Arkisto: January 2012

Detach the Battery!

23. Januaryta, 2012 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Detach it indeed. The best advice that should be followed first when a software error takes place. How many times during the life span of modern phones have you had to detach and reattach the battery? How many times have you rebooted your computer when a single app is slowing down the machine? Have you ever had to turn off your car due to the bugs of the driving computer? What is best, in some car models there are quick handles for the battery’s wires for the sole purpose, that in the event of a software error, you can detach/reattach the battery.

Why is it so, that in these modern times we have accepted some things that used to be negative, as common day routines? When I buy a new mobile phone from the shop I want to imagine that it would work without any magical battery detaching or 8 second power button rituals. I would prefer not to dirty my hands by the highway loosening my battery wires or hit my laptop’s reset button, when MS Office starts to get rowdy with me. (An Apple man would say to this that “buy a Mac.”. I will not.)

After meditating for a while, I deduced that all of this is due to the fact that because it has always been so. The phenomenon is the same as with normal cigarettes. If cigarettes would hit the market now as a new product, it would be likely that it would be banned as a severe health risk. But, because cigarettes have been on the market for around as long as humans have been using fire, it has been accepted as common day, although deemed as a negative thing. When we have been detaching the battery for who knows how long, we accept it, but with the same negative feeling.

The same acceptance has seeped so deep that a large number of phone manufacturer’s testers no longer keep the back lid in place when testing a phone. Solely due to the fact that the battery is easier to detach when problems arise, and since it is easier to observe technically with certain tools when you can detach the battery quickly. This method is probably not end user testing. Who was that great tester genius, who first discovered that you can fix a defect by detaching the battery…

Modern society is based on energy consumption. Why is it then, that we need to cut off the power in a single machine to get it working again?

Detach the battery! As the saying still echoes from the darkest corners from years ago, back when a group of guys discovered a glimmer of positivity for a single time in the history of man in the saying, after a downhill skiing weekend…

What Could They have Afforded with the Cost of One Bug?

11. Januaryta, 2012 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Cadillac SRX is a robust-looking car. It is manufactured by the world’s largest car manufacturer General Motors. When the year 2011 model was launched onto the market, its passenger safety had been solved with a software, where all the airbags of all seats were controlled by a single system.

After it had hit the market, the engineers of GM realized to their horror about an existence of a severe bug in the control system for the air bags. Should no one be seated on the co-driver seat, the system would deactivate the backseat’s roof airbag, which protects the head from deadly blows.

After discovering the bug, GM had to recall 47,401 cars in the US and 3,099 cars elsewhere in the North America for maintenance and systems update. That is a total of 50,500 cars. The service call’s procedures were sure to not be simple.

If completing one car’s software update process from sending a servicing request to completing would take one hour of the manufacturer’s and service company’s time, it would cost a total of 2,525,000 euro with a humble cost of 50 euro per hour. This, of course, does not include the image damage or the frustration caused to the customer.

Earlier, I promised to only sell the concrete results of testing – the bugs I find – for a cost of 79 euro per bug. With that cost, I would have been contracted to hunt 31,962 bugs for GM.

The Most Expensive Bugs of the Year 2011

3. Januaryta, 2012 | Kirjoittaja: Antti Niittyviita

Test Magazine has listed the most expensive software bugs of year 2011.

The first prize went to a software bug in a firm that offers financial services. The bug caused investors 217 million dollars loss of income. In addition, SEC, the body that governs USA’s securities markets, slapped them with a fine of 25 million of dollars. So, in total, one bug ended up costing the firm 242 million US dollars, which translates to roughly 185 million euro.

You can read the entire listing here.

It is again a good moment to remind you that:

Testing is an investment. The purpose of the investment is to uncover bugs at a stage where fixing them is as cheap as possible.

Happy year 2012 everyone!