NHNE Y2K Report 1
Monday, November 11, 1998
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"
NHNE Y2K Report 1
Monday, November 9, 1998
This weekly news report contains the best, most important Y2K news
stories we are aware of.
NHNE is also the force behind the wild2k
"The Best of the Best of Y2K"
Our work is made possible by the kind and generous support of people
everywhere who want to solve the fundamental mysteries of life, make
a graceful passage through the turbulent times in which we live, and
help give birth to a new, more spirit-filled and loving world.
You can support NHNE by joining our Friends of NHNE program and/or
through tax-deductible donations. See the end of this update for details.
Total NHNE Mailing List:
Last Mailing: 1169
This Mailing: 1175
"The real issue underneath the compelling dangers of Y2K is far more
daunting than the remediation, triage and damage control of our eroding
computer networks: it is the need for a more sustainable, renewable,
spiritually-fulfilling way of life."
--- David La Chapelle, "The Real Y2K Problem"
From the Founder & Publisher
From the Editor-in-Chief
Washington D.C. in Trouble
Firms Missing Y2K Deadlines
Boeing: Y2K by the Book
Brokers Charged for Y2K Delays
Promises to Keep
Insurance Firms Consider Grounding Airlines
U.S. Y2K Action Week
Majority of Small Businesses in U.S. Have No Y2K Plan
Are Canadians too Complacent?
Executives Stockpiling for Y2K
Solar Storms in 2000 Will Add to Chaos
Montreal Firefighters Almost Ran Out of Water
NHNE-Sedona Task Force Videos
Y2k People Finding People
Free Compliance Database
Microsoft: Compliant with Minor Issues Products
Emergency Food Calculator
Mars, Venus & Y2K
Y2K & the Bell Curve
Meteor Storm Approaching
Y2K & Environmentalism
For Sale: Y2K Escapes
Year 2000 Expected to Trigger Run on Cash
Inside a Midwest Mortgage Company
IRS to Be Y2K Ready by Jan '99
$3.4B Y2K Budget
Japanese Banks in Big Trouble
Gartner Group Report
Emergency Planning for the Year 2000
Wisconsin National Guard Prepares
Canadian Business Takes Notice
An Interview with John Koskinen
How to Order NIGHTLINE'S Y2K Report
Koskinen's Rosey Picture Challenged
Summary of Oversight Findings and Recommendations
Y2K LIGHTER SIDE:
Kenya Commissions Millennium Bug Report
100 GB Bug Threat
A Y2K Silver Bullet
FROM THE FOUNDER & PUBLISHER:
Welcome to The NHNE Y2K Report!
After months of behind-the-scenes preparation, we are finally ready
to launch a new NHNE publication: The NHNE Y2K Report. As the evidence
continues to mount that the Y2K (Year 2000) Computer Bug is going
to be a major catalyst for change, James Gregory is returning as the
Editor-in-Chief of our new weekly Y2K-focused News Report. Our intention
is to track the most important Y2K-oriented news of the week so all
of us can be as informed as possible concerning all aspects of Y2K.
We will also be paying close attention to Y2K's deeper implications
for personal growth and planetary transformation and be encouraging
positive, constructive, empowering responses to Y2K.
One of the most exciting aspects of our new Y2K report is that we
will also be producing a companion TV show. Using the written report
as a starting point, we'll discuss the week's most important news
stories and then present interviews, panel discussions, and feature
stories with lay people and experts on a wide variety of other Y2K-related
topics. Of particular interest to NHNE readers, will be our focus
on Y2K as an opportunity to foster Earth, spirit and people-friendly
courses of action.
Along with serving as Editor-in-Chief of the online version of our
weekly report, James will also be co-hosting the television version
of the program with me. To begin with, the program will be primarily
filmed in Sedona, Arizona, and broadcast to our local community. Once
we have a developed a solid format, we plan to syndicate the program
nationally and broadcast it on the Internet. Our Y2K coverage will
also expand from Sedona and our local communities to include Y2K efforts
around the country. In some cases, we will travel to other parts of
the country to report on their efforts. In most cases we will be asking
others to film important happenings in their part of the world and
then send them to us to include in the program. If things go according
to plan, our first show will air sometime in the next couple of weeks.
As we get up to speed in this new media, we would like to begin creating
a grassroots network of NHNE fans and supporters who serve as weekly
outlets for the new program. Specifically, we would like to get as
many of you as possible showing the weekly show in your part of the
country. Along with helping us build a network of like-minded people
who are interested in keeping posted on all aspects of Y2K, one of
the main goals of this network would be to help others organize Y2K
efforts in their part of the world. By watching what we are up to
in Sedona (and also see what others are up to in other parts of the
country and world), Y2K-related information, inspiration, and practical
know-how can be rapidly disseminated.
If you are interested in participating in this program (either by
serving as an outlet in your part of the world, or filming local Y2K
events to share with our growing network, or both), drop me a line
We are also looking for people who would like to contribute financially
to these efforts. Our Friends of NHNE program, which continues to
underwrite all of our projects, needs more monthly contributors (see
the end of this report for details). We also need funds to cover our
initial television production costs. All contributions to NHNE --
both those provided by our monthly Friends of NHNE program, as well
as spontaneous, one-time "booster shots" -- are tax deductible.
I hope many of you will feel guided to support these efforts -- and
use them to inform and prepare your friends, neighborhoods and communities.
As you will soon see from the information contained in this first
report, there is no shortage of ominous stories. Nor is there a shortage
of people reacting to these stories in unbalanced, half-baked and
counterproductive ways. What there is a shortage of, and what I hope
our network can help provide, are people who can gather the hard facts
they need to make informed decisions concerning Y2K and then act on
this information in a way that inspires, ennobles and motivates. Counteracting
the tendency to be afraid, to deny the facts, to be overwhelmed, and
to fall into a survivalist mentality, will no doubt be some of the
major challenges we all face -- especially as the public at large
begins to realize how serious Y2K is.
Here's hoping you and I, and others like us, can turn the rising
tide of fearful Y2K-related news around with an equally powerful tide
of innovative solutions, community-oriented projects, and cheerful,
"we'll find our way through this together" responses...
With Love & Best Wishes,
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:
It has been over a year since I moved to Ottawa, Canada to be with
my new wife, Mary Anne and instant family of Danya (18) and Pascal
(13). Learning how to be a good husband and father has been a wonderful
experience for me, but very challenging. On top of all that I have
been working hard to make a living and support my family.
Through all of this, I have continued to follow the activities of
NHNE as it pursued the Millennium Bug and all its ramifications. Things
have now progressed to the point where David Sunfellow and I feel
that a weekly Y2K update is necessary.
The NHNE Y2K Report is the first of such weekly publications. It
serves a number of functions:
- To provide the latest Y2K news and developments around the world.
- To provide a forum for free exchange of information.
- To help people prepare for potential disruptions.
- To explore ways of flourishing before, during and after Y2K that
are Earth and people-friendly.
- To provide content for the television version of the weekly NHNE
As with the its predecessor, the NHNE NEWS BRIEF, the NHNE Y2K UPDATE
depends on you, its readers, for content and comments. We all share
a certain responsibility for the predicament we find ourselves in,
and for finding elegant and graceful ways to cope and flourish.
It is a pleasure to be back.
WASHINGTON D.C. IN TROUBLE
(Source: THE WASHINGTON POST, 3/10/98, via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K
Washington, D.C. officials had some bad news for Congress earlier
this month concerning their efforts to fix the Year 2000 problem:
it will cost the District six times more than has been budgeted. It
gets worse. Even if the additional $117 million can be found, the
city is so far behind that it won't be able to finish the necessary
computer repairs in time anyway. D.C. Chief Technology Officer Suzanne
Peck told a House panel that of the city's 336 computer systems, only
25 percent are confirmed to be free of flaws that could cause them
to malfunction on Jan. 1, 2000. The backlog is due to the fact that
the city did not focus in earnest on the problem until this past June.
In addition to trying to fix what they can, city staff members are
now scrambling to devise backup systems to avoid major service interruptions.
FIRMS MISSING Y2K DEADLINES
(Source: Emma Connors, THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, 11/3/98 via
SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
CAP GEMINI AMERICA, a services supplier that is tracking the Y2K
progress of 127 public and private sector organizations, announced
90 per cent of the organizations they are tracking had missed Y2K
deadlines. This is up from 78 per cent in April. They also announced
that 44 per cent of the companies they are tracking experienced 2000-related
failures in the form of processing disruptions or financial miscalculations.
In April, only 40 per cent reported such failures. The CAP GEMINI
AMERICA survey also found nine out of 10 of respondents are developing
contingency plans to avoid 2000-related failures and that local organizations
have also seen deadlines blow out as the full scale of their projects
is revealed. The researchers concluded this "reflects a growing sense
of realism about the magnitude of the year 2000 challenge." (DS&JG)
BOEING: Y2K BY THE BOOK
(Thanks to Rose Marie Licher for this tip)
With over 250 million lines of codes, and a wide variety of products
and services to deal with, including aviation, defense, and space
products, BOEING is still not fully compliant. They have, however,
publicly declared that "there are no Year 2000 safety-of-flight concerns
related to any Boeing airplanes." How come? Because unlike many other
major companies, BOEING has been working on Y2K since 1993. It also
has one of the most agressive Y2K track records (and websites) around.
Boeing is, however, concerned about the 920 companies they rely upon
for parts, many of which are sole providers... (DS)
BROKERS CHARGED FOR Y2K DELAYS
(Sources: ASSOCIATED PRESS via ABCNEWS.COM and SANGER'S REVIEW OF
96 U.S. brokerage firms have been charged with failing to file complete
reports by Aug. 31 about their Y2K readiness. 56 of the firms have
been fined a total of $335,000; disciplinary proceedings are continuing
against the remaining 40. The firms are relatively small and not widely
known Wall Street names. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC)
Chairman Arthur Levitt said, "The commission takes the Year 2000 computer
problem very seriously and has required [brokerage firms]
to do the same." The financial industry is believed to be especially
vulnerable to Year 2000 glitches, and some experts are concerned that
consumers could lose faith in the security of their banks, other financial
institutions and the stock markets. The SEC's action "is a wake-up
call" for other brokerage firms as well as mutual funds and publicly
traded companies, said Amy L. Goodman, a former SEC attorney. This
is the first such Y2K crackdown by the market watchdog agency. (JG)
PROMISES TO KEEP
(Source: Peter de Jager, YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER, 30/10/98)
We're approaching the end of 1998 and it's time to start hearing
some good news. Corporations have made promises to their customers
and to their shareholders: "Trust us, we'll fix this." Peter de Jager
of the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER says, "No reasonable person expects
all projects to be on time, but we'd really like to hear what [they]
have fixed." de Jager has thrown out the following challenge to companies:
If you have made promises about Y2K compliance, what of your services
will REALLY be available come January 2000? He is offering to post
company responses on his Web site in a section called "Y2K Promises
INSURANCE FIRMS CONSIDER GROUNDING AIRLINES
(Source: Neil Winton, REUTERS/NANDO.NET 3/11/98 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
The insurance industry could veto airlines' desire to operate on
Jan. 1, 2000, regardless of arguments about whether their computer
systems are immune from infection by the Year 2000 bug, says Andy
Kyte, analyst at information technology consultancy GARTNER GROUP.
If insurance companies decided to withdraw cover for any year 2000
problem, this would force airlines to stay on the ground. This follows
an announcement last month by KLM's Chief Information Officer, Max
Rens, who said he was not certain whether the airline could operate
flights safely on Jan. 1, 2000. KLM claimed it had done everything
it could to ensure the safety of operations, but was being let down
by governments responsible for airports and air traffic control systems.
U.S. Y2K ACTION WEEK (Source: Jack Gribben, PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON
YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, 2/10/98)
In declaring the week of October 19-23 "National Y2K Action Week,"
John A. Koskinen, Chair of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION,
announced: "We are concerned that many of the nation's small and medium-sized
businesses aren't taking the year 2000 problem seriously." During
the week, federal agencies including the SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
(SBA), the DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (DOC), the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
(USDA), and the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (SSA) conducted hundreds
of educational events. These outreach activities were designed to
help managers of small and medium-sized businesses assess how their
businesses may be vulnerable to the Y2K problem both in their own
systems and in relationships with outside service providers; develop
strategies for remediation and replacement work; find technical resources
for addressing the problem; and formulate contingency plans. (JG)
MAJORITY OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN U.S. HAVE NO Y2K PLAN
(Source: William Dennis, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
FOUNDATION, 7/10/98 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS & FORUM)
According to William Dennis of the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT
BUSINESS FOUNDATION, 80 percent of American small businesses are at
risk from their own non-compliant computer systems. Despite this,
a majority of small business owners plan no action. Should nothing
change, approximately 330,000 businesses would have to shut down on
January 1, 2000, and stay closed until their Y2K problem are fixed.
Small businesses employ a majority of the workers in the U.S. (JG)
ARE CANADIANS TOO COMPLACENT?
(Source: Chris Cobb, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/11/98 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
In the first attempt to test public awareness and attitudes about
the potential problem of Y2K, a poll commissioned by INDUSTRY CANADA
reveals that while more than three out of four Canadians have heard
of the millennium bug, 80 per cent have full confidence that the federal
government and business will have little difficulty finding the cure
if the millennium bug does prove to be bothersome. Only 23 percent
feel the bug will create serious problems. Peter de Jager, a Canadian
computer consultant who makes a living from advising how to cure the
millennium bug, says Canadians may be in for a shock. "Canadians are
a bit too complacent. They shouldn't assume that everything is going
to be taken care of. Will it be the end of the world? Should be people
head for the hills? No. But every Canadian will be affected."
EXECUTIVES STOCKPILING FOR Y2K
(Source: Vladimir Z. Nuri, NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE, 14/10/98)
A recent survey by CIO MAGAZINE, a publication for chief information
officers, chief executives and vice presidents of large corporations,
has discovered that the nation's top executives are taking the Y2K
threat personally. Of the 330 executives surveyed, 56 percent said
they believed the millennium bug would not be fixed in time; 13 percent
were upgrading personal security; 11 percent were buying generators
and wood stoves; and 10 percent said they planned to stockpile canned
goods. CIO Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Abbie Lundberg, elaborates: "They're
not thinking about building bunkers and learning how to tan hides,
but they are thinking about what happens if there are no lights and
no phone service for a while." In addition, 75 percent of the executives
recommended that individuals check to make sure their banks are prepared
for the Year 2000. (JG)
SOLAR STORMS IN 2000 WILL ADD TO CHAOS
(Source: GOVERNMENT COMPUTER NEWS, 19/10/98 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS
Just to make matters worse, in the Year 2000 the 11-year sunspot
cycle will reach its maximum. Solar and geomagnetic events such as
ion bombardments and explosions on the surface of the sun can damage
or knock out satellite transmissions, hamper navigation systems, cut
electric power and bring down telephone systems. "We're going to have
a huge storm [about] Jan. 1, 2000, so people won't know what
to blame it on," said Ernie Hildner, director of the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric ADMINISTRATION'S SPACE ENVIRONMENT CENTER in Boulder,
CO. On the positive side, due to increased signal skipping, short
wave radios will be able to send and receive transmissions over much
greater distances. (JG)
MONTREAL FIREFIGHTERS ALMOST RAN OUT OF WATER
(Source: George Kalogerakis, MONTREAL GAZETTE, 25/9/98 via GARY NORTH'S
Y2K LINKS & FORUMS)
It was a "Black Friday," on Jan. 9, 1998 when the two filtration
plants that serve Montreal and 15 neighboring towns lost power due
to the century's worst ice storm -- only six hours' worth of clean
water remained in reservoirs. In public hearings in September, it
was revealed that local fire chiefs were never warned that Montreal's
water-distribution system was about to collapse. Fire departments
which rely on Montreal's water-treatment plants lost precious time
when they could have been stockpiling water in case of a blaze. The
strategy was not to tell the public about the problem because they
would panic and lower water levels even more. Pierre Damico, President
of THE ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS OF METROPOLITAN MONTREAL, blasted
HYDRO QUEBEC for keeping fire chiefs in the dark about its emergency
plans. "It is very important to know what is happening in our territory."
GAZ METROPOLITAIN, BELL CANADA and CANADIAN PACIFIC also refuse to
cooperate, claiming their plans contain confidential information.
Damico also said it makes no sense that water-filtration plants don't
all have generators. (JG)
NHNE-SEDONA TASK FORCE VIDEOS
We now have a collection of Y2K videos and will be adding more titles
in the near future. Each video costs $20.00 and can be ordered via
credit card through Karen Lynn at (520) 282-7594, or through regular
mail by sending a check to:
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339
1. DAVID SUNFELLOW INTERVIEWED ON GERONIMO CABLE
David Sunfellow talks C.J. Cells about why Y2K is such a serious
problem. Topics include our "just in time" economy, the dangers of
Y2K and a fractional banking system, the potential of wide-spread
systematic failures, current news reports and congressional hearings.
2. PALOMA O'RILEY IN SEDONA
The Sedona Y2K Task Force brought Paloma O'Riley to Sedona, Arizona
to speak about Y2K. As Co-Founder of the the Cassandra Project (http://www.millennia-bcs.com/)
and one of the leading spokespeople on Y2K, Paloma talks about how
and why she got involved in Y2K, how the Cassandra Project came to
be, personal and neighborhood Y2K preparedness, and Y2K grassroots
efforts around the country. Paloma is introduced by David Sunfellow
who provides a quick overview of Y2K.
3. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Darlene Jan and Frank Wong presented a talk on emergency preparedness
in Sedona, Arizona. Along with discussing a wide variety of issues
related to emergency preparedness, Darlene and Frank demonstrate popular
survival equipment and explain its purpose and use. Renowned speakers
on earthquake preparedness, Darlene and Frank have earned the highest
recognition given by the California Emergency Services Association
for their efforts to inform, organize and prepare California communities
for potential earthquakes. They have also been featured on major television
and radio stations, including the New York Times and CNN Headline
News. In addition to these accomplishments, Darlene and Frank own
two disaster preparedness stores in the Bay Area of California and
Darlene presently serves on the Steering Committee of the Sedona Y2K
Y2K PEOPLE FINDING PEOPLE
(Thanks to Einiyah ben-Elyon for part of the information in this resource)
It makes sense that the more people around you prepared for Y2K,
the greater will be your resources and the more assured your safety.
Yet one of the biggest networking problems is connecting with like-minded
people in your own neighborhood. Bruce Beach at ARK TWO COMMUNITY
has created a service that helps people interested in Y2K issues to
connect with others in their own geographic area. To register, visit
<http://y2kfind.listbot.com> and submit your email address along
with your city and state or province (U.S. or Canada only). Your name
is not required. The service will provide you with the email addresses
of other Y2Kers in your vicinity.
Two more "Y2K People Finding People" resources worth mentioning are:
THE CASSANDRA PROJECT:
SURVIVAL COMMUNITIES (& Y2K PREPAREDNESS GROUPS): http://www.webpal.org/list.htm
FREE COMPLIANCE DATABASE
(Source: CMP Media, 2/11/98 via YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)
ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEMS CORP. has just launched "Vendor 2000," a
vast database that provides free compliance information for more than
125,000 items representing 3,000 vendors. "The service is a powerful
complement to the Good Samaritan legislation now in Congress, which
encourages organizations to share Year 2000 information with each
other and the public," says John Koskinen, Chairman of the YEAR 2000
CONVERSION COUNCIL. (JG)
MICROSOFT: COMPLIANT WITH MINOR ISSUES PRODUCTS
(Source: THE Y2K ALERT, 10/23/98)
Microsoft has released a list that shows which products are compliant
and which ones are "compliant with minor issues." You can check out
the status of your own Microsoft software at this location. (DS)
EMERGENCY FOOD CALCULATOR
(Thanks to Einiyah ben-Elyon)
Now here's a nifty emergency preparedness food storage planner: just
enter your family info and it prints out a customized plan to meet
your food needs for a year! For example, the basic food supply recommended
for a family of two adults and two teenage kids is: 1,260 lbs. of
whole grains and grain products, 252 lbs. of legumes, 333 lbs. of
dairy products, 252 lbs. of sweeteners, 84 lbs. of fats and oils,
plus dry yeast, soda, baking powder, vinegar, chlorine bleach, iodized
salt, sprouting seeds, and a minimum of 28 gallons of water per week.
You can also order food from these folks, but expect delays in having
your order filled. (JG)
MARS, VENUS & Y2K
(Source: Barbara Stahura , Y2KTODAY via the wild2k Website, 10/16/98)
Just as John Gray says men and women communicate as though they come
from different planets, it appears that men and women are reacting
to Y2K in opposite ways. "Men tend to...respond more assertively and
aggressively [to Y2K]. They want to...either fix it or head
for the hills," says Paloma Riley, creator of THE CASSANDRA PROJECT,
a Y2K preparedness site. "By a large margin, women...don't want to
leave their support systems or take the kids out of school."
Karen Anderson, founder of Y2K WOMEN, sees such a strong gender difference
that she's writing a book called "Mars and Venus Look at the Year
2000 Problem." Differing reactions to fear account for some of the
problem. "For men, fear is a huge motivator. With women, if they really
get the fear, they don't want to think about it. They feel too vulnerable."
Anderson created Y2K Women to explain the situation in a context that
doesn't promote hysteria.
Both Anderson and Riley agree that paying attention and gathering
practical knowledge now, including information on communication differences
between the sexes, will keep men and women on the same planet when
the inevitable crunch arrives. (DS, JG)
Y2K & THE BELL CURVE
(Source: Michael S. Hyatt & Bill Dunn, Westergaard 2000 Website,
"The pattern we observe with final exams is called a Bell Curve.
At first there is a slow trickle (the high-achievers), which builds
to a crest (those of us in the majority), and then finally peters
out (the under-achieving stragglers)..."
"We are being assured that organizations and technology systems will
be fixed by the deadline of December 31, 1999. Well, at least enough
of them will be fixed so that our economy and prosperous way of life
will not be greatly affected. But if that is the case, where are the
high-achievers? Where are the super smart students who zip through
the exam in half the time and walk out with an 'A'?
"It is now the Fourth Quarter of 1998. If the vast majority of organizations
are going to be finished within a year, as we are being told, we should
be seeing some major organizations that are now finished. It is the
result the bell curve should give us: a trickle of high-achievers
finished by now, a crest of the majority of firms finishing in 1999,
and a handful of stragglers who will miss the deadline.
"But here in the Fourth Quarter of 1998, there is not a single major
bank which is done; there is not a single power utility finished;
there is not a single telecommunications firm compliant; there is
not a single Fortune 500 company all set; there is not a single federal
agency which is finished. In fact, the Social Security Administration,
which discovered the problem way back in 1989 and began its Y2K program
in 1991, is still not finished. If any organization should be a high
achieving 'A' student, it should be the SSA.
"So what can we conclude? If no major outfit has yet been able complete
this 'exam,' if the trickle of high-achievers has not yet begun, it
is obvious that the bell curve will not crest in mid-1999. It will
instead crest well after January, 2000 -- which means our economy
and our prosperous way of life are in for some serious, possibly life-threatening,
METEOR STORM APPROACHING
(Source: Randy Boswell & Kelly Egan, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/10/98;
Shannon Kari, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, 8/10/98)
A colossal meteor storm scheduled to collide with Earth on Nov. 17
poses an unprecedented threat to global communication networks. A
group of experts made up of scientists from the UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN
ONTARIO, officials at the CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN EARTH AND SPACE in
Waterloo, Ontario, and the U.S. military, is calling next month's
storm the first serious threat of the space age. Potential satellite
damage could affect everything from cellular phone service to TV reception.
The Leonid Meteor Shower (named after the constellation from which
it appears to originate) peaks every 32 to 33 years and is caused
by Earth passing through the trail of debris from Comet Temple-Tuttle.
While the bulk of the debris is grit and ice no larger than a grain
of sand, the fact that the Leonids have 1,000 times the intensity
of a regular meteor shower and are moving at an incredible 155,000
mph -- about 100 times the speed of a bullet -- may result in a literal
sandblasting of anything they encounter in space.
The last time the Leonids struck in full force was 1966. Since that
time, hundreds of orbital satellites have been deployed. The implications
of the assault are uncertain, but satellite companies are taking no
chances. In most they cases they are planning to tilt their satellites
so that vulnerable solar panels are edge on to the flow of particles
in order to minimize damage. Operators of the Hubble Space Telescope
are expected to turn the fragile lens away from the direction of the
shower in order to protect the optics. The actual shower will last
about 12 hours and is expected to return for a repeat performance
in November 1999. (JG, DS, SJS)
Y2K & ENVIRONMENTALISM
(Source: Jim Lord, WESTERGAARD 2000: Y2K TIP OF THE WEEK, 8/9/98)
Embedded processors control countless industrial processes that deal
with pollutants, poisons and toxic substances, such as those in chemical
plants, oil and gas wells, nuclear power generators, sewage treatment
plants, and hydroelectric dams. Because these embedded processors
contain clocks, the Y2K bug poses a significant environmental threat.
The April 1998 issue of WORLD OIL MAGAZINE claims, "It is estimated
that the average oil and gas firm, starting today, can expect to remediate
less than 30 percent of the overall potential failure points in the
production environment. This reality shifts the focus of the solution
away from trying to fix the problem, to planning strategies that would
minimize potential damage and mitigate potential safety hazards."
The environmental implications of such a statement are staggering.
While at this moment the environmental movement doesn't seem to have
a Y2K clue, environmentalists will play an immensely important role
in the public discourse when they finally get up to speed. With their
political clout and their global organization, this confrontation
with industry should prove to be compelling. Political leaders all
over the world will be trapped in a fascinating conundrum: in order
to save the world, they will have to shut it down. (JG)
FOR SALE: Y2K ESCAPES
(Source: WIRED, 5/10/98, thanks to Bruce Fraser)
Olivia L'Heureux first learned of the millennium bug in the '70s
when she was a COBOL programmer and, like many coders of her time,
she figured that a solution would eventually be found. But this past
August, realizing that it was impossible to fix all of the computers
and computer chips in time for the millennium, she and her husband
started looking for a safe place to ride out the anticipated storm.
They found the process difficult and complicated: "It's really cumbersome
to go through real estate site after real estate site, hunting for
suitable Y2K properties," said L'Heureux. Recognizing there was a
need among nervous millennium watchers, she created VAMOOSE, the Internet's
first Y2K relocation and safe-haven site.
VAMOOSE publishes ads for available land and planned Y2K communities.
L'Heureux says she looks for survivalist-friendly factors such as
mild weather, gardening plots, and properties that are "far, but not
too far" from cities. At this time, most of the ads are in the U.S.
"We do not know how significant the disruptions associated with Y2K
will be [but] we all should educate ourselves and prepare
as we see best. The earlier your preparations for Y2K are, the easier
and more affordable they will be."
While the site received several thousand hits in its first two weeks
of operation, there were no sales. Activity on the site is expected
to heat up come 1999. By the way, L'Heureux and her husband recently
purchased a home in the White Mountains of Arizona -- a high desert
area about five hours northeast of Phoenix. (JG)
YEAR 2000 EXPECTED TO TRIGGER RUN ON CASH
(Sources: CP, THE TORONTO STAR, 2/11/98; via Y2K NEWS MAGAZINE; Susanne
Craig, THE GLOBE AND MAIL 2/11/98 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS
REPORTS; Amara Angelica, TECHWEEK, 2/11/98)
Central banks and financial institutions are closely monitoring depositor
jitters about possible Year 2000 computer foul-ups. Since most people
don't carry as much cash as they once did, relying instead on credit
and debit cards, an increased demand for cash would be quickly felt.
In anticipation of people withdrawing extra money in the weeks leading
to the millennium, the U.S. is planning to print an extra $100 billion
over the next year to bolster its existing $150 billion in currency
reserves. THE BANK OF CANADA is also poised to print more money, as
is the BANK OF ENGLAND. The RESERVE BANK of New Zealand intends to
keep old bank notes, which are due to be replaced next year by flexible
plastic ones, in vaults instead of destroying them.
In mid-October, WEISS RATINGS INC. released results of a bank survey
that showed 12 percent of U.S. banks and financial institutions are
behind schedule in their Y2K-compliance efforts. If the problem is
not remedied, customer bank balances could fall to zero when the year
changes to 2000. A number of executives said that while they feel
they are prepared for whatever might come their way on New Year's
Eve 1999, they are glad it falls on the Saturday of a long weekend.
INSIDE A MIDWEST MORTGAGE COMPANY
(Source: Y2K WEATHERMAN, 10/16/98)
[THE Y2K WEATERMAN, a popular Y2K mailing list published by Dennis
Elenburg, recently announced efforts to provide "insiders" the space
to tell their stories, provided they worked in critical industries
and their identity and claims could be verified. The following insider
story was published in the October 10, 1998 issue.]
Dear Y2K Weatherman,
I am a mortgage counselor for a major bank here in the Midwest. That
means if you have been more than 16 days late on a house payment,
you have probably heard from me!
For the last 6 months I have been receiving some rather unusual interoffice
emails through our company's intranet. They say we have our Y2k problem
solved and have instructed us to tell our customers that the problem
is fixed and business will carry on as usual. However, since they
have "solved" this problem several strange things have been happening.
For example, our computer is now showing several thousand loans as
matured because they were originated in the year 1900 or matured in
the year 1900. They show up in my files as in default. Our computer
system is also losing payments. When a payment is being electronically
processed, the computer sometimes places it in all kinds of strange
suspense accounts. We thought we had that one fixed until yesterday
when we discovered the computer had just created some new suspense
accounts to stash your cash!
Still, as far as the possibility of a foreclosure on your home, I
say don't worry. It is people like myself that must first recommend
you for foreclosure. When we foreclose on a loan, the banks lose far
more than they gain, and it would take a millennium for us to get
to your loan manually since we are so far understaffed. Also, if the
power is off for you, it may be off for us as well. I am not advocating
that you stop paying on your house now or ever for that matter. Keep
right on paying in a timely fashion, and always get receipts for everything.
Please do not show my email address as I could lose my job if this
is traced back to me. We are installing an alternative energy system
at our house, and until we are fully off of the power grid, I really
need this income. Thank-you and may God Bless you in all you do.
"The only thing evil needs to strive is for good men to do nothing."
Signed, Midwest Mortgage Manager
IRS TO BE Y2K READY BY JAN '99
(Source: REUTERS, 10/23/98)
The IRS recently declared that it will beat the millennium computer
bug afterall. Speaking to hundreds of certified public accountants
in Washington, IRS Chief, Charles Rossotti said, "The overall message
is that while there may be -- and probably will be -- some glitches,
the good news is that all key (IRS) systems will be Y2K compliant
by January 1999." The Service has, however, already has run into some
embarrassing snafus. Said Rossotti, "There were a few people who got
notices saying they owe the IRS $300 million."
Critics of the IRS don't share Rossotti's optimistic assessment.
Gary North, for instance, challenged Rossotti's views by summarizing
the agency's past failings: "An organization that blew $4 billion
and 11 years to fix its systems and admitted utter defeat in January
of 1997 has now fixed its computers. An organization that sought to
farm out bids to private companies to fix y2k because it couldn't
do the job has now solved it without outside help in just 19 months.
It will complete code repair and testing 30 days earlier than the
1/31/99 forecast that the IRS made last June." (DS)
$3.4B Y2K BUDGET
(Source: COMPUTERWORLD ONLINE NEWS, 10/22/98)
Next year's U.S. budget includes $3.4 billion in emergency spending
for fixing year 2000 problems in government computer systems. The
funding, including about $1.1 billion earmarked for Department of
Defense systems and computers that support national security, is in
addition to appropriations that government agencies have been granted
for other information technology procurements. The emergency appropriation
is slightly more than the $3.25 billion requested by the Clinton administration
last month after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) warned
that the government's costs to fix the problem continues to grow.
That total is now estimated at $5.4 billion, according to OMB, which
also said last month that seven departments are critically behind
schedule in fixing their systems.
Republican lawmakers expressed concern over what they said is a lack
of public awareness about the computer date problem and complained
that the Clinton administration has "received failing grades" on its
efforts to correct the problem. Republican lawmakers did, however,
hail the recent passage of the Readiness Disclosure Act, a bill designed
to encourage companies to share information about year 2000 preparations
by freeing them from certain liabilities. They also said that the
appointment of the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion
and the endorsement of Good Samaritan behavior are important steps
taken over the past year. They added there would be even more focus
on the problem in the next Congress. (DS)
JAPANESE BANKS IN BIG TROUBLE
(Source: NEW YORK TIMES, 15/10/98 via SANGER'S REVIEW Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
Japan's banking system is acutely short of capital, with the top
19 banks in deeper trouble than Tokyo has ever admitted before. At
a private meeting earlier this month, the Governor of the BANK OF
JAPAN, Masaru Hayami, told Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Alan
Greenspan, the Chairman of the FEDERAL RESERVE, that the capital supporting
those major banks has dwindled to such dangerously low levels in recent
months that the banks of the world's second largest economy might
be banned from operating internationally "if the rules were vigorously
Banks that operate globally are required to keep on hand capital
amounting to at least 8 percent of their outstanding loans. Few and
fewer of Japan's banks can meet that standard today and some may even
fall below the 4 percent minimum for operating within Japan's borders.
Many experts consider bolstering Japan's ravaged banking system as
the single most critical factor in quelling the current global financial
GARTNER GROUP REPORT
(Source: Thanks to Y2KSUPPLY.COM, 7/10/98)
On October 7th, 1998, the GARTNER GROUP, a leading American Y2K research
firm, presented its findings to THE U.S. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE
ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY in Washington, DC. The report, based upon
a survey of 15,000 companies in 81 countries, paints a bleak future
for the world: 23% of all companies have not even started Y2K compliance
efforts; 30% - 50% of all companies and government agencies will experience
at least one mission-critical failure due to Y2K and 10% of those
failures will last three days or longer; in the U.S., not one government
employee has Y2K as their full-time responsibility, and no body or
group has been assigned the Y2K task. The report concludes: "It is
now clearly evident that segments of companies and governments throughout
the world will not be fully prepared to deal with this problem by
The report determined that the following U.S. groups would experience
at least one mission-critical failure:
- 15% of all insurance companies, banks, investment services;
- 33% of all medical and software companies, publishing houses, retail
- 50% of all transportation companies, suppliers of power, natural
gas and oil, television broadcasters, law enforcement agencies;
- 66% of educational institutions, government agencies, food suppliers,
farms, city services, healthcare providers.
The report points out that due to the interconnectedness of the global
economy, an even greater risk comes from "countries already plagued
with financial woes, sharp increases in inflation, limited monetary
reserves, and high unemployment," for they tend to be the ones furthest
behind in Year 2000 compliance, such as China and Russia. The report
goes on to say, "Interdependencies and interconnectivity between companies
and across country borders... are not being covered by either company,
and... are of critical importance in banking, government, healthcare,
and for many global manufacturers." Y2KSUPPLY.COM, an American Y2K
watchdog agency, agrees with this statement, claiming that the interdependence
of modern civilization is "the" Y2K problem.
However, Y2KSUPPLY.COM takes exception to the report's disclaimer
that, "Embedded systems will have limited effect on Year 2000 problems,"
countering that they receive daily emails from insiders at nuclear
power plants, state prisons, power companies and government agencies
who relate frightening stories of management completely ignoring date-sensitive
hardware systems. Perhaps the best-known embedded-system bug will
occur on August 22, 1999, when the Global Positioning System (GPS)
loses its calendar, resulting in bad date data being transmitted globally.
This is quite serious when you consider that GPS guides missiles,
ships, planes, and also helps schedule bank transfers.
While the report is certainly valuable, it suffers from the fact
that the Gartner Group did not send their own consultants into the
15,000 companies for verification of data, relying rather on reports
generated in-house by the companies themselves. Thus, it would seem
reasonable to infer that conditions are likely underreported and the
situation is even worse than the report claims. (JG)
EMERGENCY PLANNING FOR THE YEAR 2000: PREPARATION OR PANIC?
Major General Edward Philbin Executive Director National Guard Association
of the United States October 2, 1998, Washington, D.C.
"Mr. Chairman, ...it is increasingly evident that an appreciable
part of the nation's infrastructure could be adversely affected in
some way, by what is commonly referred to as the Y2K problem. In general,
the National Guard has the capacity to provide Military Support to
Civilian Authorities (MSCA) and can contribute a myriad of human and
equipment resources to restore essential operations disrupted by Y2K
"Considering the possibilities of a large scale disruption of governmental,
commercial and other routine daily activities, it is certain that
the National Guard will be among the first organizations activated
to assist in the revitalization of the nation's computer dependent
infrastructure. As with hurricanes, floods and other incidents requiring
a quick reaction by a well-trained and equipped on-site team, no other
organization will be able to respond in support of police, fire fighting
and other civilian emergency responders, to major crisis situations
that may be caused by Y2K disruptions as well as the National Guard..."
"I suggest that the Department of Defense (DoD) must develop a clear
concept of how the National Guard will be required to respond to the
spectrum of problems that could be created by a Y2K disruption. The
DoD, through the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB), must now
coordinate with the Adjutants General and the Governors to determine
the likely, locality specific scenarios that may arise in a Y2K situation.
"The DoD should also assist the Governors and State Emergency Response
Coordinators to ensure that the National Guard itself will not be
impaired by the effects of a Y2K incident at a time when it will be
"We must be certain that the National Guard will not itself be a
victim of any Y2K disruption. All National Guard units in 3,200 locations
throughout the nation, must possess computer dependent equipment that
is Y2K compliant. Responding to the consequences of a Y2K disruption
will be futile if the National Guard's operations are plagued by the
very consequences the Guard is attempting to manage. It is critical
that the Y2K response requirements of the National Guard be fully
funded to ensure that it is able to respond quickly and effectively
to the needs of the community. I respectfully request, Mr. Chairman,
that this Committee urge the Senate to provide full funding for Y2K
compliance upgrading of National Guard equipment as one of the highest
priorities for such funding, since the Guard will be among the first
responders to a Y2K incident together with police, fire- fighting
and other civilian emergency response personnel..."
"The Year 2000 challenges present an emergency scenario unlike any
other in our nation's history. Our technological society has grown
extremely dependent upon the continuity of computer driven systems
and networks and as a consequence, the nation's vulnerability has
increased appreciably. Any significant disruption of our computer
dependent infrastructure could result in a significant societal disruption.
However, with the cooperative interaction of federal and state governments,
the military, the private sector, and with serious advance preparation,
the impact of such an event on the American people can be significantly
reduced, if not totally eliminated..." (DS)
WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD PREPARES
(Source: Lee Bergquist, 08/10/98, Amy Rinard, 07/10/98, JOURNAL SENTINEL
By the end of a day-long hearing by a Wisconsin Assembly Y2K committee
on October 6, 1998, it was clear no one really knows what will happen
at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2000. "The only thing we do know is that there
will be problems," says Rep. Sheryl Albers, the Chairwoman of the
committee. She intends to introduce legislation in January to put
the Wisconsin National Guard on standby on Dec. 31, 1999, to address
any problems caused by computer shutdowns. "I don't want to scare
the public, but when we start talking about mobilizing the National
Guard, people should realize how serious this is." Mari Nahn, an attorney
with Madison-based ALLIANT CORP.-WISCONSIN POWER & LIGHT CO.,
admitted at the meeting that power failures are likely, as are failures
of municipal water systems.
Col. Kerry Denson, Deputy Adjutant General for the Wisconsin Army
National Guard, confirmed that the Guard has been planning for Jan.
1, 2000 for several months. The Guard has started taking an inventory
of all its emergency generators and expects to have a crew assigned
to each generator that night in the event that power goes out somewhere
and those generators are needed. "When something happens, you always
expect the Guard to respond. I never thought I'd be responding to
a computer problem. The National Guard is not going to go out and
fix your computer; we're going to... deal with the consequences of
your computer failing," Denson said.
The day after the meeting, Wisconsin public utility companies were
quick to reassure their customers that, while they could expect some
glitches when 2000 rolls around, they should have plenty of power,
heat and water on the big day. Utility and municipal officials pointed
out that they have worked on the problem for at least a year and are
spending millions of dollars to make sure their computers survive
the problem. For example, AMERITECH CORP., the Baby Bell that provides
local phone service in parts of Wisconsin and four other states, is
spending $250 million over five years on the problem, spokesman Frank
Mitchell said. 300 employees are rewriting nearly 30% of all the code
in Ameritech's computer systems; others are testing and fixing equipment
at 1,500 switches across the region that process phone traffic. Gary
J. Wolter, senior vice president of administration for MADISON GAS
& ELECTRIC CO. says, "We believe that there could be inconveniences,
but nothing that will endanger the health or safety of our customers.
We have storms, equipment breakdowns -- we have problems all of the
time. That is what we do here -- and we are good at it."
However, ALLIANT ENERGY CORP. spokesman David Giroux admitted that
his company is very worried about the Y2K problem, especially in delivering
electric power. "Power failures are possible. Anyone who has told
you they have fixed the problem -- guaranteed -- is not understanding
the scope of the problem." (JG)
CANADIAN ARMY PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE Y2K CHAOS
(Sources: Jeff Sallot and John Saunders, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, 27/10/98;
SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS, 27/10/98)
On October 27, 1998, THE GLOBE AND MAIL printed this remarkable headline
on its front page: "Army Fears Civil Chaos from Millennium Bug." What
makes this event particularly noteworthy is the fact that the Globe
is Canada's conservative national newspaper, being primarily a forum
for big business issues. It seems that Canadians, particularly Canadian
businessmen, have started to take the Y2K threat seriously.
Two months ago, a 24-page "warning order" was sent to military commanders,
regional headquarters and reserve units across Canada. informing them
that the threat of the Year 2000 bug is their highest priority and
will be the focus of all training from January on. The military's
response was to launch "Operation Abacus," named after the ancient
Chinese bead-and-string calculator that needs no power and is not
susceptible to bugs and glitches.
The Globe article was an overview of the preparations that are being
made by the military to meet what is being treated as a very real
threat; for example:
- Logistics officers are plotting the best places to position vehicles,
fuel, tents and stockpiles of supplies.
- Signals officers are trying to figure out how to keep government
officials in communication if commercial systems fail.
- Rules for the use of force are being drafted should riots and looting
- Ships may have to be docked in port cities to serve as garrisons,
power plants, field hospitals and soup kitchens.
The worst-case scenario would have 32,000 soldiers living and working
in the field -- the biggest deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces
since W.W.II. This number could swell to more than 60,000, if weekend
warriors are pressed into service. And Canadian troops would not be
the only ones out in the cold -- across the country, police and fire
fighters have also been informed not to plan any vacations around
January 1, 2000.
Is Y2K a death sentence for industrial civilization or simply a fraud
whipped up by computer geeks? The fact that such a calmly serious
article was published in the Globe, 14 months before the actual event,
is an indication of how serious Canadian business is treating the
whole matter and how much it is counting on the military to maintain
law and order. (JG)
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN KOSKINEN
[The following are edited excerpts from an interview with John
Koskinen (JK), Chair of the PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000. The
interview was conducted by Forrest Sawyer (FS) of ABC NEWS on October
20, 1998 on NIGHTLINE.]
FS: How bad is the problem?
JK: Well, I think ultimately the risk to the American public is not
going to be from federal systems. We have some of the largest, most
complicated, antiquated systems in the world, but we've been working
on it for over three years in most of the agencies so that I'm confident
that the vast majority of the mission critical systems of the federal
government are going to work. But I do think we have exposures in
other areas both domestically and internationally... This is a serious
problem that everybody should be treating as such, but there's no
indication yet that there are going to be basic failures of the infrastructure
in the United States. Therefore, I think that there is no basis for
people disrupting their lives at this time to be prepared for that.
On the other hand, it doesn't mean that we don't have a lot of work
to do and that people should not be taking it seriously.
FS: What are the problem areas?
JK: Our concerns right now are: domestically, a lot of small to medium
sized organizations, both in the public sector and in the private
sector, have not understood the possible impact this problem could
have on them; internationally, a significant number of countries (probably
over half) have yet to begin work on this problem in any meaningful
way. Most of the countries that we're concerned about are the developing
countries that have decided that if they don't have major mainframe
operations, the problem isn't theirs.
FS: I just read a recent poll that says 38 percent of computer industry
executives are considering withdrawing all of their personal assets
from banks or investment houses. Is that reasonable?
JK: No. The financial system is probably in the strongest position
of any in the country. Federal regulators have been working for over
two years with every bank in the United States and the last surveys
they've done in their examinations show that only one or two percent
have any significant delays in their progress at all. Similarly, the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) and THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY
ASSOCIATION have been working very closely with their members. I think
there is no basis at this time for having any major concern about
either the banks or financial institutions.
FS: A lot of those executives are also swearing that on January 1st,
2000, they're not about to get on an airplane.
JK: Contrary to growing public opinion that the FAA is going to be
the poster child of failed systems, I'm confident that the FAA system
is going to work. In fact, I've announced I'm flying to New York on
New Year's Eve in 1999 and I'll take the first plane back the next
FS: What if I take a flight to Bali?
JK: A flight to Bali is a different issue. The FAA is working with
international air traffic associations and the airlines and will not
allow anybody to fly anywhere where there are going to be delays or
FS: Where are the dislocations going to come?
JK: Dislocations are going to come in this country in a lot of the
small and medium sized cities and counties where mayors or city managers
or county executives have not yet really understood the seriousness
of the problem. If they don't start soon, it really will be too late
FS: What can you say to [survivalists] who are spending so
much of their time putting [supplies] away and taking weapons
training to convince them that they're wasting their time?
JK: Given the information I have, I think there is no basis for people
to disrupt their lives, but everybody has to make their own judgment.
Full report: http://www.abcnews.com/onair/nightline/transcripts/ntl_981020_trans.html
HOW TO ORDER NIGHTLINE'S Y2K REPORT
ABC's Nightline Tuesday, October 20, 1998 "The Year 2000 Bug: Time
to Sound the Alarm, or Just a Lot of Hype?"
To order a copy, call: 1 (800) Call-ABC
29.95 + 4.95 (S&H) = 34.90
KOSKINEN'S ROSY PICTURE CHALLENGED
(Sources: Jim Lord, WESTERGAARD 2000 WEBSITE, 10/26/98; Mike Adams,
Y2K ALERT, 10/22/98)
After the NIGHTLINE special on Y2K aired, several Internet Y2K trackers
challenged Koskinen's upbeat picture of the Federal government's Y2K
status. Ex-Navel Officer, computer systems expert, speaker, author,
WESTERGAARD 2000 Columnist and congressional-testimony-regular Jim
Lord took Koshinen to task for ignoring current government estimates
that are predicting more than one third of the government's mission
critical systems could fail. Lord also challenged NIGHTLINE to do
their homework and ask more informed questions. Here are some quotes
from Koskinen's interview and Lord's comments:
"We have some of the largest, most complicated, antiquated systems
in the world, but we've been working on it for over three years in
most of the agencies so that I'm confident that the vast majority
of the mission critical systems of the federal government are going
Nonsense (except for the part about largest, most complicated and
antiquated). According to the February 1997 OMB report on Y2K, the
federal government programmed less than fifty-eight million dollars
for Y2K for all of fiscal year 1997. This "chump change" amounts to
just over one percent of current planned Y2K expenditures. The notion
that "most" agencies have worked on this problem for over three years
is unsupported by facts.
The continuing claim that the "vast majority" of federal mission
critical systems are going to work is in serious dispute. Congressman
Horn's latest report card indicates that MORE THAN ONE THIRD of all
federal, mission critical systems will not be completed in time. One
of these views is not correct. The difference between these claims
is critically important to the welfare of this nation.
This precise point was where ABC's flubbed its story. Where was the
penetrating, hard-nosed investigative journalism when it was needed
Why was Mr. Koskinen not asked the following question on national
"Eighty-four percent of all technology projects are finished late
or not at all. Y2K is the largest technology project in history and
it has a fixed deadline. Why is the government trying to convince
us it is about to pull off the greatest technical miracle in history?"
CLINTON'S Y2K BILL COVERS THIS Mike Adams Y2K ALERT, 10/22/98
In a fascinating twist, the recently-passed S.2392 act, signed by
the President, says that organizations making Year 2000 statements
will be immune from legal action unless they intentionally try to
deceive the public. Specifically, Section 4 (b), says:
"...the maker of that year 2000 statement shall not be liable under
Federal or State law with respect to that year 2000 statement unless
the claimant establishes ... that--
(1) the year 2000 statement was material; and
(2)(A) to the extent the year 2000 statement was not a republication,
that the maker made the year 2000 statement --
(i) with actual knowledge that the year 2000 statement was false,
inaccurate, or misleading;
(ii) with intent to deceive or mislead; or
(iii) with a reckless disregard as to the accuracy of the year 2000
Clearly, the statements by Clinton's own Y2K czar are intended to
deceive, are reckless, and are false and misleading. Under Clinton's
own rules, the federal government should be held liable for misleading
the American people!
SUMMARY OF OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
(Source: THE U.S. COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT, 10/8/98)
After being given the mandate to examine whether computers throughout
the Federal Government, the United States, and the world would be
able to handle the transition from the year 1999 to the year 2000,
THE U.S. SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT, INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY
has just tabled its preliminary report. Here are some disturbing excerpts:
"It is now clear that a large number of Federal computer systems
simply will not be prepared for January 1, 2000... There are approximately
7,300 mission-critical systems in the Executive branch of the Federal
Government. As of August 15th, only 50 percent of these systems were
Year 2000 compliant. At the current rate of progress, the percentage
compliant would climb only to 66 percent by March 1999 -- the President's
deadline to fix noncompliant systems and still have enough time to
test and implement the systems... The utilities industry, the financial
services industry, the telecommunications industry, vital modes of
transportation, and other indispensable industrial sectors are [also]
"The problem lies not just with software in mainframe computer systems,
but with embedded microchips. These chips serve as the brains of devices
from elevators to security systems to automated manufacturing equipment.
There may be as many as 25 billion microchips in use around the world.
It is estimated that between two and five percent of all microchips
have the date problem... Embedded chips, by definition, are hard to
find and hard to test for Year 2000 compliance... Organizations addressing
the Year 2000 problem generally understand the embedded chip aspect
and are working diligently on it. Based on subcommittee hearings and
investigation, however, it appears that the sheer number and relative
inaccessibility of embedded chips will overwhelm these efforts. The
result will be failure often unforeseen.
"The Year 2000 problem could result in a stunning array of technological
failures. Air traffic could be delayed or even grounded; telephone
service could be interrupted; breakdowns in the production and distribution
of electricity could bring widespread power failures; automatic teller
machines might malfunction; traffic lights could stop working; time
clocks at factories might malfunction. Government payments, including
checks from the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, the TREASURY, and the VETERANS
BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION, could be interrupted; military technology,
including the Global Positioning Satellite System, could malfunction.
"In 1996, the GARTNER GROUP estimated that the worldwide cost of
Year 2000 repairs would reach $600 billion, with half of that going
to repairs in the U.S., and $30 billion to the Federal Government.
"By failing to address the Year 2000 problem, the United States could
suffer severe disruptions in the delivery of essential governmental
and private industry services... Inadequate attention to the Year
2000 problem by electrical utilities is seen as the cause for "potentially
major catastrophes... It has been suggested that this could even precipitate
an economic recession.
"For too long, Federal management has been in denial about the Year
2000 problem. In the DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, for example, the
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION first learned of the Year 2000 problem
in the late 1980s [yet] the Department's Chief Information
Officer admitted he had never heard of the Year 2000 problem until
late in 1996. Awareness of the Year 2000 problem among the technology
experts at an organization is meaningless if those experts do not
have the backing and direction of senior management. Management tends
to see the repairs as a burden to be delayed for as long as possible.
This is in part because of the persistent belief that someone will
invent a silver bullet to fix the problem. Unfortunately, there is
no silver bullet.
"The constant exchange of data between all types of organizations
makes each organization dependent on the Year 2000 preparedness of
its data exchange partners... Fixing internal systems is but one leg
of a multi-legged stool. It is one thing to be able to say that all
our systems are millennium ready, it is a whole other thing to be
able to say that after their conversion, they still have the ability
to talk to one another... One weak link anywhere in the chain of critical
dependencies can cause major disruptions to business operations. Given
these interdependencies, it is imperative that contingency plans be
developed for all critical core business processes and supporting
systems, regardless of whether these systems are owned by the organization.
"Fear of legal liability has made some organizations reluctant to
share the Year 2000 status of their products and internal systems
with other businesses and data exchange partners.
"A growing list of high tech service providers are not taking on
any more Y2K work as they are already booked up through January 2000.
The bottom line is that there will be a Y2K personnel shortage as
we enter the home stretch towards the new millennium.
"As the year 2000 approaches, anxiety will increase throughout society.
One major aggravation to this anxiety, which could cause more problems
than the technology failure itself, is lack of information. It is
imperative that citizens have as much information as possible... At
the current time, the most logical mechanism for establishing a Year
2000 strategy to coordinate efforts, share information, and alert
citizens to the status of Year 2000 preparations is THE PRESIDENT'S
COUNCIL ON THE YEAR 2000 CONVERSION.
"It is time for the President to declare that the Year 2000 problem
is a National Priority. If sufficient progress is not made by an intermediate
deadline, he may even need to escalate the Year 2000 problem to a
National Emergency. The point of calling for such urgency is not to
trigger panic, but in fact to avoid panic. If this problem does not
receive the attention it demands during the next six to nine months,
and if we allow the date change to approach without knowing our vulnerability,
panic will be the inevitable result... The Year 2000 problem must
not be allowed to spark a national crisis."
Complete report: http://www.house.gov/reform/gmit/y2k/y2k_report/Isummary.htm
Y2K LIGHTER SIDE:
KENYA COMMISSIONS MILLENNIUM BUG REPORT
(Source: REUTERS, 2/11/98 via Y2KTODAY)
The Kenyan government has taken the decisive step of forming a committee
to investigate problems that may be caused by the millennium bug.
Members of the committee have been informed that the final report
on the consequences of the Y2K threat is due in 18 months time...
April 2000. (JG)
100 GB BUG THREAT
(Source: Victor Milan, FIREBRINGER NEWS SERVICE (FBNS), 7/10/98 thanks
to Bonnie Willow)
Recognizable landmarks outside most McDonald's restaurants are the
golden arches that display the number of hamburgers the giant chain
has sold worldwide. That number now stands at 99 billion burgers,
or 99 Gigaburgers (GB). Within weeks, that number will roll over to
100 GB. Designed years ago when the prospect of selling 100,000,000,000
hamburgers seemed unthinkably remote, the McDonald's signs have only
two decimal places. This means that, after the sale of the 100 billionth
burger, McDonald's signs will click over to read "00 Billion Burgers
Sold." This, experts predict, will convince the public that, in over
30 years, no McDonald's hamburgers have ever been sold, causing a
complete collapse of consumer confidence in McDonald's products; the
ensuing catastrophic drop in sales is certain to force the already-troubled
company into bankruptcy; this, in turn, will push the teetering American
economy over the brink, thus ending civilization as we know it. Experts
are working feverishly to come up with s solution before it is too
A Y2K SILVER BULLET
(Source: Thanks to Tom Atlee, THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, for forwarding
Management has decided to remove all computers from desktops by Jan
31, 1999 and, instead, provide everyone with an Etch-A-Sketch.
There are sound reasons for doing this:
1. No Y2K problems.
2. No technical glitches.
3. No more wasted time reading and writing emails.
FAQs for Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support:
Q: How do I create a new document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I turn off my Etch-A-Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.
The good news is we don't have to go back to pencil and paper...
Copyright 1998 by NewHeavenNewEarth
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Botthof (LB), Kathleen Blake (KB), Sherri Anderson (SA)
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