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Sent To Jail Because of a Software Bug

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,21 days | from the off-to-the-protein-bank-with-you dept.

AI 239

First time accepted submitter toshikodo writes "The BBC is reporting a claim that some sub-post office workers in the UK have been sent to jail because of a bug in the accounting software that they use. The Post Office admits Horizon computer defect. I've worked on safety critical system in the past, and I am well aware of the potential for software to ruin lives (thankfully AFAIK nobody has been harmed by my software), but how many of us consider the potential for bugs in ordinary software to adversely affect those that use it?"

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239 comments

Open Source... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222135)

and shit like this doesn't happen or can at least be properly traced back by a third party and gives people the means to defend themselves.

Re:Open Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222241)

That and $5 can get you a nice cuppa coffee at Starbucks!

Re:Open Source... (0)

DrSkwid (118965) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222759)

You're talking shit.

I can buy from a vendor and get the source as part of the deal, no source, no deal.

If I reveal this source code to the sub-post offices and continue to buy from the vendor.

Re:Open Source... (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222769)

If I reveal this source code to the sub-post offices and continue to buy from the vendor...

then...?

Re:Open Source... (5, Insightful)

nooneelsesname (2368368) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222807)

You are the one talking shit, buddy. You think sub-postmasters buy this software? The Post Office REQUIRES them to use it. There is no way they would allow the sub-postmasters to see the code, and even if they did, how many of these little guys do you think can read code. If it was open source there would be geeks interested in the claims of the sub-postmasters who would be delighted to reveal that the evil Post-Office was screwing the little guy. They would do it for fun. And if there was noone to review the code voluntarily, the sub-postmasters could gang up to hire an INDEPENDANT consultant to do so.

Re:Open Source... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222961)

That would amout to an uprising against the bankster class who run our countries. Will not be allowed. You are supposed to enjoy the movies in cinema and then donate a son for their next war at the Shat-El-Arab. The two finger which will remain of him will be draped in a British flag, even though he died for the Bankster nation, actually.

Re:Open Source... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222283)

then what, nothing in OSS land takes responsibility for itself, its free it (sort of works) if it doesnt fix it your self or fuck off

Re:Open Source... (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222309)

But at least the option to fix it yourself actually exists.

Re:Open Source... (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222735)

then what, nothing in OSS land takes responsibility for itself

Red Hat does. Even Ubuntu will to some extent. Any time you want you can get paid support for OSS and, given the right support contract and money they really will take care of you properly. The definitely take responsibility for the things they promise. (N.B. your two dollar desktop license really doesn't promise much at all).

Its free it (sort of works) if it doesnt fix it your self or fuck off

And this is the thing. We have seen before that people were sent to jail for bugs in breathalyzers [arstechnica.com] . In some cases people who claimed these bugs were in courts that demanded source; they were set free. In other cases the proprietary software companies behind the machines managed to get them locked away without a fair trial.

If the shit hits the fan with OSS you always have one more option and the possibility to approach multiple support suppliers. This won't happen for free and it likely won't be included in any existing agreements, however you may be happy for the chance to spend $15000 on software consultancy and not spend the rest of your life in some US State hellhole. Your proprietary software vendor will be thinking of all the other people that might sue about a bug like that and will never ever help you out of the problem.

Re:Open Source... (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222745)

then what, nothing in OSS land takes responsibility for itself, its free it (sort of works) if it doesnt fix it your self or fuck off

If you buy in proprietary software that is broken, you need to get the vendor to fix it. If you've directly contracted a small software vendor to write the system for you then that might be fine. If you buy in FOSS then you can pay your vendor to fix it, or you can fix it yourself, or you can pay a third party contractor to fix it. Sure, if you decide to just install FOSS software yourself without paying a vendor then (surprise) you can't expect someone to fix it for you, but thats the risk you take if you want to be cheap - if you're _paying_ for someone to support this stuff then FOSS gives you better flexibility if the vendor turns out to be unhelpful (this is important for bigger projects - For example, I'm still waiting on Apple to fix a load of bugs that I reported over a year ago; if that was FOSS code I could've fixed them myself or paid someone to do it but since it isn't I have no choice but to hope that Apple will fix this stuff, which I fully expect them not to ever do.)

However, in this case I think the point is more relevant that as this was closed source software, the subpostmasters couldn't really defend themselves. If it was FOSS they could've paid an expert to look at the source code and prove that they were innocent.

Re:Open Source... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222789)

then what, nothing in OSS land takes responsibility for itself

I take it that you haven't bought much mission critical software.

You are never going to get a company to sign a contract that gives the liability in case their software malfunctions.

They will be willing to fix bugs that you report (Just like with OSS.) but if you are their only customer for the software they are going to charge you for the time it takes them to fix the bugs.

Re:Open Source... (3, Insightful)

BonzaiThePenguin (2528980) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222397)

Everyone assumes someone is already out there testing all open-source software, which is why it never seems to get done.

Also, deliberate bugs and backdoors simply wouldn't be checked back in.

Re:Open Source... (5, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222519)

Everyone assumes someone is already out there testing all open-source software, which is why it never seems to get done.
Also, deliberate bugs and backdoors simply wouldn't be checked back in.

TFA quote:

Ms Hamilton said that, by the time the figure reached £36,000, she lied to the Post Office - wrongly telling them the books were balancing just so that she could open the office the next day.

With closed-source, the choices Ms Hamilton has:
* keep covering the differences caused by the bug
* refuse to pay and instead sue the Post Office/Royal Mail with the hope they'll ask Horizon computer system to check. Not going to happen: the plaintiff carries the burden of proof, the Post Office has no incentive to do anything.

With OSS, Ms Hamilton has (alone or in by association with other sub-postmasters) the choice between:
* do the same as for close source. or
* hire a QA team and, upon obtaining the proof, sue the Post Office for the unwarranted requests, cost of source audit and other unspecified damages. The Post Office has the choice between to keep losing such suits or pay their own source audit/QA process and release the fixes in OSS.

I wonder which of the two would minimize the total social cost of the package maintenance (in the very specific terms of the "unseen costs" [wikipedia.org] )?

Re:Open Source... (3, Insightful)

someone1234 (830754) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222605)

A really wise post office chief would have done that audit before the first lawsuit.

Re:Open Source... (5, Insightful)

Spottywot (1910658) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222851)

A really wise post office chief would have done that audit before the first lawsuit.

Yes you are correct, but the trouble is that the word 'Postmaster' conjours an image of someone with authority over a medium to largish business. In reality a lot of postmasters in the UK are simply running a family business/ small shop that just happens to be the Post office as well. A lot of these people have no real business training, do some very simple bookkeeping themselves, and when some software comes along that they've never had to use before, that software had better be bug free and easy enough to use. Before anyone says no software is bug free, I know that, by bug free I mean 'not going to add 13,000 to the turnover of a small business seemingly at random' . In short I think blaming the Postmasters for not being wise enough is just a wee bit disingenuous.

Your false dichotomy (2)

Maxmin (921568) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222841)

In the context of a court case, judges have discretion to turn over closed source to for-hire special/expert witness review and presentment to the court. So your claim of only two choices for review (OSS wins the day, vs the P.O. can refuse to do anything) is evidently meant to convince the more gullible reader into believing OSS would have made the problems experienced by Ms Hamilton & co. easier to resolve. The sub-post masters would have to sue for satisfaction either way, and hire the special witness either way.

The Postal service (and Horizon by extension) clearly wish avoid liability in this, as do any institutions of its size. Given the soft and squishy language in announcing the report, with total avoidance of addressing specific sub-post masters' claims, they'll continue that way. But as their system is already closed source, your false dichotomy claim is most unhelpful to their plight, making you out as an opportunist.

Re:Your false dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44223009)

With OSS the issue may never need to go to court. since they (anyone in the chain) can simply look (or pay someone to look) and it might have been settled right there without any costly suits. OSS will always have the same options as closed source and on occasion more (you are aware that plenty of expensive software with serious support is OSS? there is nothing in OSS that says it cannot be sold/supported exactly like closed source so any such arrangement would be _exactly_ like closed source - but with the added bonus of 2nd or 3rd party verification of the code)

Re:Your false dichotomy (1)

Maxmin (921568) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223049)

With OSS the issue may never need to go to court. since they (anyone in the chain) can simply look (or pay someone to look) and it might have been settled right there without any costly suits.

Your optimism is so cute! In this case, the P.O. threw a blue-ribbon panel at the complainers; it's plain they've got a problem, but TFA was so vague, I can't tell if they were open to investigation and negotiated settlement.

OSS will always have the same options as closed source and on occasion more

Agreed; I use FOSSy SW every day, as well as proprietary. I occasionally contribute to OSS projects. I'm down, but just wanted the choices to be clear.

you are aware that plenty of expensive software with serious support is OSS?

I keep hearing this ... have you got some good examples?

nothing in OSS that says it cannot be sold/supported exactly like closed source... with the added bonus of 2nd or 3rd party verification of the code

I know -- financial incentives are like water to a software project.

In related news... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222143)

A government spokesman has stated they have "absolute confidence" in all their computer systems, and what happened to Mr. Buttle was merely an unfortunate accident that could have happened to anyone.

sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222167)

sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that with the real IT guys far from the real issues.

Re:sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222199)

It is outsourcing. The sub-postmasters who are being charged with fraudulent accounting over the results of these bugs are mostly former Royal Mail employees who were sacked and hired back as independent retailers contracted to provide postal services with contracts that transferred all the risk onto the small retailer providing the service.

Re:sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222389)

talking about the IT outsourcing as well.

Re:sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222567)

The sub-postmasters who are being charged with fraudulent accounting over the results of these bugs are mostly former Royal Mail employees who were sacked and hired back as independent retailers

...

Okay, so what they're saying is they fucked over the employees by taking away all their benefits and cutting their wages, they underfunded a software project that performed an apparently mission-critical function... and then fucked them over again when (surprise!) it didn't live up to the absurd demands of management.

Incompetence on this level by the government -- punishing the soldiers instead of the generals, has already lead to the failure of one major world economy whose various bureaucratic deitrius was "too big to fail", and I see Britain has failed to learn anything from the cluster fuck that is the remains of the US economy.

Well, British citizens... speaking as someone from the miserable colonies; It'll be nice to have some company.

Re:sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222917)

The Royal Mail is a private company, not government run. Naturally they went with the lowest bidder and tried out externalise all their risks and costs. That's how capitalism works.

Re:sounds like outsourcing or PHBs saying that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222995)

That's how the Third Reich came into being. Enjoy your LEADER/Führer Cromwell !

Re:In related news... (2)

Baby Duck (176251) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222247)

Wish I had mod points to congratulate this relevant shout out to Brazil.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222373)

``We don't make mistakes!"

(crunch)

Re:In related news... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222505)

A government spokesman has stated they have "absolute confidence" in all their computer systems

Citation please. Neither the summary nor the article quote anyone as saying that. It appears, unattributed, in a picture caption.

The article presents no evidence that the missing money was caused by computer bugs. Just that the software contains bugs. But any complex software has bugs. They say nothing about the severity or nature of the bugs. Did the bugs cause anyone to receive extra money? No? Just missing money? A program cannot just make money "disappear". There is still a transaction that it needs to be reconciled against. How many stamps were sold? How much money was run through the postage meter? What bank transactions were made? In order to convict someone of theft, that reconciliation would have been done. I think these people are just thieves that got caught, and are now trying to get off.

Re:In related news... (3, Insightful)

Common Joe (2807741) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222637)

You make great points, but I am forced to disagree with you on your conclusion. I don't come to conclusion that "these people are just thieves that got caught and are now trying to get off".

There's a guy who I knew who was sent to jail. He was charged with murder of his girlfriend. There were steroids, cocaine, and a fatal seizure involved. Now, I'm not saying the guy wasn't stupid, but the prosecutor of the case stated the following: individually, the facts make it look like he was guilty of murder, but when the facts are pieced together, the facts looked like an accidental overdose.

That was about 30 years ago. He was found guilty of murder and (if I recall correctly) served five years in prison. So was he really innocent? What happened? Why was he found guilty if he was innocent? I don't know. I do know that prosecutors are quite happy throwing people in jail in the U.S. today. See the drug war stats for that one. I also believe that prosecutors are quite happy to throw someone in jail just to help their careers. There seems to be stories popping up all over these days where innocent people are going to jail. Google "innocent people who have been put to death". If this can happen in the States, the post office story can happen in Britain.

Now, you make a very astute point. Nowhere in the article does it say where this missing money went. That is a very interesting point to me. You'd think it would be trivial for a reporter to find this out. From my perch, that means it can go any which way, because I don't trust government (in any country), I don't trust people and I certainly don't trust the media. This article leaves way too many questions.

Re:In related news... (2)

Spottywot (1910658) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222999)

Now, you make a very astute point. Nowhere in the article does it say where this missing money went. That is a very interesting point to me. You'd think it would be trivial for a reporter to find this out. From my perch, that means it can go any which way, because I don't trust government (in any country), I don't trust people and I certainly don't trust the media. This article leaves way too many questions.

I think that after prosecuting the poor victims they will have written off any unrecoverable 'losses' and the saved themselves a good amount in tax, it would be interesting to know how many post offices have just blindly accepted this bug and just stumped up the money with no one actually realising the mistake, in which case it just goes down as pure profit for the post office. In both cases the Post Office end up winners out of this 'creative accounting'.

Re:In related news... (1)

anagama (611277) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222661)

Ummm ... second link in TFS. This one here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23233573 [bbc.co.uk]

Look at the caption under the "Post Office" picture. It reads:

The Post Office previously said it had "absolute confidence" in its branch accounting

also this from the body:

"The review underlines our cause for confidence in the overall system."

I suggest you try ctrl-f or cmd-f (looks like a clover on a mac keyboard) before doing the citation rant.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222675)

Let me guess: you work for one of those leeching corporate welfare IT firms?

A program can easily make money "disappear": it can report takings greater than actually occurred. It could duplicate transactions which it thinks weren't committed properly, or post a transaction to the wrong post office, or fuck just have a bunch of fields initialised partly from a previous sale to post an entirely bogus transaction. Then, when the money's counted, it'll look like someone's nicked it. And the reconciliation will work. (Paper trail? Oh the reason there are no paper receipts is because the subpostmaster destroyed them - she's a thief, of course!)

Or maybe the sub-postmaster has securely delivered some cash back to HO, and entered the details in the system, but hitting "Confirm arrival" on the other end causes the record of the money's arrival to disappear in specific circumstances. Hell, maybe someone's known about the bugs for ages and takes advantage of them.

Never EVER underestimate the incompetence of all aspects of government outsourcing, especially where IT is involved. Along with a refusal to adjust pensionable age in line with increased life expectancy, privatisation of social housing stock, and "tax credits" (state subsidy of employers' wage bill), PPP is a primary reason for chronic overspend in the UK. There is nothing more bloated and inefficient than outsourcing a natural monopoly to private enterprise.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222805)

I do think you conveniently forget the Bankster criminals in London and New York. They are propgating the idea "he who has money is right and to be respected". Regardless of how that person acquired that money, as long as there is a "proper-looking" paper trail.

If you Anglosaxons don't get a firm handle on these people, very dark times are ahead for you. For the time being, the rational and strong Chinese government has averted total destruction of the world economic system with their massive reserves and smart policy. And by making it clear that Banksters will be shot, if required.

You better adopt the same policies or face a tyranny which makes China look like a kindergarten. Start with ridding yourself of your PM. He has been sent by the banksters so that they can suck the last drop of blood out of Britain.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44223047)

Why can't a program make money disappear? intentionally it is very very easy (x=x-1; there, one less money) unintentionally the same can happen, or you could be messing up your memory handling and just lose it. there is simply a million ways this can go wrong.

Re:In related news... (1)

anagama (611277) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222647)

Tuttle or Buttle?

Why worry about bugs? The government will give you a refund!

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222827)

Why worry about proper software engineering, testing and proper training ? This is Britain and the justice system will take care of those whom the software claims to have embezzled 10000 pounds.

Re:In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222737)

Buttle, or Tuttle?

helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail? (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222157)

"I got to the end of one week and I was £2,000 short so I rang the helpdesk and they told me to do various things and then it said I was £4,000 short.

"They then said I had to pay them the £4,000 because that's what my contract says - that I would make good any losses.

"Then while I was repaying that it jumped up to £9,000."
System 'confidence'

Ms Hamilton said that, by the time the figure reached £36,000, she lied to the Post Office - wrongly telling them the books were balancing just so that she could open the office the next day."

it seems like the helpdesk did not have the power or know-how to see something is very wrong there or maybe they did see something looks off but it's not in the script. Or maybe they where near the max time per call and said said say it's balanced and I will pass this up the chain.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222367)

Similar thing happened to me ~10 years ago(another EU country). National Telecom kept insisting I owed them money, when I called to see WTF is going on not so helpfuldesk assistant said he can see my payment and it cleared but system still wants moar money, he knows its a glitch and I can ignore it. A month later I get a bill for 2x what they imagined I owed them plus interest. I called again, asked for name of helpdesk guy, asked him to check it and informed next bill comes like this I will be reporting fraud to the police with his name attached - he cleared whole thing in 10 minutes.

Yes, this was very asshole of me, but it goes to show where is a will, there is a way.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222475)

Pretty much being an asshole to helpdesk people is the only way to get results. Most of those guys are just trying to get you to go away in 10 minutes or less so they can make their call stats for the week. Back in the day you might occasionally get someone who knew what they were doing, but that was back before the outsourcing craze pretty much guaranteed you were talking to a guy in a call center that also serves as helpdesk support for Hoover vacuum cleaners. He probably doesn't know that much about vacuum cleaners, either.

So this defines your relationship with that poor bastard. You have some broke-ass shit that needs fixing, and he is there to make you try to give up and fix your shit yourself. Now you could attempt to do that, and most of the time you're some wanker who just needs his hand held while he RTFMs. But sometimes you legitimately have some shit that needs fixing. If you KNOW you're a person who needs actual help and you KNOW about your relationship with aforementioned poor bastard, your only choice, really, is to beat that guy like he owes you money. I suppose alternately you could attempt to explain all this to him, but that would take a good bit longer and he really does have call stats he needs to make.

It would be nice if the process could work in such a way that you didn't HAVE to be an asshole to someone, but I guess that's just the way the world works.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222989)

Pretty much being an asshole to helpdesk people is the only way to get results.

No, it's a surefire way of being treat like an asshole.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44223037)

... Back in the day you might occasionally get someone who knew what they were doing ...

So it was with Australia's Telstra. A bit of perseverance would have one's complaint escalated until someone who knew what's what actually fixed the problem. Not so now.

Telstra rang my mother and demanded she buy the new you-beaut modem, which she did. I took one look and realized 'Nope, won't work with a e-tablet'. So she took it into the shop. They saw it working on their computer so they tried it on the e-tablet. After a few minutes the check-out chick went to her manager. They agreed it wouldn't work so a recovery and refund was organized. Then mum got the bill for the modem. Mum called Telstra and tried to explain the problem. But no-one would make a decision. In their defense, my mother doesn't understand the necessity of Key Words. So she refused to pay the bill, the whole bill as punishment. When her phone was disconnected I finally called Telstra and organised the refund. Looking at mum's phone bill I noticed her off-contract modem had gone from a $30 fee to a $50 fee. So we went to Telstra and found a modem on a cheaper plan, that would work with an e-tablet (although the one-click setup software was Windows only). But mum was now on the bad customer list and couldn't get credit approval. We made other plans for internet and she cancelled her off-contract modem. The next day Telstra rings wanting to know why she had cancelled the modem service. Mum explains the situation but the help-desk refuses to make a decision. The following day the same thing happens. And again, the day after. And the rest of the week. No-one would fix the actual problem.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222497)

Yes, this was very asshole of me, but it goes to show where is a will, there is a way.

In what way were you being an asshole? Someone (or something) was trying to defraud you, and you stood your ground and made them (or it) stop. That's not being an asshole; that's merely being responsible.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (2)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222587)

In what way were you being an asshole?

Because it was just some poor guy at the help desk, who is getting paid $10 an hour (if he's lucky), and doesn't need someone to sue him for fraud to make his day worse. It's not his fault, and now he's making threats at him.

I'm not saying he did the wrong thing, just that the guy at the help desk didn't deserve the treatment he got.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222615)

*ahem*

The poor guy at the help desk: Was he, or was he not representing the company?

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222641)

[Yes, this is a trick question.]

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222901)

you mean rhetorical.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222969)

You mean rhetorical ?

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223039)

you mean rhetorical.

No, I mean trick. Though it's a trap might be an appropriate footnote.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (2)

jrumney (197329) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222899)

To the customer, he appears to be representing the company, but to his employer he is authorized to read the script and no more. Always ask for the guy's manager first if you need them to actually resolve a problem by doing something out of the ordinary.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222843)

It's not like the suit would be against that individual employee.

And either way, that employee could easily get out of that by simply passing the call to his boss. But in this case, it seems the guy knew what he was doing, and fixed the problem himself.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222467)

shoddy system for shore. but there is no circumstance where telling a lie about the books being balanced is an acceptable response in this scenario no matter how painful the system or process is, It just makes the problem 10 times worse.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222517)

The problem, I think, is that there weren't any books per se to begin with: Everything is tabulated with a computer, and the computer is wrong.

And when the computer is off by tens of thousands of pounds/dollars/whatever: OMFG.

But lying? No. Telling the truth is good, especially when it comes to official money. "I don't know what's happening because we're off by a huge amount of money, far more than we could ever accomplish in a day's business" is a good starting point.

(Just because the books are already cooked by some outside force, does not mean that one must continue to cook them.)

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222831)

Obviously YMMV, anecdote time, but...

I used to work in a role where I was responsible for reconcile the finances of a bank branch every day. Basically, we relied on the computer to tally everything up correctly. If the computer reported a discrepancy, I'd spend the next hour with a print out, pencil and calculator going through every transaction line by line until I found the exact key press where the discrepancy originated (not always easy if there were multiple and overlapping discrepancies). 99% of the time (and because our banking software was pretty rock solid) it was human error, such as someone accidentally withdrawing some virtual money from the virtual till as part of a transfer, but accidentally leaving it in virtual limbo. You'd correct it and do some tedious audit paperwork.

Long story short, it was always possible to do the day's finances manually when you needed to. I would hope, for her sake, that the Post Office employee from TFA was trying her best to manually reconcile her issues, and not just leaving it to anonymous call centre staff.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222545)

there is no circumstance where telling a lie about the books being balanced is an acceptable response

It was a good response if she was trying to cover up her theft of 36,000 pounds.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44223035)

In a system/company which is PROPERLY run, there is a way of finding out whether the software is wrong: It's callend "Inventur" here in Germany: You basically count all the physical stuff (cash, post stamps, other valuable items). Then you compare that list against the computer.

THIS is going to discover any issues. That's how it is done on a regular basis in HONEST countries. Now, Britain is run by a bankster PM, so fuck that.

Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222797)

shoddy system for shore. but there is no circumstance where telling a lie about the books being balanced is an acceptable response in this scenario no matter how painful the system or process is, It just makes the problem 10 times worse.

I dunno, when your business is about to be shut down due to a computer glitch and there's nothing you can do about it... It didn't end well for her but I can certainly see why she did it. What would you do if the choice is between "lie" and "be shut down"?

I am just an employee (0)

stanlyb (1839382) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222163)

Sorry guys, but i bear ZERO responsibility for anything that this little program could cause. At the end of the day, i don't own the software, i don't sell it, i don't reap the benefits. All i do is just to "code" the requirements, nothing more, nothing less.

not when you are a 1099 fedex does the same BS (1, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222193)

not when you are a 1099 fedex does the same BS

FedEx package after the FedEx delivery driver had a neighbor I didn’t know in my building in [redacted] sign for a package from Apple.

and then make the driver be on the hook for it even when they don't have all day to wait and it common to give stuff / leave stuff to neighbor or drop it your door when you are not home.

http://consumerist.com/2011/08/19/report-your-iphone-stolen-get-a-visit-from-the-fedex-thugs/ [consumerist.com]

Re:not when you are a 1099 fedex does the same BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222365)

That's why I use UPS. Too many damn niggers working at FedEx these days. They hunt together like a pack of wolves.

Re:not when you are a 1099 fedex does the same BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222491)

What can brown do for you?

Re:not when you are a 1099 fedex does the same BS (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222657)

When you're not home and they require a signature, they're supposed to take it back, not sign it over to the nearest neighbor.

Re:I am just an employee (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222273)

All i do is just to "code" the requirements, nothing more, nothing less.

I'm willing to bet you don't actually code to the requirements, and that your code has bugs that were not specified in the requirements. Because pretty near everyone's does.

Re:I am just an employee (1)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223075)

That and if you're coding to the requirements knowing full well they're wrong then you're just as complicit regardless.

Whenever I've been given a spec that I know is wrong I get it changed, change it myself, or go over the spec writers head if they wont budge and send an e-mail to the highest levels along the lines of "This has x issue. Do you still want me to implement this? Note that if I do go ahead and do it anyway I am not willing to take any responsibility for faults that affect us or the client", then if it does come back to you just print out the e-mail and hold it up to their face. Thankfully nowadays I'm normally the one writing the spec, but there's no "I'm just doing what I'm told" excuse, if you know it's wrong get it fucking changed, if you don't, you're still just as much at fault.

What's the worst they can do? fire you? The software development industry only has an unemployment rate of about 2% - 3% and has largely been recession proof (because even when cuts have been made, other firms have been ramping up automation requiring more developers more than filling the gap). If you're not in the bottom 2% - 3% you can trivially just go work elsewhere.

Either way there's no legitimate reason to just go ahead and implement bad software.

Fly In The Works (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222181)

At least they didn't have to pay for their own interrogation.

So don't use PHP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222277)

Because I'm the biggest slashdot troll encouraging you to drink a big cup of frosty piss!

tuttle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222299)

or is it buttle

But the computer says they did it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222323)

The computer said they did it, computers don't lie, and hence they are statistically probably guilty.

And even if it turns out they're not guilty, well, perhaps they're terrorists because GCHQ had them under surveillance, whose to say. Maybe its better off if they're in jail.

Sounds like a nightmare (4, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222347)

So these employees were forced to use the UK PO accounting software, which had bugs, and which showed in some instances imaginary shortfalls that they had to repay with no way of defending themselves. Sounds peachy! I hope some judge throws the book at the UK post office and finds some way to redress the situation.

Re:Sounds like a nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222559)

The lady in the redress moves for nationalisation (after confiscating all profits made through privatisation).
The Post is the most fundamental of civil organs.

Re:Sounds like a nightmare (1)

crutchy (1949900) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222871)

The Post is the most fundamental of civil organs.

a big fat cock fucking everything under it

Re:Sounds like a nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222925)

Yeah, you would have thought that maybe someone would have, i don't know, checked the damn records before putting people in jail !
Gee !!

Re:Sounds like a nightmare (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223023)

That's not cost effective. We need to reach our efficiency goals.

Re:Sounds like a nightmare (1)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223083)

Well about 100 of these sub-postmasters are looking at taking them to court over this so yes I suspect they'll win and win big given that people lost houses and went to jail over these bugs.

Try healthcare (4, Interesting)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222449)

We make software for Healthcare professionals. As you can imagine, the risk footprint is pretty ugly.

We have special testing programs that are targeted at protecting patient safety.

We also have insurance up the wazoo (a technical term). Our PI Insurance covers us for several millions of dollars per claim, and hundreds of millions for class actions. It is our single biggest insurance expense for the entire organisation.

I'm happy to say that in 18 years, we've never made a claim against it, and we've never been notified of any negative consequence on any patients.

Send the manager to jail (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222473)

Maybe that'll encourage other CEO/CFO... to hire competent developers at the right (accurate/higher) salary. Due to the apparent easiness of the www languages (html,css,js,php) many people coming from various horizons proclaim themselves "developer", then offering their "talent" at a lower price.

Private Eye / Nick Wallis's article (5, Informative)

alanw (1822) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222483)

Private Eye [private-eye.co.uk] , a fortnightly UK satirical and news magazine first raised this issue
almost two years ago. Here's a link to the journalist's blog article. [blogspot.co.uk]

Re:Private Eye / Nick Wallis's article (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222879)

Interesting comment at the bottom of the article that might throw some light on where at least some of the money is going. Mobile phone topups are apparently showing up as declined at POS (which should cause the retailer to not take any payment from the customer), while some time later the customer gets an SMS informing them that their account has been topped up.

They used the wrong EULA (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222487)

sounds like they should've used the windows 7 eula (section 25): LIMITATION ON AND EXCLUSION OF DAMAGES. Except for any refund the manufacturer or installer may provide, you cannot recover any other damages... This limitation applies ... even if ... Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages.

Re:They used the wrong EULA (1)

crutchy (1949900) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222909)

eulas may protect microsoft from criminal liability, but only their team of lawyers can protect them from civil suits

actually in many countries these sorts of clauses in eulas are nullified by consumer protection statutes, and you can't contract yourself out of statute law no matter what the contract wording is or how it was agreed to

Similar issues (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222557)

I use some healthcare software that frequently drops drug prescriptions or swaps people's names on the top of clinical letters. I've complained and complained to the helpdesk but it's simply never acknowledged. Hasn't happened yet but if anyone comes to harm, it'll be me who is held to blame.

Actually (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222597)

What I build every day directly relates to the stats and commission of a large number of people. The problem is I'm given flawed methodology from the outset by the managers and above of these people. They basically do not have the analytical or even basic math skills required to be writing the requirements they are in charge of. When I point out all the problems with how they want to approach what we're doing, all I get in return is talk of scope creep and lines like "you're trying to fix today's problems when what we need done is the design for tomorrows system!" which I'm assuming they got out of a book or trade magazine because I hear it repeated enough. None of it really matters when they're doing something as idiotic as dividing every month by 30 to get a daily average.
"well most months are 30 days"
No, most months have 31... what about holidays and weekends?
"See? It all averages out!"
You and I have entirely different definitions of "average" and... whatever, I've written all my objections into the design requirements, please sign off that you're ignoring my warnings, thanks.
"Done!"
Again, your peoples numbers will be completely wrong...

want to be called engineers, dont want licensing (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222599)

Real Engineers have to get licensed by various bodies to ensure they Know What They Are Doing And Give A Shit.

When Engineers do horrible deisgns, sometimes they are even held to some kind of standard for their failure.

Contrast with computer programming. Every web douche wants to be called a 'software engineer' but god forbid anyone try to regulate them. Instead of actual professional licensing, that deals with reliability and quality of work, knowledge, etc, instead we get "MSCE" or other pseudo marketing garbage that means nothing.

Re:want to be called engineers, dont want licensin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222891)

More importantly, we prostitute ourselves to the People With Money. If Money says "no time for proper testing", "no time for proper documentation", "no time for proper architecture", we cave in 99% of the time. IT people are often very, very knowledgable, but we have absolutely no spine.

There are always "business reasons" for doing things in a half-assed way. Even when that means that other people (like Bank clerks) will go to jail for this.

But that is just one symptom of a wholly rotten system of corrupt rule and it appears it needs a proper implosion, before anything will be fixed. The banksters have taken over government and we the people already believe in their Money Ideology. We deserve all the shit we can get from this. Disregard the computer scientist, worship the money-changer and then take all the piss you can get from the money-changer.

Re:want to be called engineers, dont want licensin (2)

crutchy (1949900) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222983)

in some countries engineers (real ones, not fake software "engineers") can go to jail if they are proven negligent, and engineering qualification requirements are becoming embedded in laws and standards

fortunately in most cases computer programs don't kill people (the cases where they do are usually heavily regulated anyway, such as medicine and aviation) so end users have developed a kind of apathy towards computers where they have come to expect errors, especially in windows (if microsoft can't even have a product launch without a bsod then what hope has the rest of the programming fraternity got?).

real engineers are held to a high standard because the public expects it. if buildings routinely collapsed nobody would go in them.

programmers will only ever take responsibility when they are forced to by the public (and the legal system), and when that happens just watch how the number of software engineers goes from dime a dozen to a very expensive rarity. it takes a long time to build the credibility of a profession. doctors and other medical specialists are likely more trusted than engineers, but engineers rank fairly highly (which is why programmers like to associate themselves with engineering). programmers are no doubt more trusted than lawyers and second-hand car salesmen, but they are probably notable mainly for their impressive skills with a computer (however inconsistent and unreliable they may be), not their trustworthiness.

Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222639)

but how many of us consider the potential for bugs in ordinary software to adversely affect those that use it?"

What the hell man, have you ever installed or released software? What kind of literally retarded question is this?

MIT License

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

BSD

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

GPL

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

No, really. Are you an idiot, or do you just play one on the Internet? For fuck's sake man, there are even disclaimers that state the software can't be used in nuclear power facilities. Living under the rock wasn't good enough for you, so you made some glasses out of stone and entered the real world?! Are you Kidding Me? Even JOKE licenses have indemnity clauses. The truth of the matter is this: Writing perfect software is possible, I have created perfect driver software in assembly that handled EVERY possible input EXACTLY as they should -- computers have finite state, so it's very doable. However, that shit is expensive as hell. Furthermore, even when I knew my software was PERFECT I still used an indemnity clause. Why? Because unless you're willing to guarantee me that the RAM and CPU and all other Hardware that my software touches is operating PERFECTLY at all times, physically audited by ME or my agents whenever I want to, perhaps even tearing a machine apart down to the microchip level, and peeling away the silicone level by level to ensure your circuits are NOT haywire and ensure you're not lying, then I can't EVER be absolutely sure what "my software" will do.

If you can't assume the responsibility for the operation of the machines and systems YOU are responsible for operating, including the testing and verification of the software in and beyond the hardware's operating environment, then YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO USE MY SOFTWARE.

Re:Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222739)

"peeling away the silicone level by level to ensure your circuits are NOT haywire"

Silicone computer circuits?

Re:Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222857)

No, really. Are you an idiot, or do you just play one on the Internet? For fuck's sake man, there are even disclaimers that state the software can't be used in nuclear power facilities.

My favorite "why we can't use Free software" argument is always "if we buy from Microsoft/IBM/whoever, there's someone to sue if it all goes wrong; if we use Free software we have to accept the liability" - a clear indication that someone's never actually read an EULA (although admittedly the limited liability clauses in EULAs may not actually be legal, but I've never heard of someone suing Microsoft when Word breaks...)

Re:Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222929)

A sort of middle-ground thing would be that the government regulates software which can get people into jail, like the system in discussion. These systems need to have proper, documented quality assurance, bullet-proof and redundant logging facilities to allow for the investigation of any "mysteries".

Normally, any finance system is designed to allow for every single transation to be double- and triple-checked and this is especially necessary in the age of finance done by software.

But you know what ? Some sort of people-manipulating "business person" has been fucking up all sensible measures of this kind (in order to meet an illusionary cost objective and to implement 175 stupid, useless "extra" features) and now some clerks go to jail for that. The cynicism of our rotten elite at work.

The elite will pay back when they march into the facilities of the Fourth Empire of Rick Cromwell, the 3rd.

Re:Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44223061)

A sort of middle-ground thing would be that the government regulates software which can get people into jail, like the system in discussion. These systems need to have proper, documented quality assurance, bullet-proof and redundant logging facilities to allow for the investigation of any "mysteries".

OR! How about if you see a fucking bug in the software you're using that's generating discrepancies, then instead of covering for it, YOU DO YOUR FUCKING JOB, and refuse to use the piece of shit defective software until it's fixed and you can perform your duties. I do agree that governments should get involved. To facilitate this, it should be a mandatory requirement for all hardware drivers to be open source so that the software interacting with it, and the users of the hardware, can audit and fix broken shit. Give me closed source software, the specs for it, and an open platform to run it on, and I'll tell you if it's got any bugs. That means you could pay ME, or other engineers like me, to ensure the shit software you bought was working.

Hell, just mandating a competent help desk would have fixed the TFA's issue.

Re:Everyone. Seriously. WTF are you thinking? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223011)

how many of us consider the potential for bugs in ordinary software to adversely affect those that use it?

MIT License

BSD

GPL

programmers include these eulas so that they don't have to consider the effects or consequences of bugs in their software... eulas don't exactly impose any level of responsibility on the programmer (that's kinda the opposite of what they do actually)

if only real engineers could have these kind of eulas on their structural computations... imagine walking into a skyscraper with a big sign like this at the entrance:

"ENTER THIS SKYSCRAPER AT YOUR OWN RISK. SOME NUMBERS HAVE BEEN CRUNCHED TO COME UP WITH A DESIGN THAT WE THINK WILL WORK BUT WE DON'T OFFER ANY WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED THAT THIS SKYSCRAPER WILL BE FIT FOR PURPOSE, AND THE ENGINEERS WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL ETC DAMAGES. IF THIS BUILDING KILLS YOU... TOUGH SHIT."

I have created perfect driver software in assembly that handled EVERY possible input EXACTLY as they should

i'll bet that's the kind of half-assed confidence that the programmers of the Therac-25 had before they killed people

"Ordinary" software? (1)

kav2k (1545689) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222723)

You definitely can't call accounting software "ordinary", at least not in terms of risks.
It operates in an area with high legal risks for its users in case of an error, and it's not a revelation for the developers of said class of software.

The problem is trust (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222725)

They have misplaced trust in their computer system.

And misplaced lack of trust in human beings.

Accounting shortfall should not mean someone goes to jail.

It should mean a thorough investigation is launched, and the tool that first reported the shortfall should not be assumed to hold accurate information.

The system wrong? Unpossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222799)

"[I]t is used by around 68,000 people in more than 11,500 branches, successfully processing more than six million transactions every day."

How can thorough investigations possibly be needed here?!? This is the postal system, don't you know!?!

Re:The problem is trust (1)

mcvos (645701) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223077)

I suspect the main result of this is going to be that nobody will want to be a sub-postmaster anymore. If you risk going to jail for other people's bugs, I doubt the risk is worth the extra revenue.

How it's even possible that someone goes to jail before a thorough investigation is another big mystery. I guess not only does the Post Office trust their buggy software too much, but the judge take the Post Office at their word.

The summary isn't very good (5, Informative)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222761)

To resummarize:

Sub-postmasters, for those who aren't aware, are private subcontractors of the UK postal system. They are not directly employed by the government, they operate as private businesses.

The UK requires them to use specific software, called Horizon, to manage all transactions and accounting.

This software had a pretty serious bug that resulted in wrongly calculated shortfalls into the thousands of pounds. Their contracts, however, stipulate that they must make up for shortfalls themselves. Doesn't matter if the software is wrong, that's what it says, that's what it is (sounds like government to me...)

This bug went unfixed for years, despite numerous complaints and reports.

Some postmasters started falsely reporting the shortfalls as the obviously miscalculated numbers climbed to ridiculous amounts (tens of thousands) that would put them out of business by the end of the day. Because falsely reporting accounting numbers is illegal (even though the "right" numbers are obviously wrong and completely not the postmasters' fault), some of them were sentenced to prison, most likely due to the strict, unwavering and unreasoning nature of law.

Basically, they were users self-correcting for what they knew was a flaw in the software they were forced to use, and they went to jail for it or otherwise paid dearly. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. All in all, a pretty deplorable miscarriage of justice.

Re:The summary isn't very good (4, Informative)

newcastlejon (1483695) | 1 year,21 days | (#44223029)

To resummarize:

Sub-postmasters, for those who aren't aware, are private subcontractors of the UK postal system. They are not directly employed by the government, they operate as private businesses.

The UK requires them to use specific software, called Horizon, to manage all transactions and accounting.

The Post Office is not state-owned.

FYI, the postal system in the UK was formally owned and operated by the state, but was split back in 1986 into Post Office Ltd and Royal Mail; the former was privatised. The Post Office operate the physical branches as well as selling some minor banking and telephony* services while RM, which is state-owned, deal with the actual delivery of mail. FWIW parts of my line of work would be much easier if the government actually did run the post offices.

*To make things more confusing, the old GPO also ran the telephones but that part was spun off into British Telecom long ago. Now the new Post Office also do telephony.

What's the nature of the bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44222767)

I mean, every program in one way or the other will retain some bugs, just like humans there ain't no perfect program. That's why the need for upgrade comes in. Except when the program is loaded by error of omission or commission with malicious bugs, and you've not categorically told us that.
Well I know accounting means money, Maybe someone wants to pay the bills.
All the same I hope my website doesn't have such bugs www.swaggland.com.

Once again its the Anonymous Coward, lol are you kidding

Normal in accounts (2)

Justpin (2974855) | 1 year,21 days | (#44222881)

ALL of the major accounting software packages have tons of bugs in them. They just stick disclaimers in them voiding them of any responsibility. I know because I was an accountant once, I was hauled over the coals a number of times because of it, even got a disciplinary for poor performance. I quadruple checked and added things up in excel and on paper yet the numbers which came out when entered on the software didn't add up. Until I started recording my screen and demonstrated that it was the software at fault I was entering my calculations as I had worked them out on excel. I vindicated myself but the boss had the knives out for me already and used it as an excuse to sack me and outsourced everything to Pakistan as well as getting rid of his 40 other staff.
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