The Inquirer-Home

Microsoft Powerpoint fingered in space shuttle crash

Over commercial software "makes everything a sales pitch"
Mon Dec 15 2003, 10:11
NASA BECAME over-reliant on using Powerpoint and that was partly the reason for the Columbia space shuttle crash, according to a report in the NY Times yesterday.

The newspaper said that a report from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board found that NASA used Powerpoint instead of ordinary pen and ink technical reports.

And when engineers at NASA looked at wing damage, the results were presented in what the NY Times described as a "confusing Powerpoint slide".

It was overloaded with bullet points and almost impossible to understand, said the paper.

The newspaper reckons that Powerpoint is making us stupider and less able to explain things, because the software forces people to put too much information into one slide.

But Microsoft refutes accusations that its Powerpoint software is permeated with "commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch".

It's true to say that when we've seen presenters have problems with their notebook machines and bereft of their Powerpointillistic crutches, they're often left totally speechless.

Which might be a good thing, perhaps. µ

NY Times
Rant about the Powerpoint slide in question


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