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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-02 12:56
Subject: Oh no ...
Security: Public
The firm said that the fault had been caused by machines that had "recognised the year 2010 as a leap year".

Just how many incompetent programmers are there out there?

(I mean, I know there are different calendars in effect around the world, and that we'll only know whether the former Soviet Union is on the Gregorian or the Modified Julian system when we see whether they observe 2800 as a leap year. But I don't think anyone anywhere has every considered this year to have a 29th of February.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-02 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nope, that would have gone horribly wrong in 2008, 2006, ...

I can understand the Y2K10 bug, where programmers were confused as to what comes after '9' and decided both '10' and '0A' did. But this one has me foxed, because it appears to be incontrovertibly a leap-day issue, and I can't think what algorithm they could have been using to get this year wrong.
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Tony Finch
User: fanf
Date: 2010-03-02 14:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hmm, I had got the impression that the PS3 was newer than 2008 from the news items. Still, if some lower layer calculates leap years from 1970 and this screws up the upper layers, this will be the first year that could have triggered it since the PS3 was released in late 2006. (I guess the 2008 leap year was handled by the upper layers.) Perhaps the lower layer is the clock chip, and the different slim PS3 hardware fixed this bug. But this is all completely unfounded speculation.
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Tony Finch
User: fanf
Date: 2010-03-02 14:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah, mobbsy suggests that BCD may be the answer: if the clock rolled from 0x09 to 0x10 and this was interpreted as 16 not 10....
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-02 14:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now that is plausible.

Yep, if that turns out to be the answer, I can understand that. (Though I can't see why anything in a PS3 would want to use BCD, it's conceivable that it did one bit of arithmetic in the wrong mode.)
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