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09.17.11

Deepwater Horizon Final Report Spares Microsoft

Posted in Site News at 6:41 pm by Guest Editorial Team

The official final report on the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster overlooks or ignores crucial testimony about the role of non free software. They conclude:

The Panel found that a central cause of the blowout was failure of a cement barrier in the production casing string, a high‐strength steel pipe set in a well to ensure well integrity and to allow future production. The failure of the cement barrier allowed hydrocarbons to flow up the wellbore, through the riser and onto the rig, resulting in the blowout. The precise reasons for the failure of the production casing cement job are not known.

That’s fair enough and they go on to cite various management issues that lead up to this. What’s not so fair is that they ignore the meat of Mike William’s prior testimony when examining the actual accident.

hydrocarbons began to flow from the Macondo reservoir into the well. Despite a number of additional anomalies that should have signaled the existence of a kick or well flow, the crew failed to detect that the well was flowing until 9:42 p.m. By then it was too late – the well was blowing drilling mud up into the derrick and onto the rig floor. If members of the rig crew had detected the hydrocarbon influx earlier, they might have been able to take appropriate actions to control the well. There were several possible reasons why the Deepwater Horizon crew did not detect the kick.

None of the reasons given mention the fact that Windows NT blue screen failures and lack of redundancy left the drilling crew blind. Nor is that software mentioned when explaining alarm bypasses that delayed crew notification once the accident had happened. In fact, “Microsoft” and “Windows” are never mentioned in the 217 page report.

There is no excuse for this omission because it was widely reported by Techrights and others. Previously, Techrights reported the role of Microsoft in the failure of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. The first report was when the NYT and other sites quoted Mike Williams referring to BSoD. The second report was an exclusive and detailed analysis of Mike Williams later published testimony. How such a long and extensive technical investigation could ignore such obvious problems is a mystery.

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7 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    September 17, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Conspiracy! Everyone in the world is in on the coverup!

    Thanks for brining this to light. What would we do without you?

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 18, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Gravatar

    The first report had mentions of the BSOD. This is indeed whitewashing. M$ in hospitals and health centers is another area where the inherent failure has serious consequences.

  3. georgek said,

    September 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Gravatar

    Djeez… Upset that MS or Windows aren’t mentioned in a report. Get a life. Everyone knows that BSoD are not MS errors but most likely some badly written 3rd party software that interfaces with some badly functioning hardware.

    How is running a legacy unsupported OS and crappy not-updated software anyone’s fault but the company that uses it.

    BOL.

    George.

    Michael Reply:

    Roy cannot understand why the world does not share his *extreme* biases. It is simply amazing. He is completely blind.

    twitter Reply:

    BP and BP suppliers are Microsoft monopoly victims like everyone else. Microsoft’s manipulation of developers, OEMs, retailers and governments have been well documented and often proved in court. The situation, while common is neither normal nor acceptable. Everyone deserves better and Microsoft deserves a portion of the blame for one of the biggest oil disasters in history. I’ve got ten year old gnu/linux systems that did not BSoD when new and won’t BSoD when I turn them on for fun today. BP, the London Stock Exchange, US Military software that does not work and a host of other huge failures have Microsoft in common and anyone with long running Windows experience knows why.

    One of the solutions to the monopoly problem is to Call Out Windows. No one else seems to be covering this particular issue which was well documented in expert testimony and partially reported by the NYT and others. That equipment that fails in a way common to Windows and that experts give detailed explanations of that failure and it is not covered in the final report is whitewash, plain and simple. Industry should avoid software that performs so poorly but won’t if we don’t sound off. GNU/Linux is an obvious and economical alternative that better institutions and businesses are already using.

    Michael Reply:

    Wah wah! I do not like Windows but others use it.

    Really… the whining is old. Choice is good – learn to deal with the fact not all will make the same choice you do.

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