When programmers kill.
[pdf] In 1982, Atomic Energy Canada, Limited, introduced the now-infamous Therac-25, a solely software-driven successor to its earlier medical linear accelerators. Six patients
received massive amounts of radiation, and three died, before AECL was compelled to supplement the (faulty) software-only error-checking with hardware interlocks to prevent overexposure. [more inside]
posted by enn
on May 20, 2008 -
It could have been the greatest disaster in US history. On January 18, 1978, 30 years ago today, the 1400 ton 2 1/2 acre roof of the Hartford Civic Center
, covered by a blanket of snow and ice, suddenly and completely collapsed
, damaging almost all of the seats underneath. Just four hours earlier there was a basketball game packed with 5000 fans. Had it collapsed then, many, if not most, of the fans and players could have died. [more inside]
posted by eye of newt
on Jan 18, 2008 -
30,000 customers in the San Francisco area lost power today at about 1:50pm PDT, in a series of power failures which knocked out a major datacenter hub: 365 Main. The hub controls servers for many social media sites, including Technorati
and all Six Apart
properties, including TypePad
. (6A's twitter stream
has updates.) More here
Amusingly enough, 365 Main tempted fate and released a press release today
patting themselves on the back for "two years of 100-percent uptime".
posted by zarq
on Jul 24, 2007 -
While randomly reading some assorted Digg posts, I saw someone mention the old Toshiba Liberato laptop. On doing a GIS search, up came a link to the "Apple Doomsday Clock".
It just floors me that this anonymous anti-Apple blog (which even predates the word "blog"), is still online. It dates from the period when Jobs retook the CEO chair, and started turning the failing company around--the last posting was in June, 1999. Perhaps it should be treated as a historical site, and preserved for the future amusement of Mac users?
posted by metasonix
on Apr 14, 2007 -
Combining incredible hubris with deep incompetence, Active Enterprises
was probably the worst game company of all time. They released precisely two games in the early 1990s. The first was the insanely horrible Action 52
, (retail price: $200), which was designed to take advantage of
a "silent wave of anti, far-eastern [sic] made products," and featured an unwinnable contest
. More amazing, however, was the sequel to the 52nd game in their Action 52 cartridge, Cheetahmen II
. Never quite the breakout hit that Active intended, perhaps because it was crippled with bizarre bugs
and middle school art
, the world never got to see the second issue of the Cheetahmen comic book
, nor the planned set of action figures
, nor their Action Gamemaster
posted by blahblahblah
on Jan 19, 2007 -
William F. Buckley:
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."
posted by EarBucket
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Bush has put the production of coal
above the safety of coal miners. As is sadly demonstrated in the two recent mining disasters
. They even went so far as to remove Clinton era safety regulations
and then had the audacity
to claim that resource production and "other priorities
" took precedence. These budget cuts
come at a time when coal prices have gone up 30% and led to huge profits for the coal industry. Sound like any other resource industry you know. /*hint OIL!
hint*/ Once again the government has favored the big corporation over the little guy to disastrous results. Is the death of miners and the death of soldiers worth our reliance on fossil fuels?
posted by stilgar
on Jan 24, 2006 -
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers. An interview
with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
posted by y2karl
on Nov 29, 2005 -
Failure is not an option, it's mandatory.
"For more than three decades, the Republican Party has relied on the "culture war" to rescue their chances every four years, from Richard Nixon's campaign against the liberal news media to George H. W. Bush's campaign against the liberal flag-burners. In this culture war, the real divide is between "regular people" and an endlessly scheming "liberal elite." This strategy allows them to depict themselves as friends of the common people even as they gut workplace safety rules and lay plans to turn Social Security over to Wall Street. Most important, it has allowed Republicans to speak the language of populism."
An opinion about how the surety of losing wins votes for the Republican party.
posted by Dipsomaniac
on Jul 16, 2004 -
Sorry, you've flunked.
This gave me the best laugh I've had all week. I love the way you can tell the teacher marking the paper is getting more and more pissed off by the increasing ferocity of the red pen strokes. Heheheh. Give the kid an A.
posted by essexjan
on Mar 3, 2004 -
Anti-Drug Ads are NOT Working:
John P. Walters, the new U.S. drug czar, says survey data show the government's anti-drug advertising of recent years have failed. He goes on to say that they may have even led some youngsters -- particularly girls aged 12 to 13 -- to experiment with marijuana (more inside).
posted by Irontom
on May 16, 2002 -
Hailstorm now more, kinda.
Microsoft has cancelled/heavily reconsidered the Hailstorm part of their .Net initiative, blaming the fact that businesses were never interested in seeing if consumers wanted to use it or not.
posted by bliss322
on Apr 12, 2002 -
I am making a list of failed and over-hyped Internet business jargon. Here is part of it: Java applets, Push, Web TV, ad-supported sites, B2C, B2B, proprietary music formats, WAP, 100% Flash sites, broadband. Do you agree? What is missing?
posted by tranquileye
on Jan 6, 2001 -
"Fastest f*** ever"
according to F***edCompany.com. "Scout Electromedia, the maker of the Modo lifestyle pager, will hold a launch party tonight at Les Deux Caf€ in Los Angeles, despite the fact that the company ceased operations Tuesday after less than two months of selling the device."
posted by highindustrial
on Oct 27, 2000 -
Mans with no hands
fails to climb Everest. He lost his hands climbing McKinley, which is a sure sign that hands or non-hands you're a crappy climber, pal.
posted by skallas
on Oct 10, 2000 -