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December 14, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: glitch

TargetEdward Alomar writes that has an error on its product page for the movie "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."

From the page: "This title will be released on December 31, 1969. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives."


So i get it before i order it then?

Posted by: Dragon at December 14, 2004 12:25 AM

Such a common error.

Here's the reason for that odd date if you don't know: a standard method of representing time in software is as a very big integer whose value is the number of seconds beginning with 0:01 January 1, 1970, (this is referred to as the beginning of the Unix Epoch) until the time your are storing. Some error (human or computer) has the release date of Lemony Snicket stored as 0.

Posted by: Reed at December 14, 2004 08:33 AM

That's nothing. The folks over at have been finding lots of really bizarre products for sale. Not for the weak at heart:

Posted by: Robby Slaughter at December 14, 2004 10:22 AM

It isn't Target that is the problem. It's, who handles Target's web site. This is the standard date given when a release date is not known. I've seen the same thing for books on the Amazon site.

Amazon's site is run on an Oracle database. Does anyone know if this is date is coming out of Oracle?

Posted by: Craig Berntson at December 14, 2004 12:10 PM

Or Y2K problem?

Posted by: dusoft at December 14, 2004 06:37 PM

Its most likely poor software integration between the Amazon database and the Target storefront.

Posted by: Alex at December 14, 2004 09:00 PM

I agree -- most likely poor software inegration

Posted by: Mark at December 15, 2004 10:11 AM

Doesn't this fall under the category of "typographical error?" I don't see it as poor user design, which is what this column is all about.

Posted by: cathy snider at December 15, 2004 02:40 PM

It's poor user design, causing the rather stupid and pointless error. I would think that someone would have put in a check for "if (time == 0)" but nooo, it just has to be released at the beginning of the unix epoch. *eyeroll*

Posted by: Shadyman at December 22, 2004 12:32 AM

That looks more like negative one than zero to me.

Posted by: Kalthare at January 8, 2005 06:09 PM


I'm sure Target has a new (different and separate) page for this DVD. You readers should check it out!

BTW, what's with the " selling bizarre products" post? They're nothing but drug sites! It has nothing to do with this! (Man, what a DIFFERENCE the SafeSearch function on Google makes!)

Posted by: sethn172 at April 23, 2005 04:05 PM

We opened a charge account with Target last November since we were advised by the Target Store we would save 10% on the purchase.The major part of the purchase was Christmas gift Cards for our Grandchildren. We spent over $500 that day. We checked our receipt and had only saved $13. When I returned to the store, they then told me that the 10% did not count towards gift cards. We feel they should have been honest with us from the beginning and told us that. We would not have gone to the trouble to open a Target Visa. Also, when I paid off the bill around Christmas and New Years, the check I paid got their two days late. They then charged a $29 late fee and $4 interest. I paid the $31 just to keep charges from adding up, but that will be the last time I step foot in a Target store from this day forward.

Posted by: Larry Andrus at May 8, 2005 05:17 PM

I had misplaced a gift card recently and called the 1-800 # to have it replaced, was on the line for 2 hours and transferred 10 or more times. My point is that the customer service truly sucks. No one has a clue as to what there job is so they just transfered me from one clueless employee to another. Needless to say I spoke with a powerless manager(I think)who never returned my call.

So Mark Scott in Gift Card services if you are reading this I'm still waiting for your call. .................................

Posted by: Monica at May 31, 2005 01:20 PM

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