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Bug PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Passage of Time Solves PS3 Glitch 147

An anonymous reader writes "A quick update on the widespread PlayStation 3 glitch we discussed recently: as of last night (Monday, March 1st) the problem has resolved itself. I powered up my PS3 to find the clock was set to April 29th, 2020, but once I went into the system menu and set the date and time via the internet I got an accurate date. That seems to be the test of whether your PS3 is 'fixed' or not; Sony says you should be all set."
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Passage of Time Solves PS3 Glitch

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  • Re:the question is (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @02:48PM (#31333328)

    Not according to their planned 10-year lifespan.

    PS2s are still in wide use almost 10 years later.

  • Re:Here's a patch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by smaddox ( 928261 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @03:06PM (#31333606)

    Your using an extra 'mod', 'compare' and 'or' to avoid a branch, yet those 'compare's are probably going to be compiled into branches anyway, thus defeating the point.

    Really, you should either break down and write it as a simple branch, or write branch free assembly for each target platform. I would suggest the former. Simplicity and readability are much more important in this day and age than a few clock cycles.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @03:08PM (#31333634) Journal
    That this particular bug "fixes" itself in a relatively short span of time.

    According to the documentation [] provided for PS3 linux, the clock that is embedded in the PS3 cannot actually be manipulated from under the hypervisor:

    "Similar to a PC, a built-in real time clock (RTC) keeps the wall clock time for the PS3. The RTC is backed up by a battery and so ticks even if external power is removed. The RTC value can be read by a hypervisor call, but it can not be written. The RTC value monotonically increases and never rolls back. The PS3 Linux platform support uses the standard RTC userland interface /dev/rtc, The standard hwclock command can be used to manage the RTC. Since the RTC is read only, the PS3 Linux platform support maintaines a value in system flash memory that represents the difference between the hardware RTC value and the Linux RTC value."

    I'm assuming that this read-only clock "feature" is in some way related to DRM, to keep people from playing tricks with expiration dates. Worst case scenario, it is impossible to modify the RTC without hardware tinkering. Had this not been a transient bug, that would have meant massive physical recalls. More likely, it is possible for sony-blessed firmware updates to modify the clock. However, Sony can only push those either through the internet, or on physical disks. Since the bug was preventing PSN logins, the internet option wouldn't have been automatically available(though, since the issue is transient, it now is again). They would either have to mail out upgrade disks to affected users, bundle the upgrade with future game releases, or make their customers go to some support site and burn their own upgrade disks. Gigantic pain in the ass.
  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @05:25PM (#31335916)

    I was being literal.

    I used to work for a GPS tracking company, and the | was in packing the GPS stream into a byte for VHF transmission. It turned out that the tenths digit of longitude was always 0. It was part of an update to reduce the footprint. (This reduced the footprint from 98% to 92%, IIRC, which was a pretty big deal.)

    It made it out through my tests, production's tests, and the test customer happened to be in a spot where the tenths digit was supposed to be zero. The reason was a formatting bug in the legacy parsing code that let you download the data. It would not put in the leading 0. Damnably, there is a highway in Rhode Island that is on a 0ths longitude place. We thought the problem was with reception, and the cleared highway had a good view of the GPS constellation. That was a good thought, but it didn't explain why the coyotes were swimming in a straight line in the harbour.

    I had put the new code into the library, and we sent out hundreds of collars. One of the customers was the government of India, who wanted to put some collars on tigers to track their positions and look for poachers. The tigers all got faulty collars, and so several of them had to be tracked down and re-tranquilized.

  • Re:the question is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:38AM (#31340840)

    Because they have to offset their losses on the PS3 somehow, and removing its ability to play PS2 games to make you have to buy a new PS2 when your old one breaks is one of those ways.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!