The consequences of a computer system failure at your workplace can range from ‘a bit of a pain’ and some downtime to major financial loss and the ruination of a company. The proliferation of people offering IT support in Melbourne shows that most business owners understand the importance of keeping their computer systems up and running, but in the world of technology, the odd glitch is simply inevitable.
If you’ve been hit by a computer bug that’s caused you grief, maybe these examples of massive computer failures will ease the pain!
An IT failure at an airport is usually bound to have very annoying consequences for passengers. You can bet the IT support at Melbourne Airport is pretty tight for this reason! Nonetheless, bugs still happen. Take the headache suffered at UK immigration after a fault occurred on the UK Border Force computers. The IT fault, which occurred earlier this year, meant delays in conducing passport checks, and lead to huge lines forming at airport terminals across the UK as people waited for hours to enter the country.
There are many other airport computer bad news stories. Take the 2012 glitch in a United Airline’s dispatch software, which resulted in 257 flights being delayed and another 10 being cancelled in just a two-hour period!
But both of these are at least better than a computer issue during the flight – when it’s never more crucial to have on-hand IT support! A Melbourne flight to Delhi had to divert to Kuala Lumpur in February this year after all three of the Boeing 787’s navigation computers failed simultaneously!
One of the most well-known stories of financial loss due to a computer failure is that of Knight Capital, an American global financial services firm. In 2012, an incorrect algorithm in automatic stock trading software – which saw the company buy high and sell low on 150 different stocks – meant the company lost a whopping $440 million – in just thirty minutes.
When it comes to transport (and the desperate need for some good IT support), Melbourne’s embattled myki system has had its fair share of woes. While many have suggested the system is inherently flawed, part of its problem has been computer glitches.
I’m sure we all remember the infamous 2012 Apple iOS 6 update, when the company ditched the Google Maps platform in favour of its own system. Unfortunately, this system had a few glitches, including its missing out entries for whole towns, incorrect placement of locations, obscured satellite imagery, and incorrect locations given for queries – among others. Everyone from Melbourne to New York felt the impact of the poor mapping. In fact, New York Times technology columnist called it the “least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.” Ouch.
Then there was the 2011 incident with the state of California. The state was required to significantly reduce its prison population by 33,000 by releasing non-violent offenders. However, a computer programming error led to “non-revocable” preference being given to 450 violent prisoners who were released into the public – and were not required to report to a parole officer. As of last report, it seems that many of these felons are still out there. Hopefully the state learned their lesson and invested in some better IT support!
All out war!
But that’s nothing compared to our last example, which could have led to war! In 1983, a malfunctioning Soviet nuclear early warning system warned that the US had launched an attack on Russia! Luckily, Soviet Air Defence officer Stanislav Petrov had a gut feeling that the alarm was false and didn’t sound the alarm – possibly saving the world from World War III!
Written by Bastien Treptel – Director Ctrl IT www.ctrlit.com.au