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Today In Year-based Computer Errors: Draft Notices Sent To Men Born In the 1800s

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the pa-dmv-never-did-me-any-favors-either dept.

Bug 205

sandbagger (654585) writes with word of a Y2K-style bug showing up in Y2K14: "The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records. The records of males born between 1993 and 1997 were mixed with those of men born a century earlier. The federal agency didn't know it because the state uses a two-digit code to indicate birth year." I wonder where else two-digit years are causing problems; I still see lots of paper forms that haven't made the leap yet to four digits.

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Y10K Compliant (3, Funny)

darkain (749283) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425651)

Get with the times! Switch to Y10K compliance already.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Y10K Compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425775)

I made that joke over 15 years ago... sigh, kids these days.

Re:Y10K Compliant (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426553)

According to my records, I made that joke 114 years ago, so therefore I am quicker-witted than you.

Re:Y10K Compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425777)

Wut? 2038 is only 24 years away now.

Re:Y10K Compliant (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426733)

Something I'm looking forward to in my retirement years to make a few extra bucks.

Re:Y10K Compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425821)

I won't be alive then, Not my problem,

Re:Y10K Compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425855)

haha, I thouth you were being clever and read the 10 as binary.

Re:Y10K Compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426387)

Get with the times! Switch to Y10K compliance already.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y... [wikipedia.org]

Shouldn't we go with the IPv6 solution for this? .i.e we should now refer to 2014 as

0000000000002014

Now we should never need to worry about these YXK problems again. Simple!

2038 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426627)

2038 Will be fun

How appropriate. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425669)

A method of slavery which belongs in a century of slavery calls on men born in that century.

Good Luck, I'm Behind 14,000 Skeletons (4, Funny)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425683)

It's clear that Pennsylvania was taking a cue from Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and attempting to build an unstoppable army of 14,000 skeletons. I wonder what the Pennsylvania governor's necromancy score is?

Re:Good Luck, I'm Behind 14,000 Skeletons (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425923)

Pennsylvania, Transylvania, it's all the same.

Re:Good Luck, I'm Behind 14,000 Skeletons (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426763)

I tried to build an unstoppable army of 14,000 vampires until I realized that they suck in battle.

Re: Good Luck, I'm Behind 14,000 Skeletons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426803)

Even now as you read this, there are 14,000 TESO players striving to become vampires (or werewolves) who all suck.

dmv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425687)

The DMV existed in the 1800's?

Re: dmv (5, Funny)

kootsoop (809311) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425717)

It did! It was called the Department of Manure Vehicles (AKA horses) then.

Re:dmv (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425943)

The DMV existed in the 1800's?

People don't get driver's licenses when they are born. Thousands of people born in the 1890s were still driving in the 1990s, and a few were still driving in the 2000s.

Re:dmv (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426003)

People don't generally drive at 100 or 110...

Re:dmv (1)

TheCrazyMonkey (1003596) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426273)

They probably shouldn't anyway

Re:dmv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426797)

Actually I knew someone who was driving @ 101, she has since passed, she use to bring her 98 year old sister to the Doctors and short trips for shopping. That was 30 years ago.

In the state I live in, talking to a neighbor who is pushing 100 now, said driving licenses were not needed until the 30's (if I remember correctly) and then it was just paying the $, no tests. Also if you were tall enough at 13/14 you could drive. Until the early 50's you were grandfathered in to get a license without a test, he went into a long story of trying to convince his wife to get a license prior to the state making driving tests mandatory. She never did.

time to mow the lawn :)

Re:dmv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426499)

I doubt great great grandpa would be driving in 1990. 1960 maybe.

Re:dmv (4, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425971)

A quick search on Google showed that California's DMV was established in 1915, at which point they would definitely be working with people born in the 1890's.

Re:dmv (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425973)

The problem seems to be with drivers who were born between 1893 and 1897. If the DMV existed with computerized records in 1960, these people would have been in their sixties and probably still have drivers licenses. Apparently their records are still in the system.

Dont repeat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425689)

I dont see why we should use just four digits.. throw in some letters also for the heck of it and some obscure unicode signs. We are all computers right? and space are sooooo cheep this year

Re:Dont repeat (2)

creimer (824291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426779)

We're missing BC/AD, BCE/CE and AC/DC.

Resurrection (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425715)

I see the plot of a new Micheal Bay (or maybe J.J. Abrams) movie: The US military, unable to get qualified recruits to fight the new Zombie wars, takes a cue from the Zombie playbook and develops the technology to bring life old soldiers. After a bit of a difficult start, the program exceeds all expectations until the previously dead soldiers revolt at being put back in the grave and bring Washington to it's knees by filing for Social Security benefits.

Re:Resurrection (2)

SailorSpork (1080153) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425755)

I see the plot of a new Micheal Bay (or maybe J.J. Abrams) movie: The US military, unable to get qualified recruits to fight the new Zombie wars, takes a cue from the Zombie playbook and develops the technology to bring life old soldiers. After a bit of a difficult start, the program exceeds all expectations until the previously dead soldiers revolt at being put back in the grave and bring Washington to it's knees by filing for Social Security benefits.

Hmm. Nice twist at the end, but too much plot, needs more explosions.

Re:Resurrection (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425799)

Sounds like it's right up M. Night's alley, though, save the fact it's actually a half-decent idea for a film.

Re:Resurrection (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426047)

And shaky-cam. So much shaky-cam that you can't even really focus on the explosions.

Re:Resurrection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426265)

And slow-mo in all the wrong places

Re:Resurrection (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426491)

And shaky-cam. So much shaky-cam that you can't even really focus on the explosions.

Centenarians leaping out of doorways ahead of supersonically-expanding balls of incinerating flames.

Re:Resurrection (2)

chuckugly (2030942) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426133)

and lens flare.

Re:Resurrection (2)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426225)

I see the plot of a new Micheal Bay (or maybe J.J. Abrams) movie: The US military, unable to get qualified recruits to fight the new Zombie wars, takes a cue from the Zombie playbook and develops the technology to bring life old soldiers. After a bit of a difficult start, the program exceeds all expectations until the previously dead soldiers revolt at being put back in the grave and bring Washington to it's knees by filing for Social Security benefits.

Well, as long as they vote Democrat I'm cool with it.

Re:Resurrection (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426765)

The sequel involves stopping the revolt with cavalry lead by an undead George Patton.

mislabeled (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425735)

Seems to me this would be more accurately described as a Century-based computer error.

At first I was amazed that we're still running into these things. But I shouldn't be surprised -- often problems like this aren't fixed until they cause some inconvenience for the people responsible for fixing them.

Re:mislabeled (1)

paysonwelch (2505012) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426839)

Dude, the military payroll runs on an antiquated system that uses millions of lines of COBOL that no one really knows what to do. It's a huge problem.. but no one wants to tackle it ;) Shit they can't even get a healthcare website setup correctly.

I'm sure both of the affected are rather flattered (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425737)

This affects what, 3 actual living persons?

RTFA (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425831)

The agency realized the error when it began receiving calls from bewildered relatives last week.

It is the relative if the intended recipients that have the issue.

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425975)

This affects what, 3 actual living persons?

But with the usual mess in government records, quite a number of dead souls.

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (3, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426077)

But with the usual mess in government records, quite a number of dead souls.

The dead are often a pivotal election demographic.

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (2)

idontgno (624372) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426237)

Good point. I suppose in Pennsylvania this could be perceived as a problem, but in New York or Illinois draft eligiblity would just be the dead's civic duty, right alongside voting and jury participation.

Don't disenfranchise our patriotic dead!

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426333)

I think that is a myth. Can you name any elections in which the number of voters later determined to be dead was greater than the margin of victory? (A very low hurdle if they are "often pivotal.")

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (3, Funny)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426531)

I think any election a century or so ago qualifies now.

Re:I'm sure both of the affected are rather flatte (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426311)

It looks like 6 people worldwide and 0 people in Pennsylvania. So they should also remark that it is not just sending them out to people who were born in the 1800s but also that it is sending out to people who are no longer alive. Kind of like a Chicago voter registration.

Yes but the dead ones are still on the voteing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426549)

if they are on the dmv they may still be on the jury duty and voting lists

Excessive Data Retention (1)

wirefall (309232) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425741)

Shouldn't the DVM only keep data related to current license holders? How many 120+ year olds in Pennsylvania are legally able to drive?

Re:Excessive Data Retention (4, Insightful)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425761)

All of them.

That's technically correct. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425783)

The best kind of correct.

Re:Excessive Data Retention (1)

wirefall (309232) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425801)

With age as the only criteria, true. Vision and competence are also requirements...except apparently in Florida

Re:Excessive Data Retention (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425979)

Vision and competence are also requirements ...

I live in California, and I can assure you that competence is not a requirement here.

Re:Excessive Data Retention (1)

spudnic (32107) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425951)

I'm amazed that so many have kept the same address that relatives would be receiving the mail.

Re:Excessive Data Retention (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426035)

I don't want my DVM keeping any license holders' information. The draft is supposed to make veterans, not veterinarians!

Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (5, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425767)

While the linked to article, a US TV station news site, does call it a "draft notice", I suppose I should explain to the non-US people here that this is not technically correct. There has been no draft in the US since the end of the Vietnam War. For roughly 40 years now, the US has had an all volunteer army. What Selective Service is required to do is to contact US citizen males on their 18th birthday and advise them that for the next 10 years they need to let Selective Service know their new address every time they move because in theory, in a national emergency Congress could pass a law reinstating the military draft and Selective Service is required to maintain accurate records of those who might theoretically be subject to such a draft. Whether such a draft would ever be done again is a great question, given how Congress currently seems incapable of passing anything non-controversial, let alone something as controversial as reinstating the draft. A crackpot Congressman or two has tried to get the draft reinstated and it's never had enough support to even get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. Whatever this is, technically speaking it's not a "draft notice".

Not to digress, but for those who don't know, the draft was very controversial during the Vietnam War, with the rich and powerful were able to get their sons exceptions to the draft or get them plum assignments in the National Guard that wouldn't require them to actually go to Vietnam. Listen to Credence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son", which was written about the practice. There was so much animosity about the unfairness of the draft and the compulsion to fight in a war that nobody but a small number of politicians seemed to want that the US switched to a voluntary system, but one of the deals cut to move to this system was that Selective Service had to know where to get young men should the draft ever get reinstated. And yes, female US citizens are not subject to this at all.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425817)

I just ran across my Selective Service packet from the 80s. I had thought they discontinued it, but I guess I was incorrect.

>And yes, female US citizens are not subject to this at all.
Clearly sexism, but it doesn't really matter because they won't reinstate the draft. The government couldn't get away with insane crap like the Iraq invasion if anyone's kids could wind up there.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425935)

Clearly sexism, but it doesn't really matter because they won't reinstate the draft.

And we should make sure they won't by amending the constitution to ban the practice outright. It's not something any truly free country would allow.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (2)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426129)

The Selective Service System had discontinued it during Nixon's administration but during Jimmy Carter's administration the President got the draft re-instated as a chest pounding measure to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Outlooks for economic prosperity and peace were positive for 1914 up until the day World War I broke out so until the Selective Service System is once again repealed (perhaps with a constitutional amendment as one of the replies suggests) I wouldn't put it past the government to activate the Selective Service System and start drafting kids due to the instability of this world and the possibility of total war at a moment's notice.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426409)

I recall some talk during the lead-up to the Afghan war about the potential for a draft. It wasn't clear at the time just how big that particular conflict would get. It wasn't impossible to imagine it turning into World War-sized scenario against a lot of Islamic countries. The resulting conflicts were small compared to that, but we had to scale up the military substantially and if they'd grown any bigger we'd have had to have a draft.

Now that women are allowed access to combat positions, it's going to be very hard to exempt them from a draft should one be necessary. I can't conceive of the legislature passing any such bill right now (I can't imagine this Congress passing any non-trivial bill, and I don't see that changing), but a wise legislature would want to do that ahead of need rather than after the fact. If women are going to be drafted, you'd need to start registering them now.

I sincerely hope that it's never necessary. And if a war of that scope does happen again, we'll probably be a lot less selective with our weapons of war. (Afghanistan and Iraq were fought house-to-house, because as bizarre as it sounds that was a way of reducing civilian casualties, at least compared to just flattening entire cities as was done in World War II.) So we may well not have a draft even in a bigger conflict. But I think that, while it's politically impossible, a really good pragmatic case could be made for starting to require Selective Service registration for everybody right now.

Re: Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426595)

Even if someone was called up they can just they are being discriminated saying that woman are being called up and set up a long court fight

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425849)

"There was so much animosity" that had Nixon not pulled out he would have lost the lives of the entire officer corps to fragging from the Black Panthers and their allies.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425957)

You forgot the carrot .. While registering for Selective service is not compulsory:

Registration for Selective Service is also required for various federal programs and benefits, including student loans (such as FAFSA), job training, federal employment, and naturalization.

Selective service [wikipedia.org]

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425967)

I take that back .. you ARE required to register

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425963)

What Selective Service is required to do is to contact US citizen males on their 18th birthday and advise them that for the next 10 years they need to let Selective Service know their new address every time they move

8 years. The requirement ends at your 26th birthday.

The rest of it is spot on, though.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (3, Funny)

xfade551 (2627499) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425965)

Technically, the notice is called a "Failure to Register with the Selective Service Notice". I had one forwarded to me after I had already been in the Army 4 years (I enlisted a little before my 18th birthday), and was already serving in Afghanistan. I called the contact number, and the exchange went something like - Me: "Hi,this is Specialist [MyRealName], U.S. Army. I received one of your Failure to Register notices. I'm kinda in Afghanistan right now, what am I supposed to do with it?" Helpdesk person: "Er, umm... our apologies... umm, Soldier. Uh... thanks for serving. We'll update your record. What's your Social?"

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426111)

At least they didn't give you the "I don't care, you still have to register" bureaucratic BS.

Not necessarily "crack pot" (2)

Mysticeti (69304) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426091)

During George W. Bush's first term, prior to the invasion of Iraq, Charles Rangel introduced a bill to reinstate the draft. While Rangel probably should have retired a few years ago I think this was a good move even if it amounted to nothing...


The New York Democrat told reporters his goal is two-fold: to jolt Americans into realizing the import of a possible unilateral strike against Iraq, which he opposes, and "to make it clear that if there were a war, there would be more equitable representation of people making sacrifices."


"I truly believe that those who make the decision and those who support the United States going into war would feel more readily the pain that's involved, the sacrifice that's involved, if they thought that the fighting force would include the affluent and those who historically have avoided this great responsibility," Rangel said.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426135)

a war that nobody but a small number of politicians seemed to want

This is revisionist nonsense. Vietnam was the most popular war in US history. At the time of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution [wikipedia.org] , 90% of American's supported deeper involvement. No other war has ever had so much support. For instance, only 70% of Americans thought the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a good idea. Of course, support for any war declines as it drags on, especially if we appear to be losing. But it is a lot easier to get into a war than out, so it is only the support at the beginning that matters.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed the Senate with 98 votes. The two senators that opposed it were both voted out of office at the next election. It is silly to say that this war was forced on the American people by the politicians, when the truth is that it was fear of the voters that pushed the politicians into supporting the war.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

sjames (1099) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426377)

Not really. Yes, it was popular enough in '64, but after a few years of people's sons coming home in boxes the popularity had waned a good bit. Even moreso when people noticed none of those boxes were going to wealthy homes.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426555)

When viewed in this light, draft dodging politicians suddenly look a lot more sympathetic. If a politician forced by the bloodthirsty plebs into a war he doesn't want, gives his son a domestic National Guard assignment, who can blame him?

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426191)

they dont do drafts anymore, they just cause the economy to go really shitty.

Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426269)

And the system has been more-or-less broken for a very long time. In the mid 1980's I got back from a SSBN patrol to find waiting for me in the mail a notice from Selective Service warning me that having failed to register I was ineligible for all manner of Federal programs. (I hadn't registered because I enlisted in the Navy shortly after my 17th birthday.) Of course being on active duty or a veterans trumps Selective Service registration for eligibility, and it took a letter from my command along with a copy of my (IIRC) Page 2 to finally get them to go away.

For an organization that basically has one job, they aren't very good at it. (Even by the usual low standards applicable to government organizations.)

any responses (1)

Joe Johnson (3720117) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425771)

Wondering if there's some 140 year old person living in the Appalachian mountains who responded?

Re:any responses (4, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426099)

"Ulysses you old rat bastard, I'm not fallin' for that trick again. Let 'em secede."

Re: any responses (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426113)

Your math skills need work.

How many people can that be? (1)

Kleebner (533168) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425773)

Is there anyone left who was born between 1893 and 1897?

Re:How many people can that be? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425871)

According to wikipedia : no

Warning: Hypocrisy Incoming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425795)

Start the countdown until conservatives, who rush to de-fund and eliminate government technology offices and run slash&burn on government tech budgets, rush in to decry this as more evidence for their rhetoric of how "government can't do anything right!" with the usual "See. SEE! WE TOLD YOU SO! We know, because we broke it!" nonsense.

5 .. 4 .. 3 ..

YMCXXIV (1)

Arith (708986) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425861)

Nitpick: WHY call it Y2K14. Just say 2014. You even save yourself a keystroke.

Re:YMCXXIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426109)

And it is exactly that attitude of being lazy and trying to save keystrokes that got us into the problem in TFA!

Re:YMCXXIV (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426241)

Which is why we should write out "2014" as "000000000000002014". That should last us long enough.

Where did they mail them to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425873)

So where did they send the notices to? Last known address? Hell most of the buildings are probably gone.

In Soviet Chicago... (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425913)

...this is SOP when it comes to voter registration.

Record Keeping and left and right hands. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47425915)

My father died in 2002 but 5 years later got a jury summons: It turns out they use drivers licenses to call the panel, and the dmv does not bother to check the social security death index, indeed he got a notice to renew his drivers license in 2006. I called and would have to have spend a couple hours at the DMV to cancel the license. (so I just let it expire).Just another case of left hand not keeping the right hand in the loop. Since the folks did at one time have DLs the DMV never purged the database. (Noting the 2 digit years used it appears that it was older sections of the db not affected by the y2k fixes, likley records that became static in 1960s 1970s and 1980s.)

Of course they're sending draft notices to... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a month and a half ago | (#47425939)

...these guys.

How else are we going to beat the Kaiser?

Stupid Y2K bug. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426021)

That bug is so stupid it shows up 14 years late to the party. Geez.

Year-10,000 updates? (3, Funny)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426037)

Our programs use 4-digit years. We tell our customers that they must notify us by the year 9,995 if they want year-10,000 updates. And, if we are expected to go to a different galaxy, they must pay for travel.

Re:Year-10,000 updates? (1)

creimer (824291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426833)

The Bulterian Jihad [wikipedia.org] will replace digital computers with human computers, fixing all date-related issues in the future.

The ticket should be over 14 years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426061)

Wasn't this supposed to be fixed before the year 2000?

Re: The ticket should be over 14 years old (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426145)

This ticket would be a high schooler by now. Scary thought.

What might have happened. (3)

wcrowe (94389) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426087)

One scenario: some systems have tables that use a separate field for storing the century. Whoever wrote the query, sql statement, or whatever, left out the century, and there you have it. Probably not a Y2K problem, but more like a dumbass programmer problem.

Re:What might have happened. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426801)

More likely it was a windowing algorithm with +/- 10 years for the window - otherwise it assumed a 1900+ for a two digit year. Thus those born before 1900 would suddenly be 1980+...

Privacy aspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426141)

One thing that was easy to overlook was the fact that the state of PA is automatically sharing a large subset of its DB with the federal government:

The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service

We need cannon fodder (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426203)

If dead people can vote, they can go to war also.

The Whisky Rebellion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426299)

A war at stake...

Huh? This info was in a live database? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426477)

What puzzles me most about this story is how the old records got digitized and put into a live computer system in the first place. Some WWII draft records have been digitized, but they're sure not in the active Selective Service database today. Did someone actually take the time to digitize 100+ year old draft registrations and put them into a live database? Most of the time, the world sprang into existence in 1997 as far as digitizing things goes - new stuff from around 1997 onward was digital from the beginning, but old stuff has never been digitized. Even if it has, it wouldn't be in a current, live database - it would be in some kind of historical database. There's more to this story than we are being told, I think. Probably work done by the same contractors that did the Goldman mailing list a few days ago.

My daughter (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426519)

I have a daughter born in 1999. I suspect that in the years 2200+ that she will encounter problems (assuming a long life) with the 256bit operating systems of the next century when an int could easily encompass every millisecond since the big bang, yet they will still use two digit numbers. With most programmers being very young I don't think that many can think of a whole century as being something a computer must deal with.

What has a DMV got to do with draft notices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426521)

What on earth has a department of motor vehicles got to do with issuing draft notices of any kind?

I presume a DMV in the States is all about who can drive cars on public roads. Draft notices are all about your country sending you out to kill foreigners.

The mind boggles.

Never mind the date screw up.

Lessons not learned (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426575)

Last night I watched a re-run of the Daily Show. Jon Stewart was commenting about how the US Congress was trying to subpoena the US Internal Revenue Service for emails sent, and the sworn-in director said that they only keep e-mail records for six months (Stewart commented that a government agency that insists that people behave like hoarders keeping records for a minimum of seven years shouldn't be let off the hook). He also mentioned that Google G-mail offers 50 times as much storage as a typical IRS email backup, and the US government (NSA) just installed a new site in Utah designed to keep every byte and bit send by every American for twenty years, but the IRS can't keep email data for more than six months. ... And so now we are 14 years past the Y2K charlatan show, where every salesman/weasel trying to make the killing of the millennium yelped long and hard about how we were all going to die, and how everything was all outdated and we all had to buy brand new. I know a guy who (I thought) was reasonably intelligent, thought that his car would stop working. I worked for a company which put extra fuel into equipment and kept people on standby. I went across the street and told my elderly neighbours (both have since passed) who had survived the great depression and served in world war 2 that no, they had seen worse in the world, and it wasn't going to end, all they had to do was change the batteries in their smoke detectors and get a good nights sleep. Now there is a data problem with 2 digit date codes. Don't use them, all data more than 100 years old will easily get mixed in with data less than 100 years old. Even a 3 digit date code would give you hundreds of years worth of time to remove and archive very old data. And here we have the problem re-surfacing. What the hell?!? As Jon Stewart said: "Can't you go buy a fucking thumb drive?"

Y2K! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47426609)

OMG, we're all gonna die!

01/01/1900 (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a month and a half ago | (#47426737)

Meh. Crap like that happens all the time, Y2K or no. Migrating 400k records stuff is bound to come up, particularly with old data, likely legacy systems, and probably shoddy migrations the 3 previous times this occurred. What is more concerning is the lack of QC or validation that led to the issue. Meaning likely those doing the migration no nothing of the DB contents, or are understaffed and underfunded to the point that no one has time to do it properly.

I've seen 01/01/1900 time date mix ups which is likely a formatting issue combined with assigning NULL values. When you analyse the data (even 400,000) a boatload that say 01/01/1900 sort of stick out as a red flag. From the sounds of it, not only did they not understand the content, but perhaps not the structure and relationships either as how else are you going to mix up data like that? Some weird composite key using two digit birthdays? Yuck. Then again I have had to interpret some pretty ugly "designs" without a shred of any real documentation and it isn't easy. I'm sure they made sense at some time, but after the nth migration, and the nth attached application, and nth half completed enhancement, what you are left with can be pretty confusing.

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