Man: Sir, NORAD has detected long-range missiles headed toward the mainland. Man: Three words, corporal: "advanced military technology"... relax.
Tradgedy is about to strike…..
Years ago we had a problem where a computer server would inexplicably go offline at more of less the same time every evening. We put an engineer in the vicinity of the server at that time one evening and he discovered that a member of the cleaning crew would unplug the server each evening and use that receptacle to plug in a vacuum cleaner.
Worse than that…In a hospital intensive care unit more patients died in a particular bed than any other, then they discovered each evening the cleaner unplugged the life support to clean the floors, then plugged the life support back in …
Someone going get fired….
Suppose I ought to take the batteries out of the remote and put them back in the smoke alarm.
Office cleaners need high-horsepowered rechargeable vacuums that they can recharge in their supply closets; that would save a lot of trouble.
Did the situation BlackKnight15 mentioned actually happen? I know it was part of the story line in one of the Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency stories.
Just checked it out on Snopes: “http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/cleaner.asp”
There is a true story that is just about as crazy. In a radiation machine, dosage errors occurred if techs typed in the information too quickly, because the software couldn’t handle it: “http://www.ccnr.org/fatal_dose.html”
This is right out of “War Games.” While World War III is about to start and Matthew Broderick is playing tic-tac-toe with the Whopper, the cleaning woman saves the world. The moral is that the meek shall inherit the earth, the first shall be last, and you can always unplug the computer.
The best “foolproof” system they could ever make is destined to meet the fool who can beat it.
A bunch of really wild stories, guys- thanks! I have to get them out of my head before bedtime ;-)
“You can never make a foolproof system because fools are so creative!”
Okay, for you computer geeks out there the Sheik almost got it right. It was someone polishing the floor. The investigator explained to the base commander that is was a buffer error.
I used to work on Hotel Computer systems including active phone switches. I got called to a site on day because the phone switch kept resetting and dumping out going calls. First thing I did was check the power and while I was watching, the input power dipped from 120 down to about 40 volts for a second or so, then came back up to 120. The switch was supposed to be on a dedicated power circuit, so the hotel’s electrician said it was the switch drawing down the power for some reason. I knew this wasn’t possible because it couldn’t draw a big enough load to do that. Lo and behold, the hotel’s chief engineer got the electrical plans out, and found that an outlet on that circuit ran to the garage area. When we traced it out, a refrigerated truck was plugged in on that outlet and every time the compressor kicked on, we got the power fail mode on the switch. The electrician disconnected the outlet and burned off the leads so no one could put an outlet there any more. It only cost the hotel 4 hours of my time which I’m sure they recovered in phone revenues by the end of the week.