30 Million German Bank Cards Almost Fixed

2010 Date Problem Still Exists For Cards Used Outside of Germany

1 min read
30 Million German Bank Cards Almost Fixed

As I mentioned a few days ago, some 2010 date problems hit various electronic systems and devices in different parts of the world on New Years Day. One Risk Factor reader noted that Germany likely experienced the greatest date-related problem because software in a security microchip used in 30 million German bank cards was unable to recognize the date 2010.

As a result, bank card holders weren't able to use their cash cards or credit cards at automated teller machines and point-of-sale terminals from the 1st until the 8th of January 2010.

The German banks whose cards were affected have been trying to reprogram them on-the-fly whenever their customers attempt to use their cards again, say at an ATM machine. However, there are still reports that while the software fix seems to be working for the cards when they are used in Germany, the fix doesn't guarantee that the cards will work outside the country.

The Wall Street Journalreported that at least one bank, Commerzbank AG, has decided to replace any customer's card that won't work outside of Germany.

According to this story in DW-World.de, "The blame for the card malfunctions has been placed on the French manufacturer of the cards, Gemalto. In Paris, the CGT trade union said the company had overworked the staff at its factory in Filderstadt, Germany. It also claimed that staff at a software development center near Marseilles had also been told to cut costs."

There is no word on how long it will be before all the cards are fixed or replaced.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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