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+ - Podcast app crashes and mysteriously starts working again

Submitted by Michi
Michi (41795) writes ""Distributed computing is when a computer you don't even know exists can crash your application", as evidenced by today's debacle with Apple's podcast app. (Yes, I was one one of the victims.) Do we really want to out-source all of our computing to the cloud when, if something goes wrong, the consequences could be far more serious than me not being able to listen to my favourite podcast?"

+ - Upside-down sensors cause rocket crash 3

Submitted by Michi
Michi (41795) writes "According to Anatoly Zak, the crash of the Russion Proton rocket on 1 July was apparently caused by several angular velocity sensors having been installed upside down.

Each of those sensors had an arrow that was supposed to point toward the top of the vehicle, however multiple sensors on the failed rocket were pointing downward instead.

It seems amazing that something as fundamental as this was not caught during quality control. Even more amazing is that the design of the sensors permits them to be installed in the wrong orientation in the first place. Even the simplest of mechanical interlocks (such as a notch at one end that must be matched with a corresponding projection) could have prevented the accident."

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