Posted on 03 May 2010.
These software bugs drained billions in less than 60 seconds because one person made a mistake when writing the superscripts.
1. Mars Climate Orbiter Crashes
The contractor who was given the responsibility of planning the navigation system got the specifications from NASA but instead of using the metric system, he carried out measurements using imperial units. What happened was that the space craft crashed into Mars and over 125 million dollars were lost.
2. Ariane 5 Flight 501
The engine of this satellite was much faster than that of the previous models but it had a software bug that went unnoticed. The satellite was launched and after 36.7 seconds, it self destructed and turned into a magnificent ball of fire. While the satellite’s cost was estimated at 8 billion dollars, it was also carrying payload worth 500 million dollars when it disintegrated.
3. EDS Fails Child Support
About 6 years back, EDS created an IT system that was quite complex and presented it to the CSA or the Child Support Agency in U.K. The software was not compatible with the restructure initiated by the DWP which caused many errors. The cost has been estimated at 1 billion dollars till date.
4. Soviet Gas Pipeline Explosion
In 1982, the CIA claimed that the Soviet Union was in the process of stealing important U.S. technology. The CIA then introduced a software bug into the system which would work in such a way that while it would not allow operation to be carried out, it would go through inspection without any problems. The explosion that followed will never be forgotten.
5. Black Monday
In 1987, certain investigation caused the bull market to come to screeching halt. The investigation affected certain stocks whose investors decided to dump them. The computer triggers were kicked into motion which destroyed certain systems. The market value fell rapidly and there was no choice but to liquidate the stocks.
Posted in Featured, Technology
Posted on 02 January 2010.
Bad decisions or practical errors have led to some of the most well known military catastrophes in history. These errors were mainly to do with believing wrong information and making use of shoddy equipment. The following are some of the top 10 military catastrophes.
1. The “Battle” of Karansebes
Karansebes is a unique catastrophe in which a drunken army defeated itself. In 1788, the Austrian army fought the infantry using actual gunfire just because they demanded some liquor. Hearing the squabble the remaining army started fighting at what they thought were Ottoman Turks. The fact was they had actually fired at Austrians only and the Turks arrived there only two days later and discovered that 10,000 Austrians were dead in an abandoned town.
2. The Battle of Pliska
Ignoring the entreaties for peace, Nikephoros I, the Byzantine emperor landed on Bulgaria in 811 with over 75000 men and ransacked Pliska, the capital. He looted Khan’s treasury who was forced to admit defeat. Later he was defeated shortly after he left Pliska in a confrontation that crushed his whole army.
3. The battle of the Teutoburg Forest
In the Teutoburg disaster; 3 Roman armies were defeated by German tribes. In this battle some 25000 Romans lost their lives.
4. The Battle of Agincourt
In the Battle of Agincourt, it is believed that the French were extremely indecisive in spite of being eager to mark a victory. They charged on the pikes till the English were completely fortified and ended up protecting the longbows of the English. The extent of loss of lives among the French was more men than the English in this worst military catastrophe.
5. The Spanish Armada
During the 16th century, Spain was a great superpower. The Spanish army thought of undertaking a sea combat that was outdated. Due to utter disorganization, most of the ships did nothing also owing to the bad weather conditions. Without engaging the English in any way, Spain lost more than 15000 men due to shipworms and storms.
Posted in Education, Featured