CNN: When Chris Reynolds opened his June PayPal e-mail statement, something was off. The Pennsylvania PR executive’s account balance had swelled to a whopping $92,233,720,368,547,800. That’s $92 QUADRILLION (and change). Money that would make Reynolds — who also sells auto parts on eBay in his spare time — the richest man in the world by a long shot.
So he logged online, and reality bit back. His account balance read $0. The correct amount.
It’s a cute, funny little anecdote to tell people at work about. “Yeah, I opened up my email and realized I was the richest man in the world, no big deal or anything.” But is this story really newsworthy? It’s a fucking computer glitch. His email statement was incorrect, when he logged on, the correct amount was displayed.
Plus, the fucking moron author of this article didn’t notice the big fat MINUS sign in front of that number, meaning that the dude OWED PayPal that much. He would literally be the world’s poorest person, $92 quadrillion in debt.
Blatant example of how journalists are starving and just need to get as many clicks as possible, so they push this crap on the masses. A real journalist wouldn’t publish a story about a computer glitch. And a REAL journalist would have dug a little deeper and found the cause of this glitch.
I know what caused the glitch, because I studied computer science and I recognized that number immediately. It’s 2^63, truncated. All that means is that there was a glitch that caused the number to grow so large, that the computer literally could not hold it, and so it rolled over into the negatives. In the world of computing, infinity is not real. Eventually, numbers get so big that they start over in the negatives. It’s called an asymptote. Google it. At least look at the graph. Apparently this “journalist” isn’t professional enough to at least Google it.