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Y2K7 bug fails to bite

Aclockalypse Not

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Panic over: America survived Sunday's onslaught of Daylight Saving Time (DST) on Sunday unscathed. For a while, Bug-watchers thought that GoDaddy, the domain registrar, might have mismanaged the time-change, after customers reported outages. But a good old-fashioned DDOS attack was the culprit.

DST was moved to the second Sunday in March this year, up to three weeks earlier than usual, under the Energy Policy Act mandated by Congress in August 2005. Computers have be re-configured to recognise the new start date, otherwise any application relying on time stamping - scheduling software, calendar applications, back-up routines and so on - will no longer run on time.

The issue created a Y2k-lite software update fire-drill, as US sysadmins scrambled to apply update tools. Developers needed to test, and in some instances modify applications, or apply vendor-supplied updates in order to prepare for the so-called Y2K7 bug.

In the event - much like the Y2K Millennium Bug - the change caused few problems. Apart from the creation of a Y2K7 virus hoax, a fair bit of software patching and a reason for conspiracy theorists to speculate why there's no security patches from Microsoft on Tuesday, there was little to report.

Daylight Saving Time will run later in the US than in previous years, ending in the first Sunday in November.

After that, the next time-related computer panic will be 2038, when programs that use the POSIX time representation (common in Unix systems) hit the limits of that representation. Without remedial work, timing counters based on that the system would overflow and might cause systems to crash. ®

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