Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History

From: Rogers, Wendy
Sent: Thursday, 20 November 2008 11:31 AM
Subject: FW: Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History

Top 10 Most Expensive Accidents in History

Throughout history, humans have always been prone to accidents. Some, such as the exotic car crashes seen on this page, can be very expensive. But that's trivial compared to the truly expensive accidents. An accident is defined as "an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss". Our aim is to list the top 10 most expensive accidents in the history of the world as measured in dollars.

This includes property damage and expenses incurred related to the accident such as cleanup and industry losses. Many of these accidents involve casualties which obviously cannot be measured in dollar terms. Each life lost is priceless and is not factored into the equation. Deliberate actions such as war or terrorism and natural disasters do not qualify as accidents and therefore are not included in this list.

#10. Titanic ($150 Million)

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today's dollars).

#9. Tanker Truck vs Bridge ($358 Million)

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.

#8. MetroLink Crash ($500 Million)

On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles. It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

#7. B-2 Bomber Crash ($1.4 Billion)

Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we're only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

The crash was captured on video. It shows one B-2 Bomber successfully taking off followed by the B-2 Bomber which crashes. The crash starts at 2:00

#6. Exxon Valdez ($2.5 Billion)

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world's biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship's master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.

#5. Piper Alpha Oil Rig ($3.4 Billion)

The world's worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world's single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day.. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world's most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.

Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.

#4. Challenger Explosion ($5.5 Billion)

The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today's dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today's dollars).

#3. Prestige Oil Spill ($12 Billion)

On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, Spain. Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea.

According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

#2. Space Shuttle Columbia ($13 Billion)

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today's dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million.

In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

#1. Chernobyl ($200 Billion)

On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl, including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unlock ISA server from Lockdown mode

Title: NO PING after stopping ISA Firewall Services
Tags: Microsoft, ISA Server, 2006
Zones: MS Forefront-ISA, Windows Networking, Windows Network Security

hi folks

i got a strange problem. i thought i could PING NLB-enabled ISA servers after stopping their FWSRV service, but actually not.

basic system information of the ISA servers:

W2K3R2 Standard in Hyper-V
4 NICs with 4 dedicated IPs (1 x external facing, 3 x internal facing)
NLB enabled on all NICs on IGMP multicast mode
additional 17 VIPs assigned to the 4 NICs (10 + 1 + 3 + 3)
ISA 2006 Enterprise with SP1 and Supportability Update
Back Firewall template with Block All
outgoing DNS/HTTP/HTTPS/NTP/PING traffic is allowed

NOTE: ISA Integrated NLB is not used as it does not support NLB on all adapters with IGMP multicast, WLBS used instead.

the network connection is OK as i can use ARP -A to see their MAC addresses though i could not PING the IPs

any clues? many thanks for any input.

kind regards,

Author Comment - Author: bbao Date: 09/09/2008 - 07:13PM EST

just an update:

i just did a test on another stand-alone ISA server and got the same problem. no PING. it seems the stopped ISA server has been locked down.

i also found the following from MS TechNet site:

"2. Put the ISA Server firewall in LOCKDOWN mode, by stopping the Microsoft Firewall service. At a command prompt, type net stop fwsrv."

Troubleshooting networking issues

the ISA servers are now in LOCKDOWN mode?? if so, how to unlock in turn to allow any incoming and outgoing traffic as before?


Assisted Solution - Author: keith_alabaster Date: 09/10/2008 - 08:21AM EST

Its not a problem - it is by design. Stopping the services means exactly that. ISA has a system policy (not firewall policy) that says whether to allow icmp traffic from internal to the localhost (isa box) so if you stop the services you also stop the access. removing ISA would allow the connections OK - stopping the services stops ISA from being operational however the dll's, the configs etc are all expecting ISA to be running.


Accepted Solution - Author: bbao Date: 09/10/2008 - 10:00AM EST

hi Keith

you are right, it is by design - a very good design.

i have actually already found the way to unlock ISA lockdown mode: NET STOP FWENG /Y.

this command will open the ISA server to all network traffic by stopping the Firewall Engine which runs in kernel mode of W2K3. the engine is a kernel-mode driver (fweng.sys) "which is called whenever network traffic arrives or leaves an ISA server network interface and modifies it if necessary."

this command will automatically stop the upper-layer Firewall Service, so NET STOP FWSRV is not necessary.

i found the above information from a MS white paper "ISA Server 2006 Firewall core", the best MS document i ever read - clear, informative, and accurate.


Expert Comment Author: keith_alabaster Date: 09/10/2008 - 12:39PM EST

Nice one :) - I will have a read on that as I don't recall that paper, and I have read quite a few


Keith :)

Author Comment Author: bbao Date: 09/10/2008 - 05:41PM EST


ISA Server 2006 Firewall Core

Expert Comment Author: keith_alabaster Date: 09/10/2008 - 07:53PM EST

Thanks :)

Author Comment Author: bbao Date: 09/10/2008 - 09:08PM EST

hi Keith,

do you mind that i accept my second comment as the answer as i would like to PAQ this question. i believe this would help others who intend to hear the heartbeat after killing the ISA server. :-)

i tried to share points to you by accepting multiple solutions, but EE did not allow me to choose my comment in this way... thanks for your kind help,


Expert Comment Author: keith_alabaster Date: 09/11/2008 - 12:26AM EST

No its fine and an accurate reflection anyway. Besides, you likely know my EE email address if you ever want help with ISA Server.

K :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Passport comparison on visa-free entry

It was reported last week that, Gong Li (巩俐), who grew up in my hometown of Jinan (济南) and now is one of the most well-known Chinese movie stars, has been granted Singapore citizenship after 12 years since she married a Singaporean tobacco tycoon, Ooi Hoe Soeng (黄和祥), in 1996. According to what she later explained, this is because she travels a lot and it's convenient to hold a Singapore passport.

Like all passports of developed countries, Singapore Passport is also a well-recognised travel document for international travel freedom, which means that the passport holder may enjoy visa-free access to a majority of countries and territories for short-term tourism visits.

I am hereby listing several coverage maps in regard to visa-free or visa-on-arrival access using passports of several countries and territories. All the maps are from the Wikipedia, and the data is from Henley & Partners, as of 15 Nov 2008.

Australian Passport
Rank 7, Visa-free access to 151 countries and territories

British Passport
Rank 6, Visa-free access to 152 countries and territories

Canadian Passport
Rank 4, Visa-free access to 154 countries and territories

Hong Kong Passport
Rank 13, Visa-free access to 110 countries and territories

Mainland China Passport
Rank 79, Visa-free access to 33 countries and territories

New Zealand Passport
Rank 8, Visa-free access to 150 countries and territories

Singapore Passport
Rank 8, Visa-free access to 150 countries and territories

United States Passport
Rank 3, Visa-free access to 155 countries and territories

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Recent readings in October

Going to return the books borrowed last month from Chatswood Library. It seems to be fined for nearly 30 dollars because the books have been overdue for 10 days. :-((

* 《陈洁如回忆录》,陈洁如著,汪凌石译,台北新新闻文化发行(1992)
* 《陈水扁震撼》,陶五柳著,台北大村文化出版社(1994)
* 《父亲邓小平“文革”十年记》,毛毛著,香港中华儿女出版社(2000)
* 《活出历史 - 希拉蕊回忆录》,希拉蕊等著,钟玉玨等译,台北时报文化出版社(2003)
* 《李敖回忆录》,李敖著,北京中国友谊出版公司(1998)
* 《李光耀回忆录(1923-1965)》,李光耀著,台北世界书局(1998)
* 《任我帆游南半球》,叶子侨著,香港天窗出版社(2006)
* 《少年陈凯歌》,陈凯歌著,台北远流出版公司(1991)
* 《岁月苍苍 - 我与儿子王丹》,王凌云著,香港明报出版社(1999)
* 《我的父亲邓小平》,毛毛著,台北地球出版社(1993)

* Degunking Your Email, Spam, and Viruses, Jeff Duntemann, Paraglyph Press, 2004.
* Implementing Virtual Private Netwroks, Steven Brown, MacGraw-Hill, 1999.
* Mastering Networks, William Buchanan, Macmillan Press, 1999.
* Web Stalkers - Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths, Stephen Andert, Donald K. Burleson, Rampant TechPress, 2004.
* Your Neighbor's Secret Life Online, Stephen Dean, New Horizon Press, 2008.