Free watch for UK hacks as kit falls over

Clock ticks as gravy train pulls to a halt


Vendors selling Millennium Bug solutions are resorting to ever more bizarre stunts as the time for them to continue making money runs out. This time it is a watch which will expire. Meanwhile, the gravy train for PC manufacturers will roll on as companies, panicked by stories which vary from nuclear power stations going phut to pacemakers stopping their owners dead, swap to brand new machines. Computer Experts UK invited a bevy of journalists to a party in Drury Lane last night and watched as four PCs, produced by Dell, Compaq, Hitachi and Gateway all duly fell over when their clocks were pushed forward to 1 January 2000. And Ian Partington, MD of Computer Experts, said: "The truly scary thing about the Millennium Bug is its unpredictability. There is simply no telling what problems one errant bit of data will cause when introduced into an ordinary PC." The four machines which fell over were a Dell XPSD333 bought in late August, a Fujitsu ICL Technicl bought last week, a Gateway G6333 bought late August and a Presario 5130 bought on 2 September. None of the PC vendors were willing to talk to The Register today. Each journalist who attended the gig was given a Millennium Watch, showing the current time and the number of seconds left to doomsday. We were not told whether or not this watch will cease functioning when the champagne bottles are de-corked. ®


Other stories you might like

  • It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

    Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December

    Engineers have finished pumping the James Webb Space Telescope with fuel, and are now preparing to carefully place the folded instrument inside the top of a rocket, expected to blast off later this month.

    “Propellant tanks were filled separately with 79.5 [liters] of dinitrogen tetroxide oxidiser and 159 [liters of] hydrazine,” the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday. “Oxidiser improves the burn efficiency of the hydrazine fuel.” The fuelling process took ten days and finished on 3 December.

    All eyes are on the JWST as it enters the last leg of its journey to space; astronomers have been waiting for this moment since development for the world’s largest space telescope began in 1996.

    Continue reading
  • China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

    Home-baked silicon is the way forward

    China is gut punching Moore's Law and the roughly one-year cadence for major chip releases adopted by the Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others.

    The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is developing open-source RISC-V performance processor, says it will release major design upgrades every six months. CAS is hoping that the accelerated release of chip designs will build up momentum and support for its open-source project.

    RISC-V is based on an open-source instruction architecture, and is royalty free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

    Continue reading
  • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

    Tens of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses were at risk, lawsuit claims

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

    Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

    “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021