Technicalities

Airport gets nicked

It was a classic case of a chain ' in this case, Dublin International Airport's air traffic management system ' being only as strong as its weakest link. The airport was shut down temporarily this month when its radar system failed. The culprit: one network interface card (NIC) that was malfunctioning intermittently. Thales ATM, which supplied the system, said the card had caused problems since June and eventually got the better of the system's built-in redundancy. Airport officials said passengers could experience delays in the coming weeks while a better monitoring system is installed. The problem is rare: Thales said that during more than a half-million flight hours at 10 airports with similar systems, this was the first time a NIC brought down an entire system. Still, other airport authorities are likely considering new potential points of failure.

Spam country

How much e-mail is spam? An estimate by MessageLabs puts it at 81.5 percent of all messages. MessageLabs, which scans 3 billion e-mail connections a day, also breaks down its estimate by country and, within the United States, by state. The U.S. exceeds the overall average, at 86 percent. Illinois has the highest spam production, at 91 percent, and Montana the lowest, at 77 percent. Any way you cut it, that's not a healthy diet.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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