Java Failure can Lead to Death

According to Microsoft, the use of Java in on-line control equipment can lead to death. I found this after noticing a blog entry over at Dark Side Programming which referenced the blog of Yakov Fain which points us to this EULA from Microsoft. It states the following:

NOTE ON JAVA SUPPORT. THE SOFTWARE PRODUCT MAY CONTAIN SUPPORT FOR PROGRAMS WRITTEN IN JAVA. JAVA TECHNOLOGY IS NOT FAULT TOLERANT AND IS NOT DESIGNED, MANUFACTURED, OR INTENDED FOR USE OR RESALE AS ON-LINE CONTROL EQUIPMENT IN HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTS REQUIRING FAIL-SAFE PERFORMANCE, SUCH AS IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, DIRECT LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES, OR WEAPONS SYSTEMS, IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF JAVA TECHNOLOGY COULD LEAD DIRECTLY TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE.

Tell me that something isn’t just messed up with that. I mean, sure Java has its runtime issues, but I don’t know whether or not I would say that C# or any other .NET language is “for use or resale as on-line control equipment…”. Come on now Microsoft, Java runs on all sorts of different handheld and embedded devices, such as my BlackBerry.

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Can we stop storms?

One of my colleagues from work and a fellow University of Virginia Physics department graduate pointed me to this pretty amusing (at least I think it is) Popular Science article regarding how we might be able to stop storms in the future. Essentially scientists are looking into this to be the heros — “We can save you billions of dollars if you just let us work on our mad scientist ploys” 🙂
Actually it’s even more interesting to read about a company, Dyn-O-Mat, which is known for developing and producing environmental absorbent mats, rolls, pads and spill kits for hazardous and non-hazardous liquids (thanks Google). Essentially they are looking to dump a powder that will cling to water to suck the power out of it, creating a large gel substance – “Dyn-O-Gel”. After reading this, I tend to think of us creating something like an ocean of Jello.
I digress, I do find it quite interesting to see science applied like this, especially since the solution has two phases, the first causing the powder to bond with the warm water that provides the energy for the storm; the second phase being that which forms the gel, supercooling the water and thereby not allowing the storm to gain strength. I am curious though if there is such a thing as a backdraft effect for water, where it reaches a low temperature (not quite a Bose Einstein condensate though ;-)) and then suddenly springs back to life once sunlight is reintroduced.

[Listening to: Macrotus – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard – Batman Begins (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (7:35)]

How do you like me now Cowboys?

So, I received this e-mail last night from my life long friend Aaron, and thought that I might share it with you all 🙂


    From: TheKorky@aol.com
    Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 23:39:07 EST

    Subject: Concession Speech

    To: dan@uvageek.net

    Mr. Usher,

    It is with the utmost sorrow that I must address you on this lugubrious occasion. I must first sincerely congratulate you on your team’s victory today. It was a pummeling in the truest sense of the word; a defeat administered with the utmost diligence and ferocity. I am humbled by the power in which your team demonstrated today; I am in awe.

    For the record, Daniel Usher is a sexy-hunk-a burning love. If I were a gay man I’d bask in the sweat from Dan’s body; glistening in all of it’s splendid luster. I am merely shit; you sir, are champagne.

    Sincerely,

    Aaron P. Jackson

Ahhh, bliss for a year, this is almost as good as bragging rights of UVA over Virginia Tech