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Comment: Until Sony caved, yes.... (Score 2) 589

by david.emery (#48621889) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

I was planning to go see this, not that I'm interested in the movie, but to show that I won't kow-tow to terrorists and extortionists. But since Sony has caved by deferring its release, Sony has joined the ranks of the chicken-droppings.

Several sites have called for Sony to release this on the Internet, and that's what I think they should do. And someone needs to make "we don't negotiate with Young Weasel" stickers with Kim Jong Un's face in the background.

Comment: Re:CNN reported it was a power problem (Score 3, Informative) 68

by david.emery (#48585127) Attached to: Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK

The pumps lost power after the backup systems failed (ran out of battery, and the generators were knocked out), and that's what caused the reactors to overheat and meltdown. If power had been retained to the pumps, the major problems would have been averted.
"The switching stations that provided power from the three backup generators located higher on the hillside failed when the building that housed them flooded.[68] Power for control systems switched over to batteries that were designed to last about eight hours.[102] Further batteries and mobile generators were dispatched to the site. They were delayed by poor road conditions and the first arrived only at 21:00 11 March,[95][103] almost six hours after the tsunami."

Comment: CIOs are reaping what they've sowed (Score 1) 241

by david.emery (#48584395) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

After years of insisting that the rest of the organization exists to make the CIO's job easier, it's great to see the 'revolt of the masses' moving away from the one-size-fits-all/everything-Microsoft-regardless-of-the-security-cost solution to stuff that makes the individual more productive.

The complexity of everything makes the IT job harder, but "I can't be bothered to learn new things" response to the user demand for alternatives is ultimately self-defeating.

As a side observation over the last 35 years in the business, systems that support multiple platforms/clients/etc tend to be a lot more reliable than those that support a single configuration. The unwritten and often unknown assumptions about the execution environment (client or server, etc) are latent bugs even in a monoculture. (I'm certainly old enough to remember how much software broke in the move from 32 bit to 64 bit; anyone who coded as if integers and pointers are same size/interoperable got all the problems s/he deserved!)

Comment: CNN reported it was a power problem (Score 3, Interesting) 68

by david.emery (#48582609) Attached to: Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK

And anecdotally, it seems many, if not most, of the ATC failures I remember hearing about in the US have also been power problems. These are kinda hard to test, as I wrote to a friend, "The on-duty ATC controllers get irate when you 'pull the big power plug' on their shift."

Usually failures like these are chains of events, e.g. "UPS ran out of batteries more rapidly than expected, and then we couldn't get the generators started."

Power problems are what doomed Fukushima, too, by the way.

The devil finds work for idle circuits to do.