Computers have become a part and parcel of our day to day life. We are completely dependent on them for all our requirements. In such a case even a minor issue causes huge problems. But there have been instances in the past where tiny computer glitches have caused complete chaos. Here is a countdown of 5 computer glitches that caused disasters:
5. Sunken Sea Oil Platform
In 1991, a software malfunction led to the collapse of a 57,000-ton sea oil platform, Sleipner A. The crash was so huge that it caused an earthquake of 3.0 on Richter Scale. Further investigation concluded that the engineering disaster was caused by a minor computer glitch in the software used in designing the mega structure. It had miscalculated the stress caused by the weight of the platform on its supporting structure. This crash caused parent company Statoil a loss of around 700 million Dollars.
4. Google Blacklist
In 2009, a malware in Google’s algorithm led to google blacklisting every site on the internet for 40 minutes. Every search during this period would return an error message- “This site may harm your computer”, falsely suggesting that all of them contained a dangerous virus. This temporary glitch is estimated to have caused google a loss of $3 million in advertising revenue.
3. Criminals On the Loose
In 2011, approximately 450 inmates incarcerated for violence and around 1000 inmates incarcerated for serious drug offenses were set free in California as a result of a computer glitch. The error resulted from a Department of Justice program to release minor offenders. As records were not complete for state’s 16.4 million arrests, dangerous criminals with incomplete records were automatically recommended for release. In order to cover up for the blunder, the authorities did not even try to recapture the criminals after letting them loose.
2. Amazon 1 Cent Cell
In 2013, Online shoppers got a pleasant surprise when they found out that many items on Amazon had been repriced to just 1 Cent. This mistake occurred due to a glitch in the repricing software used by the online retail giant. This software was used to reprice the items in order to keep them lower than its competitors. This 1-hour glitch enabled buyers to go on a shopping spree. This led to sellers fearing bankruptcy. Shockingly Amazon refused to repay those victimized by this technical error.
1.Missing Child Support
UK had its share of technical blunder when its Child Support System malfunctioned in 2004. This was caused by a software malfunction which led to incompatibility between Child Support Agency and other government agencies. This created massive payment errors with around 2 million people overpaid and another 700,000 people left underpaid or without any payment whatsoever. This disaster led to a loss of $1 billion to the UK taxpayers.
This concludes our list of biggest computer glitches in the history. Do let us know your views in the comments. Happy reading.