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2038 timeline contents

 

 
   
 
     
   
     
 
       
   
 
     
 

2038

Older computers are at risk of experiencing major software malfunctions

The Year 2038 problem (also known as "Y2K38" by analogy to the Y2K Millennium bug) gains considerable public and media attention this year. It affects programs written in the C programming language. These were relatively immune to the earlier Y2K problem, but suffer instead from the Year 2038 problem. They use a library of routines called the standard time library. This takes a stored, 32-bit integer and interprets the current value as the number of seconds which have passed since 00:00:00 UTC on Thursday, 1st January 1970.

Because of the limited number of possible values that can be derived from this 32-bit integer, the farthest time that can be represented in this way is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19th January 2038. Any times beyond this point will "wrap around" and be stored internally as a negative number, which these systems interpret as a date from 1901, rather than 2038. This is called integer overflow.

For older computers that still use this system, major problems begin to arise with file systems and databases, due to erroneous calculations. Fortunately, most systems have been upgraded by now, and little overall damage is done.

 

year 2038 problem computers

 

 

Capital punishment has greatly declined in use

At the start of the 20th century, capital punishment was used in almost every part of the globe – including the most developed nations. In the latter decades of the century, however, many countries abolished it. The last guillotining in France was conducted in 1977, while in the UK, the death sentence for treason was ended in 1998.

Americans' views on the issue varied significantly,* but the number of executions performed in the US showed a consistent long-term decline. Peaking in the mid-1930s, they fell dramatically thereafter, briefly rising in the 1990s before dropping again in the 21st century. Between 2000 and 2010, executions in the US plummeted by over half.** It had also become far cheaper to imprison people for life.*

By 2010, nearly 50% of countries had outlawed the death penalty for all crimes.* This reflected concerns over the possibility of executing the innocent, as well as the morality of such brutal punishments in modern civilised society. Public opinion continued to shift in favour of bans – a trend fuelled by growing access to information brought by the Internet, media and technology in general. This included mistakes revealed by DNA evidence, for example, as well as high-profile media investigations, and the work of international human rights organisations such as Amnesty.

Another factor sustaining this trend was the growing urbanisation and democratisation of the planet,* with cities tending to favour more liberal and progressive policies than smaller, traditional rural communities. Yet another factor was the ongoing influence of feminism in society, with women tending to oppose it more than men.**

However, capital punishment remained entrenched in some regions: notably China, which held more executions than the rest of the world combined, killing thousands of its citizens every year. Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Yemen were also notorious for their executions, sometimes carried out for highly dubious reasons (e.g. sorcery*).

By the late 2030s, virtually all nations in the developed world have abolished the death penalty – while a minority of repressive and pariah states continue to practice it. Though its prevalence has fallen in Muslim society as a whole,* the global abolition of capital punishment remains elusive, for now.

 

death penalty timeline trend countries world global abolition capital punishment future

 

 

Teleportation of complex organic molecules

In the early 2000s, scientists were able to transfer particles of light (with zero mass) over short distances. Further experiments in quantum entanglement led to successful teleportation of the first complete atom. This was followed by the first molecules, consisting of multiple atoms. By the late 2030s, the first complex organic molecules such as DNA and proteins are being teleported.*

 

teleportation of molecules future timeline technology 2030 2040 2050
© Yunxiang987 | Dreamstime.com

 

 

The FIFA World Cup trophy is replaced

The current trophy has been in use since the 1974 World Cup. There is only space for 17 countries to be engraved on its base. In 2038, the final name plaque is filled in, and a replacement cup is commissioned with a new design. Like its predecessor, this is made of 5 kg (11 lb) of 18 carat gold.*

 

FIFA world cup trophy 2038 names engraved replacement

 

 

 
   
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References

1 In U.S., Support for Death Penalty Falls to 39-Year Low, Gallup:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/150089/support-death-penalty-falls-year-low.aspx
Accessed 5th February 2012.

2 Facts about the Death Penalty, Death Penalty Information Center:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf
Accessed 5th February 2012.

3 Capital Punishment Declined In 2010, Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/21/death-penalty-tanks-in-po_n_799754.html
Accessed 5th February 2012.

4 To execute or not: A question of cost?, MSNBC:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29552692/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/execute-or-not-question-cost/#.Ty7gC-S6V8E
Accessed 5th February 2012.

5 Figures on the death penalty, Amnesty International:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/numbers
Accessed 5th February 2012.

6 Global Trends in Governance, 1946-2009, The Center for Systemic Peace (CSP):
http://www.systemicpeace.org/CTfig12.htm
Accessed 5th February 2012
.

7 Race, gender, and the death penalty, big think:
http://bigthink.com/ideas/40707
Accessed 5th February 2012.

8 Who Supports the Death Penalty?, Gallup:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/14050/Who-Supports-Death-Penalty.aspx
Accessed 5th February 2012.

9 Saudi Arabian woman executed for "sorcery", CBS News:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57341381/saudi-arabian-woman-executed-for-sorcery/
Accessed 5th February 2012.

10 Shariah Law Should Not Deter Abolition, Inter Press Service News Agency:
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33678
Accessed 5th February 2012.

11 Such a feat may be possible "within a few decades", according to Michio Kaku (specialist in string field theory).
See Physics of the Impossible:
http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Impossible-Scientific-Exploration-Teleportation/dp/0307278824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250029787&sr=1-1

Accessed 11th August 2009.

12 FIFA World Cup Trophy, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_Trophy#FIFA_World_Cup_Trophy
Accessed 11th July 2010.

 

 
     
 
 
 
 

 


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