Reading: B. Miller, L. Fredriksen, and B, So, "An Empirical Study of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities," Communications of the CACM 33 (12) pp. 32-44 (Dec. 1990).
The following item appeared in the current issue of the RISKS Digest1:
Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2005 00:26:34 +0000
From: Matt Roberds <email@example.com>
Subject: Buffer overrun in television sets
A recent discussion in news:sci.electronics.repair concerned late-model RCA television sets that would suddenly lose their sound. Two repair technicians stated that they could find nothing physically wrong with the sets, and that unplugging the set for a while seemed to cure the problem. One technician later posted this link:
According to that article, a device from one particular manufacturer that is used to insert closed captioning and other data into the video stream is generating data that has two bits more than the specification. These two extra bits were causing the microprocessor in the television to become confused. The article claims that Sony, Hitachi, and Philips sets are also affected.
That article is dated June 2001, but the discussion in the newsgroup appears to indicate that this problem has occurred more recently than that.
What other types of devices may have this problem? How could you check for it? How could you protect against it without rebuilding the device?