Computers

by Mike Masnick




Thai Finance Minister Trapped By Rogue Computer In BMW

from the where-do-you-think-you're-going,-Dave? dept

Once again, life takes after the movies. Apparently, BMW is now programming their computers with HAL-like efficiency. Thailand's Finance Minister, Suchart Jaovisidha, had to be rescued from his car after a malfunctioning computer locked him and his driver inside. Eventually, they got someone to break the car's windows in order to rescue them. He's quoted as saying, "it was one of the most frightening moments of my life." Apparently, the computer malfunction caused the car to stop, the air conditioning to turn off, the doors to lock and the windows to remain stuck shut. You would think that a manual override would make sense... They tried to break the windows from the inside, but discovered the wonders of German engineering: "I learnt that that German car had very strong windows." Update: Unfortunately, the original article from Thailand with all those great quotes seems to have been taken offline, though other news sources have picked up on the story (though, they leave out the best quotes).

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  • identicon
    Philip Shropshire, 12 May 2003 @ 3:46pm

    Neal Stephenson Short Story

    I think the most apt metaphor would be this Neal Stephenson short story called: "Jini and the Paranoid Chip", where if you didn't tell the AI that controlled the car the right answers the car would blow up!

    http://pacificcoast.net/~evavanemden/books/neals/jipi.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Max Vincent, 13 May 2003 @ 7:28am

    I was going to make a joke about ....

    introducing a poison gas into the vehicle at some point in this senario, seeing as BMW did provide trucks to the Nazis during the second world war for just such a purpose, but that would be beating a dead horse, and might stir up anti-german feelings.

    So I won't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    thecaptain, 13 May 2003 @ 10:28am

    can you imagine?

    Can you imagine if Microsoft starts making those operating systems in those cars?

    Unless that's who made the one for that car...the link doesn't seem to work anymore...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      EricTheMad, 13 May 2003 @ 11:10am

      Re: can you imagine?

      If the car was a Series 7, which I'm sure it was, then it uses Windows CE. It's not the first one to have problems, but it's the worst I've heard of so far.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2003 @ 3:55pm

    excess in the land of the poor

    The Thai finance minster probably deserves to be trapped in his Beamer... for at least a month or two...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    fieldcar, 14 May 2003 @ 10:09am

    Gotta love MS Bashers.

    Well, we all have to love those MS bashers.

    I don't know about that basher, but I've never had any major problems with my own pc's (excluding a virii or two). You may be an idiot that has no clue on how to maintain a pc, and use it for that matter, but it's ok: bash away.
    But sure, go on, blame MS for your cheap pile of $hit that you try to call your PC.
    As for me, I'm running WinXP and I'm very happy with it.

    Anyways...
    Usually when a car (or any other application that requires dependability) has a "computer" controlling it, its usually a microprocessor such as the motorola MC6800. This doesn't use an operating system, it's a fully self contained logic device built upon the Assembly coding language.

    My guess is; heat caused the micro logic device to fail. But I don't know enough about those BMW's to tell.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2003 @ 9:51pm

    gotta love MS fanboys

    I have a genuine piece of bill gate's rectum you can insert your nose into...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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