Microsoft Shuts Down Nearly All Southern California Air Traffic

from the that'll-get-you dept

Whoops. Having just flown back from southern California this past weekend from the DEMOmobile conference, I’m glad this “glitch” didn’t happen until Tuesday. Apparently, there was a “radio breakdown” that left almost all air traffic in SoCal without guidance. The culprit? Microsoft. Apparently, the air traffic control system being used is now run on Microsoft, after recently replacing a Unix-based system. Just one problem: the system needs to be rebooted every 30 days to avoid a “data overload,” and someone forgot to manually run the reboot. Beyond the shock of discovering that this air traffic control system can’t handle very much data, you have to wonder why the reboot system can’t be automated, or at least have a “reminder” go off at some point.

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Comments on “Microsoft Shuts Down Nearly All Southern California Air Traffic”

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aReader() says:

Is this the only reason?

This looks like a blame game. The system was down for quite some time and the air-traffic was halted for about 4-5 hours. If it is just the case of re-booting, they could have solved this issue in few minutes. I think this is a good way of passing the blame on Microsoft. The article is unclear on what happened *after* the system went down. I am sure there is more to this story.
Not that I am fond of Microsoft systems for such mission-critical applications, but this seems to be a distraction introduced to cover up what exactly happened.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Re: Read EULA

“…just fine for mission critical applications.”

But you are very right in that the only possible entity that can be blamed is the system designer, since they have no recourse with Microsoft. The deep pocket stop there. Microsoft has absolved itself of any accountability associated with Windows usage. Surprised? Read Windows XP EULA paragraphs 16 and 17. See URL above.

Microsoft doesn’t really stand behind the actual OS product, you get it AS IS. It simply stands behind the retail box…it has authorized software in it and you puchased it. You might be eligible for a refund in some states if the media is defective…which to Microsoft means it passes an ISO checksum test. Here’s a couple tidbits from the URL referenced above.

“…Microsoft and its suppliers provide the Software and support services (if any) AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and hereby disclaim all other warranties and conditions, whether express, implied or statutory, including, but not limited to, any (if any) implied warranties, duties or conditions of merchantability, of fitness for a particular purpose, of reliability or availability, of accuracy or completeness of responses, of results, of workmanlike effort, of lack of viruses, and of lack of negligence, all with regard to the Software, and the provision of or failure to provide support or other services, information, software, and related content through the Software or otherwise arising out of the use of the Software. ALSO, THERE IS NO WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, QUIET POSSESSION, CORRESPONDENCE TO DESCRIPTION OR NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE SOFTWARE.”

I suspect the system got bit by an automatic application of SP2. Based on the EULA, automated updates by Microsoft and approved third parties are to be expected. It would be the responsibility of the System designer to test to see if Windows still behaves the same after Microsoft delivers automated SPs from Microsoft or trusted third parties.

Yep, that’s got to be the deal we need on mission critical software. Variables that can’t be controlled altering the system…this will please the customer greatly.

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