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(Washington Post)   Abusive, rogue Android takes down National Weather Service website   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 86
    More: Scary, National Weather Service, Android Phone, weather services, severe storm  
•       •       •

9500 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Aug 2014 at 7:05 PM (3 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



86 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-08-26 04:11:17 PM
It's probably better performance than the Android weather widget.
 
2014-08-26 04:49:21 PM
But due to a programming error, the app was querying us thousands of times a second.

Must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something.
 
2014-08-26 05:08:51 PM
Could have been worse.  Could have been a Gynoid.

/Is it misogyny when it's a robot?
 
2014-08-26 05:11:28 PM
Just start singing selections from HMS Pinafore.  He'll calm down.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-26 07:10:09 PM
Classic DDOS attack.
 
2014-08-26 07:12:54 PM

Stile4aly: Just start singing selections from HMS Pinafore.  He'll calm down.


"Sing, Worf, sing"

*Shakes head no*
 
2014-08-26 07:14:48 PM
So at this point I assume no one is paying for subscription to the Washington Post and we're all just stopping the browser before it redirects to the paywall?
 
2014-08-26 07:15:20 PM
Why do they always release messages in all caps? It takes away from the content of the message, and prevents them from highlighting the key words that people will be looking for.
 
2014-08-26 07:15:28 PM
37.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-08-26 07:17:45 PM
You all do realize just how fragile our data integrity and IT infrastructure really are, right?
 
2014-08-26 07:19:08 PM
Argh. We be stealin' yur tornadoes an such. You betcha.

img.fark.net
 
2014-08-26 07:19:21 PM
WE ARE PROVIDING NOTICE TO ALL THAT NIDS HAS IDENTIFIED AN ABUSING ANDROID APP THAT IS IMPACTING FORECAST

Who knew smartphone apps could change the weather?
 
2014-08-26 07:22:18 PM
Typical Android antics.
 
2014-08-26 07:28:47 PM
img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-08-26 07:29:03 PM

AshCampbell: So at this point I assume no one is paying for subscription to the Washington Post and we're all just stopping the browser before it redirects to the paywall?


Pay for news? I think not.
 
2014-08-26 07:29:31 PM
Is it just me, or do they not mention which app it was?
 
2014-08-26 07:33:49 PM
4.bp.blogspot.com

Wanted for questioning
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-26 07:36:38 PM
fusillade762: Who knew smartphone apps could change the weather?

Common security hole for web apps. You put sensitive information in a hidden field of a form and rely on the client not to modify it.
 
2014-08-26 07:37:27 PM

FriarReb98: Is it just me, or do they not mention which app it was?


They didn't that I could see. I can imagine a middle manager being scared that doing so would expose them to litigation for... describing facts.
 
2014-08-26 07:37:29 PM
Does the Android marketplace check apps at all?  Hate on Windows Phones and iPhones all you want, but something like this wouldn't get published.

Is the app writer liable for the data overages of a few thousand users?  The costs of NWS defending against their DOS attack?
 
2014-08-26 07:40:05 PM
What a rouge android might look like...

cinetropolis.net
 
2014-08-26 07:40:55 PM
encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Example of Abusive Rogue Android?

/hot
 
2014-08-26 07:41:14 PM
Also...

www.slate.com
 
2014-08-26 07:41:16 PM

ScaryBottles: [img1.wikia.nocookie.net image 450x334]


Bender is not an android.
 
2014-08-26 07:45:06 PM
Now that's a Twenty First Century headline.

It's got an android playing silly-buggers with the Nation's weather and those brave boys (and gals) who provide us with it at the National Weather Service. Robot dogfights among the weather balloons. Freak falls of hail and fish fingers. Like that.

Old people can curl up next to the weather station and fall asleep, occasionally awakening to robot terror and tornadoes.

AND THAT'S WHY THEY USE ALL CAPS. OLD PEOPLE ARE DEAF AND HARD OF SEEING. THEY NEED THE ALL CAPS.
 
2014-08-26 07:45:54 PM
Classic sloppy Android software dev.  I have two excellent weather apps on my new iPad and neither has ever given me any trouble OR crashed a govt website.  In general, apps written for Apple products are reliably superior at worst and fantastically better at their best.  Google's shoddy cobbled together commodity hardware tablets might have something to do with that, or it may be that the iPad app community simply attracts better devs.  I don't know, that's just in my experience.
 
2014-08-26 07:46:00 PM

ashinmytomatoes: What a rouge android might look like...

[cinetropolis.net image 605x289]


 His cheeks are a little bloody, but I wouldn't say they're rouge.
 
2014-08-26 07:46:22 PM
img1.wikia.nocookie.net

Great. Next thing you know, some blind guy's going to have his brain turned to pudding, and the rogue android's brother will get emotional. We're all doomed.
 
2014-08-26 07:46:54 PM
escapepod.org

Wanted for questioning
 
2014-08-26 07:47:29 PM
maram500

Beat me to it by SECONDS.
 
2014-08-26 07:47:47 PM

BitwiseShift: Argh. We be stealin' yur tornadoes an such. You betcha.

[img.fark.net image 224x224]


I have that exact sticker, in green and white, on my Vespa.

/csb
 
2014-08-26 07:49:30 PM

Naked under my clothes: ashinmytomatoes: What a rouge android might look like...

[cinetropolis.net image 605x289]

 His cheeks are a little bloody, but I wouldn't say they're rouge.


Hahaha. I made a great typo there, didn't I? I didn't mean to.
 
2014-08-26 07:49:53 PM

No Such Agency: In general, apps written for Apple products are reliably superior at worst and fantastically better at their best. [...] I don't know, that's just in my experience.


Point the first: You went from "Apple makes better apps! It's a fact!" to "[Shrug] That's my experience" in zero seconds flat. That some kind of debate fallacy that is terribad, and you should feel bad.

Point the second: Please shut up and go back to the Apple forums where your kind is far more welcome.

/BlackBerry ftw
 
2014-08-26 07:50:27 PM
www.eggshell-robotics.com
Covers androids too!
 
2014-08-26 07:50:52 PM

Chris45215: Why do they always release messages in all caps? It takes away from the content of the message, and prevents them from highlighting the key words that people will be looking for.


Legacy from TeleType and similar means of message-sending.  All caps because they didn't have lower-case available.  NWS is starting to move away from that now, experimenting with lower-case messages in some places.  Being a government agency, it will probably be years still before that gets fully changed.
 
2014-08-26 07:51:21 PM

DarKrow: maram500

Beat me to it by SECONDS.


I may have beaten you to the punch, but I'll be damned if your image isn't better. (I just went with the first image available on memory-alpha.org in their Lore article...)
 
2014-08-26 07:53:34 PM
When a user launches the app, the phone queries forecast.weather.gov to get the forecast for defined points and keeps querying to keep the forecast current. But due to a programming error, the app was querying us thousands of times a second.

Bet that did a number on those users' data plans...
 
2014-08-26 08:00:46 PM
Dad?
 
2014-08-26 08:01:59 PM

Chris45215: Why do they always release messages in all caps? It takes away from the content of the message, and prevents them from highlighting the key words that people will be looking for.


Various US government agencies have rules and regulations on how information should be presented. "All caps" rules use the theory that capital letters are easier to read, especially when blurred somehow in a bad reproduction, crude video or slide. Then again this may be a holdover from old texlex schemes (such as in WWII) where no case information was transmitted and everything was printed as capitals.

Many years ago I had to change a governmental presentation to all caps because it was required.
 
2014-08-26 08:14:52 PM

Arkanaut: But due to a programming error, the app was querying us thousands of times a second.

Must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something.


This is not a mundane detail Michael!
 
M-G
2014-08-26 08:15:55 PM
Of course, if they'd just allow NWS to develop and release their own app....
 
2014-08-26 08:17:15 PM

fusillade762: ScaryBottles: [img1.wikia.nocookie.net image 450x334]

Bender is not an android.


Beat me to it.
 
2014-08-26 08:17:21 PM
Kirk knoew how to take care of rogue androids

s27.postimg.org
and made smoke come out of his ears.
 
2014-08-26 08:19:28 PM

HairBolus: Chris45215: Why do they always release messages in all caps? It takes away from the content of the message, and prevents them from highlighting the key words that people will be looking for.

Various US government agencies have rules and regulations on how information should be presented. "All caps" rules use the theory that capital letters are easier to read, especially when blurred somehow in a bad reproduction, crude video or slide. Then again this may be a holdover from old texlex schemes (such as in WWII) where no case information was transmitted and everything was printed as capitals.

Many years ago I had to change a governmental presentation to all caps because it was required.


THAT MUST HAVE SUCKED
 
2014-08-26 08:28:45 PM
There's a pretty simple solution to this: Make an official app. We've been patiently waiting... how long, now?
 
2014-08-26 08:40:29 PM
The android in question has been dealt with by them:

media.giphy.com

So how much more are their forecasts going to be completely off? I have a better chance of knowing the weather with a compass and my thumb pointed at the sky.
 
2014-08-26 08:51:49 PM
That is some really stupid coding. If it were me writing that app, I would request the information from a source that already cleaned the data. That doubly makes sure that what's being pulled is accurate, and there is no way to clog someone else's system.

Of course the NWS is to blame also for allowing at app to hit its servers 1000s of times a second.
 
2014-08-26 08:55:39 PM

HairBolus: Chris45215: Why do they always release messages in all caps? It takes away from the content of the message, and prevents them from highlighting the key words that people will be looking for.

Various US government agencies have rules and regulations on how information should be presented. "All caps" rules use the theory that capital letters are easier to read, especially when blurred somehow in a bad reproduction, crude video or slide. Then again this may be a holdover from old texlex schemes (such as in WWII) where no case information was transmitted and everything was printed as capitals.

Many years ago I had to change a governmental presentation to all caps because it was required.


I'm pretty sure it's this. To my knowledge, NWS has been working to get rid of ALL CAPS where possible. For example, NHC forecast discussions for hurricanes are now mixed-case.
Compare the forecast discussion of current Hurricane Cristobal
Against a forecast discussion of Hurricane Sandy two years ago
 
2014-08-26 08:58:50 PM
Legacy from TeleType and similar means of message-sending.  All caps because they didn't have lower-case available.  NWS is starting to move away from that now, experimenting with lower-case messages in some places.  Being a government agency, it will probably be years still before that gets fully changed.

Well, they have to copy everything from 5 1/4 discs over to 3.5 first.
 
2014-08-26 09:00:54 PM

gweilo8888: There's a pretty simple solution to this: Make an official app. We've been patiently waiting... how long, now?


Oh, and I doubt this is going to happen for a long time. It's part of the never-ending struggle between the weather's public and private sectors. It pisses me off to no end, too, but the last thing we need is a war between the NWS and the private sector companies -- the .com will complain to Congress (Joel Myers of AccuWeather tried to get Frothy Santorum to pull NWS out of the forecast business more or less entirely so private sector could take free NWS data and turn around to sell it for a profit). Given the tea party atmosphere in Congress now that wasn't there 9 years ago, there's a very real chance something like this could pass the House (and maybe the Senate in 2015 if we're unlucky)
 
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