13 June, 2016

A Bug and a Crash by James Gleick

A Bug and a Crash by James Gleick: "  "The board wishes to point out," they added, with the magnificent blandness of many official accident reports, "that software is an expression of a highly detailed design and does not fail in the same sense as a mechanical system." No. It fails in a different sense. Software built up over years from millions of lines of code, branching and unfolding and intertwining, comes to behave more like an organism than a machine.
   "There is no life today without software," says Frank Lanza, an executive vice president of the American rocket maker Lockheed Martin. "The world would probably just collapse." Fortunately, he points out, really important software has a reliability of 99.9999999 percent. At least, until it doesn't."

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