Archive for June 7th, 2008

07
Jun
08

Spanning The Globe…

The weekends were reserved for The Wide World Of Sports. Jim McKay intoned the intro while we watched the thrill of victory, and that poor skier wiping out in the agony of defeat. He turned into the international news feed when the Israeli Olympic team was brutally executed back in the 70’s. And now he is dead at the age 86. He was absolutely the best at what he chose to do.

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07
Jun
08

Windows Oopsie

Just about everyone has experienced the frustration of coming back to a computer and seeing the log in screen patiently waiting after an unplanned, automatic reboot. Usually happens just after an “update” is deployed by Micro$oft. Kind of frustrating. But harmless, right?

Not if you are running the Hatch nuclear facility in Georgia. The incident occurred on March 7 at Unit 2 of the Hatch nuclear power plant near Baxley, Georgia. The trouble started after an engineer from Southern Company, which manages the technology operations for the plant, installed a software update on a computer operating on the plant’s business network. The computer in question was used to monitor chemical and diagnostic data from one of the facility’s primary control systems, and the software update was designed to synchronize data on both systems. According to a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, when the updated computer rebooted, it reset the data on the control system, causing safety systems to errantly interpret the lack of data as a drop in water reservoirs that cool the plant’s radioactive nuclear fuel rods. As a result, automated safety systems at the plant triggered a shutdown.

Why am I seeing the mental image of Johnny, from the movie Airplane!, holding a power cord while all the airport lights have gone off, and just saying “sorry!”? Critical systems should not be designed to just reboot.

07
Jun
08

Denny Crane For President

I realize that this was originally aired as “entertainment” during the Boston Legal TV show. While it is entertaining, and funny at that, it’s also a sad commentary when I yell out “Hell Yeah!” to the the giant HD TV screen in my living room. (Okay, it’s also pretty amazing that I stayed up that late, but that’s a different story.) Denny, in his intensity, bemoans the sorry state of politics in our country. He will not appease, he will not toss his friends aside, he will not apologize for his peccadillo’s (and even admits to them), and stays true to his own belief system, no matter how uncomfortable it makes people feel.

I’d vote for him.