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Outage at All-the-Rage Social Networking Site Facebook

A couple of interesting (to me, anyway) stories that have one thing in common: Speed

Nigel Cheshire's Blog

From the many reports of software glitches this week, (including an outage at all-the-rage social networking site Facebook), I decided to focus on a couple of interesting (to me, anyway) stories that have one thing in common: speed.

The world of Formula One racing is not familiar to many Americans, and yet it is a wildly popular sport in other parts of the world. It also is seen as a crucial testing ground for many new automotive technologies that eventually find their way into the cars that we drive. Being an ex-European, I like to keep an eye on that sport, and so it was that this story caught my eye.

Last Sunday was the date of the Hungarian Grand Prix, held in Budapest. The day of the race, crash.net ran a story indicating that Polish driver Robert Kubica was complaining about a software problem with his BMW car that was causing problems with acceleration.

Robert Kubica

By the time the problem was detected, the car was in “parc ferme“, which is the period right before the race in which teams are not allowed to do any maintenance to their cars. In the event, the glitch couldn’t have caused that many problems for Kubica, since he finished in 5th place, only two places behind his BMW teammate who, by the way, did not report any such software problems.

In other speed-related news, the Newport News Daily Press reported on a presentation made at Langley AFB on maintenance procedures for the Air Force's newest jet, the F22A Raptor.

Raptor

In the presentation, Air Force Lt. Col. Dane West said that the plane's extensive reliance on software has pros and cons. On the one hand, it makes diagnosis of mechanical problems easy: “Most of the time, all that a mechanic or plane crew chief has to do to diagnose a problem is hook up a laptop computer to the plane, and the aircraft will spit out a code detailing what went wrong inside.” On the other hand, software can “go on the fritz” too.

Apparently, the first time the plane flew over the international date line, the aircraft's GPS system got confused, and the planes had to follow refueling aircraft back to Hawaii.

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More Stories By Nigel Cheshire

Nigel Cheshire is CEO of Enerjy Software, a division of Teamstudio Inc. He oversees product strategy and has been driving the company's growth since he founded it in 1996. Prior to founding Teamstudio, Inc., Nigel was co-founder and principal of Ives & Company, a CRM solutions consultancy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Teesside, England.

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