1999: Y2K Software Conversion 117
1. Should a programmer remain responsible for his code decades after it is
2. When planning a software architecture, what length of time should be
considered “short term”? What length of time should be considered
“long term”?
3. Based on cost-benefit analysis, when should the first Y2K fixes have
been initiated?
4. In the early 2000s, several viruses and worms disrupted daily business at
American corporations. In early 2005 the New York Times reported that
a virus may one day disrupt automobile functions. One mechanism
through which this could occur would be to infiltrate the OnStar system,
which will be included in all General Motors cars by the end of 2007.
OnStar can forward readings from sensors throughout the car through a
cell phone link for troubleshooting. Several automakers have discussed
plans to use this conduit, called telematics, to update a vehicle’s soft-
ware or even perform electronic repairs (Zeller, 2005). How could a
telematics virus affect public safety? Should planning for telematics
security become an automotive industry mandate?
5. How involved should the government be in keeping computer systems
of all types secure?
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