Wired's History's Worst Software Bugs
by brian d foy
Simson Garfinkel compiles Wired News's list of the 10 worst software bugs of all time, including three that aren't software bugs.
I don't think you get to count deliberate CIA sabotage for the explosion of a Soviet pipeline. The software did what the CIA told it to do. It just didn't do what the Soviet's wanted it to do.
The Intel Pentium floating point error is a "silicon error", as Simson says. That's hardware in my book.
The foul-up of the doctors at the National Cancer Institute in Panama City is a case of garbage in, garbage out. They gave the computer bogus information on purpose, then didn't check the result (as they were required to do).
It's still interesting reading, especially when you put them in the context of people giving their supervisory power to the computers then trusting their answers.