Leap-year bug: This Feb 29 brought its share of glitches


Clearly, Feb 29 can be a real headache for developers. — AFP Relaxnews

A leap year brings with it the risk of computer glitches of various kinds on February 29. As has happened in the past, 2024 was no exception, with various incidents reported around the world.

This year, Parisians fell victim to the so-called leap year bug. Indeed, a large part of the French capital was plunged into darkness on the night of Feb 28 to 29, with no public lighting.

This "oversight" was due to the lack of programming for this exceptional date. Fortunately for residents, the situation was restored during the night, but the spectacular blackout lasted several hours.

On the other side of the world, in New Zealand, gas stations were brought to a standstill by a gigantic computer failure that prevented payment. Unfortunately, this bug was widespread throughout the country, and was also caused by the occurrence of Feb 29. Fuel distribution was not directly affected, but the payment service was completely out of order.

Among the other consequences of the 2024 leap year reported online, several Swedish grocery and pharmacy chains saw their payment terminals out of service all day. In Colombia, the Avianca airline reportedly printed some flight tickets with the wrong date, ien March 1 rather than February 29.

Finally, in Australia, a hospital reportedly experienced the complete failure of its telephone system, again linked to the leap year. Other malfunctions were reported on social networks, such as connected watches displaying the wrong date, mobile applications crashing, etc.

Clearly, Feb 29 can be a real headache for developers. – AFP Relaxnews

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