Feeds

7000 Leap Year Babies attack Steve Ballmer

After choking imaginary giraffe

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Seven thousand leap year day babies have revolted against the Toys R Us giraffe, skewering Steve Ballmer along the way.

Peeved that Geoffrey the Giraffe never sends birthday cards to kiddies born on February 29, the international Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies recently unsheathed free software capable of destroying the web's dreaded "Invalid birth date" bug.

The long-ignored bug makes life ridiculously difficult for anyone born on Leap Year Day - including Peter Brouwer, a tech-savvy spokesman for the Society. "You visit a website and you try to register and they asked for your birth date," he explains. "So you put in February 29 and a little pop-up appears that says something like 'Please enter a valid birth date' or 'You've entered an invalid birth date.'"

Citing first-hand experience, Brouwer says the bug wreaks havoc on gazillions of sites across the net. "It's something that all people born on February 29 encounter, and frankly, we're tired of it."

Recently, Brouwer and his fellow babies took the fight to the world's most popular video sharer. "YouTube would completely swallow your registration," Brouwer says. "If you entered February 29, they assumed that you were some kind of bot that was pilfering users' accounts and they would completely ignore you. But this doesn't happen anymore, because we complained."

And now that the latest Leap Year Day has arrived, the 7000-baby-strong Society has aimed a free date-bug-killing perl script at all the web developers who still don't realize the latest Leap Year Day has arrived. And that includes the IT staff at Toys R Us.

Toys R US claims that any attention-starved kiddie can sign up to receive an annual birthday card from Geoffrey the Giraffe. But according to the international Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, Geoffrey has a habit of ignoring kiddies born on February 29.

"How do you explain to a five-year-old, that they won't receive a birthday card from Geoffrey over at Toys R Us this year, because the Toys R Us computer has no way to recognize their birthday?" asks Society spokeswoman Raenell Dawn.

In announcing its new perl script, the Society also took a swipe at Microsoft Excel. The world's most popular spreadsheet still fails to realize that 1900 is not a leap year. "That bug has been around for 20 years," Brouwer says. "Microsoft has always claimed that it's there to provide backwards compatibility with Lotus 1-2-3.

"But I've spoken to Mitch Kapor, who built Lotus 1-2-3, and he said 'Oh no, we never had a bug like that.'"

It should be said that Microsoft recently committed to fixing this bug. But Brouwer is still annoyed. "Microsoft tried to squeeze their bug into the OOXML standard, and IBM said 'You can't put that in here.' And Microsoft said 'But that bug has been in our software for 20 years, it has to be in the standard.'"

All that said, Brouwer and the rest of the international Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies "would be very proud" if Microsoft used its perl script to finally put an end to Excel's egregious leap-year-that-isn't.

If you're reading, Steve, you can find the software here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.