JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

Programmers are responsible for the way a ton of stuff works - things we don't even think about! Every time you scan something at the grocery store, pump gas, or even make toast (if you've got a super fancy toaster) a programmer was behind it.


The thing is, code is really really easy to mess up. A simple typo can send the whole thing tumbling down. One Reddit user asked:

Programmers, what is the biggest fck up you've ever seen caused by a tiny mistake in the code?

Some of these are screw ups that directly effected users in a "small-scale" way like the person who accidentally flooded their place trying to auto-fill their fish tank. Some of these are massive and impacted thousands of people.

What they have in common is those tiny errors; a space bar, a misplaced character ... sometimes all it takes is one wrong keystroke to send canisters of molten hot metal flying through the air.

"Please Try Again"

A co-worker made a change to our credit card processing code on a Friday evening, didn't test it, pushed it to prod, and then went home.

He made a typo in his code that caused a runtime error on the back end. Everyone that tried to make a purchase received a generic "Couldn't process your card. Please try again." But it did process their card... it was failing at some step after. People would retry several times and their credit cards were being charged every time.

Super cluster fck on Monday morning.

- fade_00

Leave

Giphy

There was a leave application at a company I was working for, it was a nice 30k employee strength software company.

The leave application had a workflow built in. If an employee's leave wasn't approved by his manager for 3 days it would go to the next level manager and stay there for 5 days and so on..

To test some aspect of this workflow feature, the approval waiting time was reduced from x days to 3 mins. Then without reverting this test change the code was pushed to production.

The next day, the company's CEO had around 500 leave applications in his mailbox.

- dominus_selenos

The Wildcard

One of our engineers, when writing some custom scripting for a customer, made the decision to use what's called a wildcard character in the delete statements. For those who don't know, what these characters do is let you do comparisons that do not need to be an exact match, such as using "*ing"

The system would then match any value that ends in "ing". Besides the already WTF of using a wildcard when trying to delete they also did not validate that the data being supplied was present. So basically what ended up happening is the customer processed an order where this data was empty, causing the wildcard to be all by it's lonesome and matching with literally anything.

The end result was about 6 months worth of orders being deleted.

- Kirgio

Employee #1

I was on-call for a retail company when, early one morning, we had a problem where inventory couldn't be taken in any of our stores. Tracked the problem down to 25-year-old code written for the hand scanners that wasn't in source control.

Turns out, the startup code did a check to validate the database connection; the way it did this is by looking up employee #1.

She'd retired a week earlier and removed from the database the previous evening, causing everything to crash like dominoes. The company was going to replace the scanners at some point, and we had no way to build a Java version that old, so they re-added her info and added code to exclude her as a recognized employee for discounts/etc.

- cjcmd

Praying

I used to work for a company that got people (mainly Americans) online and sent out tons of CDs as ways to sell their service. There were a bunch of scripted jobs that you could use to restart servers, as our naming conventions were pretty good (so if you wanted to restart all the webproxy servers, you could run `./script webproxy*` and have all those servers restarted. Good for code upgrades or patches, or whatnot. Script worked off of a big inventory list and could restart multiple "classes" of servers in case you were doing work on an entire subsystem.

Someone ran it like so:

script webproxy *

Notice the space. The script began restarting every host everywhere. One of the VP's was in the war room trying to fix things, was offered a chair (as he was kneeling in front of a keyboard) to which he responded "No, I'm praying" and kept on working.

- faisent

Do The Robot

Giphy

During work experience, me and my friend went to the schools IT department and had been tasked with building and programming robots as well as making a presentation on how to recreate our results. They were remote controlled except they all shared the same radio channel so due to a single line of code 1 controller controlled 8 robots.

So we turned off the lights and made them dance with flashing disco lights on them.

- gaVtehchAV436

Identity Thief's Playground

I do a lot of internet screen-scraping, and was getting healthcare provider information from a large insurance site. I got to the listings of physicians and found that the parameters to see a physician's details were made up of a giant database dump of information. It had the doctor's name, office address, phone, SSN, birthday, home address ... it went on and and into tiny details. One wouldn't see it on the site, but click on the source, and you it was an identity thief's playground.

I called the insurance site immediately, but no one could get me to a web-admin or IT, so I looked up the CEO's number, and called there. I talked to an executive assistant. I told her if it wasn't fixed in a day, I would need to start calling the affected doctors.

The site was down about a day and a half later, and after a few days returned without that egregious error.

- SurlyJason

Fish Tank

I'm learning python and micropython right now. Wrote a code to refill my fishtank from a reservoir when it got too low... Didn't set an upper threshold to stop the pump.

Small flood. Decided to start testing more thoroughly before implementation.

- benign_saidbenign_said

Molten Aluminum

At long-defunct car parts manufacturer. A big robot was taking a crucible of molten aluminium and pouring it into molds. Suddenly there was this loud whine of rapidly moving servos, and it threw the crucible of, I repeat, molten aluminium through the roof.

Later I asked one of the engineers what had happened. "We lost the tacho" he said, laconically.

In more detail, they lost the signal which told the controller how far the arm was moving - loose wire I guess. So the controller decided to feed in more power to make it move. Lots more power.

Apparently you could tell the experienced people because they were the ones under the benches as soon as they heard the whine.

- thx1138a

Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or ":zipper_mouth_face:" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Have you ever been reading a book, watching a movie, or even sitting down for a fantastical cartoon and began to salivate when the characters dig into some doozy of a made up food?

You're not alone.

Food is apparently fertile ground for creativity. Authors, movie directors, and animators all can't help but put a little extra time and effort into the process of making characters' tasty delights mouthwatering even for audiences on the other side of the screen.

Read on for a perfect mixture of nostalgia and hunger.

AllWhammyNoMorals asked, "What's a fictional food you've always wanted to try?"

Some people were all about the magical foods eaten in the magical places. They couldn't help but wish they could bite into something with fantastical properties and unearthly deliciousness.

Nutritious

"Enchanted golden apple" -- DabbingIsSo2015

"The Minecraft eating sounds make me hungry" -- FishingHobo

"Gotta love that health regeneration" -- r2celjazz

"Pretty sure those are based off the golden apples that grant immortality. Norse mythology I think?" -- Raven_of_Blades

Take Your Pick

"Nearly any food from Charlie and the Chocolate factory" -- CrimsonFox100

"Came here to say snozzberries!" -- Utah_Writer

"Everlasting Gobstoppers #1, but also when they're free to roam near the chocolate river and the entire environment is edible." -- devo9er

Peak Efficiency

"Lembas" -- Roxwords

"The one that fills you with just a bite? My fat a** would be making sandwiches with two lembas breads and putting bacon, avocado and cheese inside. Then probably go for some dessert afterwards. No wonder why those elves are all skinny, eating just one measly bite of this stuff." -- sushister

Some people got stuck on the foods they saw in the cartoons they watched growing up. The vibrant colors, the artistic sounds, and the exaggerated movements all come together to form some good-looking fake grub.

The One and Only

"Krabby patty 🍔" -- Cat_xox

"And a kelp shake" -- titsclitsntennerbits

"As a kid I always pretended burgers from McDonalds were Krabby Patties, heck from time to time I still do for the nostalgia of it all. Many of my friends did the same thing." -- Thisissuchadragtodo

Cheeeeeeeeese

"The pizza from an extremely goofy movie. The stringy cheese just looked magical lol" -- ES_Verified

"The pizza in the old TMNT cartoon as well." -- gate_of_steiner85

"Only bested by the pizza from All Dogs Go to Heaven." -- Purdaddy

Get a Big Old Chunk

"Those giant turkey drumsticks in old cartoons that characters would tear huge chunks out of. Those things looked amazing, turkey drumsticks in real life suck and are annoying to eat."

-- Ozwaldo

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp

"Every bowl of ramen on any anime, ever." -- Cat_xox

"Studio Ghibli eggs and bacon" -- DrManhattan_DDM

"Honestly, any food in anime. I swear to god half the budget no matter what the studio goes into making the food look absolutely delicious." -- Viridun

Finally, some highlighted the things that aren't quite so far-fetched, but still far enough away that it's nothing we'll be eating anytime soon.

That tease can be enough to make your mouth water.

What's In It??

"Butter beer" -- Damn_Dog_Inappropes

"came here to say this. i was pretty disappointed with the universal studio version which was over the top sweet. it was more of a butterscotch root beer. i imagine butter beer to be something more like butter and beer, which wouldn't be crazy sweet, but would have a very deep rich flavor" -- crazyskiingsloth

Slice of the Future

"The microwave pizzas in back to the future two" -- biggiemick91

"I've been fascinated with those for years! They just look so good!" -- skoros

As Sweet As They Had

"The Turkish Delight from Lion Witch & Wardrobe. The real ones I had weren't bad but nothing special." -- spoon_shaped_spoon

"Came here to say this. I know it's a real thing, but I always imagined that it must have been amazing to betray your siblings over." -- la_yes

"You're used to freely available too sweet sweets. For a WW2 era schoolkid, it would have represented all the sweets for an entire year." -- ResponsibleLimeade



Here's hoping you made it through the list without going into kitchen for some snack you didn't actually need.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

When a movie rakes in a ton of cash at the box office, the studio that made it has only one thing on its mind: "How do we keep shaking this money tree?"

Unfortunately, that means they make sequels, sometimes sequels on sequels on sequels.

Keep reading... Show less

Oftentimes I like to do my best Ghostface impression and aggressively ask people what their favorite scary movies are. Because I personally have a lot! At the same time, I'm also terrified that at any point, I could end up getting my head punched off by Jason Vorhees (Part 8 of the series--best one IMO).

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

I hate hypocrites. They are the bane of my existence. All you have to do is stand behind your words. How hard is that? You said them. I especially get peeved when people bloviate on a topic and condemn and holler but then when it comes to them doing it... silence.

Redditor u/ErrForceOnes wanted to know about the moments people chose to curiously "pay no mind" by asking... What is a GIANT hypocrisy that no one seems to mind?
Keep reading... Show less