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Leap year computer bug on its way

29 February bug affects hardware, software and embedded systems

British businesses are being warned their computer systems could become mangled by another date-related computer bug that will be triggered on 29 February.

Action 2000, the government body created to increase awareness of the year 2000 bug, is warning that some computer systems may not recognise this year as a leap year. This could potentially muddle systems at the end of February.

The problem stems from the fact that leap years are occasionally missed out, and some computers may assume that the leap year rule does not apply this year. The bug has been identified "in some computer hardware, software and embedded systems", according to a message on Action 2000's Web site.

Action 2000 doesn't anticipate any major computer-related catastrophes, but warns that some software may become confused and display incorrect dates.

The best course of action, according to Action 2000, is to contact hardware manufacturers to confirm compliance, although it has released a list of fixes available for suspect business software.

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