Glitch forces rover Curiosity to switch to backup computer
A computer glitch on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has forced the robot to switch to a backup computer while engineers try to resolve the problem.
In the meantime, Curiosity’s science work is on hold, and the spacecraft is in a minimal-activity state known as “safe mode” while its backup computer is...Read more
'Mainframe blowout' knackered millions of RBS, NatWest accounts
Bankers blame hardware fault, sources point to IBM big iron
A hardware fault in one of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s mainframes prevented millions of customers from accessing their accounts last night.
A spokesman said an unspecified system failure was to blame after folks were unable to log into online banking,...Read more
Intel's billion-dollar mistake: Why chip flaws are so hard to fix
Chips are the brains of everything electronic. And like anything generated by software programs and high-tech factories, they can have flaws. Intel learned this the hard way today as it announced that it had a bug in a companion chip for its popular Sandy Bridge graphics-processor chips for PCs. The...Read more
Fukushima radiation too hot for robots? T-Hawk crash
High tech equipment malfunctions in robots working at the Fukushima nuclear reactor could be due to extremely high levels of radiation interfering with equipment electronics. A wide array of electronics was also sent into to the Chernobyl disaster and did not last long at the plant.
TOKYO—Two high-tech machines intended to...Read more
The effects of cosmic radiation, St. Jude Medical defibrillators
In 2005, Canadian-based St. Jude Medical issued an advisory to doctors, warning that SEUs to the memory of its implantable cardiac defibrillators could cause excessive drain on the unit’s battery.
As with other industries, there is a slow, but growing recognition of SEUs and their impact on medical equipment. For example,...Read more
Eight NHS hospital trusts floored by datacentre hardware fault
Hospitals in eight NHS trusts were cut off access to the new multi-billion pound patient systems – iSoft Lorenzo for several hours on 10 February after a hardware fault hit a datacentre. Sensitive patient data could have been viewed. It is not the first problemat a CSC datacentre serving NHS...Read more
Quantas Airbus pitched downward twice
A Quantas Airbus A330-303 pitched downward twice in rapid succession, diving first 650 feet and then 400 feet, seriously injuring a flight attendant and 11 passengers. The cause was traced to errors in an on-board computer suspected to have been induced by cosmic rays. Modifications were undertaken to mitigate such...Read more
Cost reduction potential on Siemens wind turbines O&M
A Siemens wind turbine concept is designed with a sensing system for wind sensor – CPU communication control. This enables the wind turbine to shut down when wind speeds exceeds a specified level to prevent damages. By shifting to Biomicore’s technology, Siemens will be able to reduce the operational expenditures...Read more
Lexus ES 350 accelerated to 120 mph at T junction
In the early evening of 28th August 2009 an off-duty California Highways Policeman was driving a hired 2009 Lexus ES 350 saloon when it suddenly accelerated to about 120 mph shortly before reaching a T junction. The runaway vehicle hit a Ford Explorer, crashed through a fence, flew into the...Read more
Cisco router line cards showing errors
Cisco Systems issued a field notice regarding its 1200 series router line cards. The noticed warned of line card resets resulting from SEUs – spontaneous, non-reoccurring or transient, and non-reproducible errors. Cards are showing memory parity errors or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) errors which may have resulted in a card...Read more