Many Zune mp3 players froze on December 31 because the software wasn't programmed to take in account the extra day in 2008 due to it being a leap year. The players began working the next day on 1 January 2009.
Year 2038 Problem
I've been thinking about the Year 2038 Problem recently. This is when the time software on Unix and Linux and many software goes haywire. Time is stored as a signed number of seconds since January 1, 1970 and the number is stored in 4 bytes which means that the number can only go as high as 2,147,483,647. In 2038 this number will be reached and will wrap around to becoming all zeros and all the software that uses this will record time as if it was 1970 again. This will become a problem much sooner than 2038 though because future times are often used in calculations, like peoples 30 year mortgages. I wonder if some money could be made fixing this problem for people.
Real World Haskell
The book "Real World Haskell" was released recently. What is significant about it is that most or all books on the Haskell programming language have been very academic and not written for industry and many practical uses. This book is written for the "Real World", like many other practical books for programming languages that are widely used. And of course Haskell itself is one of the most interesting programming languages in existence, I think. Here's the book online: http://book.realworldhaskell.org/read/ You'll notice that people can leave comments on each paragraph. The authors developed this system to get continual feedback from users as they wrote the book - this is sure different.
Why and Potion
I've recently become fascinated with a guy that calls himself, "Why the Lucky Stiff", who has been active in the Ruby community, and who just recently released a new programming language called "Potion". It's a "little fast language", about 4,000 lines of code.
Wikipedia Why entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_the_lucky_stiff
14 January 2009
I think the Django book (http://djangobook.com/) was the first to use this sort of comment system. I wish more technical books were written that way.