History’s worst software bugs

“Last month automaker Toyota announced a recall of 160,000 of its Prius hybrid vehicles following reports of vehicle warning lights illuminating for no reason, and cars’ gasoline engines stalling unexpectedly. But unlike the large-scale auto recalls of years past, the root of the Prius issue wasn’t a hardware problem — it was a programming error in the smart car’s embedded code. The Prius had a software bug.Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1945 (or 1947).

“With that recall, the Prius joined the ranks of the buggy computer — a club that began in 1945 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer’s logbook with the words: ‘first actual case of a bug being found.’

“Sixty years later, computer bugs are still with us, and show no sign of going extinct… But which are the worst?… Here, in chronological order, is the Wired News list of the 10 worst software bugs of all time … so far.”

click here to see the list at “wired.com” | digg story