Monday, January 04, 2010

Y2K10 Bugs

There appear to have been several software errors become apparent with the handling of dates in the year 2010. These include ATMs, Smart Phones and anti-spam software. Given that it is ten years since the Y2K bug was supposed to hit and there have been several retrospective stores saying how it was a non event, this is somewhat ironic.

SMS messages from smart phones running some versions of Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system are reported to be displaying 2010 dates as 2016 (being called the Y2K10, Y2K16, Y2010, Y2016 or Y2016K bug). The likely cause seems to be a decimal number being interpreted as hexadecimal. SMS dates are recorded as only the last two digits of the year (thus "10" for "2010") but that is not the cause of the problem.

It has been reported that Bank of Queensland’s Eftpos terminals were treating 2010 as 2016. This may be due to the same bug as for the smart phones, as the Microsoft Windows CE Operating System is used on devices such as EFTpos machines. machines and shares some code with Windows Mobile.

The Apache SpamAssassin Project reported a Y2K10 Rule Bug, which would will trigger on most mail dated 2010, or later.

Bug fixes are likely to be quickly available for all these problems. But in the case of embedded code in smart phones and EFTpos machines, this may require manual installation.

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