Computer Reliability: Examples for Further ReadingThe ten biggest computer failures of 2012
(Telegraph) is a slideshow of the worst computer failures during 2012. Apple Maps glitch could be deadly
reports on some of the (many) errors found in Apple Maps when it was released in 2012. Post Office wants to get to bottom of IT system allegations
A quite frightening article about how Post Office workers have been disciplined and even sacked for fraud, despite allegations that accounting errors are caused by faulty software. In July 2013, an investigation found hardware and software problems in the Post Office's systems which may have been responsible for the errors ( ComputerWeekly article
, BBC article
). Google Spreadsheet, Excel Web App 'cannot be trusted'
examines the potential impacts of unreliabile free software - in this case, Google Doc's Spreadsheet application and Microsoft's Excel Web App, which failed a variety of mathematical tests involving common spreadsheet functionality.
A software bug in the US military's Patriot Missile system
led to an inaccuracy that increased over time that ultimately led to the death of 28 US servicemen. The linked article gives a very clear explanation of how such a simple error can cause significant problems (the missile's timer was out by less than half a second - but when a missile is travelling at 1.7 km/s, that equates to over half a kilometre off-target). User and Computer-related Errors Involved in Two Australian Aircraft Incidents
(IEEE) describes two 'computer' errors airboard passenger aircraft. The first caused an Airbus A330 to unexpectedly maneuver without the pilot's command; the second involved a simple data-entry error that could have resulted in loss of the aircraft. Using a Software Bug to Win Video Poker
(Wired) describes how a man exploited a software bug in a gambling machine to win thousands of dollars. Chrysler to recall 840,000 vehicles
because a software error causes the wrong airbags to be deployed in a crash. US State Governments Can't Shake IT Woes
gives a good overview of a multiple of IT systems failures in the US government. 20,000 traffic tickets wrongly issued
is a good example of a failure in automated systems. RISKS digest
is an excellent and very active mailing list of "risks", many (but not all) of which are related to failures in computer systems.