GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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The dangers of vendor lock-in

Hoboken, N.J., city officials may have experienced a truly nasty case of vendor lock-in. Late last month, a city-run automated garage mysteriously ceased operating a few days after renegotiations fell apart between the city and the firm that licensed software for running that garage. Since the garage loads cars into the facility, Tetris-like, by robotic machinery, hundreds of autos were held hostage from their owners when the facility shut down.

Tom Jennemann, managing editor of the Hudson Reporter, who has been covering the dispute e-mailed us that the facility was up and running within a few days, but not before the Hoboken Parking Utility had to rent cars for the vehicle-less patrons.

Experts quoted by Wired News suspected that the company that supplies the software to run this automated garage, Robotic Parking of Clearwater, Fla., may have planted a back-door access to the software, which would allow the company to shut down the system.

--Posted by Joab Jackson

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Aug 08, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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