pdcull writes "According to this article, the Australian Transport Safety Board found that a software bug was responsible for a Qantas Airbus A330 nose-diving twice while at cruising altitude, injuring 12 people seriously and causing 39 to be taken to hospital.
The event, which happened three years ago, was found to be caused by an airspeed sensor malfunction, linked to a bug in an algorithm which 'translated the sensors' data into actions, where the flight control computer could put the plane into a nosedive using bad data from just one sensor.' A software updated was installed in November 2009, and the ATSB concluded that 'as a result of this redesign, passengers, crew and operators can be confident that the same type of accident will not reoccur.'
I can't help wondering just how could a piece of code, which presumable didn't test its' input data for validity before acting on it, become part of a modern jet's onboard software suit?" top
pdcull (469825) writes "We all read on Slashdot about the investiment banks using their massive computer power and clever modelling techniques to predicate the FIFA World Cup outcome. Now that Goldman Sachs', UBS' and Danske Bank's favorite, Brazil, has been eliminated, and with JP Morgan's England long gone, the question that begs to be asked is: can we really trust these guys to predict the financial markets any better than they did World Cup?" top
pdcull writes "According to this article (in Portuguese) or it's translation here, São Paulo police are puzzled by the theft of nearly R$150,000 (US $80,000) from a branch of the Banco do Brasil.
From the article: "Remaing from the invasion over the weekend are two unusable ATMs and a mystery for the police: how the criminals managed to withdraw R$147,950.00 without damaging the machines. The bank suspects that the thieves had connected a portable computer to the cables from the ATMs. With this they managed to invade the system and withdraw the money".
It sounds a lot different from the normal Brazilian ATM smash-and-grab, which usually involve trucks and machine guns." Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "I can't be the only person on the planet who has this problem: I have a couple of websites, with around 2 gigabytes of space in use on my hosting provider, plus a few MySQL databases. I need to keep up-to-date backups, as my host provides only minimum backup provisions, however with a internet connection which gets to 150 Kbits on a very good day, there is no way that I can guarantee a decent backup on my home PC using FTP transfer software.
So my question is: does somebody provide an online service where I can feed them a URL, an FTP password and some money, and they will post me DVDs with my web site on them? If such services already exist (and the closest I found was a site which promised to send me CDs and had a special deal for customers which expired in June!), has anybody had experience with them which they could share? Any recommendations of services to use or avoid?" Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "I can't have been the only XP user to suffer a sudden lose of internet connectivity today after Microsoft kindly automatically "upgraded" my XP. According to the Zone Alarm front page and this press release the Microsoft update KB951748 may cause a "sudden loss of internet access" in conjunction with the Zone Alarm firewall.
The recommended solution is to download the latest version of Zone Alarm firewall, although only the paid version appears to be available at the moment.
Can anyone recommend another good free firewall? I just tried to install PC Tools but it my XP freezes on boot with it so I had to uninstall it..." Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "According to this news article (in Portuguese), a decision by the 17th Federal Justice Branch in the state of Minas Gerais has confirmed a previous judge's decision, from June last year, to outlaw the distribution and sale of Counter-Strike and Everquest within Brazil. The Consumer Protection Department in the state of Goiás started seizing copies of these games yesterday, according to whom the games are considered "harmful to the consumers' health".
According to the judge, the games "incite violence, propagating the idea that the weakest must succumb to the strongest, dissimating pleasure through pain, hate and death." The CS-Rio mod, which simulates gun battles between police and drug dealers in Rio's slums, was considered to be especially harmful.
The judge's decree determines that that all copies of the game that are for sale be seized, and sets a fine of R$5,000 (around US $2,800) per day for those who continue to sell or import them. The judge's decision was partly based in a previous judge's recommendation to also ban Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem, Blood, Requiem, Doom and Postal." Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "New Zealand news site Stuff is reporting that two businessmen were "interviewed" and twenty-two computers seized in what is believed to be the country's first anti-spam operation:
The Internal Affairs Department's anti-spam unit executed four search warrants simulataneously, seizing 22 computers and boxes of documents from four Christchurch addresses. Anti-spam investigators interviewed two Christchurch businessmen as part of the operation, the result of two-months of work with international agencies, Internal Affairs deputy secretary Keith Manch said.
The article states that the operation had to be rushed due the BBC publishing this article which could have alerted the spammers that their location had been identified as being in New Zealand's South Island." Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "I'm surprised that the first news I received about Skype's big outage didn't come from Slashdot. It appears that since yesterday the service has been offline, and that only recently have users been able to start logging in again.
The Skype heartbeat blog says that the outage was not caused by a recent site upgrade nor by hackers, however it doesn't give any clues as to what may have been the reason." Link to Original Source top
pdcull writes "According to this news article, the New Zealand government will permit secondary school students to use "text speak" (abbreviations commonly used in SMS text messages) in national certification exams, although they won't be permitted in the English language exams.
Is this the beginning of the end of the English language as we know and love it (or at least the kiwi version thereof)?"