The broadcast satellite company DIRECTVsays everyone should be receiving their TV shows fine this morning. That wasn't the case yesterday.

Apparently, very early Tuesday morning, DIRECTV sent out a software update to millions of its HD DVR subscribers' receivers as part of a new service offering called DIRECTV Whole-Home DVR Service that was announced Monday. In what the company called a "transmission glitch," the update froze some television receivers to one channel, or froze their HD DVRs completely, or caused sporadic outages in others.

The company found out about the problem quickly when its customer service lines got overwhelmed. It offered a workaround about 10 am yesterday, and a full fix late yesterday.

DIRECTV per usual apologized for the problems in an email to subscribers. The company has some 18 million subscribers, although the exact number having problems wasn't disclosed.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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