AppSec Blog

The Day the World Will End

With a new movie coming out about how the world will end with the (supposed) end of the Mayan calender in 2012, I figured it would be nice to get a list of software related "end of calender" issues:

Dec. 31st 1999, 23:59:59 GMT
The famous Y2k issue. We made it... (so far ? )

Jan. 10th, 2010, 10:10:00 GMT
"Binary Armageddon Day". The binary representation, 1010011010 translates to '666'. Also, the date only includes 1s and 0s (other then the '2' in the year). (thx Gadi. Also see Gadi's facebook group about this issue ). If you are on facebook, you can find the group here: Gadi's Binary Armageddon Day Facebook Group.

Dec. 21, 2012
end of Mayan calendar. Just listed here because everybody is talking about it. Should not affect software (other then the fact that the world will end that day).

Feb. 7th 2036, 6:28:16 GMT
The last date that can be expressed using "ntp". ntp is a protocol used to synchronize clocks on the internet. The ntp date starts on Jan 1st 1900 and is expressed in 64 bits. The first 32 bits are used to indicate the number of seconds since Jan 1st 1900, the remaining bits are used as fractional seconds.

Jan. 19th 2038, 03:14:07 GMT
The end of the Unix epoch. Unix uses a 32 it signed number to express time. '0' is January 1st 1970. The last date that can be expressed using unix time is Jan 19th 2038. After that... who knows? This can already be a problem. Imagine you are a bank and handing out 30 year mortgages?

Dec. 31st 9999, 23:59:59 GMT
The end of 4 digit years. Well, we got a while until that will happen.

Got any other dates of note? Let us know!


Posted October 29, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

Steve Seideman

Hoffman labs has several Doomsdates for OpenVMS ''" Of particular note: 7-Feb-2106 06:28:15 GMT (unsigned overflow) for UNIX end of Epoch and 31-Jul-31086 02:48:05.47 GMT (we got some time on this one too) for OpenVMS end of Epoch

Posted October 29, 2009 at 9:37 PM | Permalink | Reply


One interesting thing to note: Mayans (quite sensibly) used modular arithmetic in their system of time.
Talking about the end of their calendar is like talking about the end of a crystal lattice. It draws upon concepts that are outside the reference frame of the question; it is complete nonsense.
Incidentally, one way of fixing the ntp and Unix epoch problems listed in a relatively permanent way, would be to craft a computer standard using a cyclic definition of time similar to the Mayan one (or most other traditional societies''), acknowledging that things naturally cycle back to zero eventually. A negative 38 year, 15 day mortgage would (if we kept the basis the same) accrue the same interest as a 30 year mortgage, because in such a system, that is the same interval of time.

Posted October 29, 2009 at 9:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

Ian Mitchell
Dec 31, 2049 23:59:59 for you old Clipper 5.x guru's out there. But the site above shows how to put a sliding epoch in place that can let your legacy live on for a few more years.

Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply


Do you realize than "Binary Armageddon Day" varies with the culture?

Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink | Reply


How about Feb 9, 2013? That's the projected day we run out of IPv4 addresses. Heavens!

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