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Y2.01K

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the wait-till-two-oh-thirty-eight dept.

Security 269

After our recent discussion of decimal/hexadecimal confusion at the turn of 2010, alphadogg writes in with a Network World survey of wider problems caused by the date change. "A decade after the Y2K crisis, date changes still pose technology problems, making some security software upgrades difficult and locking millions of bank ATM users out of their accounts. Chips used in bank cards to identify account numbers could not read the year 2010 properly, making it impossible for ATMs and point of sale machines in Germany to read debit cards of 30 million people since New Year's Day, according to published reports. The workaround is to reprogram the machines so the chips don't have to deal with the number. In Australia, point-of-sales machines skipped ahead to 2016 rather than 2010 at midnight Dec. 31, rendering them unusable by retailers, some of whom reported thousands of dollars in lost sales. Meanwhile Symantec's network-access control software that is supposed to check whether spam and virus definitions have been updated recently enough fails because of this 2010 problem."

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Have I not heard this before? (1)

bezenek (958723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666466)

Didn't I hear this before? I remember people talking about scamming banking systems via the confusion caused by 2010.

Does anyone remember this well enough to dig up the article?

Thanks (and lazy),
Todd

Re:Have I not heard this before? (2, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666698)

Didn't I hear this before? I remember people talking about scamming banking systems via the confusion caused by 2010.

Wait a second... isn't that the plot from Superman IV?

idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666468)

How on earth can things like this happen? After the Y2K debacle how can anyone
not anticipate and extensively test for future dates?

Is this sheer utter incompetence, or just a total lack of intelligence?

Yee Gods!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666502)

Because everybody forgot about Y2K on Jan 1 2000. Planes didn't fall from the sky, remember (well not immediately, anyway).

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666646)

Hmmm so the 9/11 hijackers were Y2K bugs then? We better keep an eye out for more aircraft bugs on Sept 11 2011 .... holy shit there is an 11 in 2011 AND 9/11! ZOMG!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666748)

Ah nothing like a 9/11 joke to brighten my day

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667936)

Lighten up loser.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667528)

You missed one, i think you meant 9/11/11: THE SEQUEL.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Funny)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666776)

Because everybody forgot about Y2K on Jan 1 2000. Planes didn't fall from the sky, remember (well not immediately, anyway).

Yes. I anticipated this. I now store all my dates much like the Unix epoch, except I store it in a 1 gigabit integer field (f*ck 64-bit integers) that counts the number of seconds since midnight January 1st, 50,000,000,000^1024 years ago.

We should be safe from now until the universe collapses, Jesus comes back, Allah blows us all up, or the Great Green Arkleseizure wipes his nose.

Oh--and you do have that new holographic storage tech in your laptop, right? You'll need a few exobytes just to store the timestamps on all your files...

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

thorndt (814642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666968)

Better make sure your computer rounds that (way way down) to 13.7 billion. According to current cosmological thinking, that's when time began.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666532)

Is this sheer utter incompetence

Sounds good! Tastes even better!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666538)

This is because they let people that shouldn't be anywhere near a production system write software.

Almost all of these issues can be attributed to developers rolling their own date handling functions or misusing built-in functions.

I'd blame some of it on retarded user interfaces that accept two digit year values.

DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL!!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666652)

DO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL!!

The catchphrase of the "it's old code so it's good code" fools.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667002)

"If it's old code it's good code" is a half-decent catchphrase. "No code is good code" is better. (Or less code, if you really must code).

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Monsieur_F (531564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667056)

"The only good code is dead code"

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Insightful)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667674)

Personally, I blame it on bad reverse-engineering. 9 looks the same in binary and binary-coded-decimal (the bit pattern for each is 00001001), but the bit pattern for 10 in binary-coded-decimal (00010000) is the same as the bit pattern for 16 in binary. I imagine what's going on here is people guessing at a protocol and not having enough information to distinguish binary from BCD. (If they do that because the protocol isn't available, it's forgivable; if they do it because they're too lazy to look it up, it's incompetence.)

Try complacency (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666542)

Y2K ended up being a lot less scary than it could have been. Most of that is because we were prepared, turned a lot of systems off during the rollover, and then brought them back up under close monitoring.

The end result is that the populace, including business decision makers, hear about more date-related tech problems and think "Eh, it won't be that big of a deal. Y2K wasn't that bad, right?"

And now, an obligatory XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/607/ [xkcd.com]

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666550)

Wait until Dec. 31, 9999. Watch as people panic about there being 5 digits in the year and how programs were only written to accommodate 4 digit years for the past 8000 years!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666574)

Wait until Dec. 31, 9999. Watch as people panic about there being 5 digits in the year and how programs were only written to accommodate 4 digit years for the past 8000 years!

They are going to have thaw out a lot of old cobol programmers.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666898)

They are going to have thaw out a lot of old cobol programmers.

True.

We should start freezing them now, just to be sure.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666914)

They are going to have thaw out a lot of old cobol programmers.

I, for one, welcome the Lords of Cobol.
 
/All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667432)

Aaah, I always wondered, that if Galactica was an infinite loop, then how did it all start. NOW I know.

I wonder if Cylons crash on round date values. ;)

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

hydromike2 (1457879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667110)

Wait until Dec. 31, 9999. Watch as people panic about there being 5 digits in the year and how programs were only written to accommodate 4 digit years for the past 8000 years!

I wouldnt sweat the 5 dgits, we only have 2 years 350 days +/- a few hours till the earth goes back to zero(if even that, possibly even negative relative to the next sentient species that comes to be on earth)

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666552)

Is this sheer utter incompetence, or just a total lack of intelligence?

you phrase that question as if it can't be both...

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666690)

I don't think he specified exclusive-or. Checking these conditions would still return true if both were individually true.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666572)

100% incompetence.

I would bet all the money I have that 99.99% of these problems are caused by people not taking the time to learn the standard library of whatever programming language they're using. For some reason there's a gut instinct among programmers that they have to write all date processing code themselves. I can think of 4 separate occasions, off the top of my head, where I've replaced dozens of lines of sketchy, hand roled, date formatting code with a single call to strftime. [freebsd.org]

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666732)

I call it job security.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667218)

How do you explain this bug from spamassassin?

X-Spam-Status: Yes, score=6.1 required=4.0 tests=AWL,FH_DATE_PAST_20XX,
        HTML_MESSAGE,HTML_MIME_NO_HTML_TAG,MIME_HTML_ONLY autolearn=disabled
        version=3.2.5
X-Spam-Report:
        * 3.4 FH_DATE_PAST_20XX The date is grossly in the future.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667710)

As reported on Slashdot earlier [slashdot.org] , it was using a regex for date handling, that had the year 2010 hardcoded. (The irony here is that the SpamAssassin people had noticed in time and changed the date to a hardcoded 2020 instead, but forgotten to put the fix into the update channels, so nobody got it until after 2010 had already started. Of course, this is still the wrong way to do things...)

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667234)

How about the fear of copyright infringement or plagiarism. You grow up and go through school being told NOT to copy any one elses work, hand in your own work, you can be expelled from school for handing in work that is not yours, then one day people start telling you to stop "reinventing the wheel". There is code all ready written that does that. Copy and paste that in and your done. It's not easy to go against what a life time has taught you is wrong.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

melmut (968751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667374)

I don't think you any schools teaches not to reuse things. They teach you not to use things you aren't allowed to use. Did they tell you to build your own computers and to make your own transistors? Think about what you were taught, don't just blindly repeat what you thought you heard.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667450)

That’s more of a C programmer’s disease. Because it came with next to no libraries. I mean, the environment is not even developed to a point where basic memory management has a sensible abstraction from hardware. (No, you don’t need to hand-roll that. You just need to think harder, on how to generalize that thing.)

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666592)

Its neither. It's ROI and worrying about this quarter's earnings over anything else, pure and simple. Because there isn't any primary returns from finding date errors in the future, businesses just won't plunk down funds to fix them, and will reactively fix problems when they happen. I see this a lot in businesses, and not just the big boys. Plenty of SMBs also are not interested in hearing about anything they need to spend their money on, but stuff that has a positive return. They would rather forget about time issues. When zero hour happens, most feel that they can hire a ton of consultants to fix any problems that arise, even though it costs way more than if it was fixed before stuff failed.

Just the same with computer security because to a typical MBA++ PHB, security gives no financial gains. I've heard so many times, "I'm not worried. If I get hacked, I'll just call the Geek Squad guys and they will fix it."

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Funny)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666644)

At the Bank of Germany, we're not happy until you're not happy.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Interesting)

thsths (31372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666784)

> At the Bank of Germany, we're not happy until you're not happy.

Indeed. They even said if the cache machine in your branch did not work and you had to get money from a competitor, you will not get the fee reimbursed at most banks. So far only one bank has promised to pay them back.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666828)

The -REAL- Y2K is the unix epoch - where HARDWARE base storage chips that keep time (really just a count of all the seconds since the beginning of the epoc) will essentially overflow because they can't store a number that large.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (5, Interesting)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666848)

A little bit of both!

We have actually had TWO different Y2K10 problems at our job. One was related to someone setting certain rules to expire in 2010, because, you know, it was so far off in the future they wouldn't be working here anymore.

The other bug qualifies as complete incompetence on the developer. We contracted another company to write some software to print barcode labels. They encoded pipe delimited values including a date. In order to save digits and thus reduce the size of the barcode they decided to take the year and append the Julian day. For example Jan, 6th of this year would be stored as 2010006. The problem was that they didn't feel that it was necessary to use four digits for the year. Which is understandable, but apparently TWO digits for the year was too much as well. So the end product was a one digit year ex. "0006". The code that reads the label was:
year = 2000 + barcode.left(1);

What's really scary, is that this code had to have been written post Y2K.

The worst part of the whole thing is that we have to go back to the contractor to fix the problem which is going to cost us $$$ beyond the lost revenue of downtime.

Now both of these problems have nothing to do with 2010 specifically, but it just shows how short sighted developers can be.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666904)

Since the contractor is going to be paid a second time, I would say it demonstrates their forward planning.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667132)

That will actually be a problem in 2017 in code I wrote.

I needed to implement 3-digit inventory taking IDs in 2007, whit about 20-30 inventories taken each year. So I have a one-digit year in those IDs, and in 2017 I will have to either delete the old ones or find a new approach.

But since a few weeks all our barcode scanners also can handle letter barcodes, so I can probably push the real problem into 2043, when I'm retired. ;-P

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666908)

End of the world? I just checked my calendar, and the last day is December 31st. This has me deeply concerned.

How on earth could this happen? This is shear blistering incompetence that no one thought to include any more days past this point.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666980)

How on earth can things like this happen? After the Y2K debacle how can anyone
not anticipate and extensively test for future dates?

Is this sheer utter incompetence, or just a total lack of intelligence?

Yee Gods!

Step 1: A company uses a bunch of old softwares that can't handle dates past 1999, because the year is coded with 2 digits.
Step 2: The company hires a consultant to correct their softwares.
Step 3: The consultant sees the code is a mess, and understand he won't be able to correct everything cleanly before the deadline.
Step 4: The consultant decides to call a function wherever a date is used, that changes the way dates are handled so that a year beginning by a 0 works like it is posterior to a year beginning by a 9 (or any other digit).
Step 5: ???: The consultant warns the company that a better correction must be applied before 2010, and that they should do something about it in advance, not wake up suddenly on december 12 like this year and wonder what to do. Or he keeps that for himself (after all, it won't be a problem until 10 years later, why bother?)
Step 6: Profit: The consultant gets his check and gets drunk.
Step 7: The companys does nothing to correct the problem.
Step 8: 10 years later, the Y2K bug strikes like the spanish inquisition, when nobody expects it.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (3, Informative)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667156)

Two reasons

  1. Many programmers are not particularly competent. Add in the untrained people writing scripts, VBA applications, etc, who have no clue about software engineering, testing, etc. No surprise that simple errors crop up.
  2. Dates are really, really horrible. If you have not had the privilege of writing an international application, worrying about different date and time representations, simultaneity across different time-zones (and the date line) - well, it's an adventure, and even careful testing may not catch everything. Gratuitous real-world example: WinXP allows users to set date-separators and the like in a way that makes unambiguous date/time parsing impossible.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667232)

WinXP allows users to set date-separators and the like in a way that makes unambiguous date/time parsing impossible.

That's a microsoft thing.
Similarly, a .xls file created with a non-english excel (we often receive such files from clients who use excel in french) uses commas as the float separator and is unreadable in another version of excel.

There are tons of similar default behaviour of microsoft softwares that makes you want to kill people as soon as you begin working internationally.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Informative)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667294)

It's not the Excel language that breaks stuff as far as I recall, but Windows' regional settings. Set your windows regional settings to France or whatever, and it should work.

At least, that is the case for csv files in Excel.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667356)

Thanks for pointing that out, I'll try to remember that next time i'm faced with this problem.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

melmut (968751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667398)

It isn't windows. It is the fact that you insist using a format which doesn't make date representation unambiguous (csv). You won't have any problem using an excel file: it will be rendered using the right regional settings you chose, whatever regional settings were used when the file was created.

CSV in Excel is the same with regional settings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667886)

Unfortunately csv files from different regions won't work in excel either, due to the fact that excel uses the separator from your regional settings rather than always using commas like you are supposed to with a COMMA separated value

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667488)

Dates are really, really horrible. If you have not had the privilege of writing an international application, worrying about different date and time representations, simultaneity across different time-zones (and the date line) - well, it's an adventure, and even careful testing may not catch everything. Gratuitous real-world example: WinXP allows users to set date-separators and the like in a way that makes unambiguous date/time parsing impossible.

Which is why you don't do that. You let standard library functions (which were mostly written years ago and have been tested far more extensively than any of your code is likely to be) handle it.

And where this is impossible, you don't even attempt to parse dates. You work purely on something like "number of seconds since the epoch" and only turn it into a human-readable date just before you show it to a human.

Really, the cases in which you're likely to need to parse a date in the real world are few and far between.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667536)

Re. point 1: Coding is complex, and newbies turning out poor code doesn't mean they are morons or poorly trained. A lot of the finesse of proper software engineering comes through hard-won experience, and quess what: rarely do we give those newbies a chance to gain that experience.

What I am talking about is mentoring and code reviews, two things that seem to have gone the way of the dodo. "Catch errors early" has always been a good coder's maxim; but there really is no excuse to have a newbie's code go unscrutinised. Catch their errors early so you can both have a good laugh about it, and he can fix the error at his leisure. If such errors come up during final testing (or worse: after release), you're too late. Instead of a valuable lesson you'll have an expensive embarassment on your hands.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667280)

Y2K was accepted because ordinary people could easily understand the problem. Understanding that you can't fit four digits into a two-digit space is a lot different from understanding why 00010000b is a different number when it is treated as hexadecimal data as opposed to binary-coded decimal data.

But the BIG DEAL over Y2K was because people could make money from it. Because everyone could understand the problem with it. Managers could understand why proper testing was required, and what they stood to lose if they took a chance. The engineers already had a handle on the problem; they just didn't have the authority to get in and fix it themselves without asking for the money (and time, which is money) to do so.

No such luck with, probably, every other date-range problem we will have - except maybe Y10,000. *Maybe* 2099. But there will be problems every couple of years. 2038 will probably be the biggest date-related problem we'll ever have, but it won't be the last (or even, as of Jan 01 2010, the next).

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667290)

Interior crocodile alligator, I drive a Chevrolet movie theater.

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (2)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667322)

Simple. Y2k is being delivered ten years late. People never learn about late IT deliveries!

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30668000)

Incompetence. Thankfully it's limited to cards made by one company. Not so thankfully, that company supplies 40% of all debit cards in Germany. (Insert sideswipe about monoculture here.) Finally and funnily, that company is French.

Google translation of the news here: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fwirtschaft%2Funternehmen%2F0%2C1518%2C670400%2C00.html&sl=de&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8

Re:idiocy? Incompetence? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668044)

I think it's because the code was created here [slashdot.org]

"A decade after the Y2K crisis" (0, Troll)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666514)

Crisis? There was a crisis? Other than one invented by scam artists and the media?

Re:"A decade after the Y2K crisis" (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666528)

Crisis? There was a crisis? Other than one invented by scam artists and the media?

Yes, exactly that crisis. And that was crisis enough

Us programmers always get the negative press.

Re:"A decade after the Y2K crisis" (1)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667458)

Yes there was a crisis. If the effort that was put in, hadn't been put in a huge number of important systems would have failed in Y2K.

The UK emergency services number (999) was one that would not have worked had we not spent the time upgrading and patch the systems and software it depended on.

Sadly, because there was no disaster, because the work was done to prevent it, people think there wasn't a problem. I suppose we should have left the 999 service. People would have died and we could have pointed to it as an example of the Y2K bug. I think we'd probably have been sued for not fixing it beforehand though.

These coders are morons. (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666590)

Several years ago - might've even been last decade - I wrote a flash movie that checks the version number of the flash player and informs you if you need an update. And guess what? It still works fine.

That was Flash 4, I believe. Somehow due to my great forethought it was able to cope with Flash 10 without spazzing out.

Whenever I do dates, and am not using long (for miliseconds), I usually put the year in as int. I guess that means I should be set until 2 billion years or so?

Well, to be fair to the morons that coded this stuff - I'm coding in scripting languages on desktops with near limitless processing power. These devices that are messing up are probably 8-bit MCUs, where quite possibly 100% of the code is ASM. I suppose it's a bit harder to debug or think ahead because of that.

*sigh*

Re:These coders are morons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666662)

Your point stands, but there is such a thing as going a little too far with it. For instance, I'm doubtful there will be anything in existence in 2 billion years that will be capable of reading your code - should your code even exist. Code wisely, but use your memory wisely, too.

Re:These coders are morons. (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666750)

For instance, I'm doubtful there will be anything in existence in 2 billion years that will be capable of reading your code...

That's probably what the Ancients thought when they built the Stargates. Never underestimate the need future species may have for a plot generation device.

Windows Mobile (4, Funny)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666602)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10425455-56.html [cnet.com]

this is affecting me and the other 3 guys on the planet with a Windows Mobile phone, too. :(

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667612)

Uhm, I am one of those other three guys but my phone (Touch HD, WM6.5 build 21896.5.0.82) is not affected.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667828)

My phone (TMO Shadow WM6 build 18170.0.5.1) isn't affected either, apparently. So, that's all of us? Looks like it's only you then.

MMX Technology (4, Funny)

hound3000 (238628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666610)

Geez! Intel introduced MMX Technology [wikipedia.org] to take care of this problem in 1996! Get with the times!

Mod funny (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666728)

I don't have points at the moment, but well done.

We got hit by Y2.01k (3, Funny)

LiquidHAL (801263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666614)

January 1st our 15 year old security badge system started marking all badges as invalid. Couldn't fix it until we rolled back the system date.

the eternal curse of the software developer (5, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666616)

Programmer: "I want to take some time to refactor some of the older code."

MBA: "What's the ROI on that?"

Programmer: "DIAF."

Re:the eternal curse of the software developer (2, Informative)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666770)

MBA: "And why do you need to do this refactoring?" Programmer: "I didn't expect my code to be in use (in these ATMs) for more than a few years. Numbers don't come cheap in computers you know"

Re:the eternal curse of the software developer (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667246)

Can you explain the TLAs and ETLAs used? Maybe we can all understand what you are trying to say...

does the wii has a minor 2010 issue? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666676)

Playing wii new years eve. The thing hard crashed exactly as the year changed (it was in the menu not a game). After a reboot it was fine.

Re:does the wii has a minor 2010 issue? (5, Funny)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666782)

At least the situation is too embarrassing to file a bug report

Re:does the wii has a minor 2010 issue? (1)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667286)

I too was playing on my Wii at midnight (Frisbee Golf!) but it's survived the year change, must be a bug on the Wii Menu!

Endpoint Protection (1)

juventasone (517959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666686)

Is "network-access control software" the new term for a firewall? Even so, Symantec Endpoint Protection is primarily an anti-virus, with the usual additional features, as well as some enterprise ones like "device control" for pesky flash drives. It was an all-new product back in 2006. Although the problem only interferes with the reporting, and not the function of its management console, I think it's quite embarrassing.

Re:Endpoint Protection (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668038)

All I know about Symantec and updates is that Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition had a bug where it would occasionally refuse to pull updates unless you were running their magical server product. You fixed it by uninstalling and reinstalling. This bug persisted at least from Norton 7 to Symantec AV 9.

Spamassassin (3, Informative)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666706)

Spamassassin in Kerio Mailserver has a bug that flags all messages dated 2010 as spam. I think it affects the normal spamassassin as well.

Re:Spamassassin (1)

Athanasius (306480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666800)

That's been all over the tech. news, yes. To be fair to Spamassassin, at least it uses a score, not purely 'flag' system. None of my personal email was affected as my threshold is above that of the "too far in the future" rule.

I do wonder why patches didn't get pushed out sooner, apparently it was fixed in the SA CVS system months ago.

Furthermore I wonder if anyone's tried to come up with a rule that is "today's year plus X" rather than matching a fixed range of years (it was 2010-2019, now it's 2020-2029), as things now are we'll hit the same problem again in 10 years time if no-one remembers to bump things before that rollover.

Check your dates (0, Offtopic)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666736)

Midnight, December 31, 2010 has not happened yet. You must mean Midnight January 1, 2010.

My ThinkPad had some trouble too. (1)

TxRv (1662461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666744)

When I booted it the next day the hardware clock thought it was 1987, and it couldn't mount the filesystem. In the console I eventually got to I found all my stuff was fine and the filesystem was mounted, but the firmwarewasn't seeing it. I manually the hardware clock and it hasn't had any problems since.

I was in the field when it happened, so the whole thing scared the shit out of me. I shudder thinking of what will happen come 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038.

Re:My ThinkPad had some trouble too. (4, Funny)

B2382F29 (742174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666810)

[..] I manually the hardware clock [..]

Did you accidentally the whole clock?

Re:My ThinkPad had some trouble too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667978)

No. On purpose

2038 (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667394)

2038 bugs are already here - I ran foul of OpenSSL failing valid crypto certs with end dates past then last year (now fixed)

Good. (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666844)

I did Y2K remediation. I've seen it called a waste of resources and that because nothing happened, nothing would have happened. This is the smallest taste of what would have happened if Y2K weren't addressed. Only we would have had airliners fall from the sky (silly? Military jets had all navigation crash when crossing the date line, and if not for a tanker with them and that communications worked when navigation failed, they would have crashed). But with a lot of hard work, it was a non event.

Though, if anyone could tell me why my power went out at exactly midnight on that night, I'd love to know. The Preston Hollow neighborhood in Dallas did have a power failure right at midnight. And I never could figure out what happened. But all the equipment I was responsible worked flawlessly.

Re:Good. (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667838)

``Though, if anyone could tell me why my power went out at exactly midnight on that night, I'd love to know.''

Same here. Why would the system supplying the power be dependent on the time? For navigation systems, I can sort of see a case ... not that it would be a good idea, but I can imagine how it could work (that is, fail). But this?

Weird (1)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666854)

I live in Germany and didn't notice a single problem with our cards. Granted we replaced ours a couple months ago due to another issue.

Re:Weird (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667328)

I live in Germany and on monday stood in line at the local bank when it opened behind about a dozen people who had their cards eaten by the ATM.
 

It's Y2K01 (2, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666882)

I think the proper way to denote year 2010 is Y2K01, just like 14K4 was used for 14400.
Of course writing Y2K01 or Y2.01K is more difficult than Y2010, so why bother using that arcane notation.

Re:It's Y2K01 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667238)

I think the proper way to denote year 2010 is Y2K01, just like 14K4 was used for 14400.
Of course writing Y2K01 or Y2.01K is more difficult than Y2010, so why bother using that arcane notation.

Nope, I think it's actually Y2.01k
A lower cased k == 10^3 (as in kB, kg, km, etc...)

(an upper case K would denote a temperature measured in Kelvin)

So Y2K... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666896)

...was simply a rounding error?

Do people never learn? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667044)

With all the hype of y2k, you'd think that would be enough to push people into action and learn how to handle dates correctly... Instead, some people "fixed" y2k problems with another series of short sighted dirty hacks that are now starting to break again after only 10 years.

What's the main bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667074)

"This is no coincidence, according to comments on sites discussing the issue. 2010 represented as a binary coded decimal is being interpreted by other devices as hexadecimal, which translates 2010 to 2016"

Last time I checked 2010 in binary was 11111011010 and 2016 in hex was 0x7E0.

Am I missing something?

Re:What's the main bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667158)

You don't think people were actually smart enough to stop using two digits after Y2K, are you?

0x10=16

Y2.01K? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667104)

How about MMX? I like confusing other people by reusing acronyms. Even better if I could walk around with a slot 1 Pentium and wave it in front of IT staff while mentioning it...

Re:Y2.01K? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667522)

How about MMX? I like confusing other people by reusing acronyms. Even better if I could walk around with a slot 1 Pentium and wave it in front of IT staff while mentioning it...

You'd certainly confuse people doing that. Early Pentium IIs used a slot, Pentiums used sockets.

What the hell? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667108)

Is this some kind of job security feature?

I mean, what idiot programs a number field to be ambiguously hexadecimal or decimal? Of course you'll be screwed as soon as you leave the single digits.

Hit my Garmin too. (1)

Ranzear (1082021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667288)

Last year I had my Garmin GPS's traffic module enabled for a year 'subscription', which is effectively a code that tells the unit 'enable yourseilf until xxx date'. It expired a few months ago. Now, come Jan 1st, 2010, its magically back on without any reactivation. Not sure if I want to tell them straight away, I, and many others I'm sure, just saved $70 by their programming error.

Quick fixes from 1999 (1)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667642)

I'd be willing to bet that some of this has been caused by, "just change it so that if the year is 10 then assume it's 20??, we'll fix it properly before then".

Re:Quick fixes from 1999 (1)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667660)

the year is 10

Less than 10, damn /.'s filtering.

Im pissed! (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667882)

With all the shit we swallowed when they shoveled that Y2K shit down our throats and not a peep about this? No mass fucking hysteria? Seriously fuck you assholes that run the world!

Y2.01K? (1)

agw (6387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668040)

Y2.01K? That's surely a plot of the hard disk industry.
Everybody knows that Y2010 are only Y1.963K.

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