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Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 812
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 3:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A bug in a computer program almost caused businesses across the United States to spend millions, if not billions, of dollars unnecessarily. However, very few of the companies affected would have used the buggy program themselves or had any business relationship with anyone who used the buggy program. What happened?
Markobr (Markobr)
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Post Number: 150
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 9:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did businesses outside the USA also spend money because of the bug? Did certain fields of business tend to spend more than others? Did also households spend money because of the bug? Government or other public agencies?

Did they spend money for buying some tangible goods? Buying something intangible (like licences)? For inspecting or repairing something? For other services? For taxes? For damages?

Did those few businesses which used the program spend mony unnecessarily, too? Are the few businesses which used the program mostly in a certain field of business?

Was the program intended to be mainly used by businesses? Was it originally intended to be used by more businesses than those who in fact used it?
Indianforce (Indianforce)
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Post Number: 69
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 9:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just a WILD guess - is it the MS Word bug where you type '=rand(*some number*, *some number*)'and get pages and pages of useless text?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Post Number: 813
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Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just to clarify, the unnecessary spending never actually happened, because the bug was discovered and corrected in time. The answers to the below questions are what would have happend had the bug not been corrected.

Did businesses outside the USA also spend money because of the bug? Probably not Did certain fields of business tend to spend more than others? Yes Did also households spend money because of the bug? Unlikely Government or other public agencies? Yes

Did they spend money for buying some tangible goods? Yes Buying something intangible (like licences)? Possibly For inspecting or repairing something? Yes For other services? <b>Not likely<b> For taxes? No For damages? Possibly

Did those few businesses which used the program spend mony unnecessarily, too? FA Are the few businesses which used the program mostly in a certain field of business? Yes, and FA

Was the program intended to be mainly used by businesses? Yes, for svv of "business" Was it originally intended to be used by more businesses than those who in fact used it? No
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 814
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just a WILD guess - is it the MS Word bug where you type '=rand(*some number*, *some number*)'and get pages and pages of useless text? I have never heard of this bug. So no.
Rcs (Rcs)
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Post Number: 447
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Saturday, July 04, 2009 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Y2K relevant? True story?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 815
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 4:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Y2K relevant? No True story? Yes (as far as I know)
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 300
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 - 7:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did only one business use the program? The government? Some not-for-profit organization? Some website?

Did the bug cause a mistake to appear in some text? Which people in the businesses then read? Were they spending money because something appeared to be broken? Or missing?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 816
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 3:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did only one business use the program? Yes The government? No Some not-for-profit organization? Yes (and this was the one "business", hence the svv of business Some website? No

Did the bug cause a mistake to appear in some text? No Which people in the businesses then read? No Were they spending money because something appeared to be broken? No Or missing? Yes, for svv of "missing"
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 365
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were the businesses wasting money by donating it to this not-for-profit? Were they spending it making consumer products? Were they spending it on their own infrastrucute? On the buildings they were located in?

Relevant what the not-for-profit does? Is it a news service of some kind? Does it produce a tool for businesses? Information for businesses?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 841
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 4:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were the businesses wasting money by donating it to this not-for-profit? No Were they spending it making consumer products? No Were they spending it on their own infrastructure? Yes On the buildings they were located in? Yes

Relevant what the not-for-profit does? Yes Is it a news service of some kind? No Does it produce a tool for businesses? No Information for businesses? Yope
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 390
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 7:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For the yope...Does the not-for-profit just produce information in general? Or does it produce something for businesses, but not exactly information? Does it perform scientific experiments? Safety tests? Publish reports?

Did the bug cause it to publish something that was incorrect? Or to not get out certain information at all?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 848
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 10:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For the yope...Does the not-for-profit just produce information in general? See below Or does it produce something for businesses, but not exactly information? See below Does it perform scientific experiments? Yes Safety tests? Yes Publish reports? Yes

Did the bug cause it to publish something that was incorrect? YES! Or to not get out certain information at all? No
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 402
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 7:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah! So were the companies spending money trying to ensure the physical safety of their employees? The mental health? The efficiency of the company? The safety in the physical structure of their buildings? The safety of the products they produce?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 852
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 5:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah! So were the companies spending money trying to ensure the physical safety of their employees? This one The mental health? The efficiency of the company? The safety in the physical structure of their buildings? The safety of the products they produce?
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 445
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 8:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the bug cause an untrue report, which was not going to be published, to be published anyway? Or did it mess up a text that would otherwise be true? If so, did it change the whole document? A few words? One word? One word wherever it was used the document? An image?

Were they trying to prevent the death of employees? Trying to prevent a long-term injury (carpal tunnel, asbestos issues, etc)?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 855
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 3:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the bug cause an untrue report, which was not going to be published, to be published anyway? Noish

Or did it mess up a text that would otherwise be true? If so, did it change the whole document? A few words? One word? One word wherever it was used the document? An image?
FA to all

Were they trying to prevent the death of employees? No Trying to prevent a long-term injury (carpal tunnel, asbestos issues, etc)? Yes
Markobr (Markobr)
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Username: Markobr

Post Number: 177
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, September 11, 2009 - 9:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the purpose of the software to control the physical function of one or more safety tests? To collect and store data about the safety test(s)? To perform calculations based on test results?

What kind of publication would have been affected by the error? Legislation? Industry standards? Technical literature? Mainstream press articles?

Would the publication have caused people to think some existing constructions or machinery was unsafe? Or that something new would have to be constructed in a more expensive way to be safe?
Alex319 (Alex319)
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Username: Alex319

Post Number: 871
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 12:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the purpose of the software to control the physical function of one or more safety tests? Yes To collect and store data about the safety test(s)? To perform calculations based on test results?

What kind of publication would have been affected by the error? Legislation? Yes Industry standards? Yes Technical literature? Mainstream press articles?

Would the publication have caused people to think some existing constructions or machinery was unsafe? Or that something new would have to be constructed in a more expensive way to be safe? Yes

Spoiler:

The full story is here:

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/GRGs-Worst-Production-Failure.aspx
Gourami (Gourami)
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Username: Gourami

Post Number: 556
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Friday, September 18, 2009 - 2:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Poor little guys! Nice idea for a puzzle.

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