Friday, July 22, 2005

TaxPayer $$$ Down the Drain!

Nothing new in this post's title but this time it is big bucks going to criminals. I caught wind of this one from a news blurb on TV concerning Donald Trump before the U.S. Senate. Although Trump is not my favorite person in the world I will say he is right on concerning this one. I'm talking about the renovation of the United Nations building in New York, NY.

"The U.S. Congress has agreed to loan the United Nations the $1.2 billion at a 5.54 percent interest rate, to be repaid over 30 years. But some lawmakers have had second thoughts over mismanagement of the $67 billion oil-for-food plan for Iraq." - SOME LAWMAKERS??? I want to see the list of those with second thoughts. Better yet, the list of those without second thoughts. -prying1- -

A US News article says concerning Trump's meeting with the Senate, "Reality television star Donald Trump told the U.S. Senate on Thursday the United Nations should be fired over its handling of a $1.2 billion plan to renovate the world body's New York headquarters. Trump...predicted the renovation would run far over budget because U.N. managers were incompetent.

He insisted he could do the job for half the U.N. estimate, but then admitted he had no plans to bid for the job.

"If you don't know what you are doing it can be fraught with cost overruns, et cetera, et cetera," he told a Senate Governmental Affairs Committee looking into the project, known as the U.N. Capital Master Plan."

U.N. CAPITAL MASTER PLAN??? Who thought up that name? Sounds like something from the Third Reich. -prying1-

So? Do they really need renovation? - The review found that maintenance could not keep pace with structural repairs required for major plumbing leaks, rusting rail supports, soaked roofing material and the original, 50-year-old electrical wiring. And the Headquarters buildings no longer comply with current fire safety codes and environmental standards. There was for example, no sprinkler system in the high-rise building and asbestos were present. Handicapped accessibility standards and security requirements were also not being met. Finally, the buildings were extremely energy-inefficient.

prying1 sez:
I suggest that they just tear down the building and move the organization to some desert someplace. As long as it is not in Australia. Australia doesn't need a new batch of criminal immigration like they had during their penal colony days... - They can hire Sheriff Joe Arpaio (of Arizona) to design a tent city. Dig an amphitheater pit big enough for the members to sit around the edges and Secretary-General Kofi Annan can lead meetings from the bottom of it. It will work real well unless the members keep kicking sand in thereby burying Kofi... - So it goes if that happens.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Can Software Kill?

I receive email newsletters from - A technology based company that has articles that are usually above me. I read the headlines and occasionally see a teaser that makes me think, "I can understand this!"

This week the title, "Hardening Expectations for Software Quality" caught my eye. The reason being, I am continually amazed at the size programs have grown to. To download a simple plugin today took 25 megabytes. That is 5 megabytes more than my first hard drive held. I remember reading how the early computer whizzes at MIT worked hard to streamline programs because they were working with 64k. Nowadays a computer programmer sees the code won't work he just DX's it with a 'rem' command and leaves it in the middle of the software program. Who cares if it takes a bit of space. Plenty more where that came from. To hell with those on dialup.

Well back to the title of this posting. Well, pretty soon anyway. The article mentioned Solidware Technologies that has presented software to find bugs in software. (Free 60 day trial/download for you programming geeks!) in their advert it said, "making software safer - Ouch! There were 428 fatalities between 1985 and 2003 caused by software bugs*** (and these are just the ones we know about)." ... *** 2004 Baseline study, Can Software Kill? - end quote -

NOW ON TO THE TITLE OF THIS POST! - With this I had to run a Google search. - "Can Software Kill?" - (with quotes) - 573 hits with most leading to links to the following link -


TechNewsWorld - 4-13-04 - Software can kill you. Don't think so? Talk to the family members of 21 deceased patients treated at the National Cancer Institute in Panama in November 2000. The cancer patients died after being overdosed by a Cobalt-60 radiotherapy machine. The technicians who entered patient and medication data into the software that guided that machine will stand trial starting May18th in Panama City on charges of second-degree murder.
According to published reports, Ferrari's North America division recalled 353 cars in 1999 because of a software programming error. Some Ferrari 360 Modena and 360 Modena F1 models manufactured in the previous year contained a glitch in the electronic instrument module that prevented a warning light from illuminating if a problem was detected with a car's brake system.
But it's not just in cars that buggy software is threatening life and limb. Computer programming is now embedded in much of the equipment and appliances that permeate homes, schools and the workplace, making software quality a major issue. Most software releases are far from perfect, and software industry analysts admit there is little difference in the quality control applied to industrial programming and retail products.
- end quotes -

prying1 sez: While I don't think it is yet time to put on white robes, drag out the old "END OF THE WORLD" signs and give up our day jobs, I do think that supporting companies like Solidware Technologies would be a good thing. If you know anyone who deals in programming and works with chip design send them the link. Who knows. Some day it might save a life. Besides, they get to play with it for 60 days for free.