The Software Conspiracy

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

Mark Minasi

Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2000, 269 pages

ISBN: 0-07-134806-9

Keywords: IT Architecture

Last modified: May 20, 2021, 8:21 a.m.
  • 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.

  • Why Companies Put Out Faulty Software, How They Can Hurt You, and What You Can Do About It
    • Introduction
    1. When Some Bugs Bite, They Kill
    2. Why are There Bugs? How Defects Happen
    3. It Doesn't Take a Genius, It Just Takes a Process: Building Good Software
    4. Software and the Law
    5. Bugs and the Country: Software Economics
    6. Fighting Back: How to Improve Software
    7. The Future
    • Appendix: Software Self-defense
    • Endnotes


The Software Conspiracy

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 2:51 a.m.

Tells how the public (including senior management) gets tricked into buying lousy software. An obvious book with bad solutions, but I'm glad someone wrote it.


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