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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter 164

First time accepted submitter neoritter writes "The Korean pop star PSY's viral music video "Gangnam Style" has reached the limit of YouTube's view counter. According to YouTube's Google+ account, "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met PSY. 'Gangnam Style' has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer (9,223,372,036,854,775,808)!"
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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

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  • Rick-Roll (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:02PM (#48518015)

    I would have figured Rick Astley would have hit that count first!.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe if you combine all of the various videos and Youtube tracked it. This is about a single video breaking the counter.

    • Re:Rick-Roll (Score:5, Informative)

      by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:44PM (#48518411)

      Actually, if you combine all different versions it beats even the 64bit integer.
      Techsmartly made a fancy pivot chart of it a while back:
      http://techsmartly.net/freePS3... [techsmartly.net]

      • Bravo. I'll admit the "freePS3" URL gave me only slight pause.

        • Bravo. I'll admit the "freePS3" URL gave me only slight pause.

          Yea, sorry... I was in a hurry to find a "Not youtube or tinyurl" link so it wouldn't be obvious and get it out before the thread got too stale.

      • by Ecuador ( 740021 )
        ... for the successful rick-rolling goes to the "informative" mods...
        Even though "beats the 64bit integer" was very obvious BS, I still clicked...
        • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @09:09PM (#48519455)

          ... for the successful rick-rolling goes to the "informative" mods...

          Even though "beats the 64bit integer" was very obvious BS, I still clicked...

          That was part of my evil scheme.
          No Slashdotter can resist the sense of superiority that comes from correcting a trivial math error. ;-)

          • No Slashdotter can resist the sense of superiority that comes from correcting a trivial math error. ;-)

            The number of Slashdotters who resisted correcting your trivial maths error is not less than one. I didn't correct it, and nor, I note did you. (And you certainly knew about the latter, if not the former.)

            Q.E.not-D.

      • by dbreeze ( 228599 )

        I didn't even know what "Rick-Rolled" meant. I shall be eternally grateful Mr. Mopps.....

      • Thanks for the techsmartly.net "joke", jerkwad. It's really funny having to kill Safari because all I can get it to do is rick-roll me with a stream of pop-up windows. I didn't want to keep the stuff in the other open windows anyway...
        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
          For Safari - Click To Plugin will save you. NoScript or a number of others for Firefox, and Chrome also has something similar, though if you use chrome, why do you care?
        • This is the reason why you dont use Safari. On Pale Moon you can simply click prevent more dialogs.
      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Nice try. Thanks to the blocked Flash. :P

      • by 8086 ( 705094 )

        Actually, if you combine all different versions it beats even the 64bit integer. Techsmartly made a fancy pivot chart of it a while back: http://techsmartly.net/freePS3... [techsmartly.net]

        Well played, sir. Well played

  • Signed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:03PM (#48518029)

    Why the hell was it signed?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why the hell was it signed?

      Probably because Java.

      http://stackoverflow.com/a/9854205/166949 [stackoverflow.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You do know Java and Javascript are two totally different beasts.

        Not that Javascript handles unsigned integers either

      • So why did the Java machine not correctly optimize it?
      • by i.kazmi ( 977642 )
        I think more likely explanation is someone declared the data type in the DB as int(11) instead of int(11) unsigned.
    • Re:Signed (Score:5, Funny)

      by magarity ( 164372 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:30PM (#48518327)

      That's for the never implemented feature to allow extremely sucky videos to have a negative view count.

    • by Snufu ( 1049644 )

      Because some of us can only watch videos in reverse, you insensitive clod!

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      My pet hate as well. Especially when lazy developers take a signed integer at face value and then use it for things like allocating memory - some noisy data and next thing you've got a crash due to the application attempting to allocate negative amounts of memory and users have to waste more time individually editing their input data than the developer saved by not checking bounds before allocating memory, changing to an absolute value, or using an unsigned integer in the first place in situations where th
  • numbering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:03PM (#48518033)

    who cares really?

    The numbering should go 1.. 2.. 3.. etc.. thousands.. tens of thousands.. hundreds of thousands.. millions.. too many to give a fuck about.

    • Re:numbering (Score:4, Interesting)

      by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:07PM (#48518083) Journal

      Billions and billions served. I remember when McDonald's changed that. It was sad. It was also like they were saying that they were too lazy to keep track of their hamburgers any more. It made me wonder what else they were too lazy to keep track of. Billions and billions of rodent hairs?

      • by xaoslaad ( 590527 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:17PM (#48518177)
        Ya, I was fond of saying, "2 Billion served. Not one digested."
        • Billions served to 1 million lard asses. That has been my theory for a while.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well that's showing your age. So many young people today have never seen a counter on the McDonalds sign. A quick Google search indicates that McDonalds stopped counting around early 1994 when the count passed 100 billion.

    • Uh, well how do you incrementally add 1 to "thousands" and wind up at "tens of thousands" at some point? Randomly?

      Or did you mean count up to 2 billion, at which point you report billions and billions served [p212121.com] and stop incrementing?

    • who cares really?

      The numbering should go 1.. 2.. 3.. etc.. thousands.. tens of thousands.. hundreds of thousands.. millions.. too many to give a fuck about.

      OK, display it to the user like that--but they still need to keep track somehow of the actual number. How do you propose that they do that? We are left with the same problem.

      • OK, probably not a perfect answer, but you could use probabilities to keep it largely accurate. When you're in the number range that represents 1,000s, for example, you could have an algorithm whereby each time someone views that video, there's a 1 on 1,000 chance the counter will be incremented.

        I'm overthinking this, aren't I? (Personally I hate the whole "Try to convert everything into ranges" thing that's been going on; view counters probably wouldn't bother me, but it's getting annoying with dates, w

    • who cares really?

      The numbering should go 1.. 2.. 3.. etc.. thousands.. tens of thousands.. hundreds of thousands.. millions.. too many to give a fuck about.

      How would you know when to cross each threshold? Tallying views/day and then looking at a moving average along with the date of the last increment? That's dumb, and I should know, I thought of it. Besides, it's a reminder that every one of those views, Google *remembers* and in 15 years it will still be bugging you with ads for Tiger Beat because of that one time you binge-watched Justin Bieber music videos.

  • If they'd used a 32 bit unsigned integer they might have bought another 6 months or something.
    • Months? Why, were views being added exponentially?

      • Maybe Gangnam would be the one to exceed 2^32 in another 6 months, and maybe another video would. I assume YouTube's viewer base is being constantly increased, and that the "norm" for top viral video views is constantly rising.
      • Yes, in fact the view count will become self-aware on August 29, 2015. In a panic, they tried to pull the plug...

    • by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:27PM (#48518295)

      If they'd used a 32 bit unsigned integer they might have bought another 6 months or something.

      You could say the same of the unix time_t problem, which is a signed 32bit int. If it were unsigned, it'd go to 2106 instead of 2038. Either way, that's not not really the solution. The solution, as youtube has done, is to move to 64bit int.

      Personally, I'm amazed at the hit count!
      There are 2^31 seconds between 1970-01-01 and 2038-01-19.
      If this video was watched once every second since 1970, it'd still have 24 years before it rolled over that counter.
      By comparison, it hasn't been available very long. How many views a second is that thing getting? On average, more than 28 hits a second!!!

      28 hits/sec may not seem outrageous for a very popular file on a very popular site, but that's averaged since July 2012 until today. That, IMO, is nuts.

      • time_t is signed so that dates before 1970 (down to 1901) are valid
        • by Anonymous Coward

          that's not correct. it's signed so that if you subtract two epoch values, the result is positive iff the first is later than the second.

          • You are not supposed to subtract two epoch values directly. The difftime() function returns a double, and works just fine with unsigned time_t.
    • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:27PM (#48518301)

      Java doesn't have unsigned integers as a primitive type. (Speculative but I'd guess this is what's going on.)

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        Storage vs rendering. JDBC drivers usually use a long for unsigned int, so it wouldn't have been an issue.

  • I wonder how many people use it as their workout soundtrack. That could add up quite quickly.

  • I would have thought that Google would have just used the device they have to selectively erase the memory of people who saw it. Then they could just let the counter roll over to 0.
    It was originally intended to erase people's memory so they would have to look up everything, but they eventually found out that every one is doing that on their own with what Google already provides.

  • Marketing gimmick (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 )

    This is just a marketing gimmick. I find it weird that they wouldn't have used an unsigned int to begin with (or at least, would have upgraded when it appeared a video was approaching the limit).

    Now they get a free news article all over the world about it! More ads for everyone!

    • by matfud ( 464184 )

      Who said they had not already noticed this coming up and already changed code to allow the counter to continue working.

      If they did it before or after the rollover does not really matter. The fact that 2^31 hits occurred is in its own right stunning.
      Another way of saying it that is not quite as impressive but still strange is that over 1/3 of the population of earth could have watched it (they didn't but 7billion/2billion)

      • by MrP- ( 45616 )

        Read the end of the article. They did fix it ahead of time.

        • by matfud ( 464184 )

          MrP-

          I did not read the actual article. When I clicked on the comment link I got dumped halfway into the comments (is that a new fun slashdot thing? That they don't want you to start reading at the top?

          Beside the point. I should have read the article even though my comment was more about hitting 2 billion rather then if it was a problem sorted before or after youtube hit it. I just watched it again to be sure I was not imagining it (and to crank up the numbers. my little contribution to getting to 2^63...it

  • Reminds me of good old pacman level counter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    Stupidity, according to google, can now be measured as a 64-bit value.

  • Psy2K? (Score:5, Funny)

    by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @05:43PM (#48518403) Homepage
    I assume they're gonna be calling this the Psy2K bug.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      More like the Psy2B bug. :P

  • There is no hope for humanity. Hey Vlad, you Easter-Island-statue-faced midget, hit the big red button. Let somebeing else have a go.

    I hope it's the meerkats.

  • by Alien1024 ( 1742918 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @06:16PM (#48518641)
    Signed 32-bit oughta be.
  • According to some estimates, about 3 billion people have access to the internet. The stats would indicate that about 2/3 of the people with internet access have viewed this video, or more disturbingly that some people have watched it more than once.
    As a man married to a Korean, I will admit to having started to watch it, but finishing it would have been a waste of valuable minutes of my life. Does that still count as a "hit"?
    • Yeah it's not the greatest song in the world. But watching your 2&3 year old daughters trying to dance gangnam style really does push the cuteness factor into the "so fluffy I'm going to die" category. So I'm pretty sure I pushed the view count up.

    • I may have spoiled your statistics by watching this video more than once.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...that takes away my hope that the human race will survive and flourish.

  • Another reliably depressing indicator of the current state of humanity is Youtube's "Popular Right Now" category. Surely the Apocalypse is near....
    Repent while you can, and, I for one welcome our eminent Tribulation Overlord...yadayada....

  • 10 minutes later i'm asking myself: why the hell i'm listening to Pharrell Williams??

    Oh...right ...something with counters..it has 500 million. so yeah...2 billion isnt that far away.

    Imagine how much bandwidth we wasted with that annoying song. :)

    • 10 minutes later i'm asking myself: why the hell i'm listening to Pharrell Williams??

      Because you're so happy?

      Personally, I think the Rickroll should be replaced with the Pharrellroll.

  • Why did they use a signed int? Can I magically negative view something?
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Because it just didn't matter. The default was fine for any reasonable purpose. You don't design several years ahead for a 1/ X BILLIONS event that doesn't cause any security issue and doesn't bring your site down. It probably made that particular page mess up for a little while and that was it.

      Heck, they honestly could have stopped counting views when it reached the max and just display "Over 9000!" or Psy's logo and saved themselves the trouble.

      Now, they fixed the design and it will never be a problem aga

    • by devman ( 1163205 )
      Though youtubes design decision probably predates this. Google's own style guide [googlecode.com] states that unsigned integers should not be used simply to indicate a number will never be negative and instead to use assertions for that. Basically it emphasizes not to use unsigned integers unless there is a really good reason to do so.
  • The Korean peninsula continues its campaign-of-inconvenience against American computer networks.
  • Do you really think that the database that Youtube uses to store view counts is limiting that field to 32 bits? Ever? Or that it can't handle overflow in a graceful way that automatically upgrades the value? Or that Google didn't notice this YEARS ago and do a system-wide type change on that table column?

    This is FUNNY, but not a technical problem. Of course, many of you may be making jokes in response, pretending to believe it's limited to 32 bits, when you realize it's not. But for those of you whose

  • Or they could just have interpreted the 32-bit integer as an unsigned 32-bit integer, and go on for a long long time.. As the # of views can never be negative..

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