Spoons has posted about someone who hit a car barrier while riding a bike resulting in being quadriplegic and winning a lawsuit against the local government that maintained the bike trail. I won’t dwell on the point that this kind of thing is what insurance, not lawsuits, are for.
Instead, this reminded me of another idea I had while working with She Who Is Perfect In All Ways on her computer security class. She has her class building worms that use the buffer overflow attack to subvert target systems. I was thinking about that and some other automated testing concepts I’m working on for my current business. I wondered about whether it would be feasible to automate the examination of the source code or raw binaries to detect such issues. However, if one could do that, one follow up by sending the results to the manufacturer and then us that fact in a later lawsuit. It would be exactly the same as the lawyers who cruise sidewalks, documenting bumps and potholes so that when someone trips over one the lawyer can sue the city and claim “they knew about it but refused to fix it”. Now I wonder how long it will be before someone is actually doing that.