United Apologizes After More Computer Problems

Aug 29, 2012 8:37am

Morning Business Memo:

United Airlines has apologized after its computer reservation system and website failed for more than two hours yesterday. Thousands of passengers were affected by delayed flights. The mess was caused by the latest in a long-standing series of technology problems that began when United merged computer systems with Continental Airlines in March. The two airlines merged in 2010. Airlines rely on software to know who is filling the seats on its planes, and how many empty seats are available. Those computer systems also make it possible to print boarding passes. Passengers in several United hubs reported long lines at ticket counters. During the outage the airline stopped sending planes to its hubs in Newark and San Francisco. United said it will not charge the usual change fees for passengers on affected flights who want to cancel or rebook their tickets.

Samsung says it will fight Apple’s court request for a US ban of some of its smartphones. The South Korean electronics maker says the devices will remain on the market. Its statement came after a blistering loss in a copyright infringement case. A jury found Samsung stole design and software patents covering iPads and iPhones. Apple could seek a permanent ban on more than two dozen Samsung devices that the jury found had infringed on its intellectual property. US District judge Lucy Koh may issue a ruling next month on Apple’s request. The outcome in the case could shake up the market for mobile devices, and may have a direct impact on products that use Google’s Android system.

The head of the European Central Bank is pretty blunt about the failures of the 1999 agreement that formed the single currency eurozone. Mario Draghi wrote an opinion piece in a German newspaper, saying the original setup was unworkable and there is no going back. One currency shared by countries that only loosely coordinate their economies is unworkable, says Draghi. Strict central budget oversight is needed because “the consequences of misguided fiscal policies in a monetary union are too severe to remain self-policed.”

Greece’s prime minister is outlining more proposed cutbacks today to junior coalition partners. The new austerity measures for Greece are being demanded by bailout creditors in exchange for rescue loans. The Athens government says it’s worked out how to save some $14.4 billion, but the measures must be approved by international creditors.

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