Die Hard 4.0 and Software Testing

Some days back I went to watch Die Hard 4.0, please notice that its 4.0 and not 4. The movie is about our old cop Bruce and the bad boys who want to destroy the world, in this case they were more interested to demo or show a POC (Proof Of Concept) that given the right funding they can save the world from destruction. They actually did some destruction to drive home the point that destruction is possible.

The movie moves very smoothly with few people getting killed every now and then. Special effects are awesome and good wins over bad, albeit the good (in this case our very own Bruce) also wins over a F16 bomber, in-numerable bullets, n kill attempts, speeding oncoming cars and what not.

The movie is about a grudge which a top s/w developer had when his requests to get additional funds to plug security holes were not listened to. To make his bosses take note, this gentleman actually hacks few things while in office so that people-in-power could understand the ramifications but instead they sack him, holding him as the culprit. This chap goes out, creates his own little startup in a garage and gets funded (dont know how) and attacks civilization by paralyzing traffic systems, stopping essential supplies, hijacking phone network and playing his favorite videos on all television channels. Another lad comes to the rescue of Bruce and other good people by hacking things and more of technical bull shit.

so far so good, a decent movie, good hero, who cares more. Rs 100 well spent on a multiplex.

Well, not really. I thought more about it and challenged the very plot which assumed that a hacker can actually control everything and make life miserable. And after brooding for a while, it all seemed to be doable.

Really, yeah, really. Read more.

I stay in an average sub-urb apartment block and my electricity is pre-paid. We buy coupons and then feed-in the nos to get charge, this is done through local telephone line. As the charge goes to Zero, the power goes off, all by itself or all by software. If somehow someone can access my telephone line and run a computer, its not far from belief that they can actually power off our entire apartment block. Doable… hmmm. yeah sort of.

Lets go a step further. The power transmission centres are all run by s/w , to a very great extent, all the airline traffic is managed using s/w, so much so the watering of plants in Adobe San Jose office is done through s/w and I am not 100 % sure but traffic lights in Delhi are done centrally and must be some s/w.

Our life is actually dependent on s/w and how do we protect ourselves. Well, by listening to all those software testing engineers and by fixing bugs.

I guess now the conversation will get a little drab and theoretical so I will abruptly stop here.

Think about everything which is done through s/w and then think about software testing. Next time your manager refuses to fund additional resources for testing, buy him a Die Hard 4.0 ticket or send him a DVD. I am sure he would understand.

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