Software testing tools

OS Independence: The End of a Monopoly

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Operating system (OS) independence is as simple as the term itself. A program must be tailored to work for any OS in use today: Windows, Mac, Linux, and even mobile. Automated software testing (AST) makes sure programs, if not possible in its current state, can be tweaked to run on multiple platforms when the need arises.

Yet, OS independence would still be a pipe dream if it weren’t for a trait that makes staunch OS rivals agree on something. They share similar sentiments regarding user interface, from the size of the window to the basic functions of the program. In today’s society, the bitter rivalry of PC and Mac is past the point of irrelevance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three Epic Software Fails

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The software is the soul of all computers, controlling everything from your smartphone, to your alarm clock, and even your car. While these strings of ones and zeroes have made life considerably easier, they do encounter hiccups every now and then. For the most part, they cause only minor, if annoying, issues. In some cases, as you’ll see below, they can bring about major headaches which highlight the need for rigorous software testing:

Radiation Over-Therapy

Due to a software bug, the Therac-25 medical radiation therapy device inadvertently administered massive amounts of radiation to patients—up to 100 times the prescribed dose! As you might expect, many of the patients became even more ill and three of them even perished as a result of this mishap.

Are Ye a Pirate?

Microsoft’s Windows XP is one of the most popular operating systems (OS) in history—and also one of the most pirated. To counter this, they included an anti-piracy tool, called Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), in the OS. A bug, however, identified thousands of legal copies as pirated versions, much to the chagrin of consumers.

Where’d the Money Go?

In 2012, Knight Capital was almost driven into bankruptcy when a software glitch caused its computers to buy and sell shares on a whim. The result: the company lost half a billion dollars in 30 minutes, and its stock price plummeted by about 75% in 48 hours.