There has been a story in the news about a man whose Paypal account was accidentally credited with $92,233,720,368,547,800.
Where does this number come from? What sort of programming bug is likely to give rise to this number?
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It's the maximum value of a long (64 bit signed integral type).
The value of this constant is 9,223,372,036,854,775,807; that is, hexadecimal 0x7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.
This would be the maximum value for a 64-bit signed integral type in any language, I'm not assuming paypal uses .NET, the link to MSDN above is just illustrative.
The error is likely just a poor conversion error (like from decimal or float or etc to long that didn't work correctly) resulting in some overflowing of a value, or bad defaulting code for some strange scenario, or it could have been a test in production by their engineering/QA team gone hay-wire. Memory leak/pointer error, the list of ways to cause this are really countless. Could have been a parsing error deserializing some information that came to them across the wire, tremendously numerous ways to accidentally end up with an unexpected or misaligned integral value.