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US Air Traffic Control System Outage Last Month Helped Along By Human Error

Server Upgrade Error Made Air Traffic Control System Vulnerable

1 min read
US Air Traffic Control System Outage Last Month Helped Along By Human Error

Last month I blogged about the massive disruption of air traffic in the US caused by an air traffic control computer outage. Some 819 flights were delayed.

The outage - and irritation in the US Congress that was created by this second outage in a little over a year - sparked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch an independent panel to look into its cause, and find out why the back-up system didn't kick in.

The preliminary finding of the panel confirmed that a faulty circuit board in a router caused the outage. However, as FAA Administrator Randy BabbitttoldFederal News Radio,

"We had a router being replaced, routinely, in an upgrade situation. While during the installation, they turned one of the warning systems off and didn't turn it back on."

Oops.

Administrator Babbitt promises that it won't happen again.
 

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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