Computer Bug May be to Blame for Six Flags Roller Coaster SNAFU

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noghiri_x

Gaaah!
SNAFU = Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.

This is a special event.

Therefore, you must use a different acronym, either FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition) or TARFU (Totally and Royally Fucked Up).

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timmyw

I can assure you this was not a PC problem, but a PLC (programmable logic controller) problem. There are specialized industrial controllers that handle these rides (as well as Iranian uranium enrichment facilities).

This one actually did what it was supposed to. It kept the riders safe, uncomfortable, but safe nonetheless. It couldn't continue in a safe manner so it simply shut the ride down.

PLCs are not programmed like PCs. They use a limited variability language (typically ladder logic). In ladder logic, there is a limited set of commands, that perform very specific tasks, so there is a reduced likelihood of a syntax error. Ladder logic is designed to perform functions similar to hard-wired relay logic. They are not programmed with a high-level variable structured text language like C.

PLCs are VERY reliable. I know of PLCs that have run for decades without failure. One system I worked on was designed in the mid-80's and has been running essentially 24/7/365 since 1989. Do they glitch, sure, no technology is absolutely fool-proof. As with a lot of problems with technology, it's easiest to blame the least understood section--in this case the controller.

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flyup

They are currently "testing" the ride. I bet the maintenance folks are scratching their heads wondering how to reproduce the fault. C'mon, we all know how this kind of thing works. That ride goes back into service without more than a few reboots!

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chart2006

Until someone gets their feet cut off. See "kaitlyn lasitter"

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itzabo

They were probably running Vista.
(IT Crowd reference)

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Typo91

wow I normally never say anything about grammer or spelling but this time i just had to...

its spelled "Kryptonite"

not "Kryponite"

you forgot a t.

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p47riot

"grammar"

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j_j_montez

That same thing happened to me. I corrected someone else, and misspelled grammar. Love it when karma hooks up with irony.

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Biceps

HAHAHAHAH! Snap.

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Typo91

I do not have to be correct with my comments, i don't get paid to write for a living.

Nor am I a grammar Nazi... But I've read a Superman comic or two.

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MarioJP

Even when rides like these are not running windows its still windows fault unbelievable lol. With that said. It could be one of those computers similar to what NASA is using. Could be firmware for all i know.

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chart2006

In this case it would be Russia's computers however according to the Roscosmos chief himself it isn't of Russia's making but sabotage by foreign governments. O_o HAHAHA!

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Valor958

Maybe I'm becoming paranoid... but I wonder in situations like this if it wasn't just an experiment in control to see just what could be done.
Maybe backdoor penetration testing to see just how much control can be exercised over a system.
A computer error is a computer error... it comes down to whether or not the error was built upon by a human operator or a legitimate failure. For all we know Anonymous (and others of their genre), are branching out so they can shut down entertainment venues at will to help encite local unrest in target areas. If there's an Occupy xxx protest going on, and now the local entertainment venues are shut down or malfunctioning... people get pissed, it turns into a powder keg.
I'm going to get my tin-foil hat now... I'm thinking too much.

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avenger48

A few problems with that. Problem number one is the fact that amusement rides are controlled by computers that aren't connected to the internet. Problem two is the fact that you can't really cause any carnage by messing with the computers of a ride with only one train. Finally, problem three is the fact that ride control code is proprietary and inaccessible to the person who buys the ride. The only people who have any access to it are the people at Premier Rides (the coaster's manufacturer). If those people had access to that code and malicious intent, they would sell it to a competitor, not to someone like Anon.

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Valor958

See, those are things I didn't know. I assumed the systems were on an internal network for some sort of centralized monitoring. I figured that was the fail point if anything.
I don't go to amusement parks and really never took a big interest in them. Those were just spontaneous flow of thought comments above lol. If anything, at least now we know it's more difficult to mess with a ride.
The major park near me, King's Island (formerly owned by Paramount Studios), has had LOTS of issues lol.

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avenger48

You know they're finally tearing down Son of Beast? Unrelatedly, Roller Coasters are actually amazingly safe. Statistically speaking, they're actually the safest form of transportation.

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Farmboytechie

Computer SNAFU! Paul, dig into it and see if it was a Windows BSOD.

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