INTERESTING: … in that it demonstrates how fragile the financial “eco-system” is

http://www.smh.com.au/business/millions-cashless-in-bank-glitch-20101126-18akf.html

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ONE of Australia’s biggest banks is scrambling to process payments to millions of customers, who potentially face days of uncertainty about when they will be able to access their money.

A corrupted file in the National Australia Bank’s computers on Wednesday jammed its payment system, hitting customers from a range of banks who rely on the NAB to process payments.

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As an IT guy, I assume they are talking about a corrupted database, where the the software develops the IT equivalent of Alzheimer’s. (“Let’s see Joe Jones’ record please.” “Don’t have Joe’s in that slot have Sam’s.” “Tilt. Summon programmer.” To which the programmer says: “<synonym for excrement>” and schedules rebuilding the index. That’s like a Doctor’s secretary having to go through every file folder recreating an index into the filing cabinet. Long and cumbersome for people. Same for computers.) The fact that there’s a “holiday” around when the problem occurs makes me suspect that there was a change or testing going on. When I had a Dister Recovery Group, Tday Weekend was a great time for testing. Basically four days with minimal requirement from “real people”. It’s one of the most highly sought weekends by IT people to do “stuff”. So, when ANY holiday comes, think of the herds of nerds globally changing stuff. If that doesn’t inspire you to take a little extra cash and make a few preps for at least a little outage, then you are truly clueless. :-)

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