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NHNE Y2K Report 13
Sunday, February 7, 1999

 

"News,
Inspiration,
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"

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NHNE Y2K Report 13
Sunday, February 7, 1999

NHNE is also the force behind the wild2k Website:
http://www.wild2k.com/
"The Best of the Best of Y2K"

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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.

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Total NHNE Mailing List:
Last Mailing: 1910
This Mailing: 1942

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THE FUZZY QUALITY OF Y2K INFORMATION

"Many Y2K analysts report that the longer they study this, the more difficult it is to know what will happen. The more they try to bring things into focus, the fuzzier they become.... As a picture of the system develops -- its convoluted networks and interdependencies -- the overall portrait comes into relief, but the details of the portrait are so infinite in their detail that studying them only increases our confusion...

"It is not only Y2K analysts and activists who are frustrated by this murkiness. The inability to make definitive statements and predictions is having a terrible effect on the public. In the absence of prediction, and in the presence instead of many conflicting assessments, many people have withdrawn from Y2K. Faced with a problem that is new, and in the absence of one expert voice authoritatively defining Y2K, people feel free to withdraw, to deny, to stop inquiring. Our skill at denial is easily fed by the fuzzy quality of Y2K information. I had thought that the confusing and dramatic proportions of Y2K would wake us up, but what I now observe is that it has put many of us to sleep. We don't know how to think in a world of murky shapes and non-discernible impacts. We were never encouraged to dwell in the unknown. So we grab quickly for the safety offered by singular commentators -- the computer friend who tells us there's no problem, the government official who tells us things seem to be improving, the internal voice that says nothing this bad could possibly be happening to me."

--- From "The Amazing Grace of Y2K," by Margaret J. Wheatley

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For information about how you can sponsor The NHNE Y2K Report, send an email to "nhne@nhne.com" with "Send Sponsor Info" in the SUBJECT FIELD of your message.

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CONTENTS:

Y2K HEADLINES:

Travel Industry Passes Crucial Y2K Test
State Department Warns Traveling Americans About Y2K Risks
Growing Y2K Optimism in the White House
British Government Accused of Y2K Cover Up
China Far From Solving Y2K Bug
International Y2K Cooperation Center Opens
Alberta Treasurer Playing Software Hardball
Irish Companies Face Sanctions for Failing to Tackle Y2K
Year 2000 Early-Warning Network Set Up
Group Won't Publicize Year 2000 Ratings
Telecom Rivals to Work Together on Year 2000 Audit

Y2K GLITCH WATCH:

Nebraska Water Treatment Plants Fail Y2K Tests
Bug Bites In UK
New York City's 911 System Fails

LETTERS:

An Important Issue
The Tools to Make a Positive Transition

Y2K STORIES:

The Story Behind the Story
Report from Davos
Will the GPS Fail?
Drug Industry Preparing for Y2K Stockpiling
Compaq-Digital Recant Their Confirmation of the Crouch-Echlin Effect
Organizations Adopting "Fix on Failure" Strategy for Y2K
Ready or Not, Y2K is Coming
The Real Y2K Problem

Y2K RESOURCES:

Y2K Kit for Individuals & Communities
Community Mapping Resources for Y2K Risk
Preparedness Risk Matrix
The Home Generator Website

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:

The 1999 Y2K Compliance Glossary
Y to K

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Y2K HEADLINES:

TRAVEL INDUSTRY PASSES CRUCIAL Y2K TEST
(Source: AP, 2/5/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

The computer reservations systems of the major airlines have overcome their first Y2K challenge. Feb. 4 was the first day most airline systems could book tickets for Jan. 1, 2000. "The day has gone by without a hitch. We're very excited it went so smoothly," said Jennifer Hudson of SABRE GROUP, which has 40,000 travel agencies using its reservations system. "We had tested and re-tested for this day for months." WORLDSPAN, an Atlanta-based system owned by DELTA, NORTHWEST AIRLINES and TRANSWORLD AIRLINES, also reported no Y2K-related glitches. The travel industry expects the period around New Year's Eve and Jan. 1, 2000, to be busy, with people heading to celebrations and other gatherings. Cruise packages have been particularly popular for millennium-related celebrations. Lanelle Johnson of CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL in Atlanta said some cruises, particularly to the Caribbean, are already sold out. (JG)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/f/AP-Travel-Y2K.html

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STATE DEPARTMENT WARNS TRAVELING AMERICANS ABOUT Y2K RISKS
(Source: Reuters, 1/30/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

In a notice issued worldwide, the U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT has warned Americans to take special care when traveling abroad at the end of the year or the start of next year because of possible computer-related problems stemming from the change from 1999 to 2000. Transportation could be disrupted, for example, credit card and ATM machines might malfunction, and medical facilities and services might not be available overseas for Americans with special medical requirements. The announcement identified financial services, utilities, telecommunications, transportation as the most likely areas of concern. It did not cite specific countries where problems might occur, saying: "It is difficult to forecast where the Y2K problem will surface and some problems could even appear before January 1, 2000." (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/tc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990130/tc/millennium_2.html

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GROWING Y2K OPTIMISM IN THE WHITE HOUSE
(Source: Allan E. Alter, ONLINE NEWS, 01/29/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

Janet B. Abrams, Executive Director of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, announced recently that 80 percent of the federal government's mission-critical systems will be ready by March 31 and the other 20 percent will be ready five months later. She also said the White House is "feeling more and more confident" there will be no big national outages in the telecommunications and electric system. However, she admitted that there are still questions about the readiness of the health care industry, state and local government, and utilities in rural areas, particularly among the small independent outfits. International Year 2000 readiness is also a "very significant concern," although she feels most Western European countries will be in a "good state of readiness," despite preoccupation with the euro. The White House is also concerned about overreaction by the American public, and while wanting to discourage millions of Americans from running to gas pumps or ATMs on December 31, is "struggling" on how to communicate with the public. (JG)

Link: http://www.computerworld.com/home/news.nsf/all/9901295fine

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BRITISH GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF Y2K COVER UP
(Source: Andrew Craig, VNUNET, 1/29/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

In response to a recent report by ACTION 2000 -- UK's "official" Y2K body -- featuring highlights of the latest survey of Y2K preparedness of British businesses, Robin Guenier, of the independent group TASKFORCE 2000, has accused the government of misleading the public by keeping secret the serious problems the survey exposed. Action 2000 had reported that of the FTSE 500 companies surveyed, 90 percent were "on course" for Year 2000 compliance. But according to Guenier, unpublished figures from the report paint a much darker picture: 20 percent of FTSE 500 companies have not completed an IT inventory -- the first step in checking for Y2K compliance -- and another 45 percent have made little progress beyond an inventory. "Why would a government body want to deliberately mislead us?" demanded Guenier. "If hundreds of businesses are lagging, surely it needs massive publicity." Prime Minister Tony Blair had previously promised to be straight with the public about the state of Y2K progress. "Either the government doesn't understand the situation themselves, or it believes that openness could lead to public panic," continued Guenier. "The priority has to be to recognize facts." (JG)

Link: http://webserv.vnunet.com/www_user/plsql/pkg_vnu_news.homepage?p_story=74268&p_date=29-JAN-99

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CHINA FAR FROM SOLVING Y2K BUG
(Source: AP, 2/3/1999 via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

A Chinese government survey to measure the Y2K readiness of 512 of the nation's leading firms found that 53 percent did not even know how to detect the problem. The findings come just days before the central bank, five major banks and departments overseeing telecommunications and energy take part in a government-supervised test to see if their networks are glitch-free. The banking, securities and futures industries claim they have largely completed their reprogramming, although they are asking for $600 million more to finish the task. Officials doubt government ministries can meet an October 1999 deadline for fixing their systems. Little assistance is being provided to agencies and enterprises outside crucial finance, civil aviation, telecommunications and transport sectors. INFORMATION INDUSTRY Minister Wu Jichuan, who is overseeing the anti-millennium bug efforts, has warned that a glitch in the securities sector alone could affect 100 million people. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ap/technology/story.html?s=v/ap/19990203/tc/
china_millennium_bug_1.html

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INTERNATIONAL Y2K COOPERATION CENTER OPENS
(Source: Robert MacMillan, NEWSBYTES, 2/4/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

On Feb. 5, the world's first INTERNATIONAL Y2K COOPERATION CENTER opened in Washington. John Koskinen, Chairman of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, unveiled the initiative, along with U.N. Pakistani Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, Chairman of the U.N.'s INFORMATICS WORKING GROUP, and Carlos Braga, Director of the InfoDev Program at THE WORLD BANK. The center has been set up to support regional and sectoral efforts to address the Y2K computer problem, promote increased cooperation and action among nations and industries and facilitate greater information sharing on the Y2K issue. The opening of the center follows on the heels of recent announcements from Russia and China that their Year 2000 preparations are considerably behind schedule, and continuing warnings that many businesses and government agencies in the U.S. also are experiencing trouble getting ready. (JG)

Link: http://www.cnnfn.com/digitaljam/newsbytes/125810.html

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ALBERTA TREASURER PLAYING SOFTWARE HARDBALL
(Source: Bob Weber, THE CANADIAN PRESS, 2/2/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

In order to recoup at least some of its growing costs for exterminating the Y2K bug, the Alberta government intends to confront computer-industry giants with the message, "This is your equipment, you supplied it to us, you didn't tell us there was a problem." According to provincial Treasurer Stockwell Day, computer suppliers should deal with the Y2K problem the same as car manufacturers do when they issue recall notices, and fix problems at no cost to the buyer. He is prepared go toe to toe "with manufacturers or Bill Gates himself," if needed. Projected costs for making the Alberta government's 14,000 computers Y2K-compliant have ballooned to nearly $250 million. (JG)

Link: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonNews/es.es-02-02-0014.html

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IRISH COMPANIES FACE SANCTIONS FOR FAILING TO TACKLE Y2K
(Source: Madeleine Lyons, IRISH TIMES, 1/15/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

Ireland's HEALTH AND SAFETY AUTHORITY (HSA) has announced that has extended the powers of its inspectors to impose disciplinary measures if firms fail to tackle the millennium bug problem, even to shutting them down in instances where they believe employees' safety is threatened. At the launch of its new publication, "Are You Ready For the Millennium Bug?" HSA expressed concern that key workplace systems, such as fire alarms and waste treatment, would be affected by the millennium bug. Under the SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELFARE AT WORK ACT every employer is required to do whatever is necessary to provide for "the safety, health and welfare at work of his employees". (JG)

Link: http://www.irish-times.com/irish-times/paper/1999/0115/tech8.html

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YEAR 2000 EARLY-WARNING NETWORK SET UP
(Source: Dave King, NEW ZEALAND INFOTECH WEEKLY, 1/31/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

A Year 2000 early-warning network has been set up in New Zealand. The network will be used to alert the world to computer problems New Zealand may be having on January 1, 2000 as it becomes the first country in the world to enter the new millennium. Email warnings will be sent out to the rest of the world over the Internet, says Ross Stewart, Director of the Auckland-based WILSON WHITE GROUP. He says the network is needed in case things go badly wrong. "The vehicle is there if we have to use it." (JG)

Link: http://www.year2000.co.nz/y2kitw63.htm

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GROUP WON'T PUBLICIZE YEAR 2000 RATINGS
(Source: AP/STAR TELEGRAM, 1/31/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

GLOBAL 2000 COORDINATING GROUP, an international group of banks, securities firms and insurers, has dropped its controversial plan to publicly rate the Year 2000 computer readiness of the world's major trading nations. Critics feared that the rating plan would ignite a flight of capital from low-rated nations, making it even harder for them to head off their Year 2000 computer problems. The influential 250-member group, which meets every six weeks, first announced its intention to rate more than 30 nations at a U.N. meeting in December. The criticism came from federal regulators, some developing nations and some of the group's own members. The group says it now plans to share the information only with the U.N. and the JOINT YEAR 2000 COUNCIL, an international coordinating committee. (JG)

Link: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:BIZ11/1:BIZ11013199.html

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TELECOM RIVALS TO WORK TOGETHER ON YEAR 2000 AUDIT
(Source: Bill Goodwin, COMPUTER WEEKLY NEWS, 1/28/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

About 40 British telecom firms and mobile phone companies have agreed to set aside concerns over confidentiality and allow experts from each others' companies access to minutes of board meetings, internal reports, details of their equipment inventories and the results of their Year 2000 tests. Audit teams will spend two or three days in each company, seeking documentary evidence that the directors have made the progress they claim in tackling the bug. The telephone companies rejected an earlier suggestion to appoint independent firms of auditors, claiming that they know nothing about the industry. Each auditor has signed a non-disclosure agreement which prevents them from profiting from any confidential information. ACTION 2000 and OFTEL requested the audits, which began at the end of January. (JG)

Link: http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/cwarchive/news/19990128/cwcontainer.asp?name=C5.html

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Y2K GLITCH WATCH:

NEBRASKA WATER TREATMENT PLANTS FAIL Y2K TESTS
(Source: TECHWEB, 2/1/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

Shortly after officials tested controllers for Y2K problems at a number of municipal water treatment plants in Nebraska, coliform bacteria showed up in the water systems, meaning some embedded processors aren't ready for the new millennium. There are over 1,000 similar water treatment systems around the country. (JG)

Link: http://www.techweb.com/se/directlink.cgi?CRN19990201S0095

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BUG BITES IN UK
(Source: Richard Woods & Simon Brooke, SUNDAY TIMES (UK), 1/3/1999 via the YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER)

The millennium bug has already had an impact on a number of British organizations. According to the government-funded ACTION 2000: the HALIFAX BUILDING SOCIETY sent out letters to customers informing them of new policies that were valid from 1999 to 1900; an oil company found their dockside crane would not operate because an embedded chip thought it was 100 years overdue for a technical inspection; Canterbury Cathedral encountered problems with booking tourist visits because its computer system could not cope with dates in the Year 2000; similarly, NHS TRUST discovered its computers would not process appointments after December 1999. (JG)

Link: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/99/01/03/stifocnws01005.html?1733620#bug

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NEW YORK CITY'S 911 SYSTEM FAILS
(Source: CNN/AP, 1/1/1999)

New York City's 911 emergency call system crashed for about an hour on Jan. 31 when a routine test cut off power at the call center and a back-up system failed to kick in. Technicians had shut off electricity at the main emergency call center in the city's Brooklyn borough as part of a scheduled test of their emergency generators, but the generators didn't work, and employees could not restart the call-taking system. A backup system which was supposed to transfer emergency calls to police headquarters in Manhattan as soon as the 911 center was off line, took an hour to work. Police Commissioner Howard Safir said it was not yet clear why the backup did not work. "It took an hour, and we'll have to find out from BELL ATLANTIC why." John Bonomo, a Bell Atlantic spokesman, countered that the call-transferring system worked well, but that officials at the 911 center tried to fix the problems there before deciding to forward calls to police headquarters. On an average Sunday morning, about 500 calls come in to 911. [While this was, strictly-speaking, not a Y2K-related glitch, it does demonstrate the vulnerability of the 911 system to disruptions.] (JG)

Link: http://cnn.com/US/9902/01/nyc.911.ap/index.html

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LETTERS:

AN IMPORTANT ISSUE

"Thank you for the article on the National Guard and Y2K in Y2K Report 11. It's an important issue that deserves our concern, thoughtful planning and action. The tone of this article, and your site overall, seem to convey this message well. Your site will be a permanent addition to my home and office bookmarks."

--- Lt. Col. Thomas C. Schultz, Chief, Policy Plans and Leadership Support, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Virginia

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THE TOOLS TO MAKE A POSITIVE TRANSITION

"Your reports have gone from being pleasant, insightful and thought-provoking spiritual musings to crucial, vital-to-our-lives Y2K reports with specific lists, suggestions, addresses, updates -- reports that began to shape our activities and our outlooks. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that NHNE has opened my eyes to the future and given me the tools to make it a positive transition."

--- Bonnie Willow, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Y2K STORIES:

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
(Source: Ed Yardini, THE Y2K REPORTER, 1/25/1999)

Since late 1966, U.S. federal agencies have been required to submit reports every three months to the OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) and Congress on their progress to assess, remediate, test, and implement mission-critical systems against the government-wide goal of having all critical systems Y2K compliant by March 31, 1999.

The most recent quarterly report was tabled on Dec. 7, 1998 with data through Nov. 15, 1998. While the detailed statistics can be found at <http://cio.gov/decdraft6.htm>, Y2K analyst Ed Yardini thought it was important to take a closer look at what the figures said.

Here are some observations:

- Of the 6,696 mission critical systems, 61 percent are now compliant, up from 50 percent in August. At first glance, this progress looks promising; however, during the same time, the total number of systems classified as "mission critical" fell by 647. If the number had remained the same, the completion rate would have been only 55 percent. In the last year, the number of systems designated as "mission critical" has fallen from 8,589 to 6,696 -- eliminating a total of 1,893.

- Given the current progress, only 70 percent of systems will be compliant by March 31, 1999.

- The estimated cost of achieving compliancy has risen from $2.8 billion in May 1997 to $6.4 billion by November 1998.

- Six agencies have been designated by the OMB as "Tier 1," meaning that they are in trouble and face significant challenges, including the Defense Department (DoD), the Internal Revenue Service, the Health Care Finance Administration (Medicare), and the Federal Aviation Administration. DoD alone accounts for one third of all the Government's critical systems.

- The Clinton administration is promising that all departments will be ready in time, and points to Social Security Administration (SSA) as one that is already "officially" 100 percent complete. This claim flies in the face of logic given the previous point, plus the fact that it took SSA ten years to achieve the status of "compliant," which itself is under dispute. (JG)

Link: http://www.yardini.com/

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REPORT FROM DAVOS
(Sources: Ed Yardeni, 1/31/1999; SUNDAY TIMES (UK), 2/2/1999)

Here is an excerpt of a report from Y2K analyst Ed Yardini, who attended the recent WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM in Davos, Switzerland.

"Sunday morning (Jan. 31), I presented a 'Call for Y2K Leadership' to an informal gathering of ministers attending the conference. Just before I spoke, Bill Gates talked very briefly about the unprecedented rate of change in his business....After my short pitch for more leadership, the CEO of one of Mr. Gate's challengers [Scott McNealy, head of SUN MICROSYSTEMS] said that everyone should buy a computer before year end because his company might not get the components needed to build PCs from Asian suppliers who are '1 - 3 years behind' in getting ready for Y2K! On the way to a luncheon, a key Japanese official told me that his government was just starting to think about Y2K contingency plans and was unsure what to do."

McNealy went on to say, "People are talking about stockpiling cash, water and can goods. Given what I, and everybody else in the computer industry, know about Asia, it might not be a bad idea to stockpile some computers for the next millennium." And perhaps the reason Bill Gates doesn't seem to be overly concerned about Y2K is because Microsoft doesn't rely on Asia in order to continue producing software. (JG)

Link: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/99/02/02/timbizbiz01003.htm
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Ed Yardini's Website: http://www.yardini.com/

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WILL THE GPS FAIL?
(Source: Jim Lord, WESTERGAARD 2000, 2/1/1999)

[The following information from Y2K analyst Jim Lord is provided here as a follow up to our article in Y2K Report 10 entitled, "Military GPS Receivers Not Y2K Compliant," in order to clear up any confusion that may still remain about GPS.]

The GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS) is a military system that allows users on the earth to determine location and time with great precision. GPS tells soldiers, airplanes and ships exactly where they are and is also used for the precision guidance of missiles and bombs. The GPS system and its services are available, with reduced accuracy, to non-military users worldwide. Commercial users employ GPS to locate and continuously track airplanes, trucks, taxicabs, buses, railroad cars, and ships. GPS Time is used commercially by organizations such as banks, to track the precise occurrence of very large financial transactions, where even a few minutes worth of interest can amount to a substantial sum. Electrical utilities use GPS Time for the delicate task of synchronizing electrical power from two different sources. The system also enjoys widespread recreational use by campers, hikers, hunters, and fisherman.

GPS consists of three segments: The Ground Segment operates the satellites by continuously monitoring their condition and by making adjustments by remote control to the various onboard subsystems. The Space Segment consists of a network of 24 satellites in orbit 11,000 miles above the earth, equally spaced so that at least four are in view from any place on the earth's surface. The User Segment consists of small radio receivers that gather GPS signals from several satellites at the same time and calculates the user's position and altitude using a mathematical process called triangulation.

In less than seven months, GPS will experience a much-publicized date roll-over problem which arises from the way the system keeps track of time. Two counters are used, one to count weeks and the other to count seconds. The week counter started at zero on January 6, 1980 -- the GPS base date. Each week that passes clicks the counter over one digit up to a maximum of 1,024, at which time the week counter rolls over and starts back at zero again. This "End of Week" (EOW) rollover will occur at midnight on August 21/22, 1999.

The satellites are not about to fail because of the EOW Rollover. The GPS software was designed to count time in this fashion and compensate for the EOW rollover. (According to Lord, the satellites are also ready for the rollover to the Year 2000.) The Ground Segment, on the other hand, was neither Y2K compliant nor EOW compliant; however, all software repairs have been completed and the ground stations are currently in the final stages of testing. It's the User Segment that is in the cause for concern.

Anyone can manufacture GPS receivers; all you need is a copy of the GPS specs and a modest electronics fabrication facility. Around the world, some 60 companies are making GPS receivers with varying levels of quality control. Some poorly-designed GPS receivers not properly programmed to compensate for the EOW rollover will begin giving incorrect position and GPS Time information on August 22, 1999.

No one really knows how bad this problem might be for military and civilian users worldwide, because only a few manufacturers have publicly announced their EOW status. Older systems (manufactured prior to 1994) are more likely to experience the problem, but all systems should be considered suspect until cleared by their manufacturers or tested with the use of satellite simulators. (But to put matters in perspective, Lord points out that compared to the complexities of Y2K, remediating the GPS rollover problem is trivial.)

The bottom line on the GPS problem is that the military and most large commercial users should be fine but small-time users need to be warned about the problem. Most at risk are foreign-registered ships, commercial fishermen, trucking firms, independent shipping companies and recreational users. (JG)

List of GPS manufacturers:
www.navcen.uscg.mil/gps/geninfo/y2k/gpsmanufacturers/manufacturers.html

Link: http://y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9905.htm

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DRUG INDUSTRY PREPARING FOR Y2K STOCKPILING
(Source: Elyse Tanouye, MSNBC/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/1/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

Concerned that consumers will attempt to stockpile critical medicines out of fear that Y2K could disrupt the drug pipeline, more and more pharmaceutical companies are mapping out ways to ramp up production. GLAXO WELLCOME PLC, for example, has been talking to medical professionals and patients to try to gauge the size of the problem. "Because Y2K is unique, there isn't a precedent for it," a Glaxo spokeswoman says. MERCK & CO. admits meeting a sudden surge in demand could be challenging: U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION regulations prevent drug companies from quickly adding capacity or contracting with new raw-material suppliers to respond to a suddenly-changing marketplace. In the event of a run on drugs, Merck says their priorities will be life-sustaining medicines such as for AIDS, and drugs that are important profit generators.

Drug companies, wholesalers and pharmacies are already working out common procedures for manual order taking and claims processing in case of computer failures. In addition, Merck plans to locate inventories of critical drugs closer to patients in case of transportation failures, and Glaxo is devising contingency plans that include backup delivery services used during the UNITED PARCEL SERVICE strike in 1997.

Although people who stockpile run the risk of taking medicines past their expiration dates, most people who depend on medications say they can't risk being caught short. Susan O'Day, Vice President of Information Services at BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO., admits she would tell her own parents, who take various medications: "Make sure you have a reasonable amount on hand."

Ironically, widespread patient panic stemming from fear of the Y2K bug could create more problems than the software problem itself. "We understand people saying, 'If I'm going to hoard cash and food, I'm sure going to hoard medication,'" says Keith Mallonee, Vice President for the Year 2000 project at MCKESSON CORP., the largest drug wholesaler in the U.S. But preventing a run on drugs could be complicated: placing limits on orders, whether from a pharmacy or a patient, could backfire and fuel fears of shortages. Some advocates are urging health plans to relax prescription rules that typically limit medicine quantities to a month's supply or so. Ultimately, says Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R., Utah), Chairman of the Senate's special committee on the Y2K technology problem, the industry has to mount a public-awareness campaign to reassure patients. (JG)

Link: http://www.msnbc.com/news/237375.asp

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COMPAQ-DIGITAL RECANT THEIR CONFIRMATION OF THE CROUCH-ECHLIN EFFECT
(Source: COMPAQ website, 1/31/1999 via Y2K WEEKLY)

In Y2K Reports 2 & 3, NHNE investigated claims of a time-keeping anomaly called the "Crouch-Echlin Effect" that, if true, could have enormous ramifications for Y2K compliancy. On Nov. 16, 1998, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000 reported that COMPAQ COMPUTER had confirmed the anomaly and had acquired the rights to the software developed by Crouch and Echlin to rectify the problem. Now, according to the following responses to frequently-asked questions on Compaq's own website, it seems the computer giant has reversed its position.

Q: What is the Crouch-Echlin effect?

A: The Crouch-Echlin effect is a reported time-keeping anomaly when a system clock is set after the Year 2000. It was reportedly discovered by computer user Jace Crouch and described by programmer Michael Echlin. Echlin hypothesized that the Crouch-Echlin effect was caused by a BIOS choosing a new execution path after the Year 2000 and incorrectly programming the system's Real Time Clock (RTC).

Q: What is Compaq doing about the Crouch-Echlin effect?

A: Compaq attempted to duplicate the Crouch-Echlin effect on Compaq systems and conducted a thorough engineering review. However, Compaq has not seen evidence of the Crouch-Echlin effect during testing or in discussions with other system manufacturers. In addition, Compaq worked closely with Intel Corporation during Intel's investigation of this effect. Compaq is in agreement with Intel's findings.

Q: Didn't Compaq previously confirm the existence of time dilation (TD) and offer a software fix for sale?

A: Consultants at the Compaq Services Year 2000 Expertise Center in Albany, NY, observed what initially appeared to be the TD phenomenon on a PC that was not made by Compaq or Digital. At that time, the Albany Center acquired the rights to resell the TD tools created by Mike Echlin in an effort to service customers whose PCs came from a variety of manufacturers. Since Compaq is unable to recreate the TD effect, we are not offering any TD-related tools. Compaq will continue to evaluate this issue and will take appropriate steps, if needed. (JG)

Intel's white paper on the analysis of the Crouch-Echlin effect: http://www.intel.com/support/year2000/

Link: http://www.compaq.com/year2000/faq3.html

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ORGANIZATIONS ADOPTING "FIX ON FAILURE" STRATEGY FOR Y2K
(Source: Chuck Lanza, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 1/15/1999)

Rather than remediating their systems now, some organizations are adopting a "fix on failure" (FOF) strategy for Y2K, which, as the name implies, involves waiting for failures to occur before taking action. In turn, some local governments are adopting a "respond on failure" (ROF) strategy for dealing with Y2K-induced emergencies, based on the premise that all disruptions will have a viable and timely response. Y2K analyst Chuck Lanza is not a subscriber to the FOF and ROF propositions, stating that "failure to deploy resources prior to the event could be catastrophic."

Exercises have demonstrated that communities can respond to routine or Level One failures (i.e., flashing traffic signals, computer viruses, stuck elevators, and disruptions in the delivery of prescriptions). What they fail to demonstrate is the ability to prevent Level Two threats: those affecting special populations. There are three special populations in every community that are extremely vulnerable to Y2K related failures:

1. the frail elderly
2. people with deficient housing
3. people who are oxygen and electrically dependent.

Level One failures quite often lead to Level Two failures; for example, when a power disruption leads to a cessation of ventilators and heating, the cascade of events can be life threatening. Lanza says that providing shelter for these populations is the key to success. In addition, prior to January 1, 2000, alternative methods to deliver health and medical care must be identified and established, and casualty collection points (CCPs) and community emergency response teams (CERTs) should be organized, trained, publicized, and deployed. Residents must know where they can go if they experience a problem and customary response personnel, such as law enforcement, ambulance, and fire, are not available.

CERTs was initiated by the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY and provides local citizen groups the ability to render first aid, search and rescue, and fire suppression. The program provides an excellent vehicle for the establishment of alternative response capabilities in the community. (JG)

http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/GL/CL/gl9902.htm

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READY OR NOT, Y2K IS COMING
(Source: Sen. Robert Bennett, Y2KTODAY, 1/27/1999, thanks to Liza Christian)

The following edited excerpts are from an article written by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah and Chairman of the Senate's YEAR 2000 COMMITTEE) for Y2KTODAY:

"The press tends to characterize Y2K as one of two extremes: they either focus on the most dire Y2K predictions or they summarily dismiss Y2K as a non-issue. Both approaches are wrong. The first road leads to public alarm, or even panic, the consequences of which could be even worse than those caused by the Y2K technological problem itself. The second road is equally dangerous. Deceptively smooth and far easier to traverse in the short term, it leads to a precipice that will not be seen until there is no time left to change direction. Each day brings us closer to the brink, and there are no brakes on the vehicle in which we are traveling."

"Y2K is an event that has potentially massive and unpredictable economic, social, and geopolitical ramifications. Our government is not going to get all of its critical systems fixed in time for the century change. State and local systems that process Federal benefit checks are not likely to be fully remediated. County-operated "911" systems may have failures. Many companies, like CHEVRON and GENERAL MOTORS, are now conceding that they cannot guarantee their service as of January 1, 2000. Even John Koskinen, Chairman of THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, has publicly acknowledged that the time to begin Y2K remediation is past. Everyone -- business leaders, politicians, community leaders, and families -- needs to begin calmly and rationally preparing."

"Our challenge as a nation and a world community over the next 338 days is clear. We must acknowledge that we are, indeed, facing a crisis. We must look at each component of the problem and act rationally to find acceptable solutions. This is certainly not the time to begin bunkering down with propane tanks and money-stuffed mattresses, but we should begin treating the century date change as the real, but manageable, crisis that it is."

"And because the precise dimensions of this problem will not be known until the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, we must focus on contingency planning. Most importantly, we must face this crisis together, at the community, national, and global level."

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?feature=true&id=736

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THE REAL Y2K PROBLEM
(Source: J.D. Tuccille, THE MINING COMPANY, 1/29/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

The man best characterized as the town crier of Y2K, says he is now satisfied at the pace with which people are fixing the problem -- at least across North America -- and has backed away from predictions of serious computer problems and resulting social chaos with the coming of the new year. That's not to say that Peter de Jager doesn't see threats in Y2K, but the threat he sees now includes prophets of doom with personal agendas and media types who popularize their apocalyptic predictions. Here are some edited excerpts from questions asked de Jager (PdJ) by Y2K reporter J.D. Tuccille (JDT).

JDT: "Take "Operation Abacus," the Canadian government's plan to deploy troops in the nation's cities and naval vessels in its ports to deal with potential Y2K problems and social unrest at the rollover, or the fact that several U.S. states plan similar deployments for the National Guard: is it a violation of our civil liberties when the "establishment" responds with either military or police forces to quell/control these disturbances?"

PdJ: "I don't want to live in a world which is ruled by the mob, and [where] any organized attempt to protect ourselves is seen as a violation of individual rights. If there are riots, then I want the "establishment" to protect my person and my property from the raging hordes. If the suggestion is that the government is seizing this opportunity to wrest control from the people and place us under the steel boot of oppression, then I will respectfully bow out of the conversation, because I don't buy into that form of conspiracy-induced paranoia. I see nothing wrong with being prepared, at any time, for civil unrest.

JDT: "What do you think of Y2K analyst Ed Yourdon's concern that the U.S. FDIC's proposed 'Know Your Customer' regulation, which requires bankers to report to federal regulators on their customers' financial habits, could be used to track people who prepare for the turn of the year by salting away extra cash?"

PdJ: "The banking system we use and benefit from, is one which does not allow/enable/permit all of us to possess all our individual wealth in cold hard cash. This is the system we're currently using and is currently working to our advantage. I find it difficult to find fault with any plan which works to ensure that our wealth is not lost in a flash of unreasoned panic."

JDT: "Do you believe that Gary North and others at the more pessimistic end of the Y2K spectrum may actually be trying to encourage government overreaction?"

PdJ: "There are people who are recommending we take all our money out of the banks in preparation for Y2K -- deliberately, with malice aforethought, trying to create a situation which brings down the banking system. I object to that strategy of deception and fear-mongering. I consider [Gary North] the biggest problem right now because he is banging the drum of Apocalypse -- and not for the first time. North belongs to the CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTIONIST movement, which wants to impose a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. When Carter occupied the White House, North issued statements about impending nuclear war that he may simply have rewarmed for the Year 2000 problem."

Tuccille adds that Y2K analysts and reporters may find themselves in a troubling conundrum: "If panic over Y2K reaches policy-making heights and elicits silly or even dangerous responses from the powers-that-be, are those of us who publicly object, acting as tools of the doomsayers by raising fears about them? Or are we doing a worse disservice by letting the matter slide to avoid serving Gary North's weird agenda?" That's the REAL Y2K problem. (JG)

Link: http://civilliberty.miningco.com/library/weekly/aa012999.htm

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Y2K RESOURCES:

Y2K KIT FOR INDIVIDUALS & COMMUNITIES

Written by David Goldberg and the Institute of Noetic Sciences Staff, this three-part special report provides a wonderful overview of Y2K and provides links to the planet's most important Y2K-related articles, organizations, and information. Rated "Four Mice" on the wild2k website, this Y2K overview also contains information about NHNE and wild2k. (DS)

Link: http://www.noetic.org/Ions/community/y2k.asp

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COMMUNITY MAPPING RESOURCES FOR Y2K RISK
(Source: Michael R. Meuser, Y2KNOW, 1/24/1999, thanks to John Steiner)

For quite some time now, Michael Meuser has been assembling the resources needed for community groups to do Y2K risk analysis and explore, communicate, and compare the hazards they face using maps and the GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS). Several recent developments have made it possible for communities across the country to acquire the means to do this:

1. ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ESRI) has released "ArcExplorer," a free GIS program.

2. ESRI and MANIFOLD.NET now provide free downloads of "Tiger 95" map layers (streets, demographics, streams, census tracts).

3. A great deal of toxicity data has become available on CD-ROM and on the Internet that has the necessary geographic information required to use it in a GIS program. One program that looks very promising is "Manifold." It is very inexpensive and promises to be very easy to use, comprehensive, and flexible.

You can download ArcExplorer from Meuser's website. He also provides links to ESRI's Tiger download page and Manifold.net's Free Data page for Tiger 95 map layers. Meuser has also extracted and converted a great deal of data to ArcExplorer and ArcView formats, including hazardous waste facilities and nuclear facilities, power plants, and processing plants. Other layers available now include: Federal and Indian land, airports, dams, volcano and earthquake zones. Toxic layers coming soon include: toxic river sediments, contaminated fish advisories, and pesticide use. (JG)

Free Manifold download: http://www.manifold.net

Michael Meuser's Website: http://www.mapcruzin.com/

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PREPAREDNESS RISK MATRIX
(Source: Y2KNEWSWIRE website via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)

Because the world lacks solid information on the likely outcome of the Year 2000 problem, formulating a strategic preparation plan that minimizes risks is rather difficult. Exactly what kind of preparations are necessary? The AMERICAN RED CROSS recommends a one-week supply of food, water, medicine and cash; Y2KNEWSWIRE recommends a minimum 30-day supply; some Y2K analysts recommend a one-year supply. The key question for most people is: How much do I bet on this Y2K computer failure? If you sell everything, move to the country, buy a year's supply of food, and learn to raise chickens, and then Y2K turns out to be a small thing, you can't easily reclaim your pre-Y2K lifestyle. On the other hand, if you only stock up with a one-week supply of food and water, and Y2K turns out to be a six-month event, you could die.

Y2KNEWSWIRE has created a risk matrix to describe the risks associated with various levels of preparedness. Y2K analyst Larry Sanger calls it "a must-read analysis of risk reduction for Y2K." Check it out at: <http://www.y2knewswire.com/riskmatrix.htm>, and then follow your intuition as to what preparations you feel you should make. (JG)

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THE HOME GENERATOR WEBSITE
(Source: The HOME GENERATOR website via GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS)

If you own a home generator, or are planning to buy one, the HOME GENERATOR website may prove to be a useful resource. Says the webmaster, "Supplies of good generators are already tight and lead times are getting longer every day. My guess is that by summer of 1999 when the somnambulant American people figure out that the juice may not be happening during the middle of the next winter, you won't be able to get a generator for love nor money." He recommends, "Get one while the getting is good, or plan on spending a part of the winter on the floor of your local armory." The site features classified ads, pointers on selecting a generator, the relative merits of the various fuels, safety, fuel treatment and storage, generator operation, maintenance and repair. In addition, the site provides links to 14 different generator manufacturers, sales/service outlets, and a review of generator rental outlets. And for bona fide geeks, there is even a section called, "stupid generator tricks." (JG)

Link: http://209.52.183.182/agitator/juice_page.htm

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THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:

THE 1999 Y2K COMPLIANCE GLOSSARY
(Source: Y2KNEWSWIRE, 1/6/1999)

As a public service, Y2KNEWSWIRE has published a Y2K glossary of the TRUE meaning behind common Y2K expressions you hear regularly thrown around. Here are some examples:

"Y2K ready": "We're not Y2K compliant."

"Well along": "We have no idea where we are in the remediation process."

"On track": "We have some evidence of progress, but not enough to claim we'll actually make it."

"Taking steps": "We're not quite doing nothing."

"A plan is in place": "We haven't taken any action yet."

"Plans are underway": "Somebody, somewhere has a plan."

"Evaluating alternatives": "Thinking about resigning"

"Reasonably confident": "We're really not sure."

"We started on [date]": "We want to distract you from the fact that we're still not finished by trying to impress you with how early we started." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2knewswire.com/19990106.htm

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Y TO K
(Source: David Tresemer, 2/2/1999, thanks to John Steiner)

I hope I haven't misunderstood your instructions, because, to be honest, none of this "Y to K" problem makes any sense to me. At any rate, I have finished converting the company calendars so that the Year 2000 is ready to go with the following new months:

Januark
Februark
Mak
Julk (JG)

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Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth

Please feel free to share this report with as many people as you like. If you do share this report with others, we ask that you reproduce it in its entirety (including all credits, copyright notices and addresses), not alter its contents in any way, and pass it on to others free of charge.

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Founder & Publisher: David Sunfellow (DS)
Editor-in-Chief: James Gregory (JG)
Secretary/Treasurer: Diane (Di) Ayers

NHNE Y2K Research Team: Sherry Stultz (SJS), Robert Sniadach (RS), Einiyah ben-Elyon (EBE), David La Chapelle (DLC), Lance Botthof (LB), Kathleen Blake (KB)

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