The history of the “bug”: How insects conquered the world of computers

“Terms from the world of IT explained” is a series of blog posts that explains the origin of common IT terms. We often use them in our daily life, but do we know where they come from?

This first edition of the series is dedicated to the bug. Finding errors – also called functional testing – is an important part of our work here at Testbirds, so this term is very familiar to us. But does an error in software have the same name as a small insect? There are a bunch of funny and interesting stories behind it.

The most famous one – or rather the most famous myth, features the computer pioneer Grace Hopper. Back in 1947, an electromechanical computer in the Computation Library at the University of Harvard had a malfunction. Operators found out that there was a moth trapped in a relay and wrote down in a log book “first actual case of a bug being found” with the dead moth taped to the page.

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The Power of the Crowd in Emergency Services Technology

In an emergency, every second matters. That’s why some Emergency Services Apps draw on citizens for help with providing real-time updates and support in emergencies through their smartphones. Last month, Testbirds invited some of our Crowdtesters to perform a pro-bono BugAbility test for CrowdGuard– an emergency service in Germany that alerts locals and the police when someone nearby needs help.

Marc, Tina and Marta, share their experiences of testing Crowd Guard’s emergency alarm system app as our Guest Bloggers this month.

CGBG
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History’s Biggest Software Fails!

Last time on History’s Biggest Software Fails we looked at The Heartbleed Bug, which has been dubbed “perhaps the worst vulnerability found on the internet”. Despite its wide reach and devastating effects for the online world, there are some software bugs that end up having such severe consequences that they can be measured in human lives. Today, we investigate how one such bug claimed the lives of at least five people and left over fifteen others with severe health complications:

The Cobalt-60 Disaster

Radioactive Material

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History’s Biggest Software Fails!

Previously on History’s Biggest Software Fails, we took the time to explore the World of Warcraft: Corrupted Blood Incidence. While the aforementioned software issue was more of a light-hearted inconvenience, today we take an in-depth look into a security bug that was so severe, that to this day its effects can still be felt:

The Heartbleed Bug

Image: www.heartbleed.com

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History’s Biggest Software Fails!

Quality assurance is an aspect of software development that often receives the least attention. The lack of adequate testing within the IT sector has led to numerous tragic, expensive and at times hilarious consequences. For this reason, Testbirds has decided to investigate some of history’s most interesting and devastating software issues in a series of blog posts known as History’s Biggest Software Fails. Today, we take a look into a bug that caused havoc to nearly four million video game enthusiasts, which is now infamously known as:

World of Warcraft: The Corrupted Blood Incidence

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