Newsworthy Software Bugs of 2012

As a software tester, I collect bugs. Why? So I can be a better tester. This year in the news there were bugs that caused big failures, and then there were bugs that caused colossal failures. Let’s take a look back at newsworthy software bugs of 2012, and the cost of failure associated with them:

NASDAQ’s Facebook IPO

According to an article on Businessweek, Nasdaq OMX Group blamed “poor design” in the software that had problems with delayed orders, order cancellations and updates during Facebook’s greatly anticipated IPO. Nasdaq set up a compensation fund that started at $13.7 million but was later increased to $62 million to pay back investors who should have received executions in the opening auction.  Could Facebook’s IPO have done better were it not for these problems? Where will the next “Facebook” get listed – Nasdaq or NYSE? Firms contemplating an IPO on Nasdaq may think twice now.

Cost: $62 million

More on CNN Money, Businessweek, ComputerWorld, WSJ ,

Knight Capital Group questioned if what happened to Knight Capital Group was the “the costliest computer bug ever.” This one software bug triggered a $440 million loss within 30 minutes. That was about four times the company’s 2011 profit. Their losses ballooned to $461.1 million, all due to a trading algorithm defect that had been introduced the night before. While the software was designed to facilitate buying and selling huge amounts of stock in a short period of time, it failed epically. Knight Capital almost went bankrupt. Creditors stepped in, to keep the company afloat and Knight Capital was eventually bought by Getco.

Costs: $461.1 million. Also Knight Capital’s stock lost 75% in 2 days.

More on CNN Money,, NY TimesBloomberg, ChicagoBusiness

iPhone bugs

iPhone 5 iOS 6 had a map problem which led to Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a formal apology -it was that bad. At one point, iPhone 5 users were connecting to Wi-fi, yet still using cell data which caused them to have overages. Also the iPhone 5 shipped unable to install software updates over the air.

Costs: Unknown

More on Wired Article 1 , Wired Article 2 , CNN Money,

Nokia Windows Phone bugs

Nokia Lumia 900 had a problem where it dropped data connection. Nokia ended up offering buyers of the that phone a $100 credit for their $99 phone. Then the Nokia Windows phones, the Lumia 920 and 820 had several bugs. Most notably was a bug that affected the phone’s camera and made photos blurry. Then there was the random reboot problem. Problems after problems.

Costs: Unknown

More on LATimes.comInformation Week , Business Insider

In addition to financial ramifications, the above companies suffered loss of reputation and future business. Well, not Apple of course :-)

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