Presentation on theme: "Most slides derived from prof. Wu-Chang Feng"— Presentation transcript:
1 Most slides derived from prof. Wu-Chang Feng CS 305 Social, Ethical, and Legal Implications of Computing Chapter 7 Computer ReliabilityHerbert G. Mayer, PSU CSStatus 6/14/2012Most slides derived from prof. Wu-Chang Feng
2 Syllabus Computer Reliability In-Famous Computer Glitches SW System FailuresIntel Divide ErrorTherac-25 Post MortemTypical SW Warranty TermsCasesUCITAReferences
3 Computer Reliability Data reliability Information within a computer system may be incorrectExamplesData entry errors leading to disenfranchised votersFlorida “felons” of the 2000 general election with only misdemeanor violationsFalse arrestsNCIC database incorrectly links people with similar namesWho should be responsible for ensuring accuracy?What level of integrity should be supported?Trade-off between false arrests and keeping a lot less recordsE-commerce2003 – Amazon erroneously misprices iPaQ, then refuses to deliver at that reduced price (275 7)
4 Computer Reliability Software reliability May not run properly May do unintended actionsMay damage computer systemMay produce other bad dataNotable malfunctions1996 – USPS returns 50k letters to USPTO back to sender2001 – Qwest sends bills that charge $600/minute for calls2003 – Thailand’s finance minister trapped in limo for 10 hoursCritical system failuresLondon 1992: Ambulatory dispatch system failed. 20 people died waitingChristmas 2004: Comair flight crew assignment system failed. All flights cancelled
5 In-Famous Computer Glitches AT&T network (1990)Single faulty line of code in error-recovery procedure causes tens of millions of dollars in damage“OK” signal to a busy switch caused it to fail, reboot, and broadcast OKRebooting re-routes traffic to other switches, making them busyBroadcast “OK” sent to those switches caused them n turn to failCascade of failures caused half of the switches to fail within 10 minutes70 million long-distance calls failed60,000 customers lost phone service completely
6 In-Famous Computer Glitches July 22, 1966, Venus Probe Mariner 1 explosionWrong piece of Fortran code caused malfunctionQuite hard to spot the error, yielding another correct program with completely different meaning:DO 5 K = 1. 3...5 CONTINUEActual program assigned 1.3 to undeclared float “DO5K”And the actual program then held no loopShould have been:DO 5 K = 1, 3Cost: 12.5 Mio $ of 1960s money!
7 In-Famous Computer Glitches Patriot missile system (1991)Failure to fire against a Scud that hit US Army barracksMultiple “range gates” need to be triggered in order to fire a patriot in defense (radar segments)Truncation error in system clock accumulatedDifference in system time and real-time of 0.34 seconds after 100 hours in operationScanned the incorrect range gateSystem was only designed to operate several hours at a time before needing to be rebooted!
8 In-Famous Computer Glitches Ariene 5, 1996Rocket systemAriene 5 reused software from Ariene 4, but was much fasterSW assumptions, made on maximum speed, no longer validConversion between 64-bit float and 16-bit signed int overflowedException raised, but not handled by softwarePrimary and backup computers crashedRocket destroyed 40 seconds into launchR is the average, not R.
9 In-Famous Computer Glitches Intel floating point problemWhat is z?Quotient /should be:But was:x = ;y = ;z = x - (x/y)*y;
10 Intel Divide Error Intel sold chips that were shown to be defective Math prof. Thomas Nicely at Lynchburg College observed error and complained to Intel in 1994But was famously ignored Math teacher published observation on Internet, Intel lost faceThen Intel took action to replace faulty chips, to pay for shippingCost to Intel almost ¾ billion $But Intel changed process: going forward, replace any defective productAs a result, Intel regained trust, and company thrived afterwardJokes abound…Intel’s new motto: “United we stand, divided we fall”“I heard Intel lost one of its divisions today”Q: What's another name for the "Intel Inside" sticker they put on Pentiums?A: The warning label.
11 Software System Failures Therac-25 radiation machine (1985)Used to treat cancerElectron beams to treat surface tumorsX-rays to treat deep tumorsTherac-25 started giving dosages times too strong to some patientsMany burned, Six killedAtomic Energy of Canada Limited – reused code from Therac-6 and Therac-20Two problems (both race conditions)Fast operators could change type of beam, while the magnets were being placed into position. A race condition missed this, causing x-rays to be used instead of electron beamsVariable used to determine when gun ready to fire. 8-bit variable that was 0 when ready. Task incremented the variable when gun out of position. Could be 0 at times!
12 Therac-25 Post Mortem Flaws abound Software lessons Was not “fail safe”Need to remove single point-of-failure that causes catastropheLack of software/hardware to detect overdosesSoftware lessonsDebugging concurrent tasks difficultComplex, undocumented code is dangerousReuse of code was bad
13 Therac-25 Post MortemShould developers and managers of manufacturer be held responsible?Causal conditionWere the actions caused by them?Actions and inactionsMental conditionDid they intend the action to happen?Carelessness, recklessness, negligence?
14 Software EngineeringIs quality code a moral obligation for software developers?If so, then how does one achieve this?Four main steps to ensure proper software creationSpecificationDevelopmentValidationEvolutionHow many of you go through these steps?How do we know steps taken are sufficient?
15 SW Bugs vs. HW Product Flaws Perfect software in large systems is nearly impossibleWhat warranties, if any, should be provided by the creator of the software?None?Some?All?What do other industries do?ElectronicsCarsHomeHave houses/bridges collapsed?
16 Typical SW Warranty Terms 90-day replacement or money back guaranteeWarrants that you can install the softwareSoftware is “As-is”No warrant and/or liability assumed forSpecial, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoeverUpdates may or may not be issuedAre all software warranties enforceable?
17 SW Corp. get away with Murder? Should software fall under Article 2 of Uniform Commercial CodeGoverns sale of products in U.S.Requirements for prompt fulfillment and returns of non- conforming goodsMagnuson-Moss Warranty ActPrevents unfair warranties being placed on products > $25 or on products sold to more than 100 peopleAmbiguous terminology construed against the drafter of the warrantyDefines standards for full versus limited warranties
18 Step-Saver Data vs. WYSE & TSL Step-Saver, a timesharing computer systems providerTSL, software company that developed Multilink O.S.StoryStep-Saver purchased and resold 142 copies of Multilink OSTSL said the O.S. was compatible with most DOS applicationsSoftware came with licensing agreement disclaiming all express and implied warrantiesStep-Saver software didn’t work on MultilinkWas sued by 12 of its customersStep-Saver sued TSL
19 Step-Saver Data vs. WYSE & TSL Court held contract to:PO and invoiceOral statements made by TSL representativesWritten license had different terms that Step-Saver never agreed toPresident of SS had objected to terms of licensing agreement and refused to sign a document formalizing agreementTSL continued to sell Step-Saver Multilink even without the signed written agreementMeaning they agreed to the terms of the oral statementsVictory for Step-Saver
20 Mortenson vs. Timberline Software Timberline had construction bidding package called Precision BidLicense:"LIMITATION OF REMEDIES AND LIABILITY:NEITHER TIMBERLINE NOR ANYONE ELSE WHO HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE CREATION, PRODUCTION OR DELIVERY OF THE PROGRAMS OR USER MANUALS SHALL BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY TYPE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY LOST PROFITS, LOST SAVINGS, LOSS OF ANTICIPATED BENEFITS, OR OTHER INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE SUCH PROGRAMS, WHETHER ARISING OUT OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT TORT, OR UNDER ANY WARRANTY, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF TIMBERLINE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR FOR ANY OTHER CLAIM BY ANY OTHER PARTY. TIMBERLINE'S LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES IN NO EVENT SHALL EXCEED THE LICENSE FEE PAID FOR THE RIGHT TO USE THE PROGRAMS."
21 Mortenson vs. Timberline Software StoryProgram produced errors “Abort: Cannot find alternate” 19 times on day it was needed to generate a bidMortenson used software and generated a bid that was $1.95 million too lowGot the contractMortenson sued TimberlineAside: Timberline had fix available and sent it to a few customers in response to problemCourt ruled in favor of Timberline
22 In-Class ExerciseWhat makes software warranties different than other industries?Does the cost of having software warranties outweigh the benefits to society?Do software companies need liability insurance?No wear and tear itemsThat is, no “parts”All problems are pretty much design featuresVersions?
23 In-Class ExerciseYou have created a new software package that is destined to become the next great city systems control (e.g. bridges / signal lights / etc) program.What are you going to supply as part of your “warranty”?Length of time for warrantySafety to societyLiability (if your program does something wrong)
24 Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act UCITA Features (1999)Manufacturers can license software to customersPrevent transfer of software between people/orgsCan disclaim all liability; customer accepts “as-is”Allows manufacturer to remotely disable licensed software in case of license disputeAllows manufacturers to collect information about how licensees use their computersApplies to software in computers, not embedded
25 Arguments for UCITAArticle 2 of UCC not appropriate in a digital worldUCITA recognizes no perfect piece of software
26 Arguments against UCITA Customers should be allowed to purchase, not just licenseIf you don’t need software, you can’t even give it away to anyone to use“As-is” removes software companies out of the Magnuson-Moss Act in the UCC“Trap doors” are a bad thingUCITA was highly controversial. American Legal Institute walked out of proceedings
27 In-Class DiscussionShould companies be mandated to release a list of known bugs in their software? All bugs? Some bugs?Should companies be allowed to not fix bugs but just create new versions that the user needs to buy?
28 ReferencesPentium divide error:AKA FDIV bug:WikiPedia on FDIV error:
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