"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
"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
"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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