EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.24.10

Deadly Proprietary Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 1:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Heart attack

Summary: New examples where Microsoft software helps the causing of many deaths and a word of warning about proprietary software at large, especially in sensitive applications like pacers

CONTACT WITH Microsoft tends to result in commercial deaths [1, 2, 3] even if one is a standards body. Microsoft also exploits deaths to advertise its products [1, 2], which sometimes cause death to actual people [1, 2]. Yesterday we wrote about the role of Microsoft Windows in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The “BSOD” reference gave it all away and even IDG covered it from the same angle, not just Slashdot and some other sites that based their reporting on the federal hearing, usually citing the NYT (for the most part).

A computer that monitored drilling operations on the Deepwater Horizon had been freezing with a “blue screen of death” prior to the explosion that sank the oil rig last April, the chief electronics technician aboard testified Friday at a federal hearing.

“Blue screen of death,” or BSOD, is a term most often used to describe the display shown by Microsoft Windows after a serious crash that has incapacitated a PC.

This one case of blue screen of death may have cost the lives of millions of animals and harmed the health of several human generations to come, not to mention this planet, which is the only planet we have.

Coincidentally, the investigation done by Karen Sandler and a colleague of hers for several months now (Sandler has a heart condition) produced a long report from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) (direct link given earlier). Glyn Moody writes about it now. It’s titled “Why Free Software is a Matter of Life and Death” and it starts as follows:

As regular readers of this blog will know, free software has an importance that extends way beyond the world of software. But for most people, it’s hard to understand why software freedom is really that important. So this new report “Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices” from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) provides a handy opportunity to get the message across:

Software is an integral component of a range of devices that perform critical, lifesaving functions and basic daily tasks. As patients grow more reliant on computerized devices, the dependability of software is a life-or-death issue. The need to address software vulnerability is especially pressing for Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs), which are commonly used by millions of patients to treat chronic heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, and even depression.

Secret code (or proprietary software) is a recipe for disaster that should be measurable not just in terms of financial damage; human toll too should start being taken into consideration. Proprietary software is usually all about money, not quality. It shows.

“Ballmer’s modus operandi for dealing with technical issues was to pound on the developers until they caved in to his own unrealistic expectations of what the ship date should be.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  3. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  4. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  5. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  6. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  7. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  8. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  9. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  10. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  11. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  12. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  13. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  14. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  15. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  16. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  17. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  18. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  19. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  20. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  21. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  22. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  23. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  24. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  25. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  26. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  27. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  28. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  29. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  30. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts