Zero-days are often discovered, but by then, they’ve hit the market — they’re found too late. Software glitches happen all the time, however, and aside from a frustrated user or two, they’re typically fixed quickly. But some glitch scenarios are more significant than a few disgruntled clients and make developers decide to test their software that much more carefully. Here we’ll talk about five of the most notorious software glitches in recent memory.
Nest’s Smart Thermostat Glitch, January 2016
Google’s Nest was downed by a software bug during a winter night. The bug — which Nest developers didn’t find until too late — drained the device’s battery and deactivated the thermostat. A December software update was the cause, but even when developers fixed the problem, they were left with peeved customers who were less than happy to undertake the nine-step process to reboot the device.
Knight Capital’s Faulty Trading Software, August 2012
Knight Capital had to give a big payout for its glitchy trading software: $440 million. The software’s algorithm was designed to enact automatic orders over several days, but a glitch caused the software to make all the orders in a single hour, buying and selling stock with a loss of up to 15 cents per share. Ultimately, the company lost four times its 2011 profit, and was forced to shutter in 2013.
PayPal’s Quadrillion Dollar Glitch, June 2013
When Chris Reynold woke up in June 2013, the Pennsylvania man’s PayPal balance showed a surprising new figure: $92,233,720,368,547,800, or 92 quadrillion dollars. While PayPal won’t reveal the software glitch that made Reynolds temporarily the richest man in the world, the company took the money back not long after, giving Reynolds a payout for the trouble.
Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Massive System Failure, January 2016
Healthcare provider Blue Cross Blue Shield had what it called a “system failure” during which 25,000 customers were enrolled in the wrong health insurance. Turns out the company was aware that its software had problems, but implemented it anyway, likely to meet deadlines. Knowingly rolling out buggy software landed the company in hot water, even months later.
Most people still remember the fear of Y2K — the worry that came with the impending date of 01/01/2000. But while that crisis was averted, we can still worry about 2038. Nearly a hundred years before 2038, developers of Linux used “time_t” time codes specified as 32-bit values, meaning that they’ll run out in 2038. If developers don’t fix the glitch in this software, we may see the most major software malfunction ever.
As these examples prove, software glitches sometimes cause costly and embarrassing problems, but regardless of their notoriety, glitches always disrupt productivity. Don’t let your software become an international embarrassment with Ciklum’s Software Testing Service. Our service can save you money and improve your customer retention rate, all without adding onto your time to market. Do not hesitate to contact us right now!