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United States

US to build Y2k Command Center Bunker 160

munchkin writes "CNN has a story from their computing section on the U.S. government's plans to build a Y2k bunker. Apparently, the bunker will be used for Y2k "event managment", better known as "panicking stupid people" and/or "drunken rioting". " What's even more interesting is that this is being considered as the first test of Clinton's drive for a "cyber defense", an initiative that was starting last May.
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US to build Y2k Command Center Bunker

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will there be food shortages due to power failures and crashing computers halting shipping? No There will be food shortages because stupid people expecting armagedden will raid stores and hoarde food en masse.

    Will failing financial computers grind the economy to a halt and cash become unavailable from ATMs and even from tellers? No, banks will run out of cash because stupid people will withdraw large sums of cash just before the end of the year.

    The conclusion? Other people are the biggest Y2K problem around. They will create the precise situation they fear most by overpreparing for it. Unfortunately the people problem is still a real one and caution forces me to join them thus fulfilling their lunatic prophecy in a deliciously vicious circle, though not to such an extreme level. Thanks everyone, I gotta go get me 500 rounds of .45cal hollow points. Later.

    :) For the sarcasm impaired... maybe. :/
  • by Erich ( 151 )
    The greatest danger of Y2K is derranged millenial nuts with too much fire-power, not any computer failure.

    Hey, don't talk about ESR that way! :-)

    I guess ESR isn't a ``millenial'' nut... just a normal nut like the rest of us

    :-)

  • We used ``9/9/99'' to signify ``lifetime dues paied'' in my OA lodge... I've seen 9/99 used for non-expirable things in several places. My guess is that people with theoretical non-expirable things such as credit cards or insurance will suddenly find in October that it has expired.
  • Meals Ready to Enjoy.

    The best part is you get those little tobasco sauce things.

  • Don't start with guns -- you don't *really* want to kill anybody. Get some pepper spray and keep it handy just in case of a Worse Case Scenario (which is only likely to happen in a really big city, anyway) and stock up on some gas and canned food just in case the modes of delivery get fucked up. A generator is never a bad investment either, although I suspect the power grid will be pretty well off.

    Of course, if you are still worried about the Worst Case, make sure you don't dick with handguns -- if the pepper spray turns out to be insufficiant, plan on having enough firepower to repel a mob - semiauto rifles and the like with plenty of ammo (don't get me wrong, a Glock 17 or somesuch probably isn't a bad idea, either).

    In any event, that's probably going to far. Personally, I think that nothing really major will go wrong. Still, I'm worried because I think that people might go overboard just because of the incredible amount of buildup this one has gotten. I'd rather be overprepared than underprepared...

    ----

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Thursday July 29, 1999 @03:46PM (#1775736) Homepage
    Personally, I plan on spending my New Year's inside my fully gassed-up Ryder truck, backed up to the front of my local Best Buy waiting for the looting to begin.

    I figure with a few of my friends and a good plan of attack, we could get a great deal of the good stuff (palms, flat-panel displays, notebooks, etc) loaded into the truck before the National Guard arrived -- screw limiting myself to what I can carry. From there, we head to my nice Y2K-complaint storage locker with the Y2K-compliant key Master Lock bolt and hold tight until my Y2K-compliant fence can set me up.

    ----

  • Posted by Synsthe:

    That's more than 38 years away. You seem to be lacking confidence that the problem won't be fixed in almost 4 decades from now?

    --
    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    You seem to think the developers working on the Linux kernel and what not (which have the y2038 problem) are procrastinators on the same level as MS application developers?

    --
    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Posted by Synsthe:

    Than don't, and be a sheep like everybody else. "If it doesn't affect my herd, what does it matter to me?".

    --
    Mark Waterous (mark@projectlinux.org)
  • Of course, the code is broken.

    It is planned to be that way.

    Actually, the code has always been broken and they don't have a clue how things get done today. They scurry around, spending money on this and that y2k consultant, whose experience includes how many previous millennium changes?

    The code is broken. Yay.

    Have you ever seen chewing gum and kite string keeping things running? It'll probably do the same come January.

    The code is broken. It has always been broken. Nobody knows how to fix it. It shouldn't even work today; but, somehow, /. keeps us ontrack.

    Keep up the good work. When you fix some code, feel free to post it to the list }:

  • Please show me where a non-y2k-related bug has resulted in 3-1/2 million gallons of sewage being dumped on the ground.
    Well, finding another case of dumping sewage on the ground is a rather restricted search. I did, however, find these:

    Sewage flows into river; Computer Failure Blamed [ncl.ac.uk]
    Sewage Spill Linked to Computer [ncl.ac.uk]

    (The above mentioned Y2K sewage problem may be found at Y2K test sends sewage flowing in Los Angeles [ncl.ac.uk].)


    --Phil (RISKS readers know that there are all sorts of programming bugs lurking around--not just Y2K.)
  • (wtf did this really happen? or what.. if not my responce)

    Sort of. I forget where. They shut down their computers and tried to run the plant manually. Sombody forgot to open a gate (valve) and someone else forgot to monitor everything. The sewage backed up behind the gate and overflowed into the park.

  • Think older and think data entry. On some old data entry systems, you entered 9999 in a date field to indicate no more entries. The input routine would quietly translate that to 09/09/99 since neither the day or the month could be 99.

    Depending on which side of the input validation sub the end of entry condition was detected, it MIGHT be looking for 09/09/99 as end of entry.

    In other systems, 09/09/99 (after entry validation) is considered to mean forever or for the indefinite future or perhaps never.

    Nobody had heard of SQL when some of this stuff was written. Sometimes, storage was so desperatly tight that leading zeros were squeezed out of any stored data in memory if it could be done unambiguously, no matter how much processing time it might cost.

    Also keep in mind that many of these programs were written when 'dirty tricks' that just happened to work were accepted programming practice in many shops. Things like 'knowing' that an overflow can't happen in this register here.

  • The paranoia is getting outa hand...
  • Well naturally, Clinton is going to want to be there. And with him around, the ratio of men to women will likely be something to the effect of 1:10....

    Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday July 29, 1999 @04:01PM (#1775746) Homepage Journal
    The safest possible place to be around New Years 2000 will be on a passenger airliner, in the air. That's because the plane is not going to fall out of the sky, and airline security will keep nuts with guns off of your plane. The greatest danger of Y2K is derranged millenial nuts with too much fire-power, not any computer failure.

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • Yeah, right. If the worst fears of Y2K are realize (hah!), there'll be such chaos that the People in Uniforms will overreact and make everything worse.

    At least, this sets another dangerous precedent of the Fedrul Govmint thinking they're supposed to control the populace instead of the other way round.

    Thinkin' hard about Canada or Ireland...or maybe Fiji.
  • Probably not. You can usually fix the problem by recompiling all your programs with new system headers.
  • You, my friend, are one sick puppy.
  • Come the year 2001, thousands of people out there will be overcome with despair, because they will be stuck with generators, water purifiers, rifles, candles, and many other things whose value will drop to 20% its current value.

    They will have had to eat all those awful MRE's, and lima beans, and rice they stocked up, for a whole year, as well as all that canned food.

    Soon they will go completely postal.

    And then, the President will find this bunker mighty useful.
  • The action the banks, etc, are taking is precautionary. They don't, by and large, know the full extent of the problem in their software, and to maintain the confidence of their customers they have be seen to examine all their own code and contact all their suppliers and get them to promise theirs is OK too.

    Taking all these measures, and employing thousands of consultants to check the code, does not mean they have a problem. It means they want to play safe (and be seen to play safe) and they have money to burn.

    When the British or American government talks about compliance, they mean a state where an organisation knows for sure it does not have any problems. This is extremely hard to do. It means the organisation has to go through the following:

    • Locate all their computer systems
    • Locate the suppliers for those from outside sources.
    • Extract promises of compliance and/or software and hardware updates from all the suppliers.
    • Replace anything externally supplied that cannot be gauranteed to be compliant
    • Carry out a risk assessment on all their internal systems
    • For those systems deemed to pose too high a risk, carry out an in-depth bug hunt and propose fixes
    • Carry out all the fixes
    • Perform vast quantities of testing to integrate the new systems

    The extent to which all this is actually necessary is basically a complete unknown. Noone has a clue how widespread the bug is, or which systems it is most likely to reside in. The point is that non-compliant organisations, for whatever reasons, may very well not have had a problem anyway of if they do it may not be severe. This means that while non-completion of Y2K projects poses some risk of inconvenience or worse, it does not mean that civilisation will grind to a halt.

    The consequences of the bug, remember, depend on the system it is in. Even in safety critical systems (a tiny minority of cases) the consequences of date overflow may be as mild as an incorrect clock display. Of course it goes the other way too. One power-station under (simulated) test started to overheat because the air conditioning system had a bug.

    I would guess that the majority of systems either have no problem or only cosmetic problems. Nonetheless I will be spending my new year as far from civilisation as I can get, but mostly to avoid rampaging nuts, not exploding computers.

  • The greatest danger of Y2K is derranged [sic] millenial [sic] nuts with too much fire-power, not any computer failure.

    The real question is this: Is the code broken or not? Yes, the code is definitely broken (else, please explain how it is that Citicorp, Chase, et. al. are spending hundreds of millions each on a "non-problem").

    If the code is broken then the code must be fixed. Is it getting fixed? Let's see, we have the FAA lying about their compliance every 2-3 months or so. We have federal deadlines for completion of the work being missed consistently. We have huge companies (Wal-Mart for instance) revising their repair estimates upward the longer they work on the problem (hmmm...shouldn't that be leveling off sometime soon if they're really almost done?). We have the IRS admitting in publicly published documents that "the risks inherent" in fixing their systems are "nearly incalculable." They awarded the contract for getting their repairs made last October. Do you *honestly* think they have a snowball's chance of finishing on time? With no source code for some of it? With lots of it in ancient assembler? Do you *really* think this is no small problem???

    So the IRS rolls over and dies. No one will mourn its passing, to be sure (except maybe the yokels at H & R Block).

    How is the government going to collect taxes if the IRS fails? If they don't collect taxes, how are they going to pay the welfare checks? Are they just going to print money???

    John Koskinen, White House y2k flak, said earlier this year that they had no indication that the railroads were going to make it. So: earlier this year the federal government had no proof that the railroads were going to finish their repairs on time.

    Does that not bother you? Where do you think the coal comes from that generates most of the electricity in this country (hint -- it's not coming in by one of those safe airplanes)?

    You don't think this is a problem?

    You don't think it's a problem when Alan Greenspan says that 99% is not good enough for the banks to avoid catastrophe? You don't think it's a problem when a park is flooded with 3-1/2 MILLION gallons of raw sewage thanks to a y2k test?

    Let me be clear here -- I don't know what's going to happen in January. But it is the height of foolishness to say that panic will cause more problems than broken code.

    Where are these "nuts" you speak of? If they're such a big danger, there surely must be a lot of them. Where are they?

    Slashdotters need to wake up. The world doesn't revolve around time_t. The code's broken, boys. If it's not fixed in time, we could be in big trouble.

    If it's really no big deal, why are the deadlines slipping? Why are the costs continuing to rise? Why'd the feds limit y2k lawsuits? There won't be any, right? No big problem?

    Why is Britain terrified over rumors that some of its largest banks won't finish repairs on time? No big problem, right?

    Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • believe it or not, everything is still done on paper.

    This could be my candidate for clueless geek statement of the year. Do you honestly think that $multi-billion international banks do everything on paper???? Astonishing.

    And -- sorry to burst your bubble -- hopelessly, pathetically incorrect. You really need to stop and pursue that little "wonder" wandering around in your head: why are these companies spending hundreds of millions of dollars? Is it to buy lots of paper to do their accounting when the "nuts" come to take their money out of the banks? Get a grip, man.

    Don't you read newspapers? Didn't you ever hear before Greenspan insisting that 99% isn't good enough for banking? Do you think he was talking about paper?

    Did you know Greenspan was a mainframe programmer himself? What *do* you know?

    Railroads? hmmm.. steam/electrical engines that run on a straight track. Oh sure they need to keep on schedule, but it was done for a hundred years by watch, I doupt they will kill over anytime soon.

    The trains *cannot* be run manually anymore in anything approaching their modern computerized speed and efficiency. First, they fired all the switchmen in the 60s when they went digital. They don't have the personnel. Second, they've removed the manual switching mechanisms everywhere. These aren't just assertions. They're facts. The system works on computers. If they don't get their systems fixed, either the trains don't run or they don't run at normal speeds.

    Yes, the sewage spill really did happen, within the last month or so. Don't you ever read a newspaper? Y2K testing in California. "OOPS". 3-1/2 million gallons of raw sewage in a park.

    You need to wake up, friend. Start paying attention to the world around you. Banks really do use computers. Sewage really did spill. We really do need those trains running, and we don't know if they're going to be ready.

    Umm.. Mirror???

    Yes, well, I did expect that the enlightened throng here at Slashdot would stoop to this. Try dealing with facts -- though I am really not sure you know any about the world around you; you seem surprisingly unaware of how things work.

  • No one's disputing that software has bugs.

    Please show me where a non-y2k-related bug has resulted in 3-1/2 million gallons of sewage being dumped on the ground.

    Please show me your average, run-of-the-mill bug that has corporations spending billions of dollars in an effort to correct it.

    Being glib is very different from actually dealing with the issue. It has not ceased to amaze me that the Slashdot crowd is so astoundingly apathetic about this issue. I can only conclude that it is an apathy borne out of ignorance. I can't say I recall ever seeing an actual argument presented here as to why GM, Chevron, Citicorp, the FED, and all the rest are just wasting their time and billions of dollars. Instead, I see "chewing gum and kite string." I see someone else suggesting that banks do everything on paper. I see ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims of "of course they'll fix it." Maybe they will; but far too much of the evidence suggests otherwise.

    Not everything is hunky-dory.

  • Calling me paranoid doesn't change the issues, which you have conveniently ignored.

    Are Fortune 500 companies stupid to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on y2k fixes? Yes or no? Are they finished yet? Yes or no? Is the government finished yet? Yes or no? How much of our society is dependent (directly or indirectly) on government largesse?

  • I give you credit for an intelligent response.

    I see no reason myself why the railroads can't roll the dates back as you suggest. Maybe they'll do just that; but that doesn't explain federal concern about their efforts. But I hope you're right (but I'm not depending upon that either).

    Getting the money *to* IRS is one thing. The big question is what they're going to do with it once they've got it.

  • The action the banks, etc, are taking is precautionary. They don't, by and large, know the full extent of the problem in their software, and to maintain the confidence of their customers they have be seen to examine all their own code and contact all their suppliers and get them to promise theirs is OK too.

    And when private citizens take "precautionary" action, they're nuts. They're paranoid. They're delusional. You don't see the disconnect here? Businesses and governments don't know (you suggest) the extent of their problem, so they make contingency plans. If you depend upon these organizations for anything, is it really foolish to make contingency plans yourself -- since they are doing it themselves?

    The extent to which all this is actually necessary is basically a complete unknown. Noone has a clue how widespread the bug is, or which systems it is most likely to reside in. The point is that non-compliant organisations, for whatever reasons, may very well not have had a problem anyway of if they do it may not be severe. This means that while non-completion of Y2K projects poses some risk of inconvenience or worse, it does not mean that civilisation will grind to a halt.

    Hunh? They don't know how big the problem is, or even *if* they have a problem, and this means that civilization won't collapse? Ignorance means "No Big Problem"??? This is a reckless thing to hope for. Not knowing how big the problem is does not mean "No Big Problem". It means they are unable to make any rational assessments about how serious the effects of failure might be. And this means that there is simply no way you can say on this basis that civilization won't collapse.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that civilization is going to collapse: I don't know. But you can't say it *isn't* going to collapse based upon ignorance of the extent of the problem. And this means that it's only wise to prepare for the unknown. Isn't it? You have health insurance, don't you? You hope you won't need it, don't you?

    I would guess that the majority of systems either have no problem or only cosmetic problems. Nonetheless I will be spending my new year as far from civilisation as I can get, but mostly to avoid rampaging nuts, not exploding computers.

    It's rather bold to guess that the problems will be minor when you say that they just don't know the extent of the problem.

  • I've been in Britain for the last 35 years and as yet I haven't noticed anyone whose more than mildly concerned. Most of us just look at those of you stockpiling dried bean in the US and give a knowing smile ;-)

    My error. I should not have said "banks". I should have said "financial institutions". Visit this (Slashdot won't accept the full URL correctly, so I can't make it a link): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000647321007942&r tmo=kJL7JLbp&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/99/7/1 3/nbug13.html

    Here you can read what I'm talking about, including: EIGHT financial institutions, including one classified as a "high-impact" household name, may have left it too late to avert severe disruption to their computers from the Millennium bug.

    Maybe you should think about some dried beans. At least get your money out of the bank.

  • So why are you still here? Shouldn't you already be hiding out in the hills somewhere?

    If I had the means, I'd consider it.

    I don't claim to know what's going to happen. I only happen to think that people who dismiss it out of hand from a position of complete and blinding ignorance are fools. I happen to think that being prepared for possible problems is a smart thing to do -- like health insurance.

    But I don't expect to convince anyone who is happy wearing blinders. Maybe you should think about actually addressing the issue instead of dismissing me. I've actually read thousands of documents relating to private and governmental work on y2k. Have you? I don't care if you disagree with me as long as you've actually studied the problem.

  • (RISKS readers know that there are all sorts of programming bugs lurking around--not just Y2K.)

    But you don't seem to know that your average programming bug isn't systemic. It's not distributed uniformly across virtually all systems in all industries and in all governments. You ought to know that things break, and that when they break sometimes the consequences are breathtaking.

  • Generally I do exactly what you say: I don't throw my pearls before the swine here at Slashdot.

    It just continually amazes me how the people here are willfully blinding themselves. They don't even try to deal with the facts when you present them. They just ignore them.

    And it's the "educated", "enlightened" people who are doing this -- those who claim to be "scientific" in their thinking. Clue time, folks: the scientific method doesn't allow for throwing out untested hypotheses. You're acting like knee-jerk religious fanatics.


  • Hmm... does that mean it's not safe around ESR?

    (For the humor-impaired, check out the AfterY2K link from the main Slashdot page -- especially the comic for July 27 or so. This is not a rant.)

    --
    QDMerge [rmci.net] -- data + templates = documents.
  • Well, for real-time systems like the railroads, I would think that by far the safest solution would be to simply set the date back. What does switching equipment care, whether it's 2000 or 1973? (If my memory serves, 1973 was the year which had the same day of week configuration as 2000 - if I'm off by a year or two, don't worry).

    Fortunately for the IRS, the systems actually used to collect most taxes are run by private industry, not the IRS. Employers collect the withholding taxes and send them to the government. I have no doubt they will continue to do so, since the penalties for not doing so are draconian. The IRS's own systems are another matter, of course.

    D

    ----
  • Everyone who didn't get a refund on their Win95 CDs should donate them to help run this "Y2K Bunker".

    Nothing but the best for our leaders...

    Jay (=

  • SOME power will undoubtedly be interrupted. But I've heard reps from our own power company that they a) this company is ready for Y2K, and b) they have a contingency plan to remove themselves from the national power grid should there be a cascade effect from other facilities that are causing problems. Of course, just how accurate this is remains to be seen.

  • Did anyone catch the following sentence?

    At the heart of the new phase is the Y2K Information Coordination Center (ICC), the Washington-based hub of a multimillion-dollar crisis management bunker to be operational by Oct. 31 and wind up by June 2000.

    A government program that actually ends? The new millenium might be a strange time indeed!
  • Make sure you chose something as old as TU154 where all the bloody electronics are analogue ;-)
  • So, it's pretty much agreed upon that there will be nuts with guns going crazy because of two digits. My questions is, does preparing yourself and house for a possible outbreak of stupidity (rioting) make you part of the problem? I imagine many of the "loons" we are referring to are people with the mindset that the peoblem will be caused by other people and they are just protecting themselves.

    Of course, as history has taught us, there is a hefty chunk of people who seem to just sit around waiting for a reason to riot. Not a pretty thought if you live near a city.

    I say we all just stay home that night, have a gun or two handy in case there is some kind of threat to you while in your home, and enjoy yourself. This is a really historic event, I for one am going to enjoy it, but it would be stupid to not give at least some thought to my safety.

    FinkPloyd
  • "We should have shotguns."

    I agree. I've always viewed the shotgun as the perfect home defence weapon.

    FinkPloyd
  • This is why people laugh at the american way of life, at how out of touch americans can be.

    Funny, I thought arrogance ethnocentrism was something WE Americans had a monopoly on. I have been proven wrong.

    I dont have a gun or two. A dont even have one gun. I dont know anyone that has a gun. I've never even seen a real gun.

    I envy you. You live in a society that has no need for firearms. However, America has a different culture than your country. For better or worse, personal freedom seems to be our most cherished right, whether it be free speech, encryption, or guns.

    You should consider visiting the real world for the new year.

    You should consider opening your mind a little.

    FinkPloyd






  • That one ain't so bad either.

    Personally I like that one.

    FinkPloyd
  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Friday July 30, 1999 @04:57AM (#1775772) Homepage
    The 2038 problem stems from the fact that a 32-bit UNIX system stores time in a 32-bit integer. Time 0 was 01/01/70, also referred to as the 'biginning of the epoch'.

    Each second, the 32-bit integer is incremented by 1 bit, counting time, in seconds, since the beginning of the epoch. (The term epoch is official, and found throughout UNIX documentation w.r.t. time)

    The problem comes when the seconds number fills up. The full 32-bit value is 4294967295, so this many seconds from 01/01/70, the second's counter will fill up. This falls in 2038 - mis spring I think.

    We're not quite sure how systems will react when this happens. It's very much a y2k type issue. Hope this clarifies the matter.

    On a related note. Other exciting opportunities looming in the future are the Sept, 9, 1999 problem, the GPS problem, and the phone-space problem.

    In some systems 9999 is a special sequence. While most of these use dates of 09/09/99, there's the potential for trouble.

    The 24 Global Positioning System satellites count off the number of weeks since (I think) 1/1/80, in a single 8-bit byte. This byte will rollover this fall. Everything should be ok afterwards, but at the moment of rollover there is potential for trouble as well. This issue is limited to how ground stations interpret their GPS input. If, for example, an airplane computer suddenly thinks that it's falling (even for just a second) this may cause it's autopilot to freak.

    A few years into the next decade, we will run out of phone numbers. With everyone having multiple lines into their home, fax machines, lines dedicated to the PC, cell phones and beepers - it's easy to see how this might happen. We will have to come up with a new phone number system before the number of available numbers runs out.
  • the US government trusts their own systems enough they think they need a Y2K bunker? Bill Clinton is a raving idiot, I feel horrible for defending him in the Monica scandal. Someone needs to kidnap this hapless okie and teach him something about technology, even though his vice president invented the internet. First the Clipper chip, then the CDA, now a Y2K bunker. You would think the billions of dollars spent on SDI would have leftover a few bunkers in case of a global nuclear war...which is slightly more destructive than stupidity.
  • Individually people are smart. Collectively people are dumber than a box of hair. Y2K wouldn't be so bad (worst case, the airports are not working for a couple days, prisoners escape, I was never born....... :-) except for all those damn people. (I'm entp if you can't guess)
  • Once the Y2K "crisis" blows over, there are going to be a lot of former consultants really desparate for programming jobs, and willing to work for next-to-nothing. There goes the high demand wor IT workers.
  • >plan on having enough firepower to repel a mob - semiauto rifles and the like with plenty of ammo (don't get me wrong, a Glock 17 or somesuch probably isn't a bad idea, either

    "We should have shotguns."

    :)
  • Well, I live in Toronto, and as much as I would like to spend New Year's Eve 1999 in
    the Bahamas or somewhere toasty, I'm wondering how our antepodian brother and sisters
    will react.
    I'm thinking I'd rather spend it in a Northern clime, simply because I think the warmer
    weather might incite more problems with drinking/partying/riots, etc.
    Then again, parts the U.S. are still fairly warm in winter,so...

    Just a thought.
    Pope
  • Actually, if you are going to use a gun for up-close personal defense, (and I'm assuming from a defensive position like your home where weight and concealment are not issues) I'd say your best bet is a shotgun, preferably a semi-automatic.

    With a shotgun, you don't have to be too terribly accurate to ruin a would-be attacker's day... of course, the range sucks -- but that shouldn't be a concern.

  • But That's the American way isn't it? :) Everyone is a helpless boob! Aren't we?
    Austin
  • Well thats just the -first- wave of shit to hit the fan .... a lot of programmers use a 'special sequence' for a error or infinity etc ... the special sequence used within dates is often 9999 .. thus the date 9/9/99 .. this could setof a lot of bank computers thinking our accounts have infinite cash, or error out, and think there's no cash what so ever :)

    -- Chris Chabot
    "I dont suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it!"
  • HMM havn't heard about the 2038 problem? Could someone please explain for a non programmer? (I know 2048 is 11 bits, but I don't see how this is a problem either?
  • Thanx for the info, add that one to my list of places not to be during y2k.

    1. "Russian" Nuclear Power Plant.
    2. Stock Market Trading Floor
    3. Dam Recreation Area (you have to be stupid to hang out at one of those during any disaster situation.)

  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 29, 1999 @07:04PM (#1775783) Journal
    HAHAH, ROTFL.. HEHE moderate up for humor please. :)
    While I can't speak for Britian I would be very surprised if there was a single bank not ready by the time Y2K hit, even then, believe it or not, everything is still done on paper. Would you trust a few billion dollars to a database, I don't think so. I do kinda wonder why some companies are spending so much, but you know as I think about it, I bet with a little bit of creative financing I could write off all my Y2K expenses on my taxes. Hmm, hey George, how much are we spending to pay those computer guys to keep our system running.. Hmm reallly?? and we have to pay taxes on that?.. Hmm relocate them to the Y2K Team (don't tell them though.. HAHHAHAH). IRS, oh yea, they are outta date, but their computers are no more than glorified adding machines from the 70s. They just need to walk over to kinko's and say Hey, umm I need 1 Billion of these neat little forms made, umm next week. Alright.. Thanx.!
    Railroads? hmmm.. steam/electrical engines that run on a straight track. Oh sure they need to keep on schedule, but it was done for a hundred years by watch, I doupt they will kill over anytime soon.

    You don't think it's a problem when a park is flooded with 3-1/2 MILLION gallons of raw sewage thanks to a y2k test?
    (wtf did this really happen? or what.. if not my responce)
    Wow, my park is going to be flooded with raw Sewage!!! COOL!! so you say y2k reverses gravity. And those low lying sewage plants tanks are gonna starts flowing up to the generally high lying parks. That rocks, gonna rememeber to bring my bathing suit!

    Where are these "nuts" you speak of? If they're such a big danger, there surely must be a lot of them. Where are they?
    Umm.. Mirror???



  • It always amuses me slightly that some people are so picky about the date being exactly 2000 years after a date which has no significance to many people (including most of the people I know who are that pedantic about it), and which is probably inaccurate anyway.
  • Ah, but nobody will still be using these old 32-bit systems by then...right?
  • ROFL - and when the weatherby breaks because you had to fire too many rounds thru it without cleaning it, and you cant get parts for the 375, what ya going to do? Thats what the cheapie remmie, AR or AK are good choices. Same reason you go with the 1911 .45 or a Glock 9mm.

    And as for the chipmunk part, lets see you stand 25 yards away from me an my Glock 23 .40S&W or my Kimber (federal hydrashocks in both) - you wont stand long. Same goes for 300m and the AR-15, or my M1A and the 7.62 NATO over your rich man's plyathing weatherby (better wound ballistics). By the way to get that close you gotta go thru a lot of mud out here in the country - gunk up you pretty toys something bad. Not mine - I bag deer (and a couple years ago an elk when I got a tag) with my M1A, scrubbing thru the rain and mud in Wyoming.
  • you americans are f***ed up! who cares about this computer problem? europe will have the biggest party of the last 1000 years and just have fun and a headache in the morning. and you want to sit at home and hold your gun??? that is f@#$#@ed up! get a life, guys!

    nik
  • Yeah, but they'll leave it until 2037 to try to fix it.
  • It was meant as a general comment on human nature - i.e. never do today what you can put off to tomorrow!
  • Nightfall [amazon.com] is a terrific book by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg. In the story, the inhabitants of a world with six suns are faced with the darkness of night for the first time in 2000 years. It is an interesting discussion of human behavior in the face of crisis and unknown. There are many similarities to progress of the current Year 2000 paranoia, and the points it makes are rather frightening. Definately a terrific read if you're into speculative science fiction at all.
  • Uhm.. Dates (including 9/9/99) are represented by many different systems in many different formats.
    Some systems might store it in a fashion subject to misintrepetation if the representation which indicates that date also is some sort of 'escape' sequence.

    So how many people are fixing the Y10K bug while they fix the Y2K bug.. Oh, you wanna have to do ALL that work AGAIN??

    Sure.. "None of these systems will be in use". Gee, where did I hear that before.

    Obviously everyone reading this post will be dead long before then anyway.. ;)
  • I doubt that it will be only women who are in a panic.

    Take for example the vastly male, and hopefully well informed audience we have here on slashdot...many are still debating whether they will take their money out of the banks...
  • I thought the original short story was much better, the book was an interesting idea but the brevity of the original did alot for it's effect on me. IMHO of course.

    -mudge
  • You don't think it's a problem when a park is flooded with 3-1/2 MILLION gallons of raw sewage thanks to a y2k test?
    (wtf did this really happen? or what.. if not my responce)

    The sewage in the park was near here in Los Angeles, I believe. A city sewage treatment plant was being tested to make sure that it would switch over to a backup generator in the event of a power failure. The test (cutting main power) caused a valve to close, which caused sewage which was supposed to be entering the plant to back up, into the storm drains and eventually up into the park (which is in a large flood control basin). There's a brief description in RISKS-20.46 [ncl.ac.uk]. The RISKS article has a link to a more in-depth LA Times article, which you have to pay for, except they seem to be having database problems.

  • Great post! I was laughing my head off for a quite a while after I read it. The text was very funny, although not entirely accurate. Just a little off-topic, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

    ------Begin off-topic stuff-----------
    I know several devout Mormons and have learned some stuff about the church from them. As far as I can tell, the cDc text is pretty accurate, except for a few things:

    1) The food supply is for any situation where purchasing food is not possible or convenient (lack of money, natural disaster, or being too tired to go to the store ;-> ), not just the apocalypse.
    2) 'Righteous' non-Mormons will be around too after the "end of the world".
    3) 'At hand' could mean anywhere from tomorrow to 100 years from now (or longer).
    4) Eden is just the center of a larger "paradise".

    These aren't really that important to know, I just wanted to post them in hopes of discouraging less-informed posters from saying something stupid.
    ---------End off-topic stuff---------------

    Back on topic now, I become extremely annoyed with all the commercials on tv that portray Y2K as the end of the world, such as those Kia (I think) car commercials with the family in the bunker or the long line of people withdrawing all their money from a bank. I'm about ready to start loading _my_ 12 gauge and go put the people who make these commercials out of their (my) misery, as well as those who think that they should build bunkers and withdraw all their cash.

  • Anyone remember hearing about power plants going out when they did testing? Not all of them have been tested so at the *very least* power will go out. Add that onto people going nuts simply because of the time and the cold outside winter weather when it all goes down and a bit of a problem starts to surface.

    My county is setting up serveral Y2K stations for those who need it at area police/fire stations and I think it's a very good idea and it shouldn't be mocked.

    And that's my 2 cents.

    ~Kevin
    :)
  • So why are you still here? Shouldn't you already be hiding out in the hills somewhere?
  • UNIX uses a signed integer offset from January 1, 1970 to internally store a time quantity.

    Since an integer is 32 bits on most systems, that leaves a maximum of 2^31-1 seconds.

    1970 + (2^31-1) / 60 / 60 / 24 / 365.25 = 2038

  • ...the only sense I could make of it was that CNN wanted lots of hits form panicky readers.
    That, or, perhaps it was a sublimincal message to those panicky readers who are going to read it that they should, if they hadn't already, go dig a huge hole in their back yard and build an actual bunker, and stock it up with their favorite Y2K stuff.... hoo! what a laugh..

    Although, I do wonder myself sometimes if it isn't worth it to do a little something in case the power goes out.. like, a manual, hand-operated pump for water, maybe a generator. That's about all I'd go to the effort for though...

    and that's _my_ $0.00002 cents worth. =)
  • > The code is broken. It has always been broken. Nobody knows how to fix it.
    Duct tape, dear friends, duct tape.

    > }:
    Uhh, that's a complicated one ;)
  • Well, there's the first inhabitant of the U.S. Y2K bunker. Personally I'm more concerned about logic bombs kiddies have set for 1-1-00. Not to mention all the webservers that will be down from kiddie attacks. Oh and I guess that a few non-webservers will crash too (If crackers still know how to get into those).
  • And it's the media's fault of course.

    And now it's gone too flipping far that it's impossible to spin it the other way.

    Where will I be? I don't know. I've made no plans. Here where I live, it's usually snowing like a summabeeotch, so most likely I'll be holed up in my house anyway watching television and drinking until January 3rd. If I'm not here I'll be enjoying myself not worrying one iota about the computers, the people or the universe.

    Let them all kill themselves. That will mean no traffic during rush hour on Monday when I go to work.

    --m
  • DFL, forget about this - this crowd doesn't want to hear it. I don't know why, but that just seems to be the way it is.

    Sure, /.'ers will rally together and say "Security through obsurity is not security!" - but will gladly turn a blind eye and refuse to see a very real problem.

    What amazes me more is that many of the crowd here has to at least at one point in their life (unless they are all in school and have never worked at coding for a large DB in the RW) to have seen code that WASN'T Y2K compliant. I know I have - in fact, I remember a meeting in which we discussed another date related problem, one in which every date function would have to be changed throughout our system (the infamous PICK day 10000 issue). I remember remarking that we should do the Y2K fixes at that point as well. I was brushed off, and those fixes weren't implemented. I don't know if they have been yet. I have since left.

    Fixing the functions aren't the only issues. Also at issue is the data itself (which could be in a variety of forms - I know I have heard and seen of some wierd forms!) within the database, or coming in via other interfaces. You also have to worry about different forms of correcting Y2K issues between interconnecting/intercommunicating systems. A good example would be a medical insurance company and a hospital's management software - what if one used a four digit year system (the safest, though the most difficult to implement), while the other used a sliding window technique (the cheapest for good protection - simply moves the issue to a later date in time)? What if both used a sliding window technique and one started the window in 1970, while the other started it in 1960? There is a chance that data communicated between the two systems could become corrupt - possibly resulting in both systems malfunctioning. While such a system isn't critical (though it could be), such interelations happen in other industries as well, ones which very well may be critical(such as the JIT related food distribution industry, food suppliers, and grocery stores - which generally have a 72 hour supply on hand - don't believe me? Go into a grocery store late at night, or a Walmart - and notice all of the stuff trucked out to be put on the shelves - within hours, it is all put out, ready for the next day - if any link fails in that chain, no bread for tommorow!)...

    I don't know - things might go smoothly, there might not be any problem at all. It might be a day just like any other. Just remember the following:

    "It is better to be prepared, and for it not to have happened, than to be unprepared, and for it to occur..."

    IOW, laugh at DFL and myself now, and after the rollover, if you want - just remember, if rioting on the streets occur, and you come knocking on my door for protection, food, etc. don't be suprised if I answer the door with a shotgun leveled at your chest...
  • Will there be food shortages due to power failures and crashing computers halting shipping? No There will be food shortages because stupid people expecting armagedden will raid stores and hoarde food en masse.

    While it is easy to dismiss a Y2K meltdown as occuring because of a "crowd mentality" (which very well could occur - but wouldn't, if stockpiling was begun now, and hoarding didn't occur), this simplifies things too much. There is a very real possiblity that there could be a food shortage, due to our JIT food distribution system we have in place (BTW, regarding the comment I had elsewhere, about the day 10000 change and my employer not doing the Y2K fix then - that employer was a major food distribution software supplier)...

    Only one link in this chain needs to be broken. I don't know where (or if) one will break - so let's just make an example: Let's say the break occurs in the trucks themselves (which ship to the stores from the warehouses).

    How could this occur? Well, if the trucks are new enough, they might have computers (microcontrollers) on board monitoring when the engine was last serviced (for a major overhaul) - say it was set for 06-06-98. Now, when the year 2000 rolls around - the computer would see that it hasn't been service in -2 years! All of this assumes, of course, that the controller is working off of two digit years (which is actually a pretty good assumption - it has been the defacto standard for date display/use the world over for quite a long while!). Now, what will that controller do? It could do one of a number of things - shut down the engine, flash an idiot light, it could do nothing. But if it does shut down the engine - do you think the truckers are gonna haul out thier laptops (and yes, I am aware that truckers carry laptops these days!) and hack the code to fix the problem?

    This is just one example of an embedded microcontroller in one area - in the food distribution/service industry, there are thousands of microcontrollers involved. If any of the critical ones fail, you don't get your bread tommorow (that, or you fight for it!)...

    If a sewage plant can spill sewage due to a software failure, don't you think it is possible that there may be a chance that a software failure could stop the delivery of food?

    DFL, damn you, you have got me preaching to ostriches as well! :)
  • The day I get a signed letter on power company letterhead from the president of the power company itself stating "I guarantee power will be available during the rollover." is the day I believe it!
  • Power probably won't go out, wanna know why? When was the first time that a power system used a
    computer? They sure as hell didn't start with 'em.


    Don't know about the first time, but I do know that a lot of time sensitive microcontrollers are in place all over the electrical grid - many on transformers high up on telephone poles and such (mainly for time sensitive service related issues). Here is the kicker, though:

    On the grid, in order to start a power plant up (after a blackout), another power plant has to supply power to it, so it can begin operating. If this backup system fails (it is an interelated grid thing which I only begin to understand), then those plants can't come back online. I don't know if you remember the blackout that happened in the western states a few years back - but that was caused by a cascade effect, because a treebranch fell on a line!

    And what about the computers that run our nuclear generating stations? Have you thought about them?

    Indeed, there are many computers in the electrical grid - if you think otherwise, you need to wake up to the truth!
  • Koskinen said the command center was meant to keep tabs on critical private-sector activities as well as local, state and federal computer systems
    Is it just me or does "keep tabs" really mean sniff the net for all interesting traffic?
    "should serve as a framework for future cooperation between critical infrastructure industries ... and the federal government"
    This sounds like more of the same. Reminds me of the governments efforts to control keys, the clipper chip etc. Is this just the command bunker for Echelon II?

    Check out the Lance Armstrong Foundation [laf.org]

  • Yeah, FEMA (Federal Everything Management Agency), as in, the Feds will manage everthing centrally from DC.

    Does this strike anyone else as totally asinine, that these people even remotely think that they can direct the Y2K "coping" efforts of over 250 million individuals scattered across 50 states? What a complete crock.

    The real danger in these centralized efforts is that if the shit really does hit the fan, people will look to this central bunker, the Prez, and his central-planning sycophants for directions, rather than relying on their own knowhow and common sense.


  • I used to work for a bank, and briefly for a medical school. I now work for the local gas and electric company. At all three of those places, the general understanding of where the potential problems are has been quite clear, and they are being worked on in a very sane and rational fashion. At least in my immediate area, the lights are unlikely to go out, the banks aren't going to "lose" your money, and the hospitals will be operational. I'm not worried. Anyone who lives in my area (Rochester, NY) who is worried about any of the above shouldn't be.

    That said, here's the stuff I am worried about:

    1. Rochester, NY is a pretty high-tech area, given the schools and industries that live there. It's no real wonder, then, that we're OK and not too given to panic. However, parts of the country that are not as technology-intensive or knowledgable might have problems.

    2. If you think other parts of the US have it bad, Europe and Japan have serious Y2K problems. Especially Europe, from what I've read, since they were silly enough to try to do the Euro conversion last year instead of concentrating on Y2K.

    3, Due to issue #2, as well as the sudden "bust" in demand for programmers once Y2K fixing season is over, the economy is likely to, in the long term, do Bad Things. I jokingly made a "Y2K food stockpile" last spring and was very grateful for it when I lost my job in June. I'm replenishing it for use in the event of a similar situation.

    4. I am very concerned about the Crazy People. There seem to be several different sets of them: the fundies who are expecting either the Anti-Christ or the second coming of Jesus, the anti-technology sorts who are looking for an excuse to have everyone go back to the land, and the "darkside" sorts who are convinced that all of a sudden there is going to be a Shadowrun-like scenario and it will suddenly become possible to throw fireballs and there will be a Great War between law and chaos blahblahblah, are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

    5. Due to the fundie version of the above, if enough of them can get into enough power based on all the hype, real damage could get done to religious and intellectual freedom in the United States. This is NOT something I want to deal with.

    6. The nuts that head for the hills to avoid the "rioters." The opportunists who break into the houses of the nuts and start looting. My boyfriend tried to convince me to leave the city on 12/31/99 but I am not going to. I'm going to be at Baron Devon's New Years Eve Party with most of the rest of the local SCA group, and if the lights go out and all the other nasty stuff happens, we're well-equipped to deal with it. We've got candles, camping equipment, and weapons if necessary. :)

  • This is part of the reason I'm partying with the Baron this New Year's. Lots of interesting weaponry is sure to be on hand.

    Think swords. Battleaxes and crossbows are good, too. And make sure you look like you know how to use whatever it is you've got. Plenty of SCA-folk can tell you funny stories about stopping various would-be attackers and theives with medieval weaponry.

    Hey, even in Pulp Fiction, a katana made a much cooler weapon than a chainsaw. *grin*

    Shock value is a Good Thing, sometimes.
  • Whatever you do.. never, ever, ever, ever watch the movie. It sucks beyond all scope of imagination.
  • I can just imagine the calls from cenile 50-something housewives to 911

    "911"
    "help!"
    "whats wrong?"
    "its y2k!"
    "how can I help you?"
    "its year 2000! all those computers are going to crash and the power and phone lines will go out and stuff! help me!"
    "ma'am, the phones are working right now"
    ..

    you get the point. imagine every woman who screams and cries who has called tech support thinking they broke their computer. they'll be harder on 911
  • Does the part--Koskinen said the center "should serve as a framework for future cooperation between critical infrastructure industries ... and the federal government" -- scare anyone else? I'm not too much of a conspiracy theorist, but.... Anyway, with all the talk about Y2K, I felt this an appropriate quote from a cDc text.

    ---
    So the Mormons honestly believe that The Hour is almost at hand. What are
    they doing about it? For one thing, each family is under orders to stockpile a
    year's supply of food. (Don't believe it? Go get the fantastic documentary
    _Sherman's March_ by Ross McElwee, available at better video rental stores.
    There's a small segment in McElwee's film where a Mormon woman he's dating
    explains that the end of the world is coming soon and shows him the food her
    family has been stockpiling for it.)

    When I first read about this, I have to admit that an appealing thought
    crossed my mind: don't bother stockpiling food and water in case of natural
    disaster -- instead, plan to wrestle them from the nearest Mormon family. But
    then I read about their "72-hour kits", the reasoning behind which is explained
    in the book _In Mormon Circles_ by James Coates:

    A primary principle of civil defense is that the
    key to surviving catastrophe isn't just laying in
    supplies to tide one over the period during which the
    irradiated landscape cools down, but rather taking
    steps to withstand the rigors and dangers of the first
    three days. It is those initial seventy-two hours of
    upheaval and rioting as the unprepared struggle to
    take away the supplies of their more prudent neighbors
    that pose the greatest threat to long-term survival.

    To me, this means one word: GUNS. Suddenly, the thought of forcing my way
    past the door of a Mormon family's basement-turned-barricade turned from glee
    to horror. Assuming the Saints survive those first hectic days after the bombs
    fall, they'll have to lay low for a while, consuming those tasty rations while
    we Gentiles are wiped off the face of the Earth.

    After the smoke clears, however, the Mormons are planning to trek over to
    Salt Lake City. After taking a head count and giving each other much-deserved
    mutual high-fives, the Saints will travel en masse to the historical site of
    Eden, where they will come to dwell in paradise on Earth.

    They'll probably take I-70, passing eastward through Topeka, Kansas. The
    survivors of Armageddon, those chosen few directed by God to dwell in Eden,
    will find it in the hometown of Harry S. Truman: Independence, Missouri.

    ---
    I guess that means on Dec 31 I will be sitting in my house loading my 12 gauge and getting ready to pick off any mormons I see or maby in a full riot suit(Never can be sure what the locals will get rilled about).
    Riot Suits, now there is a smart y2k investment.

    Good luck to you all.
  • Don't forget to go check out the rest of the article on the cDc page. Its a very worthwhile read, maybe i'll submit the story. Its about 100pages long :)
  • 9th September 1999 is represented as 090999.

    The only date that could be represented on a computer as 9999 or 99999 was 9th April 1999, which was the 99th day of 1999. (99th day of 99 or 99th day of 999, depending how the date code works.) I'm not aware that there were any problems anywhere in the world regarding this date, although I would be interested to read about some, should anyone have any links.

    Consequently my company was slightly bothered about 9999 (with good reason, it was used, and was fixed way back in 98), but isn't worried very much about 09/09/99.

    We aren't that bothered about the millennium, really, either, but then again, we've been working on the problem since 1996. One thing that did concern us, though, was the supposedly compliant release of a major control application, while quite happily turning from 31/12/1999 to 01/01/2000, also went from 31/12/2000 to 02/01/2002. THAT was scary :)

    Another problem which might be a concern for some people, is 29/02/2000, which is a valid date. Depending on how accurate the date code is in some applications, this date coud conceivably not be recognised.

    A little anecdote for your amusement. I am not sure of its validity, but it's funny nonetheless:


    A processor of peas decided to test their completely automated pea processing plant for Y2K compliance. They cranked the date on the system up to 31 Decembet 1999 and watched it roll over. They let it carry on for a week, just to make sure. No problems. Then they rolled the date back. Immediately, the waste peas (unprocessed peas that are over X hours old) increased to 100% of the total peas input into the system. It took a week to work out what the problem was.

    They eventually found a kludgy bit of code in the 'goods-in' system which said 'If the today_date in the processing application is greater than the today_date in the goods-in application, increase the today_date in the goods-in application.' There was no corersponding code that dealt with a date discrepancy the other way round, so when the processing application was set back to 1999, the goods-in application remained in 2000.

    Consequently, when the goods-in application did its calculations to work out how old the peas were (by comparing the today_date in the goods-in application with the barcoded date on the truck) it got confused about dates and routed the entire load to the waste bin.

    Apparently it cost the company in question several hundred thousand pounds in waste goods, lost revenue and remediation.
  • cool idea, snag me one of those really thin viao notebooks, the new mp3 player, a couple of Palm V's and a couple of the largest moniters they got..... **note to self, get semi driving liscense**
  • by J. Pierpont ( 58099 ) on Thursday July 29, 1999 @03:45PM (#1775818) Homepage


    "What's that sound, mommy?"
    "That's Y2k coming, honey"
    "Whelp, I guess we'd better get down in the bunker, Eunice."



    "Mommy, I forgot Fluffy!!"
    "Don't go out there, dear, it's not safe!"

    Y2K--Coming to a computer near you.

    -awc
  • Heh, that's what they thought when the Y2K issue was started. "These systems will no longer being in use."


    For the record, I'm going to New York City.

    Power probably won't go out, wanna know why? When was the first time that a power system used a computer? They sure as hell didn't start with 'em.

    There was a huge panic at what problems may occur, and then we realized that the problem was actually really small, and then we realized that it's easy to fix, well, mostly.

    The bank I work for is pretty good for y2k, regulators say that we're "better than anyone else we've seen. They offered me double-time to stay here and work on the 31st. Fuck that, man, I won't have another chance for something like this.

    Then again, I wrote a proposal for them to send me to New Zealand with a laptop on US-central time, just so I can report in first hand, and have a little fun too . . . of course, I'd need some company . . .

    too bad they ain't that gullible

    later
  • (mainly for time sensitive service related issues).
    Billing, bah, we don't need no stinkin' bills.
    And what about the computers that run our nuclear generating stations? Have you thought about them?
    Indeed I have, actually, right after I posted, I remembered that there's one about, oh, 30 miles from where I live & work. Doh? Doh.
    Indeed, there are many computers in the electrical grid - if you think otherwise, you need to wake up to the truth!
    "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! Bah! I deprive your truth handling abilities!"
    But, on a lighter note, I don't think that many computers are on major parts of the grid, because if there is, then they're stupid, because computers crash (yes, all of them, I never got a "kernel panic" in windows or Be, I'll tell you that.)
    All you really need for a power plant is some fuel and a generator, a computer complicates things unneccisarily (I can never spell that word). But then again, I just talked to the guy from Commonwealth Edison about this very issue, so what do we know?
    later
  • Yeah, ok, I'll stay at home and stroke my big long weapon.

    This is why people laugh at the american way of life, at how out of touch americans can be.

    I say we all just stay home that night, have a gun or two handy in case there is some kind of threat to you while in your home

    December 31st will be a huge party in Europe, I personally am flying from Dublin to Amsterdam a couple of days beforehand to take advantage of the huge open air dance festivals going on. Gonna get high and have a laugh.

    I dont have a gun or two. A dont even have one gun. I dont know anyone that has a gun. I've never even seen a real gun.

    You should consider visiting the real world for the new year.

    .
  • That's not what's going on. It's like calling your second wife your third one. It's a counting error. It doesn't matter where you start. You don't call the twelfth man the start of the second dozen. He's the end of the first.

    Taken out of context, this is the greatest post posted ever, by anyone.

  • I read the article trying to figure out why it is being called a 'bunker' and the only sense I could make of it was that CNN wanted lots of hits from panicky readers.
  • Mine-shafts! There must not be a mine-shaft gap! Darn Russkies!

    ;-)
  • I don't know.. I haven't really seen any estimates as to how much money it will cost. However, this *seems* to be just as bad as the impeachment trials in terms of wasting money and time.

    Rajiv Varma
  • Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too. -- Lichty & Wagner

    That quote was from the bottom of one of the slashdot pages, and I think it describes this situation perfectly. This project is just appealing to all those people who say "better safe than sorry." As far as I'm concerned, this y2k bunker will add more paranoia and fear to the uninformed U.S. population, heck maybe even the world. Of course, to go back to satire, what's wrong with throwing a few billion dollars here, a few billion dollars there.....

    Rajiv Varma
  • Around midnight December 31st, I'm going to get on IRC and nuke every single person in every single "Y2K Panic" and "New Millenium" channel. :)
    It's funny, people used to think that the world would suddenly turn Jetson-like in 2000 - now they're worried about computers inadvertently destroying the world. It's not often that you get to see the entire world swing from foolish optimism to idiotic panic in the space of a few years :)
    I think you can figure out how to email me ;)
  • this is typical American attitude. we've become a society so dependant on our government, that half of our citizens can't wipe their ass without Clinton's approval. The government takes our money and wastes it, uses it to make us a laughing stock. gives it to foreign countries by the billions of dollars. all this stuff is a load of crap. If the government were run like my bank account we'd be in MUCH better shape. My bank account gets a boost every 2 weeks, I pay my bills first, then I withdraw some for the average bottle of gin or gas or a night in a restaurant. I don't give it away to anyone but the closest friends, and that very rarely, simply because I EXPECT my close friends to be able to manage their own paychecks. If my account happens to become short of money or close to short of money. what do I do. I stop spending. I stop giving. Our government continues spending. Continues giving billions to other countries who cannot seem to manage their pocketbook.
    this is idiocy.

    and we wonder why we are broke.

    the US is beginning to suck.

    Fook
  • by jiml ( 73541 )
    about 1/3 of the population will freak due to idiocy, 1/3 will add to the freak to be prepared.
    the other 1/3 will know y2k will not be a problem but will be screwed by the first 2/3. which third are you going to be in?

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