Looking at the fallout from this and asking others around me, most people don't think of this as a disaster. Yet, take a look at this appended AP report. Most of it seems like inconveniences when taken individually. But let's look at it a different way.
One simple application on a computer fails in City X. Almost everyone has a 'plan b' or workaround to be productive so the city keeps moving. Except the question then becomes how long can this plan b keep going before it starts to crack and seep into other areas of life?
Some would say, what does this have to do with third world countries? Think about it.
The current mentality of bringing this countries onto the world scene would involve increase of technology and understanding. But something like this would knock fledgling states backward, either to simple short term skepticism to complete rejection of future enhancements that could better their society. Or that a first world nation is crippled by this application delays needed resources that third world countries desperately need.
You may have seen this at local grocery stores when the debit machine doesn't work.
How people get frustrated, snap that their routines have become disrupted, poisoning the air around them. People can accept power outages. But they can't accept "the system is down".
Sure, most places have a plan B to keep their businesses and services going. But very few take in account the human factor. Very few seem to test these "plans" beforehand, to see if they are feasible or even if they even work. Phone trees, store credit, or simply who does the freckled red head kid call when the system goes down that won't yell at him too?
People leave too many variables to chance every day unnecessarily. Sure, you can't control everything. But you can minimize the amount of potential damage. A good place to start is simply auditing your daily tasks and figuring out how many systems are key to you being productive. Transit, grocery, power, social, etc. Just being aware of how much you interact with on a daily basis is a big start.
===== SNIP HERE =====
From the NewYork Times, AP Business Writer Daniel Wagner in Washington
contributed to this report: McAfee could not say how many computers were affected, but judging by
online postings, the number was at least in the
thousands and possibly in the hundreds of thousands.
McAfee said it did not appear that consumer versions of its software
caused similar problems. It is investigating how the error
happened ''and will take measures'' to prevent it from recurring, the
company said in a statement.
The computer problem forced about a third of the hospitals in Rhode
Island to postpone elective surgeries and stop treating
patients without traumas in emergency rooms, said Nancy Jean, a
spokeswoman for the Lifespan system of hospitals. The
system includes Rhode Island Hospital, the state's largest, and Newport
Hospital. Jean said patients who required treatment for
gunshot wounds, car accidents, blunt trauma and other potentially fatal
injuries were still being admitted to the emergency
In Kentucky, state police were told to shut down the computers in their
patrol cars as technicians tried to fix the problem. The
National Science Foundation headquarters in Arlington, Va., also lost
Intel Corp. appeared to be among the victims, according to employee
posts on Twitter. Intel did not immediately return calls for
comment. [wonder if their VOIP was running on an XP system?!]
Peter Juvinall, systems administrator at Illinois State University in
Normal, said that when the first computer started rebooting it
quickly became evident that it was a major problem, affecting dozens of
computers at the College of Business alone.
''I originally thought it was a virus,'' he said. When the tech support
people concluded McAfee's update was to blame, they
stopped further downloads of the faulty software update and started
shuttling from computer to computer to get the machines
In many offices, personal attention to each PC from a technician
appeared to be the only way to fix the problem because the
computers weren't receptive to remote software updates when stuck in the
reboot cycle. That slowed the recovery.
// End NY Times Article/ AP