Ben S. pointed out this global bug tracking software during his presentation [also as a ppt] last night - which incidentally was a much briefer version of this presentation and didn't need the slides of error dialogue boxes 'cause these happened all on their own. Including a great dialogue box about /no help being available/.

Unfortunately, the software that is supposed to track the crashes seems to be a pretty major culprit itself. See:
Bugtoaster - Do Something about Computer Crashes

Why install yet another cause of crashes - even if it does help to raise awareness?

Rather, all apps should have a crash reporting facility built in - like Netscape - then the company could be told to make the stats public. Rather than the reporting coming from a random sample of users it would come from the complete user base. Data could be stored in a temp file and then sent in the background the next time the user is online.

I was disappointed that Ben glossed over how to make computer companies improve their products and service to users.

Encouraging more vocal complaints seems like a cop out. What about leading academics and professionals people such as himself taking a stand and calling for regulation (shock horror).

Rather than holding up his hands and saying how bad it is that certain states in the US allow software companies to create end user license agreements that basically give the customer no protection at all. I can't remember the name of the legislation... If anyone does can you let me know? The next post will explain how...

It is maybe a shame the event was recorded or streamed like the free public lectures at gresham college - but then again that might have discouraged the pretty vocal and interesting question and answer session. Maybe there are sometimes downsides to everything being connected or recorded ;)

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