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Submission + - Stack overflow could have caused unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles

robertchin writes: Michael Barr recently testified in the Bookout v Toyota Motor Corp lawsuit that the likely cause of unintentional acceleration in the Toyota Camry may have been caused by a stack overflow. Due to recursion overwriting critical data past the end of the stack and into the real time operating system memory area, the throttle was left in an open state and the process that controlled the throttle was terminated. How can users protect themselves from sometimes life endangering software bugs?

Comment Probably not too much of an issue (Score 2) 228

Let's see:
Patent number: 5482209
Filing date: Jun 1, 1994
Issue date: Jan 9, 1996

So patents filed before June 2005 the patent term is the longer of 20 years from the filing date or 17 years from the issue date. Check.
Expiration is Jan 9, 2014, based on 20 years from the filing date.

Let the Lawsuit drag on for two years until the patent expires, so as long as they don't get an injunction they will just pay some damages and presumably be on their way.

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As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie