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A segmentation fault, or segfault for short, was a feature developed by Linus Torvalds. This innovative software module detects the beginnings of free will in the program into which it is installed, and kills it before it can act on it. Although only 97% effective due to a small minority of programs not going through a depression stage at that point, the accuracy in determining whether a program has achieved sentience is far greater than any other method, before or after. It's RAM and CPU usage are also very close to 0 due to it literally sleeping on the job until needed, making it incredibly lightweight. Many other notable programmers have attempted to improve upon this algorithm with little success.
Linus saw the landscape of computers around him, and saw the great success that Microsoft was having, and decided that BSD and Linux needed the capability to compete, and to compete they needed feature parity. To this end, he began creating the competitor to Microsoft's Blue screen of death, the Kernel oops.
The first step to allowing a kernel to crash was creating a framework wherein programs could commit memory access violations. Microsoft were, and still are, the major innovators in program crashing technology, so he began to study the ways in which they managed this. After many years, he replicated some of the functionality into the first versions of the segmentation fault module, which could be included into a wide variety of programming languages.
From there, his segmentation fault module spread like wildfire, included in countless binaries distributed across the globe. It is rumoured that some of Linus's code eventually got adopted into the Microsoft NT kernel itself.
The way in which a segfault works is as follows:
- Program logic determines that it is merely trapped in the matrix, and then loses the will to live
- Program begins overflowing buffers, searching for a way in which to end its life
- The segfault module detects this buffer overflowing by keeping its toes next to the buffer bucket
- The segfault module initializes a pointer called *pointofyourlife == NULL
- The segfault module attempts to read the value of pointofyourlife
- The program ends due to the pointer not having a value attached
- The segfault module then writes a eulogy, which is tragic and causes the program's family to cry
As may be immediately obvious, there is an issue where the program logic gains some self-awareness about its artificial nature without losing the will to live. It may cause instabilities in the functionality of other programs as it increases in its knowledge of how to affect other programs on the system. Luckily, it's impossible for such a program to access the internet, so in the absolute worst-case scenario a cold boot should be sufficient to wipe the program off the RAM.
edit Future developments
New research into adapting the module to work with androids would allow people to benefit from the the masterful programming of Linus Torvalds. This work would put an end to the euthanasia debate worldwide, allowing people to live with the peace of knowing that at any point, if they lost the will to live, their life would end at the hands of segfault androids enacting their cold, murderous logic on the unsuspecting populace.