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

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9780071348065: The Software Conspiracy: Why Companies Put Out Faulty Software, How They Can Hurt You and What You Can Do About It

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.

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Review:

The Software Conspiracy makes the point that software, shrink-wrapped software in particular, has more bugs than it should have, and that fact is costing us lives and money. Minasi illustrates this point with examples, which are very engaging, interesting, and often quite saddening. In the Gulf War, for instance, 28 soldiers died because Patriot guidance software stopped working properly after 14 hours of continuous use. A "Software and the Law" section gives an excellent and informed, if American-focused, view of the UCITA and how this could destroy the American software industry. Minasi also explains how the decline of the software industry could affect the U.S.'s trade deficit.

At times the author seems to be struggling for material--as when he devotes several pages to explaining what a trade deficit is and needlessly repeats the book's main point over and over. Still, while some may disagree with Minasi's argument, it's an important one to consider. Everyone uses software--whether in clocks, calculators, or PCs--and the future of the software industry affects us all. --Josh Smith, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:

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--and absolve 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.

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