Software is the term applied to any set of instructions carried out automatically by a computer. The most familiar type of software is a software application, which is a set of instructions, or a number of instructions sets used together, designed to meet a particular need or related set of needs ...

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Do 95 percent of the world's ATMs use Windows XP?

Reuters claims: Windows XP currently supports around 95 percent of the world's ATMs. Is that true? In the same article, it is said: The U.S. software company first warned that it was ...
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Did the NSA pay RSA $10 million to make Dual_EC_DRBG the default in BSafe?

According to this article from Reuters Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the ...
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Are 1 in 5 pieces of software in the US unlicensed?

This BSA form claims that 1 in 5 pieces of software in the US are unlicensed. How true is it?
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105 views

Dragon NaturallySpeaking's accuracy improvement over versions

Dragon NaturallySpeaking's editor Nuance claims that Dragon 12 delivers up to a 20% improvement in out-of-box accuracy compared to Dragon 11. Nuance made similar claims in the past with previous ...
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488 views

Was “bug” used to refer to software bugs before being popularized by Grace Hopper?

A very famous photo is the following which is the picture of a moth stuck to a piece of paper with the writing "First actual case of a bug being found". We already know that bug was being used for ...
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646 views

Airplane software crash caused by zero/negative altitude at Dead Sea

I've been told anecdotes like this several times on the interviews. Interviewers used this story as an argument in favor of defensive software development. Here is an explanation from one of the ...
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4k views

Do professional software developers write an average of 10 lines of code per day?

In the classic 1975 software project management book, The Mythical Man Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Fred Brooks states that, no matter the programming language chosen, a professional ...
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452 views

Did the Windows XP CD include Microsoft Bob?

Microsoft employee Raymond Chen says that an encrypted copy of Microsoft Bob is included on the Windows XP CD to take up space. But Windows XP doesn't take up the entire CD; there is a lot of free ...
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596 views

Does having a specification result in better code?

From Joel on Software, 12 Steps to Better Code, Joel asserts that: Writing specs is like flossing: everybody agrees that it's a good thing, but nobody does it. And: Software that wasn't ...
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Was a tech support call made, mid-coup, to help unlock an armoury?

I'm trying to verify an urban tech legend I heard a few years ago. Some poor SuperMac TechSport got a call from some middle level official... from the legitimate government of Trinidad. The ...
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Can Skype wiretap your calls?

The Skype-Open-Source Blog speculates that Microsoft have changed the architecture of Skype in order to facilitate wiretapping: Two months ago, Skype replaces user-hosted P2P supernodes with ...
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593 views

Does progress in algorithms beat progress in hardware?

A 2010 report to the U.S. President and Congress about past and future advances in information technology notes that: While improvements in hardware accounted for an approximate 1,000 fold ...
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Has anyone done a scientific analysis of the “Ghost Radar” app for ios/android? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can smartphone Apps detect EMF? Hard to find anything scientific regarding this app on the interwebs... Almost seems like search results have been manipulated to lower ...
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Can acts of IP piracy be more beneficial than harmful?

There are several claims that piracy of Intellectual Property (IP) can help sales more than it hurts them. For example, Edmund McMillan of Team Meat states in an interview at IGN: McMillen ...
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Was NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter lost because engineering teams used different measuring units?

I read in a book that NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter was lost on September 23, 1999, at a cost of $125 million, because one engineering team used metric units, while another one used inches for a key ...
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323 views

Do off-the-shelf software products which claim to “Clean Your PC” work?

It's these incessant commercials I always see on my TV. "Install our product, and we will make your PC up to 100% faster!" Then they usually go through a few customer use cases (typically involving ...
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Are individual watermarks widely used to fight piracy?

I have heard on some occasions that programs for digital media, such as Adobe Photoshop, embed hidden watermarks in the pictures that make it possible to spot a pirated copy and trace it to the person ...
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Did COBOL have 250 billion lines of code and 1 million programmers, as late as 2009?

In 2009 COBOL turned 50 years old. It got some publicity with claims, which I find rather hard to believe: "Cobol hits 50 and keeps counting" article in the Guardian. According to David ...
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2k views

Is DRM effective?

Reddit is all abuzz about DRM, piracy and all related topics. I don't really know much about the details in the technology here, but people were throwing around statements like these (all pulled from ...
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589 views

Do software patents stifle creativity?

Is there any evidence to support the claim that software patents stifle creativity and put many people at risk of legal action? If necessary refer to some background reading: Seriously think ...
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7k views

Is closed-source code more secure than open-source?

My computing teacher told us that closed source software is more secure than open source software, because with open source "anyone can modify it and put stuff in." This is why they do not want to use ...
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2k views

Can Microsoft's success be attributed to their abuse of a monopoly

Can the success of Microsoft be attributed to their abuse of their operating system monopolies of MS-DOS through the various versions of Windows (and other related monopolies such as the Internet ...