NHNE Y2K Report 28
Sunday, June 6, 1999
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"
NHNE Y2K Report 28
Sunday, June 6, 1999
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IT'S ABOUT TIME
"Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve
you better, and to please you."
--- Menu of Restaurant Antoine, New Orleans
"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time
than for all other causes combined."
--- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., "The Mythical Man-Month"
[For more Y2K quotes, see the "Y2K Stories" section.]
Canada Fears Y2K Disaster for NATO Allies
Firms Prepare Y2K Crisis Centers
Four At-Risk Agencies Claim Y2K Progress
Australian Utility Company Can't Guarantee Power In the New Year
European Airports Heading for Millennium Computer Crash
Olympic Agencies Not Prepared for Y2K
Y2K Spending Falls As UK Firms Focus on Euro Work
Governors Enter Regional Y2K Compact
Food Banks Prepare for Y2K Shortages
Senator Bennett Stocking Up On Water
Y2K Glitches Could Shut Down Oil Refineries
Washington Post Gets Bitten by the Y2K Bug
Politics Decided Action Over Y2K Software
We Are In the Endgame
Ed Yourdon Bids Farewell to Y2K Scene
Tom Atlee on the Departure of Yourdon
Naval War College Dos and Don'ts List for Dealing with Y2K
Y2K Fact and Fiction
Las Vegas Not Taking Chances on Y2K Glitches
Build Your Own Power Generator
Tips for Using Kerosene Heaters
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
Microsoft Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure
THIS WEEK'S NEWS SOURCES
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CANADA FEARS Y2K DISASTER FOR NATO ALLIES
(Source: Martin Mittelstaedt, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, 5/14/1999)
Recently-disclosed briefing notes prepared for the Canadian Defense
Minister and Chief of Defense Staff have revealed that the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
sees a serious weaknesses in the NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION's
planning for Y2K computer problems. Canada claims it alerted NATO communications
experts to the Y2K computer problem in 1996, but "as late as May,
1998, the NATO international board of auditors was unaware (due to an
administrative error) of any NATO communication information systems
effort on the Year 2000 problem." According to the notes, "One
of the major concerns with the Year 2000 problem is that regardless
of what Canada does, unless our NATO allies are also compliant, there
is a real possibility that operations with those allies will be at risk."
The notes indicate a frustration within Canada that NATO isn't taking
the Y2K problem seriously enough. The computer switchover is described
as "the most complex problem existing within the federal government,"
and the recommendation is made that "Canada reinforce the necessity
that Year 2000 be made a top priority within NATO." There is also
concern from the military that the government has an impractical view
of the Defense Department's ability to manage any fallout from the Y2K.
"There is the real possibility that the limited capacity of the
[Canadian Forces] to manage the consequences of the Y2K effects may
be unrealistically overestimated. This must be put into proper perspective
ASAP so that the government (as well as provinces) doesn't put too much
reliance on the [Canadian Forces]." The military also worries that
confusion caused by the Y2K problem could lead to what one document
referred to as "potential foreign threats to Canada/North America."
FIRMS PREPARE Y2K CRISIS CENTERS
(Sources: Tim Wilson, INTERNETWEEK, 5/31/1999, Bob Gilmour, THE EDMONTON
Recognizing that they won't be able to fix all of their Year 2000 problems
in time, about 85 percent of Fortune 1000 companies surveyed by CAP
GEMINI AMERICA plan to build Y2K command centers for assessing damage
caused by the date bug and for managing business recovery efforts. That
figure is up from 40 percent in November 1998. For many large organizations,
crisis management is the next logical step in preparing for Year 2000
problems, said Kate Kaiser, senior adviser in GIGA INFORMATION GROUP's
Year 2000 IT Practices group. "They've already done contingency
planning, which takes them through all the different scenarios that
could occur. Now they have to set up a command center to control the
implementation of those plans." The City of Orlando, Florida, for
example, will activate its Emergency Operations Center on or about Dec.
28, according to John Matelski, Assistant Director of Technology Management
for the city government. "Though we anticipate a smooth rollover,
the uncertainty surrounding the complexity and enormity of the millennium
bug dictates that we monitor and manage all aspects of our critical
operations." Similarly, the Canadian army has set up a 24-hour
operational nerve center in Edmonton to handle domestic crises in Western
Canada. The operations center can accommodate 40 military personnel,
including medical, engineering, logistics, law and policing experts.
Most business command centers will not be run by their IT departments,
but by business management, says Jim Woodward, head of Cap Gemini America's
TRANSMILLENNIUM SERVICES group. "A lot of what will happen at these
command centers will be dealing with customers and suppliers, which
is primarily a business function." However, the job of tracking
outages and repairing faults is likely to fall to IT managers. (JG)
FOUR AT-RISK AGENCIES CLAIM Y2K PROGRESS
(Source: Orlando De Bruce, FCW, 5/31/1999)
Four federal agencies that were seriously lagging in their Year 2000
fixes just a few months ago are now claiming remarkable progress in
repairing their critical systems. The OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
(OMB) plans to release their ninth quarterly report later this month
highlighting the efforts agencies have made since March in fixing federal
computers for the Year 2000 bug: The STATE DEPARTMENT, which only had
61 percent of their 59 critical systems compliant in March is now claiming
100 compliance. Similarly, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) is claiming
99 percent compliance for its 284 critical systems, which were only
87 percent finished in March. The DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT (DOT) says
that 92 percent of their 608 critical systems are now finished, of which
only 53 percent were completed in March. In March, none of the seven
critical systems of the U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
was compliant; one month later three were. In addition, all of the critical
systems at the HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION are fixed and have
been re-installed, and the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION has re-installed
80 percent of its 423 mission-critical systems and says it is on target
to be finished by June 30. With most government departments at or close
to compliancy, OMB plans to shift the focus of future quarterly reports
to other Year 2000 issues that could impact the federal government,
such as "contingency plans and efforts in the high-impact programs
and state-administered programs," according to Jack Gribben, a
spokesman for the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION. (JG)
AUSTRALIAN UTILITY COMPANY CAN'T GUARANTEE POWER IN THE NEW YEAR
(Source: Stan Beer, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, 5/31/1999)
In what is claimed to be the most detailed public disclosure from an
Australian power utility about the millennium bug, Victoria's biggest
electricity distributor has stated that it cannot guarantee uninterrupted
supply of electricity next year. POWERCOR, which supplies electricity
to much of western part of the state, estimates that it will not finish
key parts of its Y2K program until September. This contrasts with previous
claims by the Victorian electricity industry that it would be Y2K compliant
by the end of 1998. Powercor cites its dependence on the performance
of non-compliant electricity generators and transmission companies as
one reason for not being able to guarantee supply. In its 2000 disclosure
statement, the utility also mentioned that it has still not finished
testing its field equipment for Y2K compliance. (JG)
EUROPEAN AIRPORTS HEADING FOR MILLENNIUM COMPUTER CRASH
(Source: Stephen Bevan and Lois Jones, THE SUNDAY TIMES (UK), 5/23/1999)
Some of Europe's busiest airports and air traffic control centers have
fallen seriously behind in their plans to deal with the millennium bug,
according to an investigation by the SUNDAY TIMES (UK). In Britain,
London's Luton has been pinpointed as the airport giving greatest cause
for concern, and according to one insider, may have to close over the
new year. Gary Miles, of PA CONSULTING, said the situation with the
three Paris airports was equally worrying. "They really ought to
be well into final testing." In Spain, 30 percent of computer systems
in the country's 40 airports and five air traffic control centers have
yet to be tested and flaws had been found in software that processes
the flight plans of aircraft. Italy faces similar problems. Naples,
Italy's third-busiest airport, with 3.5 million passengers a year, said
it did not expect to complete the work until June next year. Rome's
Leonardo da Vinci airport said that a fifth of their software had yet
to be checked. Spokesman Carlo Pietro Santi said that any work outstanding
at the end of June would have to wait until the end of September. "We
will not risk disrupting our computer systems during peak season."
Experts are predicting chaos, and warning that passengers could be at
risk. The same airports are believed to feature in an "at risk"
list being drawn up by the INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION (IATA).
IATA is spending $18 million on the study of 331 airports and 134 air
traffic control centers around the world, but has provoked anger for
refusing to reveal its findings until after Jan. 1, 2000. (JG)
OLYMPIC AGENCIES NOT PREPARED FOR Y2K
(Source: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/AP, 5/15/1999)
The OLYMPIC ROADS AND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY (ORTA), responsible for managing
transport at Sydney's 2000 Olympics, is running behind schedule according
to a recent report from the New South Wales government rating readiness
and planning. The report found that ORTA had only progressed 10 percent
towards compliance for the Y2K bug. An ORTA spokesman responded to the
report with the assurance that all Y2K provisions would be in place
on time. The report also found that three other authorities, including
the OLYMPIC COORDINATION AUTHORITY, were also seriously behind in their
Y2K planning. State Minister for Information Technology, Kim Yeadon,
has set Oct. 31 as the deadline for full Y2K compliance. With thousands
of athletes and officials traveling from hundreds of countries to Australia,
some analysts are predicting that Y2K problems could seriously disrupt
the 2000 Olympics, and possibly even force their postponement. (JG)
Y2K SPENDING FALLS AS UK FIRMS FOCUS ON EURO WORK
(Source: John Riley, COMPUTER WEEKLY NEWS, 5/13/1999)
Spending on remedial Year 2000 work this year in the UK will be down
20 percent from last year according to the annual COMPUTER WEEKLY/KEW
ASSOCIATES 1999 IT EXPENDITURE SURVEY. All vertical sectors show negative
growth in spending; for example, the insurance sector expects to spend
49 percent less than last year, and the utilities will be spending 42
percent less. Although spending on Year 2000 is down this year, users
are still showing caution and protecting themselves in various ways:
hardware growth will be just half that of last year, while growth in
software spending is expected to drop fivefold from 21 percent last
year to 4.7 percent this year. The silver lining is in euro conversions
where spending is expected to increase by 34 percent. The retailing
sector alone plans to spend 179 percent more than last year. (JG)
GOVERNORS ENTER REGIONAL Y2K COMPACT
(Source: FCW, Jennifer Jones, 6/3/1999)
Under a series of "cross-licensing agreements," the governors
of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware have announced
their intention to share Year 2000 resources and coordinate efforts
to prepare the public for the millennial date change. The joint Year
2000 proclamation grew out of interstate collaboration discussed at
a recent meeting of utility and telecommunications regulatory officials.
"The spirit of the proclamation is to encourage states to think
regionally and not just statewide in preparing for Y2K," said Scott
Elliott, a spokesman for the PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY. "There is no sense in each of our states replicating
the same Y2K preparedness work when we can save time and resources by
working together." (JG)
FOOD BANKS PREPARE FOR Y2K SHORTAGES
(Source: Siobhan Loughran, THE OREGONIAN, 6/2/1999)
With relief agencies and Y2K analysts recommending stockpiles of anywhere
from three days to one year's worth of food, the choice of how much
food to store is a personal one. But what about the folks who can't
prepare for a food emergency because they don't have the resources?
During the winter floods of 1996, the OREGON FOOD BANK distributed 500,000
pounds of food to agencies with the help of community partners such
as the TEAMSTERS and SECOND HARVEST. But Second Harvest has since had
to deal with other natural disasters nationwide, such as hurricanes,
so the agency's emergency food fund has been depleted, as is Oregon's.
As a result, the Oregon Food Bank is preparing a disaster fund that
will deal with food and water shortages that might arise in January.
The goal is to not allow the Y2K response to interfere with the food
bank's regular food distribution. According to food bank spokesperson
Amy Stork, food banks need food donations before the end of this year
to build up their reserves. However, should disruptions at the dawn
of the new year be not as great as you had planned, your local food
bank would also be happy to relieve you of all those extra bags of rice
and beans cluttering up your closets. (JG)
SENATOR BENNETT STOCKING UP ON WATER
(Source: Stephen Barr, THE WASHINGTON POST, 6/1/1999)
Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), Chairman of the SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE
ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM, has publicly announced he plans
to stockpile water in a 55-gallon drum at his Salt Lake City home --
just to be on the safe side. In the past, Bennett indicated that he
was following a more modest strategy, focusing on a few extra cans of
food, flashlights and batteries. For community groups and others worried
about Y2K, the senator's statement serves as a barometer on the evolving
dimensions of the millennium bug. "Everyone needs to be able to
prepare based on information they've gathered about their own community's
Y2K preparedness," Bennett said through a spokesman. (JG)
Y2K GLITCHES COULD SHUT DOWN OIL REFINERIES
(Source: E. L. Core, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 6/2/1999)
"The INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY (IEA) is the forum for 24 member
countries committed to taking joint measures to meet oil supply emergencies.
They have agreed to share energy information, coordinate energy policies
and to cooperate in the development of rational energy programs. Here
are some edited excerpts from an IEA working paper entitled. "The
Year 2000 Problem and the Oil Industry -- Refining":
"A pilot inventory and assessment of a catalytic cracker and co-generation
plant in the U.S. revealed 1,035 systems of which 21 percent were not
Y2K compliant and 6 percent that would lead to serious plant shutdowns
or reduced production capabilities. The catalytic cracker would fail,
rendering the refinery incapable of making gasoline. Given the widespread
use of catalytic crackers in modern refineries, questions must inevitably
be raised about their reliability in other refineries. For the co-generation
plant, 19 percent of the hardware, 36 percent of the software and 24
percent of the custom code was found to be non-compliant."
"In late 1997, one oil company's engineers testing valve control
equipment in their refineries discovered thousands of terminals controlling
the dispensation of oil to have microchips with Y2K problems. All of
the chips required replacement. However, it was discovered that the
replacement chips would not fit on the existing motherboards. It was
therefore necessary to order both new chips and motherboards. Worse
still, the replacement motherboards were found not to fit the old valves,
so the valves themselves had to be replaced. This example demonstrates
how a Y2K problem can escalate beyond the original fault to include
systems that may actually be compliant. An item's Y2K compliancy is
therefore no guarantee that its replacement will not be necessitated
by problems arising in other equipment." (JG)
WASHINGTON POST GETS BITTEN BY THE Y2K BUG
(Source: WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/31/1999)
Despite spending millions of dollars and four years preparing for the
Y2K bug, Washington DC's largest newspaper is still unable to accept
52-week subscription renewals because its accounting department is not
yet Y2K compliant. "We are getting all new software and a brand
new computer to handle this problem," said WASHINGTON POST spokesperson
Linda Erdos, who predicts the paper will resume offering 52-week subscriptions
in July. (JG)
POLITICS DECIDED ACTION OVER Y2K SOFTWARE
(Source: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 5/12/1999)
In an inquiry into the Hong Kong airport fiasco, lawmakers were puzzled
why the AIRPORT AUTHORITY had not accepted a recommendation from the
Chinese CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT to stipulate that software contracts
awarded from 1994 to 1998 had to be Y2K compliant. Chief Executive Billy
Lam Chung-lun explained, "The authority was set up amid a complicated
and difficult political environment. We had to be extremely cautious
in cost control. If we laid the demand in our tendering, the costs would
have been significantly pushed up." Meanwhile, $44.5 million had
to be spent last year to hire a security firm to perform guard duty
due to a failure in the security system controlling access to restricted
areas. Lam said the authority was reviewing the contractual obligations
and would try to recover the money. (JG)
WE ARE IN THE ENDGAME
(Source: Andy van Roon, COALITION 2000 LISTSERV, thanks to Tom Atlee)
The idea of assuming that most people are not going to prepare for Y2K
and it, therefore, will fall to those who do prepare to help those who
don't, seems like an idea whose time has come. Here are some edited
excerpts from an informative, interesting, and refreshing posting about
community welfare on the Coalition 2000 Listserv:
"The process of creating our documentary video -- "Y2K Family
Survival Guide" hosted by Leonard Nimoy -- provided us with a comprehensive
array of perspectives from around the country, including key entities
in Washington D.C. such as Senator Robert Bennett, Congressman Steve
Horn, Lee Holcomb of NASA, and John Koskinen, [Chairman of the PRESIDENT'S
COUNCIL ON Y2K CONVERSION]."
"After dialoguing with Koskinen both on and off camera, I came
away with the distinct impression that he was executing a mandate thoroughly
worked out by a group at a higher level of authority than his own. [It
is] my personal feeling [that] President Clinton and Vice President
Gore have been deliberately silent on the issue because: it is utterly
unique in the history of humankind; no one knows exactly how to deal
with such a potentially catastrophic phenomenon; and it can only be
an educated gamble regarding whether a large-scale public campaign surrounding
Y2K will do more harm than good. [Therefore,] the White House policy
is to work as hard as it can behind the scenes to assess and fix or
otherwise mitigate Y2K problems, while throwing a warm blanket over
"The situation facing the White House would not be too dissimilar
to being in a football stadium with 90,000 fans, where the stadium management
discovers a series of electrical shorts and consequent fires around
the perimeter of the stadium, any one of which might burn the stadium
to the ground and take a significant part of the crowd with it. The
strategic sequence is to try to stop the source of the electrical problems,
then put out some of the fires while they're still containable, then,
if necessary, gradually move out blocks of the crowd closest to whatever
fires may occur. The last thing management wants to do is blare on the
loudspeakers that there are a number of fires occurring that will soon
burn the house down. The trampling might kill more people than whatever
fire might break out."
"I do not think this official approach will change. Unfortunately,
if we were in the White House with countless scenarios and projections
before us as to possible Y2K outcomes, and saddled with the responsibility
for possible public panic and the widespread negative effects that could
result, we might find ourselves deciding to do exactly the same thing,
not only because an aggressive public campaign might prove disastrous,
but because there are so many alternative scenarios that we'd find ourselves
short-circuiting on the possibilities."
"Let's face it, relative to the 40- to 50-year arc of Y2K, we are
in the endgame of this phenomenon, and it's just getting too damn late
to banter endlessly back and forth about who's not doing what. [We]
need to clear the way for preparation and contingency planning, and
distribute practical information to the American public about how to
prepare for whatever may occur. In Nashville, we've [drawn up] a very
simple Y2K Prep Sheet. We are planning a general meeting to present
these Y2K prep sheets to community leaders of all types, who could,
in turn, hold their own meetings in their respective constituencies,
and pass out hundreds of the Y2K prep sheets. This model could easily
work around the country over the next several months." (JG)
--- Andy van Roon, board member of NASHVILLE PREP 2000
Coalition 2000 Website: http://www.coalition2000.org
ED YOURDON BIDS FAREWELL TO Y2K SCENE
(Sources: Gary North, GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND FORUMS, 6/1 1999; Victor
Porlier, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 5/19/1999; Ed Yourdon, personal website,
thanks to Bill Dale)
As reported in Y2K Report 27, Y2K analyst Ed Yourdon has said good-bye
as a public figure in the Y2K scene, explaining that he has done everything
he can do to raise the alarm of Y2K, and will now focus on personal
and community preparations. Here are some edited excerpts from his farewell
"Y2K has been part of my life since early 1995 and has occupied
nearly every waking moment since the summer of 1997. I've co-authored
two books, written dozens of articles and essays, spoken at hundreds
of seminars, conferences, meetings, and gatherings. I could continue
doing the same thing over and over again, but I would be repeating myself.
More important, I would be preaching to the choir. Those whose opinion
and outlook on Y2K are compatible with mine would nod their head in
agreement, and those whose opinion and outlook are incompatible with
mine would shake their head in disbelief, just as they have for the
past four years."
"More than just hardening of positions, though, I sense an increasing
degree of confrontation and hostility between the two camps. It's reflected
in flame wars on the Internet discussion groups; emotional rhetoric
in the statements of government officials and media articles (e.g.,
warnings against 'frivolous stockpiling'); McCarthy-esque threats by
both sides that 'we're taking names' in preparation for some kind of
undescribed post-Y2K retribution against those who express an opposing
point of view; and, overall, a sharp decline in civility. I expect this
to continue for the remainder of the year, and I don't think it's a
productive use of my time (or anyone else's) to continue attempting
to respond to messages and commentary whose purpose often seems to be
'ignore the message, shoot the messenger.'"
"Those who want me to continue participating in the public debate
sometimes ask me, 'But isn't it possible that things will change in
the final months of Y2K?' And the optimists ask a roughly similar question:
'Yes, I agree that things look bad, but don't you agree that with a
lot of hard work, we can redouble our efforts, achieve a quantum leap
in productivity, and make enough progress in these last few months to
avert disaster?' To which my answer is, quite simply, 'No.' I believe
that we are entering the 'endgame' of Y2K, and that the outcome isn't
likely to be changed significantly because of last-minute strategies,
edicts, proclamations, or demands for deathmarch-style overtime on the
part of programmers."
"About the only thing that's still an option, both for organizations
and for individuals, is contingency planning and preparations for some
degree of disruptions. But again, this involves preaching to the choir:
those who believe it makes sense to develop and implement contingency
plans, are already doing so -- indeed, some 90 percent of private-sector
organizations are planning 'control centers' to cope with whatever problems
arise. It's possible that there will be a last-minute surge in preparedness
activities, especially at the personal level; but it probably won't
happen until this fall, at which point it will lead to the very phenomenon
of shortages and panics that government spokesmen have been warning
about. Meanwhile, it's going to be a long, hot, quiet summer of Y2K-denial,
unless some significant, undeniable, tangible event occurs."
"In terms of personal responsibility, I am my brother's keeper
-- actually, five sisters for whom I feel a sense of responsibility,
along with my children, my wife, and my parents. I also feel some degree
of responsibility for my neighbors and my community -- partly because
I have a personal relationship with many of them, and also because it
will do little good for my family to be personally prepared if my neighbors
are not. Beyond that -- i.e., at the state, national, or global level
-- I've been happy to spend a considerable amount of my time and effort
helping those who are helping themselves. But there comes a time when
it seems appropriate to say, 'Okay, I've done my best to tell you what's
going on. Now it's up to you to decide what you're going to do about
it.' For me, that time has come. Meanwhile, my best wishes for everyone
as we move into the Y2K endgame. I'll see you on the other side."
Ed Yourdon joins the swelling ranks of Y2K analysts who have recently
dropped out of the public eye, including Jim Lord, Sheri Nakken, Larry
Sanger, Victor Porlier, and to a limited extent, Tom Atlee and Peter
de Jaeger. But not to fear, Y2K analyst Gary North doesn't plan to give
up the Y2K battle any time soon: "I plan to keep going on the Web.
Why? For the same reason that it was good to have the crew stay on board
the Titanic even though there were not enough lifeboats. There were
some, and the crew was needed to get people on them. The sad part was
that the lifeboats were not all full. More people could have been saved.
That's my view of Y2K. There are always a few more who may listen in
time to take action." (JG)
TOM ATLEE ON THE DEPARTURE OF YOURDON
(Source: Tom Atlee, private correspondence, 5/31/1999)
The following are some edited excerpts from the comments of Y2K analyst
Tom Atlee on the unexpected departure of analyst Ed Yourdon from the
"Many of us involved in Y2K work share Ed Yourdon's sense that
we've just passed a watershed. This feeling has been building in me
for several months and peaked [in] a week that included:
- The '60 Minutes' program
- The survey of Y2K community activists
- Senate hearings on Y2K Preparedness
- Koskinen's "Community Conversations" announcement
- [The end of the fifth] month of 1999."
"As we come down the home stretch, perhaps it is once again time
for reflection. Part of me wants to suggest we reflect on the meaning
of this watershed for remediation, testing, scenario spinning, contingency
planning, preparation, education, spreading and keeping up with news,
and the implications for nuclear and toxic accidents, for panic and
war, for the stock market and the stocks of preparedness supplies. But
something else is coming out. I find myself wanting to join with you
in inquiry. For some the inquiry will have to do with what we and others
are doing, where we are, with whom we are with. For some it will have
to do with spirit, with growing, with looking the future in the eye
and waking up individually and collectively. For all of us, I suspect
it will have to do with what's possible -- good and bad, easy and difficult,
individually and collectively. And it will have to do with how bright
or dim life is in the face of that, and what it all means. And where,
therefore, to focus our attention, our lives. These decisions seem suddenly
more important than ever before."
"Emily Dickenson said 'I dwell in possibility.' May we all find
real paths of positive possibility [as we] skim down the other side
of the Great Divide, breathless, afraid, hoping against hope, doing
our best in the most challenging times we've ever known." (JG)
Tom Atlee's website: http://www.cointelligence.org/
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE DOS AND DON'TS LIST FOR DEALING WITH Y2K
(Source: U.S. Naval War College, 3/24/99)
Faced with the question: "Can Y2K engender enough local crisis
situations of significance to the U.S. to represent a stressing of our
DoD-led response capability and, if so, how best to prepare," the
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE has created a Dos and Don'ts List for the DEPARTMENT
OF DEFENSE (DoD). Here are ten items selected from the list:
1. Do keep up official appearances and routines, but don't let your
guard down on old foes.
2. Do work media to shape expectations, but don't hide any info you
3. Do soften small-and-medium-enterprise failures, but don't try to
save real "losers."
4. Do encourage low-voltage celebrations, but don't let party-goers
5. Do arrest illegal economic opportunists quickly, but don't use the
military except in dire circumstances.
6. Do spread the people risk where possible (i.e., avoid concentrating
events), but don't try to limit people's movement in heavy-handed fashion.
7. Do focus "Tiger Teams" on blackouts and traffic jams, but
don't let power losses persist, nor fortressing/islanding in essential
8. Do punish panic mongers quickly, but by the book, and don't let rumors
drive mass actions (fight them with truth squads).
9. Do ration supplies to protect the most volatile people, but don't
let the distressed concentrate around relief centers.
10. Do keep "due process," but don't allow sense that "the
guilty" will get away with it.
As to how the Naval War College came to create such a list, here is
their explanation: "Understanding that there is a tremendous gap
between the public face many corporations and governments put forward
on this issue ('We will have it well in hand') and the private fears
and concerns expressed by many information technology experts (ranging
from 'global recession' to 'Apocalypse 2000!'), we wanted to explore...
what the U.S. government and DoD should be prepared to undertake in
response to Y2K's global unfolding. In short, while we were not interested
in unduly hyping the Y2K situation, we were interested in exploring
the 'dark side' potentials because, frankly, that's what we get paid
to do as a research organization that serves the U.S. military."
Y2K FACT AND FICTION
(Source: Y2KNEWSWIRE, 6/4/1999)
The following facts and rumors are drawn from Y2KNEWSWIRE:
Rumor: The State of Illinois contacted the SPORTSMAN'S GUIDE (mail-order
outdoor equipment) and demanded they turn over a list of all ammunition
buyers. Sportsman's Guide refused and stopped all shipments to Illinois.
False. When Sportsman's Guide discovered that Illinois required mail
order companies to obtain printed proof of age for ammunition customers,
the company decided to stop shipping ammo to customers in Illinois,
due to the impracticality of obtaining this information over the phone.
Rumor: The U.S. government has ordered thousands of road signs saying,
"Martial Law, Area Off Limits" and they're setting up concentration
camps and ordering millions of body bags.
No credible evidence.
Rumor: The government is stockpiling supplies for Y2K.
True. According to Y2KNewswire sources, most diesel generators now being
purchased in the U.S. are being purchased by either state or federal
governments. Many large food orders have been placed by government officials
and shipped to their summer homes outside of Washington D.C. Orders
for storable food by various offices in the U.S. military have also
Rumor: The military is practicing scenarios for biological terrorism
and urban warfare.
True. The U.S. military has recently staged several Y2K-related scenarios
in various U.S. cities, including biological terrorism. In addition,
orders for urban assault rifles are at record levels.
Rumor: Y2K is more dangerous in the city than in a small town.
True. The population density and lack of mutual trust in a city makes
it a dangerous place to be if infrastructure begins to fail. Furthermore,
while a water failure in a small town is easily overcome by using wells,
streams and ponds, a water failure in a major city is a fatal disaster.
Rumor: Under federal emergency acts and executive orders, the government
can confiscate guns.
True. Under rules already on the books, the government can confiscate
guns, as well as land, machinery, farm equipment, food, gold, silver,
currency, power, water, livestock, vehicles.
Rumor: The FDIC can bail out any Y2K-related bank failures.
False. The FDIC only holds enough funds to cover 1.25 percent to 1.4
percent of the deposits it insures. If failures above that number were
to occur, the FDIC would either go bankrupt or the federal government
would have to step in and bail out the failed banks. (JG)
LAS VEGAS NOT TAKING CHANCES ON Y2K GLITCHES
(Source: John M. Glionna, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5/23/1999)
While Las Vegas has many of the same Y2K concerns as most cities, come
New Year's Eve the desert haven for gamblers will have something the
others won't: an invasion of up to 750,000 visitors. The influx will
pack more people into the nation's most frequently-requested millennium
destination (next to New York City) than at any time in its history,
exaggerating any fallout from Y2K computer problems. Using their own
Y2K and security advisory committees, the Las Vegas Police Department
has mapped out contingency plans to cover everything from how far apart
to space the 1,000 officers who will patrol the two-mile-long Strip
to handling such worst-case scenarios as a bomb set off on the Strip
and an airport shutdown that provokes a riot. Guarding against domino-effect
power outages, NEVADA POWER & LIGHT will minimize transfers from
the Western states power grid, relying instead on locally-produced electricity
to satisfy the city's voracious appetite for power. And for the first
time in history, the city's 50 reservoirs will be filled to capacity
for the millennium weekend -- one billion gallons of water on hand to
provide a four-day grace period for working out any computer-generated
supply problems. Las Vegas officials hope their only task is crowd control.
In the hotels and casinos, if computer systems fail come New Year's,
there is always a manual backup. "There were casinos long before
there were computers," says Bud Eyre, computer trouble-shooter
for BOYD GAMING, owner of seven U.S. casinos, including the Stardust.
"People can take over by hand if necessary." For example,
since the Stardust's rooms are accessed by computer-generated plastic
key cards, should that system fail, security guards could let guests
into their rooms on New Year's Day with skeleton keys. Although Eyre
knows that manual systems would slow the casino to a crawl and would
make many guests irate, "life at the Stardust would go on,"
he said. "We're willing to take a few chances. This is the gambling
business, after all."
Come midnight on New Year's at the nearby Tropicana, Frank DiCerbo,
Director of Loss Prevention, will check the lock on the glass safe in
the middle of the hotel's casino that holds $10 million in $50 and $100
bills -- the grand prize for one of Tropicana's games of chance. "This
is a Russian-made lock the Soviets once used to guard their nuclear
missiles," DiCerbo said. "I don't care if the computers fail
or the world ends, it better stay locked." DiCerbo says the Tropicana's
second most important Y2K check will be to make sure the liquor guns
work behind the casino bars. "C'mon, this is Vegas," he said.
"Alcohol is our lifeblood." (JG)
By James Gregory
Since, we usually lead off the Y2K Report with a timely, witty or entertaining
Y2K quote, I fell into the habit of collecting potential candidates
whenever I came across them. Here are some Y2K quotes from my collection
that never made it into the Y2K Report, but may be of interest, nonetheless:
"Preparedness is a little like plumbing. No one wants to think
about it until something goes wrong, and then no one can think about
anything else until it gets fixed."
--- Kay C. Goss, FEMA's Associate Director for Preparedness, in her
opening remarks for the 1999 National Training and Exercises Conference,
May 7, 1999
"January 1 is a Saturday. So if the world comes to an end for a
couple of days, it'll be okay. We've all had weekends like that."
--- Reed Hundt, former FCC Chair
"Trust the computer industry to shorten 'Year 2000' to Y2K. It
was this kind of thinking that caused the problem in the first place."
"It's better to have a plan and no disaster, than a disaster and
--- Ben Levi
"The Y2K bug provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to ask
ourselves the profound questions which have been buried by our wealth
and our technology. It is a time for us to ask what we really value
and how we can preserve the ecological systems on which all life depends."
--- Economist and futurist Robert Theobald
"Bearing warnings of Y2K trouble is a thankless job: If the result
is catastrophic, it will be our fault for not warning forcefully enough.
If the result is no big deal, we'll look foolish. I suggest there's
a third possibility -- that it will never be clear. I like that possibility
least of all."
--- Dick Mills, Y2K analyst
"I cannot be optimistic. I am generally concerned about the possibility
of power shortages.... Supermarket supplies may be disrupted.... It's
clear we can't solve the whole problem, so we have to allow some systems
to die so mission-critical systems can work.... Pay attention to the
things that are vulnerable in your life and make contingency plans....
Don't panic, but don't spend too much time sleeping, either."
Senator Robert Bennett, Chairman of the Senate's Special Committee on
the Year 2000 Problem
"This is not a prediction, it is a certainty -- there will be serious
disruption in the world's financial services industry.... It's going
to be ugly."
THE SUNDAY TIMES, London
"If life is a process of discovering who we are, Y2K is when we
--- Tom Atlee, President, Co-Intelligence Institute
"It's the people who say, 'You don't have to worry about Y2K,'
that you have to worry about."
--- John Koskinen, Chairman of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000
"Failure to achieve compliance with the Year 2000 will jeopardize
our way of life on this planet for some time to come."
--- Arthur Gross, Chief Information Officer, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
who later quit out of frustration
"[Y2K] is a 'made in America' problem, but the six-digit date convention
has been adopted in most countries. Many third world countries have
inherited our computer hand-me-downs, making them shockingly vulnerable
to the millennium bug. Some of these countries, including Russia, have
decided to wait until AFTER the millennium to begin addressing the situation.
Since the world's computer system is interconnected, Y2K failures in
other parts of the world could seriously impact the U.S. In fact, some
defense and intelligence experts suggest that this represents the greatest
threat to our national security in the last 50 years."
--- Michael Brownlee, COGENISIS JOURNAL
"As Y2K approaches, fears will increase. Many of us know the feeling
of waking in the middle of the night and wondering what we need to do:
for ourselves, our families, our businesses, our community, our world.
As we look out at this well-oiled technological machine, humming right
along and an unconcerned population, we keep asking ourselves, 'Is this
really going to happen?'"
--- Ed Yourdon, "Staying Sane"
"[The Y2K] legacy to the planet may be as important as the lessons
taught by our greatest spiritual teachings and teachers: that we are
all inter-connected and inter-dependent."
--- Robert Roskind, "Seeing Y2K As A Gift To Save Us From Ourselves"
"I would like to tell you that our hard work and the efforts of
hundreds of Y2K-focused consulting firms around the world has pretty
much worked, and that long before we hit the Y2K wall... the problems
will be pretty much solved. I would like to tell you that... but it
would be a lie."
--- Jim Seymour, PC MAGAZINE, February 10, 1998 (JG)
BUILD YOUR OWN POWER GENERATOR
(Source: EPICENTER Website, thanks to Robert Waldrop and David Hooper)
Did you know that you can make a nifty power generator for about $100?
EPICENTER has detailed plans for a generator made from a horizontal-shaft
lawnmower motor, an automotive alternator, a used car battery, a 5"
pulley and V-belt, a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet box with fuse,
a low voltage control switch, a piece of 3/4" plywood, a few scraps
of 2 x 4 lumber, four wheels, and two battery cables. The generator
can be used as a 12-volt power source, which is extremely useful for
charging battery banks. The big advantage to this generator as a charging
system is the high current output of the alternator, and thus, the reduced
charge time over using solar cells, or AC battery chargers. The other
big advantage to using this unit to charge batteries over just charging
them with a car, is that this generator uses much less gas to do the
job, which is critical in an emergency.
For detailed plans, visit <http://theepicenter.com/tow02077.html>.
A power generator made from a lawnmower engine is just one of 200 nifty
ideas that Epicenter has compiled into a Survival Library on CD. Some
other projects featured on the CD are: solar food dehydrator, sawdust-fired
kiln, solar water heater, rain water catchment system, emergency grain
mill, ferro-cement, natural air conditioning, how to sharpen tools,
and how to make soap. The CD sells from $9.95. (JG)
Epicenter Website: http://forums.cosmoaccess.net/forum/survival/prep/survival.htm
TIPS FOR USING KEROSENE HEATERS
(Source: Roleigh Martin, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 5/24/1999)
According to Y2K analyst, Roleigh Martin, three days to three weeks
is the consensus of the official Y2K personal contingency plan recommendations
for going without heat and electricity. He suggests that from a practical
standpoint, a kerosene space heater is the most best bet for heating
your home during an extended emergency. He offers the following tips
and advice on using a kerosene heater:
- A kerosene space heater can heat 950 square feet for 12 to 16 hours
on two gallons of kerosene, and act as a stove too. A suggested model
is the KEROSUN Omni 105.
- Check with your local fire marshall to see if it is legal to use this
type of device in your home. If it is not, ask for his advice for a
cheap fallback for loss of heat. The fire marshall Martin talked to,
admitted his officials would not be going around neighborhoods citing
people for code violations during a power outage in January 2000.
- Fully understand the operating manual and maintain the device in top
shape. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs usually because combustion is
incomplete due to device problems, misuse or because of inadequate ventilation.
Have a battery-only-operated carbon monoxide detector nearby with a
digital readout of the carbon monoxide levels, as well as a battery-only-operated
smoke alarm and fire extinguisher nearby.
- Only operate the kerosene heater during waking hours. The heater should
not be left unattended. Do not let pets in the room with the heater;
do not let children go near the heater.
- You'll need 42 gallons of kerosene (non-dyed, K1 grade) to last two
weeks (18 hours/day), and nine five-gallon containers to hold the fuel.
Store the fuel safely, preferably in a detached building from the house.
Refuel outside -- not in the garage unless it is a detached building.
Kerosun Website: http://www.kerosun.com
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
MICROSOFT YEAR 2000 READINESS DISCLOSURE
(Source: Microsoft Website, 5/18/1999)
Pursuant to the terms of the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure
Act, computer giant MICROSOFT has designated the following statement
as their Year 2000 readiness disclosure:
"All communications or conveyances of information to you concerning
Microsoft and the Year 2000, including but not limited to this document
or any other past, present or future information regarding Year 2000
testing, assessments, readiness, time tables, objectives, or other (collectively
the 'Microsoft Year 2000 Statement'), are provided as a 'Year 2000 readiness
disclosure' (as defined by the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure
Act) and can be found at Microsoft's Year 2000 Website located at http://microsoft.com/year2000/
(the 'Y2K Website'). Each Microsoft Year 2000 statement is provided
pursuant to the terms hereof, the terms of the Y2K Website, and the
Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act for the sole purpose
of assisting the planning for the transition to the Year 2000. Each
Microsoft Year 2000 statement contains information currently available
and is updated regularly and subject to change. Microsoft therefore
recommends that you check the Y2K Website regularly for any changes
to any Microsoft Year 2000 statement. Each Microsoft Year 2000 statement
is provided 'as is' without warranty of any kind. Consequently, Microsoft
disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties
of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Moreover, Microsoft
does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the
results of the use of any Microsoft Year 2000 statement in terms of
its correctness, accuracy, reliability, or otherwise. No oral or written
information or advice given by Microsoft or its authorized representatives
shall create a warranty or in any way decrease the scope of this warranty
disclaimer. In no event shall Microsoft or its suppliers be liable for
any damages whatsoever regarding any Microsoft Year 2000 statement including
direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits,
punitive or special damages, even if Microsoft or its suppliers have
been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not
allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or
incidental damages, so the foregoing limitation may not apply to you.
The information contained in each Microsoft Year 2000 statement is found
at the Y2K website and is intended to be read in conjunction with other
information located at the Y2K Website, including but not limited to
Microsoft's Year 2000 compliance statement, the description of the categories
of compliance into which Microsoft has classified its products in its
Year 2000 Product Guide, and the Microsoft Year 2000 test criteria.
Any Microsoft Year 2000 statements made to you in the course of providing
Year 2000 related updates, Year 2000 diagnostic tools, or remediation
services (if any) are subject to the Year 2000 Information and Readiness
Disclosure Act (112 stat. 2386). In case of a dispute, this act may
reduce your legal rights regarding the use of any such statements, unless
otherwise specified by your contract or tariff."
To dispel a popular misconception, Y2K analyst Gary North points out,
"If Bill Gates (Microsoft CEO) could fix Y2K, his lawyers would
not have had to write this." (JG)
THIS WEEK'S NEWS SOURCES:
The stories in this week's NHNE Y2K Report were drawn, in part, from
the following news sources:
SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS:
YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER:
GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS:
Sheri Nakken (Y2K NETWORK):
Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth
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