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December 17th, 2017

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Wait, What!? | NOT one world

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Jan. 14, 2016

Wait, What!? | NOT one world

After certain takeoffs and landings were delayed on Nov. 7 at Paris' Orly airport (several days before the terrorist attacks), a back trace on the problem forced the airport to disclose that its crucial "DECOR" computer system still runs on Windows 3.1 software (introduced in 1992). DECOR's function is to estimate the spacing between aircraft on fog-bound, visually impossible runways, and apparently it must shut down whenever the airport scrambles to find an available 3.1-qualified technician. [Vice.com, 11-13-2015]

Weird Japan (continued): Sony manufactured a robot dog ("Aibo") from 1996 to 2006 for a legion of pet-fanciers, but now that supplies of spare parts and specialized repairers are dwindling, many of the beloved family "canines" are "dying" off. Not to worry, though, for many "surviving" owners are conducting elaborate, expensive -- and even religious -- burials with widely attended funerals for their Aibos. (A March 2015 Newsweek report offered a dazzling photographic array of Aibo funerals.) Aibo support groups proliferate online because, said one repair service director, "(W)e think that somehow, (Aibos) really have souls." [Newsweek, 3-15-2015]

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