves and others to find information.