Missing plane: U.S. firm uses its tech in new search for Malaysia Airlines jet

A U.S. firm is about to use its powerful technology to begin a new search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing in 2014. Locating it will score it a payday of as much as $70 million.

The original article can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/01/11/missing-plane-u-s-firm-uses-its-tech-in-new-search-for-malaysia-airlines-jet.html

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Missing plane: US firm in talks to use its tech to help find MH370

Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH370 went missing in 2014. Despite a huge search effort, the passenger plane has never been found, but now a U.S. firm is hoping to use its underwater technology in a renewed bid to locate the aircraft.

The original article can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/10/23/missing-plane-us-firm-in-talks-to-use-its-tech-to-help-find-mh370.html

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A drone came uncomfortably close to a United Airlines jet landing at Newark

A drone was spotted flying close to a United Airlines passenger jet near Newark’s international airport on Sunday. It’s the latest in a string of incidents involving drone flights in restricted areas around airports

The original article can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/08/01/drone-came-uncomfortably-close-to-united-airlines-jet-landing-at-newark.html

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Twitter accused of deleting tweets slamming United Airlines

Twitter is coming under fire for allegedly deleting tweets critical of United Airlines following Sunday’s controversial incident where a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight.

The original article can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/04/12/twitter-accused-deleting-tweets-slamming-united-airlines.html

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United Airlines PR debacle escalates as #UnitedJourney campaign hijacked on social media

United Airlines’ #UnitedJourney social media campaign is backfiring spectacularly after a passenger was violently dragged off a plane Sunday.

The original article can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/04/11/united-airlines-pr-debacle-escalates-as-unitedjourney-campaign-hijacked-on-social-media.html

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United Airlines expands Apple program, will equip 6,000+ customer service reps with iPhone 6 Plus

Article Image United Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will provide more than 6,000 customer service representatives at its U.S.-based hubs with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, citing the handset’s ability to provide information to employees in a quick and convenient fashion.

The original article can be found here: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/4bf2e3ae/sc/28/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C150C120C0A20Cunited0Eairlines0Eexpands0Eapple0Eprogram0Ewill0Eequip0E60A0A0A0Ecustomer0Eservice0Ereps0Ewith0Eiphone0E60Eplus/story01.htm

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Southwest Heaves Sigh of Relief as Customer Service Returns to Normal

Southwest Airlines on Monday announced it was operating on a normal schedule after technical problems delayed hundreds of flights on Sunday. A computer glitch related to the technical systems that powered its customer service operations — specifically its reservation system — apparently was to blame. Southwest teams worked throughout the night to solve the problem, the airline said. Approximately 836 of 3,355 flights scheduled on Sunday — or about 25 percent — were affected. Long lines and delays were reported at airports in L.A. and D.C.

The original article can be found here: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/82601.html?rss=1

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Network Outages Like NYSE, United Airlines, Are The New Natural Disasters

United Airlines 787 lands at the O'Hare International Airport in ChicagoUnited Airlines 787 lands at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

United Airlines 787 lands at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago

This week saw two nearly simultaneous infrastructure failures in major industries: finance and transportation.

On Wednesday, July 8th, the New York Stock Exchange abruptly went down for a big chunk of the trading day. Suspicions of a cyber attack erupted almost immediately after the exchange went dark, but the NYSE denied this, and later clarified that the problem had resulted from gateway software compatibility.

The same day United Airlines experienced a network crash due to what they say was a faulty router connection that degraded network connectivity. After 59 cancelled flights, the network was mostly back online.

Both were back online within a matter of hours, and while some damage was done the majority of people went on about their lives without problem. But the frequency of these episodes is increasing as networks become more complicated and as we rely more on them for day-to-day life.

A New Type of Natural Disaster?

There’s an argument to be made that network outages are becoming the world’s most frequent natural disaster: while the results are more often inconvenience than destruction, they’re complicated to fix, and affect telecommunications, service providers, transportation, finance, and sometimes even medical devices.

So what’s causing the problems?

David Erickson of Forward Networks, a startup focused on bringing more computer science practices into networking, says the problem is more than just human error: it’s an increasingly complex and uncoordinated system of hardware and languages. “You’ve now got organizations that have thousands or tens of thousands of devices that are moving packets: routers, switchers, firewalls–you name it,” he tells Popular Science, “and each of these things has upwards of between 1,000 and 1,000,000 or more rules that actually define the behavior of how what it does with packets as they come in and out.”

Those things can be taught to play nice together, but Erickson says it’s a steep learning curve. “The net problem is that it’s primarily humans that are having to install, roll these things forward, fix them, evolve them, everything. and it’s no surprise at all that one misconfiguration can pretty easily bring down major critical systems, which is what you saw with United.”

The problem increases with each passing year. Erickson says that over time, these devices “have become more and more complex, and you have more and more of them, they’re individually more and more complex, and there’s continually new software demands being placed on them.”

Erickson explains that many companies don’t realize that major chunks of their company and their operating systems are “just a couple of software misconfigurations away from being turned off or unavailable.” And it’s not just a time-and-money quandary when things go down. He pointed to a subreddit about network issues where a user offered an anecdote of neonatal heart monitors being configured on a network that was not functioning.

Mo Complexity, Mo Problems

Part of the problem comes from the fact that networks are a relatively new infrastructure. There are more safeguards for utilities like power and water, but they don’t exist for networking.

And they get worse with age not just because of new complexities, but the sudden appearance of old problems.

Eric Hunsader, of Nanex, LLC, a company that makes stock market information software. Hunsader has been in software development for the financial industry since 1986, and Nanex processes market data of stocks, options, futures and everything trading in the U.S. and worldwide. He explains that problems present from the start can take time to make themselves known. “As your product matures, after a while the only bugs left are the ones that nobody foresaw, and they tend to be the real difficult ones to figure out. So if technology is more complex with fewer errors, the few errors are significant.”

For the NYSE, shutdowns aren’t necessarily a problem, but bad timing can create a nightmare. “The nightmare is it happening one second before close,” says Hunsader. “The best time for something to cause trouble is 15:59:59. The problem is that so much of the system depends on those closing prices. You would back up everything.” He says that trades and options would have to be rolled back, and an error in the last few minutes of the day could cause the market not to open the next morning.

The good news is that things like the stock market, which are frequently affected by panic, aren’t affected by network issues most of the time. Hunsader says it doesn’t have any psychological impact on the market. If it had been an attack, well, “I think it would be all the difference, because we’d all be thinking if they can take a server out, maybe they can do it again. Or even worse, to be able to do it without being detected or… the smart thing would have been to rake the system for money.”

Airlines are a little more sensitive: a down network means down planes, which can ruin everyone’s holiday weekends and cost millions in a matter of hours. But these problems aren’t so simple as someone kicking a power cord out of the back of a Netgear product.

Testing, Testing…

Right now there’s not really a technology in place that lets network experts test configurations in a vacuum. Erickson says changes are planned ahead of time, with group consensus being the only reliable estimate of what’s going to happen. Once it goes live, testing new system arrangements (like with the NYSE or United) is a race against time. “If you mis-configure a device that happens to be the core device at that moment in time, it doesn’t matter how much redundancy you have.”

The lack of a standardized language or set of practices means that experts are in demand. Erickson says to be a network’s perfect manager, “you’d need to be able to understand all of the devices you’ve got in your network. There are tons of vendors, hundreds if not thousands of devices.”

Is there someone trying to standardize these tools? Not really. competitors have no impetus to collaborate when they can earn more from beating one another on innovation. But the reality of the market is that companies aren’t often replacing every unit every time there’s an upgrade, so legacy systems and legacy software will always be a problem.

Erickson says that in the absence of customers saying, “we need some sort of unifying standard here so we can have confidence our network is doing what we expect it to do all the time,” then it’s just not going to happen.

And even if there was desire, it’s a huge undertaking. “For a company to solve this,” Erickson explains, “they have to then go out and talk to every one of these devices and understand them extremely well,” he says. “And that’s just really hard.”

The original article can be found here: http://www.popsci.com/network-outages-nyses-united-airlines-are-new-natural-disasters

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Third-party iPad software to blame in delay of American Airlines planes

American Airlines on Wednesday said it identified an issue that delayed some 70 planes on Tuesday after crew iPads crashed, blaming the kerfuffle on mismanaged third-party software, not Apple hardware.

The original article can be found here: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/45ddb4c5/sc/28/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C150C0A40C290Csoftware0Eto0Eblame0Ein0Eipad0Eglitch0Ethat0Egrounded0Eamerican0Eairlines0Eplanes/story01.htm

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Apple iPad software issue grounds 'several dozen' American Airlines flights [u]

At least one American Airlines flight was grounded before takeoff on Tuesday due to a software bug that disabled pilots’ iPad-powered electronic flight bags, potentially affecting the carrier’s entire fleet of 737 aircraft.

The original article can be found here: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/45d5a69c/sc/28/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C150C0A40C280Camerican0Eairlines0Eflight0Egrounded0Edue0Eto0Eipad0Ecrash0Epossible0Enetwork0Eglitch/story01.htm

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American Airlines Veers Out of Orbitz

American Airlines this week withdrew its flight content from Orbitz Worldwide’s websites, which include Orbitz.com, ebookers.com and CheapTickets.com. The companies are locked in a booking fee dispute. The issue is also a brewing source of discontent between the airlines and Orbitz’s competitors, such as Expedia. In a nutshell, the legacy carriers are facing competition from discount airlines, so they want the booking sites to reduce their commissions on ticket sales to improve their bottom lines.

The original article can be found here: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/80964.html?rss=1

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