The Software Conspiracy: Why Software Companies Put Out Faulty Products, How They Can Hurt You, and What You Can Do About It

The Software Conspiracy: Why Software Companies Put Out Faulty Products, How They Can Hurt You, and What You Can Do About It

by Mark Minasi




A world-renowned technology expert reveals the true cost to business and society created by little-known problems rife within the software industry. Software kills? Yes. Industry insider Mark Minasi argues that it routinely destroys millions of work hours,files,deals,and ideas. Most of us are familiar with conputer problems,but how manyrealize that software victims also include people: a 7 year-old killed by bad fuel-injection software in a Chevrolet in Alabama,28 U.S. Marines lost to a missile-chip malfunction,200 people on a flight to Guam blown to bits when an altitude warning device failed. Minasi believes it's time to get mad at the industry that allows such things to happen. From his unique vantage point,he delivers an incisive and highly readable expose that calls computer makers and consumers to account. He reveals how companies inexcusably get away with thumbing their nose at quality,and tells what all of us can do to stop it.

Software Firms to PC Users: "BYTE ME". Avoidable software "bugs"—a cute word for defects—have directly cost the loss of millions of dollars and hundreds of lives. 90% of the bugs that consumers report to software vendors were already known by the vendors before the product was shipped. Powerful software CEOs think that you're completely unaware of software quality and that as long as they keep adding useless features,you'll keep buying. Software firms routinely spring conditions on you after you've paid for their product,but before you can install it on your computer: conditions they won't let you see before you pay for it; conditions that absolve them for any wrongs the product may do to your data—andabsolve you of any rights you have to ownership,or even use of the product you paid for. The software industry maintains software police who can obtain warrants to enter your business and fine you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you are not using the software according to the industry's complex rules and keeping the IRS-like records that they require. Why does the industry do this? Because they can. Because we let them. Consumers who would otherwise howl with outrage over any other kind of product that turned out to be so shabby have been conditioned to give the software industry a free ride. Veteran journalist and computer expert Mark Minasi now explains why it's time to punch some tickets. As Upton Sinclair took on the meat packing industry in The Jungle,Mark Minasi exposes the conspiracy of contempt,complacency,and arrogance of the software industry. An industry now as powerful as the automobile industry was in the sixties and seventies—and as vulnerable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071348065
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date: 08/01/1999
Pages: 271
Product dimensions: 6.33(w) x 9.35(h) x 1.12(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
When Some Bugs Bite, They Kill
Why are There Bugs? How Defects Happen
It Doesn't Take a Genius, It Just Takes a Process: Building Good Software
Software and the Law
Bugs and the Country: Software Economics
Fighting Back: How to Improve Software
The Future
Appendix: Software Self-defense 225(28)
Endnotes 253(10)
Index 263

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The Software Conspiracy: Why Software Companies Put Out Faulty Products, How They Can Hurt You, and What You Can Do About It 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has quite a bit to offer to the computer-savvy reader who is interested in the theory of software development. It also would appeal to average computers users who are fed up with software defects and want to know more about them. Not much for anyone else. That said, let's move on... The meat of this book is an argument that software companies have a favorable deal (based on legal situations, social conditions, state of the industry, etc) compared with other industries, and that the myriad defects (cutely named 'bugs') present in nearly every piece of consumer software is unacceptable. This was an idea I had not thought of before reading this book, so it certainly piqued my interest. Unfortunately, the book is layed out as one might write an opinion-based essay for a school assignment--it seems that not much attention was paid to the quality of the writing. Things that one would expect to be in the back are in the front, phrases are repeated verbatim several times even in the same section, and there are even some errors in convention that are inexcusable. In short, it's a good book. The quality of the idea is top-notch, but unfortunately, the writing itself wasn't 'tested' rigorously enough (eh, Minasi?). The book is short enough that the few errors there are don't effect the comprehension much, and all in all the book is definately worth checking out from the library.