The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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"Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss," states a lyric from the song Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who.

New year glitches, same as old year glitches, if you'll excuse my paraphrasing.

Starting us off in 2011 is news that Apple iPhones were having problems with their alarm application not working on January 1 and 2. However, Apple said it was aware of the problem, and seemed to indicate that everything would be okay by today, January 3rd, without users having to do anything special.

A Reutersstory yesterday quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying:

"We're aware of an issue related to non-repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2...  Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3."

Well, reports are coming out today that for some iPhone users, anyway, the iPhone alarm app still is not working properly. According to this post at iPhone FAQ:

"Though many owners have reported their iPhone alarms did indeed begin functioning properly today, for many of you it did not. The problem seems to be that alarms that were scheduled to go off on Jan 1 or Jan 2 failed today, and will presumably fail going forward. Repeated testing of these previously scheduled alarms has confirmed this. "

The fix, says iPhone FAQ, apparently is to delete your old alarms and start afresh beginning with today.

Apple would not say how many iPhones were likely affected by the bug. Over 70 million iPhones have been sold worldwide.

Last year, the Apple iPhones alarm clock app had trouble dealing with daylight savings time changes in various countries, such as Australia, the UK, and the US.

Microsoft has been taking its lumps, too, this time in regard to its Hotmail service. A number of Hotmail users have been complaining that their email folders had disappeared without warning. According to this APstory, this issue began in early November 2010 and has been steadily increasing since then, with 489 pages of complaints appearing on Microsoft's on-line message board.

Microsoft posted a note yesterday saying that it had (finally) identified the source of the issue and that it had fixed the problem. However, Microsoft also gave a link (see note above) to post a message if a Hotmail user continues to have problems.

Like Apple, Microsoft refused to say how many of its 360 million Hotmail users were affected by the glitch.

As I said, the new year is already looking a lot like the old year.

The Conversation (0)

Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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