German Basketball Team Loses In Close Match With A Microsoft Windows Update

from the boom-shakalakah! dept

Windows: the still-dominant operating system is the 800 lbs. gorilla, so one fully expects to see tons of insult-darts shot at the thing to try and tranquilize it. And, in the age of technology fan-boy-ism, some techie folks are big on drawing lines in the sand and loudly proclaiming the superiority of one piece of software over another. But, still, when your German basketball team faces relegation into a lower class of league because a windows laptop crashed and then ran an update just before game time, you can kind of understand if they’re pissed off about it.

The March 13 match between the Chemnitz Niners and the Paderborn Baskets was set to begin normally, when Paderborn (the host) connected its laptop to the scoreboard in the 90 minutes leading up to the game. In an interview with the German newspaper, Die Zeit (Google Translate), Patrick Seidel, the general manager of Paderborn Baskets said that at 6:00pm, an hour and a half before the scheduled start time, the laptop was connected “as usual.”

“But as both teams warmed up, the computer crashed,” he said. “When we booted it again at 7:20pm, it started automatically downloading updates. But we did not initiate anything.”

After all the updates were installed, Paderborn was ready to start the game at 7:55pm.

Oops. Paderborn ended up winning the game, but Chemnitz filed a protest, arguing that the delay in starting the game constituted a violation and that Paderborn ought be penalized. The league agreed, taking a point in the standings away from Paderborn, which lowered its rankings such that it now faced relegation. Relegation, for you Americans who aren’t Premier League Soccer fans, is a shift in which leagues a team plays in based on the year’s performance. For Paderborn, this will mean not even being able to play at the championship level next year, instead being forced to play in the lower “ProB” league.

Seidel is pissed, of course.

“You can’t blame Chemnitz,” Siedel added. “But as an athlete and a man, let me of course tell you something else. We beat Chemnitz twice in sportsmanlike, tight games. Therefore, this entire issue has nothing to do with sports.”

Nope, just a Windows update costing you a potential championship next year. N00bs.

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Comments on “German Basketball Team Loses In Close Match With A Microsoft Windows Update”

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42 Comments
Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Why?

I would guess that the scoreboard is computer controlled, possibly not really a scoreboard but a giant monitor depending on how fancy.

As to why it’s a laptop and not a dedicated PC, probably the same reason as lots of other things: Money. Spent too much on the computer controlled scoreboard, didn’t have enough left over for the computer.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hi everyone… my 2nd comment of the year.

I agree. Why was the computer connected to the internet at all? Why was it not updated already? Had it not been used for a while? What would they have done if the laptop had not booted at all? Cancel the game?

Not sure why they needed to be net connected. Not sure why they haven’t already done the updates. Not sure why auto updates would not be set to “manual” or “ask before installing”.

Needless technopanic. These people sound technically not real competent, and in the end they are exactly the types that need auto updates to keep them from running software that is easily breached.

Anonymous Coward says:

Really?

This is an awful lot of technopanic for a site called tech dirt.

Windows isn’t the problem, IT management is. These are complex systems that need to be maintained, just because it’s software doesn’t change that.

If a team doesn’t change the oil on their bus for 100k miles and it breaks down who do you blame? Similarly, leaving a windows machine on the internet, with automatic updates on, etc. is a failure to maintain THEIR equipment.

aldestrawk says:

Re: Autoupdates are bad

Absolutely! The trouble is Microsoft encourages auto-update, particularly when it is a home computer and not managed by an IT department. The first thing I do with a new computer, or new software be it the OS, a browser, or random application program is to check for and disable any auto-updates. On the other hand, if auto-update didn’t exist then there are a lot of folk who would never think to update and leave themselves vulnerable.

Joel Coehoorn says:

Re: Autoupdates are bad

Disabled? Really?

Keeping a system patched and up to date is the single most important thing a user should with their computer to keep it malware-free. More important even than firewalls or anti-virus software.

Granted that new patches can sometimes cause issues, but without automatic updates, most users would be hopelessly out of date.

What I’d really like to see is a setting that lets you tell Windows how long after an update is released to wait for queuing it for install. Let me set my machine to lag 2 weeks behind the initial release, so other suckers find the bad updates.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Autoupdates are bad

“Keeping a system patched and up to date is the single most important thing a user should with their computer to keep it malware-free. More important even than firewalls or anti-virus software.”

I disagree with this as a blanket statement. For certain things this can be true, but for many (maybe most) things it is not. Especially these days, when companies insist on combining security updates with other types.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t update. I’m saying that you shouldn’t have it happen automatically. Most platforms that allow autoupdates also provides a mechanism to alert you when an update is available, but doesn’t start doing it automatically. Windows included. I argue that’s a reasonable compromise.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Autoupdates are bad

Keeping a system patched and up to date is the single most important thing a user should with their computer to keep it malware-free. More important even than firewalls or anti-virus software.

No the single most important thing to keep a computer malware free is not to connect it to the internet. I can see no reason to connect a scoreboard computer to the internet. Treat it as a dumb device and leave it with the s/w that it came with – if it ain’t broke…

Anonymous Coward says:

So let me get this straight...

The whole game and apparently the end of the world hung on this one laptop? So if it was so important why was it again that they didn’t have one on standby? Computers crash, sometimes complete and totally.
Besides should it not have been fully updated before the game? Are they complaining about automatic updates? well that is quite easy to manage… TURN IT OFF!
This is not (mis)use of technology or a Microsoft problem… this is simply a local IT problem with a bunch of stupidity in the mix.

Joel Coehoorn says:

"But we did not initiate anything."

Exactly. You didn’t do anything, in spite of numerous warnings that you needed to.

Windows has repeated, escalating warnings that an automatic reboot is coming. The warnings start days in advance, and include such gems as “Windows will restart in 2 days”.

Now the extra hour an a half seems like a long time for updates. It normally only takes a few minutes. You what makes it take longer? Not updating for a very long time, so that you have multiple cycles worth of updates to install at once. In other words, they’ve been ignoring this issue for *long time*.

Keeping your system patches is the single most important thing you should do with your computer to prevent malware infections. It’s more important even than anti-virus software or firewalls. The only other thing that comes close is not running as administrator.

Whoever was running this should have known better.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sportsmanship is lacking here.

I’ve seen games, both pro and amateur, delayed for various reasons. NEVER, not even once, was the host team or arena penalized for the delay.

The issues with the computer and auto-update may be valid, but that’s no reason to penalize the host team. Even secondary schools have alternate means if their scoreboards fail.

jim says:

phew

A few of you must be unfamiliar with ms updates. Or have never worked with either 8.1 or 10 in the new systems. In 7 you can take or leave the updates. Choose the ones for your system, but not in 8.1 or newer. They will update, and download all updates at startup. If there is a hickup, and there is a reboot needed they will freeze till you reboot. During the reboot more updates rechecking the just acquired and installed updates occurs.and where the last update and reboot occur, are logged. You have no options, you only get to look at the optional updates. And good luck with slower systems, some of the update will only download on n/ac networks. One of my travel machines, could not update on a hotel network. Couldn’t figure that one out, until I paired it with a phone. Durn.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: phew

Really? Dang. Glad I stayed the heck away from that free “upgrade” from 7 to 10. I knew it was going to be bad, but I seriously wasn’t expecting “mandatory updates locking out user input” bad.
Seems like I picked a good time to start trying to figure out Linux. I’ve already got the basics down. (“Terminal Emulator” for DOS prompt, “mv”/”cp”/”rm” for move/copy/del, use “sudo apt-get update” then “sudo apt-get install [name]” to install software, etc.)

Techie007 says:

Corrections

    Guys, I see too many comments about “Why was the computer connected to the Internet” or “Why weren’t the updates already installed”.

    Let me tell you why. The computer may not have even been connected to the Internet at that time. The updates may have been downloaded Wednesday or Thursday, or even the previous week! Many users have their laptops set to go to Standby or Hibernate when the lid is closed. That machine may not have been rebooted for a days. I have seen many machines where the auto reboot function either didn’t work or was disabled, and the user hadn’t rebooted for months.
    Then I get the machine to fix something, and in the process of working on it, I reboot it and promptly have to wait 30 minutes for just as many updates to install. It’s completely ridiculous. One Windows 8.1 business laptop I worked on recently had over 2 GB of updates pending install. You can’t tell it to stop, and you’re not supposed to turn it off. And if you do, it just boots into installing updates all over again, or even worse, reverting changes or Startup Repair.

    Automatic updates are strongly recommended to be left on so that known security vulnerabilities can be patched ASAP. Some security programs will change the setting back if you disable updates.
    This is no joke. This is the sick state of affairs. I have always quipped about a computer suddenly rebooting during a presentation to install updates, or taking forever to boot right before a presentation as it configures updates. Finally it happened to somebody important. Will somebody please sue Microsoft for us all?

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