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osOpinion: Bugs and the UCITA

Apr 28, 2000, 06:27 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gareth Barnard)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"I ran across a column which argued in favor of a provision in the UCITA. This provision would allow software manufacturers (SW mfrs) to absolve themselves of any liability for flaws in their products."

"The column was written by JS Kelly, a columnist for LinuxWorld. I had the impression that all Penguinistas were united in their opposition to UCITA because its widespread adoption would mean another victory for big SW mfrs at the expense of the consumer...."

"Bugs have not killed anyone yet, but it's only a matter of time. In October of 1998, the USS Yorktown was immobilized for four hours after Windows NT crashed. If that had happened in a war zone, American lives could easily have been lost. Medical devices are becoming more and more complex, and are starting to use embedded operating systems. What if a heart monitor experiences a core-dump or BSOD moments before a patient goes into fibrillation? You would see some very unhappy people. But if the UCITA passes, they would not be able to sue the SW mfrs. As our lives grow more dependent on computers and SW, the SW mfrs must be held more accountable. SW reliability will become, quite literally, a matter of life and death."

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