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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Bug ! - what is bugging you !!

Ever heard of the Siemens benchmark ? – Technology should be put to use – but rules sometimes make them irrelevant or useless – is that not a bug ? 

AT Brisbane, Ashes got off to a roaring start with Rory Burns bowled for naught off the very first ball of Michael Starc. This morning there was some controversy as  Ben Stokes was denied a wicket in his first over back in Test cricket when he bowled David Warner with a no-ball and it soon transpired that he had overstepped on the first three deliveries of the over as well - but they were not called by the third umpire as is meant to be the protocol.  Had they been noticed (which is the role of third umpire now!) – why they were not called so ?

Warner was on 17 during the second morning at the Gabba when he played around a full delivery but Stokes almost aborted his celebration, as if fearing that he was over the front line. Shortly after the non-dismissal the host broadcasters replayed footage of the start of the over and Stokes had no-balled each time.


The ICC first trialled the use of the TV umpire monitoring the front line every delivery in 2019 and it was used for the first time in Test cricket when England played Pakistan in 2020. The ICC playing conditions for the World Test Championship state: "The third umpire shall review television replays of the bowler's front foot landing and, if he/she is satisfied that any of these three conditions have not been met, he/she shall immediately advise the bowler's end umpire who shall in turn immediately call and signal No-ball." Speaking to Channel Seven, former ICC umpire Simon Taufel said: "They are supposed to be checking every ball. I really can't explain it." Joe Root maintained a diplomatic stance when speaking briefly to Fox Cricket during the drinks break. "Slightly frustrating but we can't let that get to us," he said. 

To us, simply, a bug is an insectBug is a  general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate.   They can be annoying too !! for many bugs bug !!  There are bugs you can see, like bees, and bugs that are much smaller, like viruses and bacteria. On a microscope they may look big and threatening – as also on a camera zoom !!    A microphone that's hidden in someone's home or telephone is also a bug, named after its small size. To bug someone means either to spy on them, or simply to bother them relentlessly. 

A software bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. The process of finding and fixing bugs is termed "debugging" and often uses formal techniques or tools to pinpoint bugs, and since the 1950s, some computer systems have been designed to also deter, detect or auto-correct various computer bugs during operations. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made in either a program's design or its source code, or in components and operating systems used by such programs. A few are caused by compilers producing incorrect code. A program that contains many bugs, and/or bugs that seriously interfere with its functionality, is said to be buggy (defective). Bugs can trigger errors that may have ripple effects. Bugs may have subtle effects or cause the program to crash or freeze the computer. Other bugs qualify as security bugs and might, for example, enable a malicious user to bypass access controls in order to obtain unauthorized privileges. 

Some software bugs have been linked to disasters. Bugs in code that controlled the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine were directly responsible for patient deaths in the 1980s. In 1996, the European Space Agency's US$1 billion prototype Ariane 5 rocket had to be destroyed less than a minute after launch due to a bug in the on-board guidance computer program. In June 1994, a Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter crashed into the Mull of Kintyre, killing 29.  In 2002, a study commissioned by the US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that "software bugs, or errors, are so prevalent and so detrimental that they cost the US economy an estimated $59 billion annually, or about 0.6 percent of the gross domestic product". 

Last week, a user reported that their Pixel 3 was not able to dial 911 (emergency services in the US). Google later  confirmed that there is an emergency calling bug with Android under a “limited set of circumstances” and that there is a fix.  Google provided the results of its investigation and confirmed it was “able to reproduce the issue under a limited set of circumstances.” The company is currently only aware of this one case brought to light on social media. Specifically, users might have an issue calling emergency services if they have Microsoft Teams installed, but are not logged in to the app.  It further read, Microsoft and Google are working on a resolution. The immediate fix for Android 10 (and newer) devices if you use Microsoft Teams while signed out is to uninstall and then reinstall (the universal solution!). 

To facilitate reproducible research on testing and debugging, researchers use curated benchmarks of bugs:  common among them are :the Siemens benchmark & BEARS,   of continuous integration build failures focusing on test failures.  The "Industrial Benchmark" is a realistic benchmark for offline RL and online RL, used to find those RL algorithms that are best suited for real-world applications. It is designed to have the same difficulty and complexity as real RL applications.   The actions consist of three continuous components and act on three steerings. There are delayed effects. 

Good morning friends, and what is bugging you !! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th Dec 2021. 

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