In one of the worst messes since banks put their faith in computers, today is the fifth day in which the Royal Bank of Canada cannot tell its 10 million Canadian customers with any certainty how much money is in their accounts.
Canada's biggest bank, suddenly a symbol of risks facing an automated society, has a problem that has kept tens of millions of transactions -- including what appears to be every direct payroll deposit it handles -- from showing up in accounts for days at a time.
This computer glitch was the result of "a routine programming update," and supposedly had something to do with "sequencing." But the part of this story I like the most is this quote from a software developer:
" [ . . . ] Programmers rarely use time stamps any more because time can actually be a little imprecise. Everything gets assigned a unique sequence number."
Time can be a little imprecise. I'll remember that next time I'm late for something. (Story via Bene Diction)