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A Lazy Fix 20 Years Ago Means the Y2K Bug Is Taking Down Computers Now

By New Scientist

January 8, 2020

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A glitch connected to the Y2K bug addressed two decades ago is now crashing payment systems and computers, due to a poor fix.

Coders had to fix the Y2K bug either by completely rewriting their code or using a windowing technique, which would treat all dates from 00 to 20 as from the 2000s, rather than the 1900s.

Programmers opted for 1920 to 2020 as their standard window because many coding languages and systems manage dates and times as seconds from 1970/01/01, with the expectation that the windowed systems would be obsolete by 2020.

The windowed systems have now rolled back to 1920, giving rise to the Y2020 bug.

Problems attributed to Y2020 include cash registers from manufacturer Novitus that cannot print receipts, and a professional wrestling video game that stopped working on Jan. 1, 2020.

From New Scientist
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