Y2K Bug Threat On GPS, 19 Years Passed And Y2K Strikes Again

As a Y2K-like bug approaches, GPS could be in for a serious trouble.
As a Y2K-like bug approaches, GPS could be in for a serious trouble. (Photo: Pixabay/PhotoMIX-Company)

19 years had passed and Y2K fever is up again and this time affecting the GPS, global positioning satellite as a Y2K-like bug threatens the safety of most establishments.

On April 6 Saturday, the date counters for the global positioning satellite commonly known as the GPS will roll over to zero almost identical to what happened during the Y2K bug season. This could pose a serious problem to devices based on old designs or are technically old that cannot cope up with the resetting that would take place.

The rollover is coming 19 years after the Y2K bug created both panic and uncertainty to the public back in the year 2000. However, the roll over taking place a few days from now is not as critical as what happened back then.

The rollover is because of the minimal processing power that the computers had when the GPS software was created back in 1970. Because the date counters were coded in 10 bits, the GPS has a specific amount of date numbers to show and once they are consumed, the combination rolls over to zero.

For the GPS specifically, the number of dates which can be shown on the date counter is equivalent to 1,024 weeks or 19 years to be exact. Meaning the date counters will be back to zero every after almost two decades.

The April 6 rolls over are rumored to have a strong impact as the Y2K bug had. It is the second reset on the GPS since it was created in 1970 and launched in 1980. In 1999, as they are getting ready to face the alleged harm of the Y2K, GPS also went through the same problem although there is a high expectation of heavier impact now that the global positioning satellite is more commonly used than during the Y2K bug fever.

The Y2K-like bug challenge may carry an impact to some but not to everyone. Citizens who are using updated devices need not worry as the rollover only affects those devices which are based on classic designs.

The Y2K-like bug challenge may also pose a risk to some establishments that are why there is an early conducted preparation. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency officials has done their part reminding everyone in the transportation, communication, power bid finance sector, and others to make sure that their devices are ready before the rollover takes place.

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