There are many famous (and interesting) bugs in the computer science world. Like, once, due to some error in the PayPal’s system, a person was credited with $92 quadrillion in this account. He became the world’s richest person.
Another renowned and hefty bug was Mars Climate Orbiter that cost NASA $327.6 million. Basically, USA launched a mission to know everything about Mars. Its orbiter, however, crashed after 286 days due to some miscalculations. The Patriot Missile Software Failure, Hartford Coliseum Collapse, and Wall Street Crash are some of the renowned bugs in the computer science world.
But of all, my favorite is Y2K bug, also known as millennium bug. Basically, since computers recognize only the last 2 digits of a year (like 97 for 1997 and 50 for 1950), many engineers thought that with the beginning of 2000, computing system will fail to recognize the new millennia and would treat 2000 and the following years as the 1900s because they will factor just the last two digit of the year.
Meaning, they thought, after 31 December 1999, we would see 1 January 1900.
This created panic around the world. Countries spent millions of dollars in order to fix this problem. There were literally millions of people holding their breath as the clock turned to 00:00 January 1, 2000, hoping they could see mass errors in transportation, communication and in the entire tech sector. However, NOTHING happened.
Yes, there were few glitches here and there. But, in the end, everything went well. And the countries who spent a lot of their money (including Australia), they ended up making fool of themselves. It was funny. But at the same time scary. What if it would have happened? We would possibly still be living in 1918.
Cost: $18.5 million
Disaster: The Mariner 1 rocket with a space probe headed for Venus diverted from its intended flight path shortly after launch. Mission Control destroyed the rocket 293 seconds after liftoff.
Cause: A programmer incorrectly transcribed a handwritten formula into computer code, missing a single superscript bar. Without the smoothing function indicated by the bar, the software treated normal variations of velocity as if they were serious, causing faulty corrections that sent the rocket off course.