Just thinking about the "Woah" story.. Two stories of mine spring to mind:
- Just a few hours before switching on pilot usage of a very, very large domino environment - the TDA decided to switch on public key checking. Cool. Nice. But then proceeded to lock *everyone* out of the environment. Thank god one person had accidently left a laptop logged in. Delivered half an hour late. Phew. I seriously thought the TDA was going to corpse that morning, and was determined not to have to be the one to give him CPR.
- In the early days of satellite based pay-per-view, one company whom I worked for distributed tens of thousands of smartcards for payment enforcement. These cards would "listen" to a stream of card instructions. "Card number 4 - your time is up", or "Card number 4 - enable channel 15", etc, etc. Worked well in testing. But there was a huge amount of "ghost" security actions causing real, paying customers to get disconnected. Reason: Smartcard firmware would in one card in a thousand (or so) recognise the adjacent number as well as itself as its own number.. Ouch.