A lazy fix 20 years ago means the Y2K bug is taking down computers now

Programmers wanting to avoid the Y2K bug had two broad options: entirely rewrite their code, or adopt a quick fix called “windowing”, which would treat all dates from 00 to 20, as from the 2000s, rather than the 1900s. An estimated 80 per cent of computers fixed in 1999 used the quicker, cheaper option.

“Windowing, even during Y2K, was the worst of all possible solutions because it kicked the problem down the road,” says Dylan Mulvin at the London School of Economics.

Source: A lazy fix 20 years ago means the Y2K bug is taking down computers now | New Scientist

Fortnite has been down for hours as millions of players stare at a black hole

One of the biggest games in the world has been unplayable since this afternoon. Ahead of its next season — or possible a completely new chapter — Fortnite has gone down in just about every way imaginable. It’s widely believed that when the game is back up and running it will be a rebooted version featuring a brand new map.

Source: Fortnite has been down for hours as millions of players stare at a black hole – The Verge

Bitcoin Isn’t the World’s Most-Used Cryptocurrency

While concrete figures on trading volumes are hard to come by in this often murky corner of finance, data from CoinMarketCap.com show that the token with the highest daily and monthly trading volume is Tether, whose market capitalization is more than 30 times smaller. Tether’s volume surpassed that of Bitcoin’s for the first time in April and has consistently exceeded it since early August at about $21 billion per day, the data provider says.

Source: Bitcoin Isn’t the World’s Most-Used Cryptocurrency – Bloomberg

Los Angeles OKs a deal for record-cheap solar power and battery storage

Under the 25-year deal with developer 8minute Solar Energy, the city would buy electricity from a sprawling complex of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries in the Mojave Desert of eastern Kern County, about two hours north of Los Angeles. The Eland project would meet 6% to 7% of L.A.’s annual electricity needs and would be capable of pumping clean energy into the grid for four hours each night.

Source: Los Angeles OKs a deal for record-cheap solar power and battery storage – Los Angeles Times

Facebook (FB) Paid Contractors to Transcribe User Audio Files

In follow-up answers for Congress, the company said it “only accesses users’ microphone if the user has given our app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features.)” The Menlo Park, California-based company doesn’t address what happens to the audio afterward.

Source: Facebook (FB) Paid Contractors to Transcribe User Audio Files – Bloomberg

Facebook first started allowing Messenger users to have their audio transcribed in 2015. “We’re always working on ways to make Messenger more useful,” David Marcus, the executive in charge of the service at the time, said in a Facebook post.

SpaceX launches first batch of 60 internet satellites in landmark mission

SpaceX ultimately wants Starlink to grow to include potentially thousands of satellites over the next few years. The company says it could make available low-cost internet for a significant portion of the world’s population that isn’t yet online and offer a competitive alternative for people who aren’t happy with their broadband provider.

Source: SpaceX launches first batch of 60 internet satellites in landmark mission – CNN

NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Concludes a 15-Year Mission

For the scientists, that ends a mission of unexpected endurance. The rover was designed to last only three months. Opportunity provided scientists a close-up view of Mars that they had never seen: finely layered rocks that preserved ripples of flowing water several billion years ago, a prerequisite for life.

Source: NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Concludes a 15-Year Mission – The New York Times

A Bright Green ‘Christmas Comet’ Will Fly the Closest to Earth in Centuries

Those who live in areas with low levels of light pollution will most likely be able to see the comet with the naked eye. People who live in cities may need binoculars or a telescope to get a glimpse. Online charts can help pinpoint its location.

Source: A Bright Green ‘Christmas Comet’ Will Fly the Closest to Earth in Centuries – The New York Times

Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends

Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing, The New York Times found.

Source: Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends – The New York Times