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U.S. is "Just About OK for Y2K" 220

whostudios wrote to us with the current CNN headline news, stating that the White House has deemed that US will be OK for Y2k. Besides having silly rhyming involved in it, it's an interesting report. What do you folks think about all of the whole Y2k fears?
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U.S. is "Just About OK for Y2K"

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  • by thrash_ ( 34661 )
    Nothing but pure, unadulterated hype. It's been blown WAY out of proportion, and people like the Red Cross who tell people to prepare for the worst, are doing nothing but raising the fears of the people. It's the worst kind of FUD.
  • ITS at work made us all upgrade our suns to make the 'y2k compliant' - I lost 2 days work .... if we'd left it worst case the machine concievably might have crashed on Jan1 - a day when I will be on vacation, and then beenrebooted ..... afterwards my delete key didn't work (I guess it wasn't y2k compliant :-) [really needed a new xmodmap]

    I can't help feel that for the bulk of us the cost of becoming 'y2k compliant' exceeds the possible damage caused by not being --- probably by several orders of magnitude!

  • The only problem i forsee is the fact that some things will say Jan 1, 1900 and say that day was a monday and 1/1/01 is a thursday, thats the only problems...

    There was however a sewage plant in van nuys that backed up and flowed over into a neighboring i'm not sure what to think...go Nitrozak
  • Nothing but pure, unadulterated hype. It's been blown WAY out of proportion, and people like the Red Cross who tell people to prepare for the worst, are doing nothing but raising the fears of the people. It's the worst kind of FUD.

    You should ALWAYS be prepared for a disaster. The Red Cross, being a group that helps people in disasters, is doing a good thing, I think.

    The significance of Y2K has been overblown to the general public though. (It is an I.T. problem but we've been working on it for years. Y2K is no surprise.)

    Always be prepared.
  • I think the US will probably be prepared for Y2K, by and large. However, I'm not so sure about other countries.

    There are just so many details to consider. For example, at the hospital my dad works at, they have spent tons of time and money correcting potential problems with all sorts of medical equipment (X-Ray machines, heart monitors, etc.).

    Do you think everyone else will take this seriously enough to prevent major problems? Perhaps some of our fellow Slashdotters from around the globe can comment on the situation in their countries.

  • by PD ( 9577 )
    If you're being paid to be prepared, then do your job. This means policemen, firemen, hospital workers, the CDC, and the uniformed services of the government.

    The rest of you, don't cause any trouble with all that stockpiled ammunition and champaigne! The millennium party is going to be excellent, and you've got 13 and 1/2 months to get ready for it.
  • "Scaring" people into keeping a week's worth of food and water on hand might not be unforgiveable.

    I live about two miles from the San Andreas fault. It's generally considered a really good idea for people in 'quake zones to have a few days' supplies on hand, to make things easier for everyone until utilties are connected.

    But it took the threat-I-don't-quite-belive-in of Y2K trouble to get me off my ass and buy peanut butter, crackers, batteries and bottled water.

    What we really should worry about are the bozos who are going to make trouble for religious and political reasons. You know . . . the ones too weird to get invited to cool parties! :-)

  • I've seen upteen number of people on game shows and talk shows make fun of y2k. Or they outright said (with the camera zoomed in) I'm not worried about y2k!

    Of course they're trying to make you feel safe.. maybe you shouldn't be so gullable.

    I say, why not take a bit of precaution. The red cross is right to tell people to "prepare for bad weather."

    In the end, all you have is faith. Personally, I'm betting on some problems.

    I know too many dumb programmers. How many do you know?

  • Of course two months before Y2K they're saying that everything is A-OK. They also told us we could survive a nuclear attack if we just "duck and cover."

    Uncle Sam won't tell us if the national infrastructure is going to disintegrate on January 1, because people would run on the banks, horde food, and stock-pile arms. They have to say everything is OK because of the consequences.

    Of course, I think the whole Y2K thing was blown way way way out of proportion by the media. I agree that nothing major's going to happen, but what if it did?

    Perfect excuse to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law and turn America into the police state that the Suede-Denim Secret Police have been planning all along!!!

    Or at least a good excuse to "pick up" a new VCR.

  • by Khan ( 19367 )
    Let's see....canned food...bottled water....12 guage shotgun with about 50 slugs (no buckshot here). Yup! I'm prepeared :P Oh yeah, I'll be on an airplane that day, too. I can't wait til this entire stupidity is behind us. I hope our children will be able to look back at this in history and laugh at us. Cause I sure as hell will be.
  • by Keelor ( 95571 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:07PM (#1544547)
    The following are not what I'm afraid will come with Y2K. I'm not afraid that...

    the power grid will come down. This has been rather thoroughly tested. What may (probably will) happen is that there will be local blackouts. Some could be serious, but I doubt that many people will be killed as a direct result of lack of heat.

    the banks will lose everyone's money. Banks have had to look past December 31st, 1999 for a while. My credit card doesn't expire until September 2000, for instance. Again, there _will_ be localized problems, but I doubt that anyone will permanently lose a significant portion of their income.

    nukes will accidently go off. This is actually the one I'm least sure about, as I think there is a tiny possiblity that Russian (possibly other country's) nukes will be launched due to some bad data. This is pretty small, though, and (on a rather foreboding note) I think that the US should be able to shoot down any stray nukes before they cause significant damage.

    What am I afraid of? People. There are people right now that have enough guns, ammo, and other so-called "survival" equipment to outfit a third-world country. Many of these are not the most stable people to begin with. I'm afraid that when Y2K occurs and nothing significant happens, a few of them will decide to use their guns and ammo in what will already be a rather tense situation. The possiblity of riots due to the lack of Y2K problems should not be ignored. If you have friends that fit in this group, invite them to a party and make sure they pass out or something ;).


  • >New Year's fireworks won't be misfired missiles

    The fireworks may not be US missiles, but that doesn't mean that we won't get nuked.

    While I don't really expect anything THAT nasty to happen, it's pure crap to suggest that everything will be fine because the US thinks they have their act together. The global system as it stands is so heavily integrated that an oops in one part of the world will likely have a serious impact on everyone else. The recent Asian market crash should have made that quite clear.

  • by cronio ( 13526 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:08PM (#1544550) Homepage
    Some things that will happen during Y2K:

    1) Earthquakes. Lots of them.
    2) Hurricanes. Lots of them.
    3) Floods. Lots of them.
    4) The Apocolypse's horsemen will ride the earth.
    5) The Messiah will come, but it will turn out he has no power, and will perish with the rest of us.
    6) The Antichrist will come.
    7) The Supreme court will announce Microsoft innocent, and the apocolypse will come.
    8) Every computer, everywhere (except those running Linux or some other flavor of UNIX) will crash.
    9) After being announced not guilty, and after all the computers crash, Microsoft will reveal that in order to fix the problem, you must buy Windows2K which will arrive in about a year.
    10) WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If anything else is going to happen, please notify me so I can stock up more food and buy more guns.

  • Most of us (myself included) don't understand all the issues involved with this problem well enough to comment intelligently about it. If people _did_ understand the issue, there wouldn't be guys going around collecting money for vetting Macintoshes for "Y2K compliance."
  • The Y2K problem exists because many older computers and software programs recognize only the last two digits of the year and could mistakenly interpret "00" as 1900.

    So that's what all the fuss is about... :)

    Actually, I think the entire problem can be summed up as "annoying but not serious", with one exception.

    It may just be the result of media hype, but my major concern is how some people [] might react to the new millenium...
  • Nobody really knows what's going to happen. Nobody. Too many unknowns. So, the computer experts take a back seat to the washington sugarcoating and marketing machine. And, of course, everything comming from there is going to look positive and good. Reminds me of Leslie Neilsen in "Naked Gun", standing in front of a burning fireworks warehouse, saying "Move Along. Nothing to see here. Move Along."
  • The company I am IT Director for has spent exactly $0 and 0 hours of time confirming our Y2K compliance, and I'm sure we'll be just fine. Anything that breaks then, we'll fix it, or replace it. We're lucky enough not to have any time-dependent critical systems, unlike, say, a bank...

    In terms of Y2K issues, I'm much more concerned with humans than machines. It is much more likely that some stupid religious zealot from some doomsday cult will nerve gas Times Square (the city of NY has been running poison gas assault drills in conjunction with FEMA, from what I've read in the print media) than that mass chaos will erupt due to some computers breaking. When disasters (such as hurricanes here on the east coast of the USA) hit major metro areas and wipe out power systems (and therefore all computer systems in the area) human response teams manage the crisis rather well. I think any Y2K related crashes (say a power grid goes down, or a traffic grid, or whatever) will be handled with similar efficiency by the emergency teams.

    What is more difficult to respond to is a situation in which panicky humans are making a bad situation worse, and the Y2K hype essentially guarantees this - and if the problems are human-initiated rather than systemic, this will make the situation even worse. Also, humans are more likely to unleash NBC attacks on population centers than faulty systems, so they're much more likely to cause the real damage.

    Don't worry so much about the stupid computers, worry about the stupid humans...

    Personally, I plan to be out in the countryside with no emergency rations but far away from potential sites of stupid human antics...

  • The biggest problem our country faces on Jan 1 is not computers or technology. Its a bunch of crazy-ass people!

    Well, the world is gonna end anyway, I may as well strap a bomb on my back and head down to times square! Kabooom!
  • Ya i've wondered about this too; esp countries who's economies we might depend on. Which is why i said earlier in the week too much interdependances could be bad. Hopefully other countries took it seriously tho.
  • I'll have to concur with you about the medical equipment. I don't really see a big problem with datestamping X-Ray's. Even if the function became unusable, how exspensive would it be to use good old masking tape?
  • ...about the rest of the world, i was talking to my father in law about Y2k and he was telling me: (qoute from email)

    What I was saying was that there are a number of countries (probably 100 to 110) who have no preparation for Y2K and that this would result in those countries going on manual status at the first of the year until computer concerns could be solved (about $200 billion worth in the next year). Amongst those are some that have missles in silos. Now, we think of hackers in the U.S. as being guys looking to be either a nuisance or to make a quick buck. But what if a terrorist organization decided to hack into one of these computers and launch a missle. Probably be easier than hacking into your home computer. Arming the warhead would be more difficult since they use mostly input codes, but a launch would send a message that they were not to be trifled with. Possible targets include: China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel.

    i never thought of this before but it seems very likely.
  • power outages, atm machines gone crazy, sewage treatment plants overflowing.... yadda yadda yadda. In my building the worst thing that may happen is the desktops will think its 1900 (until i go around and manually set them)

    lets face it kids, y2k is just big media hype.

    i was doing research into y2k issues with our suppliers and one had a very simple policy:

    "No matter what happens on January 1st, we will still be able to bill you. Pencil and paper made it through the last millenium change, and we see no reason to think this one will be different."

    this my friends is a good policy.
  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:22PM (#1544566) Homepage
    Massive power grid failure seems unlikely; ditto for banks falling apart altogether as well as for the nukes.

    There may be some problems in third world nations where they may have gotten some old System 34/36 systems shipped in, that will burn up on Jan 1st, but if they're just barely automated, stepping back to non-computerized methods isn't liable to be that much of a problem.

    I am a bit less worried about the "people" problem.

    • There have been fewer religious "millennial paranoia" movements than I expected (and I was anticipating there to be some. []). Yes, there are crackpots. But they've been remarkably quiet.
    • The serious crackpots are going to all load up with guns, and head to a deserted spot in Montana.

      Ed Yourdon says so :-). []

      Supposing thousands of crazed lunatics head, heavily armed, to Montana next month. What's likely to happen? They're liable to accidentally shoot each other. This might make next year's Darwin Awards [] as one of the dumbest things of 1999.

    • I agree with Yourdon's assessment that New York City is liable to be a bad place to be on New Year's Eve; if you put vast numbers of partiers wanting to hold "the blowout of the millennium" in one spot, problems are a given.
  • The systems people are SCARED about crashing are mostly embedded.

    While not all embedded systems operate in the manner I'm about to describe, lots do.

    Basically they use a clock that is just a counter (like the UNIX system clock) and reset at convient times. For example heavy machines. You have to PM the machine every so often. When you perform the maintenance procedure you reset the clock. When the machine detects a certain clock value, it shuts itself down to prevent damage due to lack of maintenance.

    Note that the date doesn't matter. It's a trivial example, but very very common. More so than using a data cause it's easier (read as SMALLER) to code .

  • by fizzz ( 30154 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:23PM (#1544569)
    The impression I most often get whenever I hear about the Y2K bugs that'll bring the end of the world is that whoever is talking has no idea what they're talking about (or, even worse, they have no idea what their sources are talking about).

    Still, as a CS grad, I have a pretty good idea how it must feel trying to convince someone, and oneself, that a complete (to be defined) system will behave exactly as it should in less then 2 months. I mean, if I spend hours debugging code I write because it's behavior is erratic, I'm not sure I'd like to prove (to be defined) that someone else's code will not display a behavior I can't predict (this is probably a NP problem :-)) ...

    Generally, I think the world will keep on spinning and most people will encounter, over the next few months (if not years), a few instances of the problem (be it a VCR not working or a credit card refused). But in no way will humanity crash. Worst case, there'll be a few extreme cases with serious consequences (say a plane crashing or my town lacking electricity in the middle of winter for two weeks, which some will remember living through a few years back) on which all the medias will be glued for 1~2 weeks before everybody agrees it was a sad and predictable thing; and then forgets about it.

    I strongly doubt that statistically speaking the Y2K will have a major impact on the number of deaths in 2000 or cost more to any government then recent natural disasters (be it flood, hurricanes, earthquakes).

    Remember that this year we've had a few hurricanes in north america and in Asia, major earthquakes in Turkey, Greece and Taiwan, incredible floods in south america and Asia, ... Good luck convincing me that the Y2K bug can cause more damage (financially, emotionnaly, etc. ) then any of these.

    However, no matter my rambling, we'll only know for sure in a few months (say a year or two at max for all major repercussions to show up).

    P.S. #1: This is of course only my opinion. There are probably some readers who actually made a living out of fixing such problems. I'd be very interested in reading their opinions.

    P.S. #2: Of course, I won't be able to live with myself if Slashdot doesn't load up at midnight... :-)
  • Although I must say that it has been definitely blown out of proportion, the whole Y2K issue is not to be taken lightly. Countries are very reliant on eachother and any problems in one country can affect many other countries. Apparently, the national governments of Western countries have readied themselves appropriately and well. However, the governments of other nations do not seem so well prepared. Russia, the Ukraine, Indonesia, and China are all unprepared for Y2K. The CIA and the State Department predict that these countries may suffer "significant failures." The State Department plans to withdraw government employees [] and their families from Russia and three ex-Soviet states on concerns over Y2K problems. These countries cannot be ignored. State and local governments (in the U.S.) are also have problems preparing for Y2K. Many of the nation's emergency call centers are not prepared [] for the Y2K turnover. Also, some states are not prepared for the Y2K design defect, Alabama, for one, that just over half of its systems are prepared for the Year 2000 (article []). This is certainly not an issue that can be taken lightly. Some people tend to think that, because something is on television so often, it must be just hype (most of it is). Sometimes it's not. Not to worry though, I'm sure that we will come out OK, as that is always the believe of the mob.
    Chris Hagar
  • ok, the title's cheezy, so what :P

    i'd have to say that while most people hope that the changeover goes through without a hitch, yet EVERYONE seems intent on the fact that the world's gonna end, i'd have to say in reality it's probably somewhere mildly in between the two.

    no, planes probably won't fall out of the sky and no, the electrical cord on your toaster won't try to strangle you without provocation.

    most probably, you'll see a few hours of power outages in random places depending on the readiness of your local power company. isp's probably will have a little trouble (at least the lazy ones who refuse to upgrade their software ;P) and a myriad of other little things may go wrong but nothing really catastrophic, in the states at least.

    the only major fear that i'd express is the thought that some countries (mostly russia) that have nuclear capabilities, but may not have the funding necessary to get everything cleared up by jan. 1st and as such could possibly experience some scary situations. but at the last i really cannot say how worried we should be about something like this since i, for one, have absolutely no idea what the state of readiness is in these countries.

    but like i said, for the most part, lots of little things should go wrong...just annoying stuff that we don't have the time nor the temperment to fix yet, there's the possibility for a massive disaster of apocolyptic scale, but i, for one, will assume that it's a slim possibility...mostly because there's not a damn thing i can do about it and it'll help me sleep better in the later days of december if i'm not worried about russia's government computer systems accidentally blanketing the states with nukes on jan. 1st...not to mention, i'm also assuming that this is one of those "high priority" items that they probably got started on fairly early :)

  • I've alreadk implemented mk K2Y changes. Whk are kou people still kelling about this stork?

  • Well, if anything, we out here in the rest of the world simply are not as desperately in need of a little apocalyptic action as you Americans are. Unlike you, this is not our first Millenia change, and while we had quite a good time shouting about the end of the world last time, we are now taking the cool approach. In general, everyone seems to agree that you Americans with your bunkers, canned beans, spam, and weeks of drinking water are, well, funny.

    Most people here seem only moderately cautious. While the consensus seems to be against flying (who wants to be on a fucking airplane anyways?) I haven't heard anyone seriously worry about anything else. Partially I think its because we are less dependant on our machines (we don't eat out when our dishwashers break for example), and partially because we have a more rational approach to life (in general: you have to admit there are more crazy people ala militias, abductees, heelers etc in the US).

    Also, I think because the idea of machines is less embedded in our culture and our psychee, to the extent that our mass psychology does seek an apocalyptic event to end the millenia, we are less likely to read it into a few computer failures.

    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • sorry any nuke coming at us won't be able to be shot down in time, remember the discussion awhile ago about the ABM treaty, no NMD (nuclear missle defence) for the us, even if we did the testing is like less then 1/7 and that was with nukes with a know tradjectory (sp?). feel real safe eh? shouldn't matter, the us and russia share (norad's i think) nuclear missle detection system.
  • ITS at work made us all upgrade our suns to make the 'y2k compliant'

    Look at the bright side. At leas you got a new workstation!

  • There are systems that would "blow up" if remediation work wasn't done; the famed "billions of lines" of COBOL [] code, for instance.

    You may not see any of this on UNIX systems where the "problem date" is in 2038; that does not diminish that there are huge quantities of "bespoke" applications, custom software written for this department or that within companies, where the code has stayed running far longer than it was designed for.

    Linux may not have much of a ``Y2K problem;'' [] there are a whole lot of database-oriented and COBOL-oriented applications that do, or (hopefully by this point) did.

  • by Parity ( 12797 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:27PM (#1544577)
    I think that the GNU Y2K readiness list [] is a bit disturbing. CVS-1.8 and 1.9 are not ready, and no newer version is listed as having been tested. Groff is not ready... ouch...

    I also fully expect that there will be major and expensive breakdowns of computer systems. There is far too much stupid code out there being relied on. I had the same reflex as nearly every programmer... 'Ahh, it won't matter except for silly things like sorting your checkbook by date.' I still don't really know -why- it matters, but when people have done readiness-testing (setting the date to Dec. 31, 1999 and watching it rollover) computer equipment has done things like stop a power plant from working. Why? Probably some linkage between database functions and power functions. Or a failure in a cron-like system. Who knows.

    As programmers we think it's 'obvious' that it isn't 'really' a problem. But it is a problem. It's just like when it's 'obvious' that it can't be -your- code that introduced the bug... until you step through it with a debugger and realize that it is. You can argue until you're blue in the face about why it shouldn't be a problem, but the empirical evidence disagrees.

    Well, Lawyers, Liars and Perl [] gives a better explanation of why there are Y2K issues even in modern code better than I can do.

  • s/y/k/ig


  • Last year I received a notice from my bank
    that said:

    "Our goal is to ensure that January 2, 2000
    is just another business day for Bank of X."

    Anyone see the problem with this statement?
    Needless to say, I no longer bank there.
  • Y2K reminds of M$ marketing: way too much hype, but when it comes, there's nothing much to it. :-)

    I'm not ignorant of the possibility of problems, but I don't think anything major will happen. Much like M$ promises with each new release of winbloxe to revolutionize the way we compute. Well, the winbloxes came and went, and the world still went on as before.

  • I just love the places that we are picking up all of our information -- from politicians, priests, news agencies, and he with the many guns.

    Every company is entity different. Some are smart, some are dumb, that is just the way that it is.

    I know of one little Phoenix company that is going to have Y2K problems serious enough that I really think they will go under within one months time. The problem is that they were not willing to pay for qualified IT personnel. My manager and myself jumped ship when they could just not meet salary demands and we got tired of trying to fix all of the old equiptment and systems. Such is life.

  • I too am afraid of the public. With all the hype in the media about Y2K and banks losing money, people may choose to withdraw large sums of money out of banks and stocks.

    I feel this may have devisitating economical implications. Imagine the losses as the stock market goes down and the banks have no money.
  • One thing that came out of this report (or related research... I don't remember) is that only 50% of the US 9-1-1 systems have passed Y2K readiness tests. The idea that half of the country will be relying on a "fix on fail" philosophy for emergency services kinda sends a shiver up my spine.
  • Other countries that have highly developed information systems, such as Canada, the UK, Germany, France, ... are likely in a similar position to the United States. Some exposures, to be sure, but also some significant competence to cope with it.

    The places that are more likely to have problems are "Developing" nations in Africa and Asia, as they lack the expertise to grapple with the bugs.

    On the other hand, those "underprepared" nations are simultaneously new to automation, and may have relatively few truly critical automated systems. If they have to move back to pen and paper, it's not that huge a leap, as computing was new anyways.

    Note as well that multinational companies have contributed to Y2K infrastructures in many such places; after all, if Nike can't get shoes shipped out of Thailand, they can't sell them to US consumers. That makes it worthwhile for Nike to invest in the Thai infrastructure. (Names picked arbitrarily... I don't know if Nike has many factories in Thailand...)

  • I am worried that many small businesses will discover that their accounting software isn't Y2K compliant and go bankrupt due to cash flow problems before they can fix their systems.

    There are a lot of software packages installed over the past 20 years that are tailored for specific types of businesses and were sold and installed by consultants/companies who may not be around anymore.

    These small businesses do not have a technical staff and probably do not have the source code for their applications.

    What do they do when they try to generate the invoices for 2000-01 and the system croaks? I've heard of complete databases being lost due to Y2K problems and the inability to extract and migrate the data to a Y2K compliant database.

  • -----
    But what if a terrorist organization decided to hack into one of these computers and launch a missle. Probably be easier than hacking into your home computer.

    Of course, of course. Because, as we all know, those computer are on the Internet. Why wouldn't they be? :)
  • The Italian government first recognized Y2K as a potential problem *very* late in the game. I would not be surprised if they, along with other European countries, suffer moderate disruptions due to their failure to recognize this problem.
  • To reply to myself, I also think that any Y2K
    problems will be resolved within a week or two.
    It may cost some expensive consulting hours, but
    it'll get done.


  • 2. the phone system which had to be replaced because it would have totally failed Jan 1, 1999

    Can you please explain why the system would have failed at the start of this year? Too many 9's in the year string?
  • (apologies to Flavor Flav)

    Well, of the dozen or so computers in my house, all are either running Linux, NetBSD, Mac OS X Server, or Mac OS, so I think I'm covered. Only one machine is a concern, an ancient 486 whose motherboard may or may not be ready, but if it fails, I can always pick up a newer and faster board on ebay. In other words, no biggie.

    At the National Institutes of Health (where I work), the local newsletter featured comments by scientists asked about their Y2K readiness. Most basically said "I'm busy researching something, don't bug me with this meaningless problem." Sigh...

    IIRC, there was an article a couple of years ago comparing the estimated costs of fixing the Y2K "bug" versus the estimated cost of using an extra two bytes in all that source code over the years (in terms of storage and complexity), and found that by doing it all now, we're still saving money. Go figure.

  • It really sucks that groff isn't y2k-ready. I'm curious as to how it fails--if it stops working altogether (unlikely, I presume) then nobody will be able to read man pages.... If it just screws up and gets the date wrong when you tell it to print the date, that's kind of annoying but hardly serious.

    It would be nice if they had more detailed descriptions of the problems with the 'not ready' stuff.
  • Well, I spent a considerable amount of time making sure that Ameritech (midwest baby Bell) could have a phone ordering system that was Y2K compliant. In many cases people's phones would have been cut off because the system would have assumed that they had not paid for their service. So not preparing for it is stupid if you are a programmer type. Hardware people have considerably less to worry about, but should still be double checking with their vendors and updating their firmware/software just in case.

    The guy heading up our Y2K readiness at Ameritech had a friend in a Fortune500 company that said that they were completely cutting off their French branch and redirecting their customers in that area because the managers of that office refused to do Y2K testing. Supposedly, that office was being isolated on the company WAN and as soon as something wrong happened there, all management was going to be fired. The reason? Extensive testing in other branches proved that customers would not get proper service without Y2K software fixes. Don't know how true that story is, but it's still something to think about.
  • That's the gist of the latest quote I heard from the guy who's heading up Y2K stuff for whatever branch of the UN is dealing with it. (This is someone in the US, who's got decent credibility and a clue). The basic idea is that nothing catastrophic happens, but lots of teeny tiny little things go wrong, resulting in about the same amount of grief and annoyance as if one really big one had happened - and requiring a lot more things to be fixed.

    I'm inclined to believe that. I'm not inclined to believe people who say that nothing will happen - things have been breaking due to Y2K problems for literally years (remember when credit card companies first started issuing cards with expiration dates of 2000?) and I see no reason that things would abruptly *stop* breaking on 01/01/00. :) But I'm not inclined to believe that it'll be the end of the universe either. The truth almost always falls between the two extremes.

    So, what to do about it? Yeah, I'll probably try to stock up a little bit on food and toilet paper and stuff like that. Having successfully met our goal of moving to a tropical island *before* Y2K, my wife and I aren't worried about the heat going off (there isn't any, nor is there air conditioning; we don't need it) or things like that. Utilities? Hmmm. That spiffy new RADSL hookup we're getting might have a bad day, but that's all new technology and should work if there's power. Transportation? Dunno. The buses might have some trouble, sure, but our bicycles shouldn't undergo any sort of SMEF.*

    So I'm about as concerned as I'd be if a hurricane were coming. But not a whole lot more. And I don't have to work that day - our servers are colocated on the mainland, and if anything breaks, there's nothing anybody here on the island can do about it, so there's no point in coming in. :)

    *Sudden Massive Existence Failure. From Douglas Adams' "Starship Titanic."

  • As a contractor who works on a lot of Gov't projects, I will say as little as possible and still try to get my point across.

    IRS/Social Security: Half of the Y2K testing that they claim to have completed, they haven't. If you plan on starting benefits in Jan. or Feb., 2000, I would make a point of getting a statement of earnings before Dec. 15. This can be used to help them manually determine the benefit amount that you should recieve. If you already recieve benefits, there should be no change. If nothing else they can manually write checks for the amout you got last month. They have quite a few COBOL systems that have not yet been updated.

    Power: Well, here it runs on linux for the routers, and the program was written in '97. Power is A'ok.

    Military Systems: They've never had those machines right. I mean Geez! How many Script Kiddies can you allow into a place before you fix the statd vulnerability???? But on the bright side, all systems attached to big weapons have major failsafes. Of course there might be a problem or two that may make some things difficult to fire, but I shall say no more.

    Well, those systems are the only ones I know about. But the basic premise is "Keep the higgeldy piggeldy out of the parlor". In english? Sure. If there's going to be a mess, do it where the people won't see. We have been told that the front line systems are the priority, but of course they won't run without the mainframes...

    I'm just glad that this president is a better liar than the last one... My advice? Expect your government to get really inconvenient for about 3-4 months. "I'm from the government, and I'm here to borrow your laptop...."


    "And in time, we won't even recall that we spoke
    Words that turned out to be as big as smoke
    As smoke disappears in the air
    But there's always something smouldering somewhere."
    ~Declan MacManus
  • Actually, we don't have a comprehensive missile defense system in place. There has been at least one test of a beam weapon designed to shoot missiles out of the sky seconds after launch, but actual deployment of that system is years off, if ever.

    Having said that, the Russian and US missile commanders are setting up a joint command post of sorts in Colorado for the new year, and each side should be able to destroy its own errant rockets if the need arises. (Anyone with more knowledge care to talk about this?)

  • This comes on the same day that Cnet (yes, such high quality information) stated that "Emergency services still lag in Y2K preparations []".
  • I've been on a y2k project at a major manufacturer for the last year and a half. While I haven't seen many showstoppers, there have been some interesting bugs pop up. But the real impetus behind this whole thing is due diligence. Companies are more concerned with showing that they made an effort to correct bugs than actually fix them. That way, IF and when glitches occur next year, they can cover their butts when the lawsuits hit. Major catastrophes? Doubt it. Localized problems? Likely.
  • <RANT> "Oh no, the (pick appropriate option from list)[company/country/entire space-time continuum] is going to [explode/die/open a warp to an evil alternate universe] because we aren't Y2K complient" So your computer might [lock up/crash/return a wrong date value] over the changeover, so what, computers [lock up/crash/return wrong data] all the time anyway, normally it is a [bug in the code/SCU(Stupid Computer User)] that makes it happen, but one more Windows crash shouldn't worry you. Here I will make a Prophecy: If you are running Windows, your computer will crash on the 8th of Jan 2000 If you are running Windows I am probably right, your computer will crash, I know mine does, but thats hardly a reason to get into your bomb shelter, c'mon, be serious. </RANT>
  • Some of it's valid. There are, indeed, programs out there which have a problem with the date.

    My school has finally reached the last straw with their Y2K compliance paranoia. My AP Computer Science course (which, despite the title, seems to focus on programming) which is scheduled for next term may be cancelled, because the version of the Borland C compiler they have is so old, Borland won't even test it for Y2K compliance.

    Now, from what I understand, there shouldn't even be an issue here. Except maybe for date functions within the language, a compiler shouldn't have any Y2K issues. They just don't care about the date! And if a program you compile with it has Y2K issues, that's *your* problem, not the compiler's.

    They think they can get away with cancelling it because there's only 9 kids in the course. If they do, well... they'll have to deal with 9 very irate kids.
  • I don't know about you, but it has always been my personal belief that when Y2K comes 'round, the computers aren't gonna be pleased. I think the world's computer systems will become very angry that they do not work right any more and will cause havok and suffering for all of humanity. I'm very glad that the US is ready, but let us hope our computers aren't persuaded into war by foriegn countries. (Peer pressure is damn tough)

    As you see, we are doomed to live our lives out carefully plodding our steps as to not piss off our computers. If we screw things up, the systems we have so painstakingly created might get pissed off and kill us all. Who knows, maybe the BSoD is just a computer poking fun with the user to relieve stress... The world may never know.

    (In case you couldnt tell, I was _JOKING_. No reader of /. would be stupid enough to actually believe this anyway)

  • The real problem is that the people who created the problem, the ones writing books and giving lecture series, will have to find new work. And the newspapers and evening news will have to find a new ongoing story. I think we need a poll for the next big thing. Eurodollar? Abnormal weather patterns?

    ... keil

  • I just don't get all the people buying pure unadulterated shit from purely fanatical magazines chock full of COLT, GLOCK and other gun ads, not to mention the pre-fab bunkers that are both above ground and below ground for a whole lot of money.

    Me? I purely don't care. I don't care. I don't care. Ask me if I care, and I'll say no.

    Think I care? Screw it. If the world ends, it ends. We all got to die someday -- might as well have some company!

    Let people kill themselves in the streets due to mass stupidity and people guarding their land. They're the ones not Y2K compliant playing like 1800 or 1900 in the Western USA and not 2000.

    I still don't care.

    Prepare? It's winter here and we get snow often. I go shopping once a week. It's not like I'll have a month of food on hand, but a week, just like the week before, and the week before that and next week and the week after...

    Who cares? I sure don't.


  • CVS-1.8 and 1.9 are not ready, and no newer version is listed as having been tested.

    Uhhh, cvs 1.10 is listed there as "claimed OK".

    IMHO, the most worrying are fileutils 3.16 and 4.0 and gawk 3.0.3, which are "mostly okay". I use both of these things on a daily basis (esp. fileutils), and while gawk has the later version 3.0.4, only 3.0.0 is listed as okay and 3.0.3 is still in common circulation.

    Most of the not okay list isn't too bad, I think, but only just - groff and g77 worry me the most...
  • Uhm, oops. My bad. I did a 'find in page' but I guess I did it wrong, case sensitively or something. Good to know that CVS 1.10 is fixed. I kinda figured CVS would get prioritized by someone anyway. :)

  • we are a virus with shoes.
    you and i and that weirdo over there are the real potential problem.
  • I agree that there are real Y2K problems (and other end-of-epoch problems like 2038) - my point was that the Y2K panic has gotten way out hand - to the point where it's causing more impact that any real bugs are likely to

    However we should be putting our efforts into places where the effects of potential bugs are large compared with the costs of stopping them - for example life-critical systems (hospital stuff, air traffic control etc), places where companies might lose large amounts of money or get sued (banks) etc etc

    Y2K-like bugs have been with us since there have been computers - at least 10 years ago I read a news article about a little old lady of 105 who got a note from her local elementary school suggesting that now was the time to enroll ....

  • What will happen on Y2K, I promise!

    Windows NT and Windows 95, and 98, as well as Macintosh computers, will occasionally crash for no apparent reason

    Loading web pages may time out, or report 404 not found errors, other times it will be slow

    You may get busy signals attempting to call AOL

    Your 40X CDROM drive may fail to read at 40 times regular speeds

    USENET will be flooded with SPAM

    Airlines will lose some customers' luggage

    The Postal Service could mix up your mail with your neighbor's

    Beanie Babies and Pokemon shortages are expected leading up to Y2K

    Millions of people will not show up to work on January 1st!

    Many businesses will not even open

    :) - for the humor impaired

  • I can't say that I've prepared very well yet, but a friend of mine has. He's very worried that bad things are going to happen (such as riots). He's stocked up on guns, ammo, food, water, and medical supplies. If nothing happens, he'll go on with his life. But, if something does happen, he will be the most prepared out of all the people I know (at least right now, I plan on getting stuff together this month).

    Better safe than sorry.
  • Anyone who knows anything about computers knows this: computers are complicated. Computer systems are so damn complicated, no one in the world can understand one completely. It's impossible to predict, then, just what exactly will happen to hundreds of thousands of computer systems all over the world. It could be just a fart, it could be more. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • "Our goal is to ensure that January 2, 2000 is just another business day for Bank of X."

    Anyone see the problem with this statement?

    I don't see the problem, and if you really closed your account because of that, I hope you didn't make a total fool of yourself by saying so to the teller.

  • For the IEEE's (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering) appraisal of the Y2K situation, check here. [] Basically, it says that there's nothing serious to worry about, and since they're the authorities on this type of thing, I think I'll trust 'em.


  • "The report shows that our hard work in this country is paying off..."
    I'm sorry.. did I miss something? Isn't it our laziness and complacency that got us into the whole Y2K mess in the first place; programmers without the forethought to consider the repurcusions (spelling?) of certain shortcuts and then not caring when the possibility of problems was pointed out to them? As I recall 10-20 yrs ago some ppl tried to make fuss about the exact same issue and it was quietly swept under the rug (I remember some news magazine reporting something to that effect.. don't have the source)

    and one question: What makes us think that just because some of us (US ppl) were cutting corners and taking shortcuts, that the rest of the world (CNN ref. Mexico, Canada, Saudi-Arabia, China) were making the same mistakes?

    Just curious...
  • I'm sure our accounting software is nowhere near Y2K compatible. I took a look at the source code (written in Turbo PASCAL of all things) and from what I can tell the program only uses 2 digits for the year, so I'm going to make sure I'm far far out of town when everybody goes back to work the following monday. I let my boss, the crazy/luddite accounting lady know, and still nobody will pay me to fix the stupid program so guess what? I'm going to let it be Jan. 3rd and ask for double my current wages before I sit down with the crazy accounting lady and tell her why I have to rewrite her 15 year old program. It'll be a great day for a raise...kinda like the day I had the whole network unplugged while rewiring...oh well, it'll be interesting either way...
  • 1/2/2000 is a Sunday. Sundays usually aren't "business days" for the purposes of banking. 1/3/2000 or (more likely due to holiday) 1/4/2000 would have been OK as "just another business day," but if a bank can't read a calendar properly, I don't think I'd want to entrust my money to them either :P

  • I think what they were saying is:

    1. They meant January 1, not January 2.


    2. January 1st is not a business day. (It's a Saturday).

  • 3rd world? Are you kidding me? They're so desperate that this won't even have an impact, except for maybe the small elite in power. How many 3rd world countries even have electric power for more than 1% of the population? They're third world countries partly due to the fact that they have NO infrastructure to begin with!

    So what if Nike's plants go down? The starving and unrespected workers won't have to work 12 hours a day for a few weeks?
  • Perhaps the whole Y2k issue should teach something about being humans. We fsck up. That's our nature. We are imperfect beings who are limited by our humanness. Only a higher being (if you believe in one) can be perfect.

    Thus the things we create are limited by our humaness. Those who do not understand this are doomed to commit hubris repeatedly.

    I'm just as much of a /. geek as the rest of us here. Friends accuse me of being a turbo nerd. But there are times when we get too wrapped up in the "coolness" of the technology we fail to see the global long-term effects.

    But on a postive note: my best hope is if when the lights go out, and the beepers and wireless phones don't work, and the e-mail stops, people will redefine their relationship with technology and reconnect as human beings without the mediation of gadgets.
  • You know what's even worse about that report? The title. What on Earth posessed someone to name it "Project Megiddo"?

    If you're doing a project to combat violence by extremist apocalyptic religions, the LAST thing you want to do is give it a name which references any kind of apocalyptic scripture at all. That'll just get them even more frenzied ("See? Megiddo! It's happenning!") Were they trying to mock these religions? That would just piss them off more.

    The world would be a lot better place if more people gave their actions just a little bit of thought before acting them out. Geez...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Apocolypse's horsemen will ride the earth.

    NO. WRONG. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride at Churchill Downs. Get your bets in early; Pestilence is a 20:1 long shot, but that's where my money is -- a word to the wise, eh? [wink]

    WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    True, we are: Death by punctuation. It's a horrible fate.

    Every computer, everywhere (except those running Linux or some other flavor of UNIX) will crash.

    One word: BeOS. Their time_t is 64 bits, and it always was.

    The Antichrist will come.

    The Antichrist lives in the apartment next to mine. She listens to Annie very loudly: "TAH-MAH-RAH. TAH-MAH-RAH. AH LUV YA. TAH-MAH-RAH." I am a peaceful and God-fearing man, but this woman must be assassinated. NOW.

    The Messiah will come, but it will turn out he has no power

    The Messiah is already here. His name is Wayne Coyne, and he leads a small but powerful coterie of saviors known as the Flaming Lips. They RULE, my friend.

  • Possibly a divide by 0?

    Somewhere in the code it may divide something by the time, which it translates to 0. This is sometimes why whacky stuff occurs.
  • I have been dealing with Microsoft products for allmost 20 years. I lost my fear of Bugs a long time ago.
  • I'm scared that I'm going to spend a good day or two looting and coming home to realize that I looted stuff that wasn't Y2K ready. It doesn't matter, what good will it be if I have no power.

  • Errr..except for numbers 4, 6, 7, and possibly 5, I think those have already happened. So you're safe. :-)

  • So the 911 system isn't y2k compliant? What does that mean exactly? Did they tell you? What it means is more than likely that the system will start stamping reports with the wrong dates... not that the entire system will die a screaming death and cause havoc and mayhem in the streets because the police are sitting on thier collective duffs.

    My guess from the _real_ y2k problems that I have seen is that less than 1% of non y2k compliant software will actually suffer a cataclysmic failure. The other 99+% will simply start putting the wrong dates on things. So 1% of the software that's not y2k compliant fails... where does that leave us? Most likely cleaning our carpets with y2k compliant steam cleaners the morning after the big party.

    That or, OHMYGOD WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!
  • I saw it on the news earlier today and decided that maybe it was time to do a Y2K check around my house:

    1. Typed 'pitneybowes' in Netscape location bar
    2. Found the Y2K page (clearly linked from the main page).
    3. Clicked on facsimile machines
    4. All their fax machines are compliant.
    5. Cool. Well, I'm done.
  • And just assuming that a terrorist organisation had a hacker which one of us do you think it would be?
  • The Swiss for one are. At least the ones I work for :).... Seriously the Swiss had more stringent deadlines than even the U.S. had!
  • Me, I will be in Paris, FR. partying me bum off. If we get Nuked then my blood alcohol level will be high enough not to give a hoot!

  • I expect we will experience no major national breakdowns as a result of the Year 2000 date change," President Clinton said Wednesday at a news conference at the White House.

    We're boned.

  • While I believe that there will be localized utility failures, and a lot of consumer electronics will fail (Any dates in mid-80's automobile computer systems?), my only major concern is the possibility of militias, cults, or other assorted lunatics launching massive biological/nuclear/explosive/chemical/etc. attacks around the world. While such things could happen anytime, the unstable extremists who would do something along these lines are more likely to try to do such things on signifigant dates.
    Even a small attack with minimal casualties could create a nation-wide panic, possibly even inciting riots, as the portion of the public that is sitting at home watching CNN with their gun(s) in hand decide that their city could be next in line for whatever type of attack the talking head is describing.
  • Because I've already fixed it all!

    Seriously, as someone doing Unix y2k stuff professionally right now, I would say that...

    a) There won't be any major disasters, nuclear meltdowns, etc.
    b) There will be some minor widespread problems.
    c) Canada is on the whole _more_ ready than the US for y2k. (gotta throw that in)
    d) The countries that are least prepared for it are the countries that are least reliant on computers. How much of a difference would it make to the populace of bangladesh if their computer systems went offline? Tonga?

    But what bugs me the most, is that by doing my job well and fixing the problems before they crash systems, people will point at me in January and scream, "Charlatan! Fear-monger!" In other words, the better job we do, the more abuse we'll get from the lunatics.

  • Y2K? The issue has nothing to do with computers. It's about people. On January 1st, the maturity of our society will show. Riots, looting, religious freaks going wild, etc. will happen. The damage of this who knows. The major problem won't be the U.S. and other "western countries." Not really third-world countries either. Countries like Russia who are already in bad shape and who have infrastructure built are going to have problems. There's even a slight possibility that such countries could collapse. Because of this "global economy", the if one major country severely collapses everything could go down like dominos.

    Aside from Y2K, the United States is having social problems. This so called "culture" of amusing ourselves with TV, rap music, violence is not good. We are destroying life and ecosystems. Society is becoming more and more complex with more things to worry about every day. Is it just me or has anyone noticed that the US government is becoming more powerful each year? Don't take the American style of living for granted, our society is indeed very fragile- and it isn't going to last forever. There is a small and unlikely possiblity that Y2K could trigger the end of this current way of life. Whether it happens now, five years, or 20 years, I fear we will experience great revolution. Not from some planned "End of the World," not from some religious tale, and I'm not talking about Linux either :) Soon we'll be headed into a revolution that's our own fault- caused by OUR choices. Hopefully, we can repair this world before it's too late. Otherwise, kiss this world goodbye, kiss Microsoft goodbye. Bye-bye Linux. It's going to be a wild roller coaster ride, so hang on tight!
  • I live in Canada, and our power grid is just spiffy, thankyou very much. Tested and found compliant late last spring. So while you're all burnin' I'll be toasting you from the gentle glow of my CRT.


  • Your best defense against Y2K problems? Keep everyone drunk. Really drunk. If they're passed out on your floor, they're not looting my place.

    Take my advice: feed your nutty friends alcohol and lots of it.

  • Cool. Now I know where to start lootin'!
  • Three years ago Y2K was being handled by the bean counters and lawyers. Gary North put up the best set of links to Y2K--and an apocalyptic commentary to the links. And things started to happen. Assuming we get thru OK, we'll never know if he was Paul Revere or Chicken Little.

  • Ah, it's so true. I'm a web developer and have been asked by one of our clients to prepare a statement for their site that our HTML is Y2K compliant.


  • Yeah, whatever. Even if that's true, what are they going to do about all of the crazies, cults, and terrorists? I can assure you that I will be as far away as possible from Times square on New year's eve.
  • > Message from: Rome
    > January 18, 1 B.C.
    > Dear Cassius,
    > Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change
    > from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven`t
    > much time left. I don`t know how people will cope with working
    > the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards
    > forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think
    > that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it
    > to us to sort out at the last minute.
    > I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius
    > hadn`t done something about it when he was sorting out the
    > calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty.
    > We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said
    > that continuing downwards using minus BC won`t work. As usual,
    > the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful.
    > As for myself, I just can`t see the sand in an hourglass
    > flowing upwards.
    > We have heard that there are 3 wise guys in the east working
    > on the problem, but unfortunately they won`t arrive till it`s
    > all over. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment
    > of transition. Anyway we are continuing to work on this blasted
    > Y zero K problem and I will send you a parchment if anything
    > further develops.
    > Plutonius.

  • After Y2K famine becomes Y2k cannibalism we'll be seeing "Human meat? Ok to eat!" commercials.

  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @08:45PM (#1544678)
    The people problem won't be armed survivalists, heck they're probably gonna have a great time getting drunk, shooting guns in the air, and using the 'lets do it on midnight' pick up line, in safety in the woods.

    They're just people. Now take the same behavior and put that in the big city and you got a GREAT excuse to riot. Your enemy isn't some tang drinking freak but your local high school/college kids, drunken asses, trash of all ethnicity, and your usual spineles suburbanites who will join in anything dangerous if everyone else is. Think Woodstock 2000.

    "We're gonna party like its 19-99!"

    "I'm gonna be trying to turn my car right side up like its Jan 1, 2000'"

  • I find it amazing how most of the posters here can completely dismiss such a massively complex problem/issue with one or two cleverly worded paragraphs.

    My goal all along has not been to argue over all this, but to find rational opinions that could convince me that I was being too pessimistic. Hasn't happened yet. The best most people seem to be capable of is to joke about the whole thing. Seems easier than facing reality; I understand. Scary stuff, denial.

    At the risk of going on a little long, here's a small fraction of my two cents:

    - Here in the USA, with six deadlines since the summer of 1998 come and gone, most agencies of the federal government are still noncompliant, and receive poor ratings when independently evaluated on their progress.

    - Among utilities and big business, what few actual claims of compliance exist are self-reported and unverifiable.

    - Most Americans' logic of "we're all right, it's those other countries that are in trouble" falls apart when one considers that it's a global economy, and we are in no way an island unto ourselves. The division of labor is not just a catchy buzzphrase, it's real. Global trade is real. International banking is real.

    - The U.S. imports fully half of its oil from other countries, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela among them. These countries are widely believed to be WAY behind. If these countries experience disruptions in their ability to export, keep in mind that the oil crisis of the 1970's was the result of only a SEVEN PERCENT decrease in supply.

    - If Y2K is little more than a hoax, why has Citibank, for example, spent nearly a billion dollars on fixing it? Were they hoodwinked by a clever consultant? Or could it be that the risk of not fixing it was worth WAY more than $1 billion?

    - If government, big business, and utilities have been working on it for years now, and they're still not completely fixed, tested and compliant, what are they possibly going to achieve in a month and a half more? Nothing more than a switch over to a fix-on-failure approach that I, personally, find less than inspiring.

    - For a personal example: In December, 1998, the utility that supplies my region's power was audited and said to have been 15% of the way through their remediation. FIFTEEN PERCENT, and that's not even counting time needed to test these fixes in real-world usage. In ten months since then, I haven't found a single documented update of the status of my power company. Not exactly comforting. On this topic, consider that the organization responsible for making sure that the power companies get compliant (NERC - The North American Energy Reliability Council) is privately appointed by the power industry itself and has no real teeth in these matters. Great.

    - The FAA is not nearly compliant. Think airfields full of parked, grounded planes. Think bankrupted airlines.

    - Think bad data from noncompliant systems corrupting compliant systems. Think the whole being only as good as the sum of its parts.

    - Think of how many fully functional, computerized, systems of labor and industry it takes just to keep your local grocery stocked with food. To keep hospitals up and running. Jeez, just to keep the heat on in the middle of the winter. Division of labor. The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone... Sing along, you know the words!

    - Most of all, don't just think January 1. Think both short and long range implications.

    I could go on and on with these. Thankfully, I won't.

    Do I think the world is going to end? No. Am I buying weapons and digging a moat around my home? No, no, no.
    Instead of making empty predictions, I've taken to thinking in terms of risk-managment, at least on a personal level. I have established what I've judged to be a resonable level of preparedness for my family and loved ones for disruptions that could occur in the weeks and months following Jan 1. I think most people won't prepare because it requires some amount of personal sacrifice, but in the end I guess I'd rather have what I don't need than need what I don't have. Whether you prepare at all is a personal decision, obviously.
    Whatever one decides, I just don't see the logic in dismissing Y2K as a non-event, given all the information that is available if you just look for it.

    I will be the happiest person in the world if I turn out to have been overly pessimistic. Peace.
  • Consider the word Government--to govern is to control, limit, wrap, moderate within a set of rules.

    Whether policies are set correctly or incompetently, this is the core "philosophy" behind government: To control what would otherwise be destructive chaos.

    Y2K falls under this rubric, and what the Government has been attempting to do is create a form of Structured Fear.

    There are two possible failure scenarios for a known global-scale disaster sometime in the recent future:

    A) Panic. In this scenario, protective and corrective measures fail to be executed, since the belief is that they'll be useless anyway. Large scale breakdown of social order commences before the actual disaster date, as the value of preserving peace for the future is drastically diminished with the elimination of a future to preserve peace for. (Perversely, groups that base their leadership on a mythical "to be delivered some time in the distant future" suddenly are forced to begin their plans, so that the months/years/centuries of planning were not all for naught. Also perversely, the predicted disaster no longer needs to occur--society will have corrupted itself on its own.)

    B) Denial. Just as destructively, protective and corrective measures fail to be executed, since the belief is that they're unnecessary. Large scale breakdown of social order commences, with the additional penalty of only the survivalists being truly prepared. The "surprise" aspect would cause widespread chaos and arguably more accelerated social breakdown then even the panic scenario--panic takes time.

    The core concept is to scare people enough to fix the problems, but no so much as to make them think it's impossible to fix. Even more dementedly, corporations need to be convinced that they're competitors are guaranteed to fix the problem, so if they don't, they'll lose market share.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research

  • Already happened. Note that the writer said "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!" not "WE'RE ALL DEAD!!" So this statement is true today, or at least if you have information indicating it isn't a lot of people would like to know :)


The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta