NHNE Y2K Report 12
Sunday, January 31, 1999
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"
NHNE Y2K Report 12
Sunday, January 31, 1999
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NO DIAL TONE IN BRAZIL
"My concerns are not domestic. I am very concerned about the global
situation. Some countries are two or three years behind us. I think
our phones will be OK. I don't think you'll get a dial tone in Brazil."
--- Craig Smith, founder of the YEAR 2000 NATIONAL EDUCATION TASK FORCE
This issue is sponsored by:
For quality food (not just rice and beans) that will help you and your
family make a graceful passage through whatever disturbances Y2K may
cause, you can order from one of the largest dehydrated food distributors
in the country. We keep large reserves to prevent back orders. Most
other distributors are back ordered from four to six months. We process
your order in about 2-3 days and you receive your food in normal shipping
time (2-4 weeks). All our foods have a 12-15 year self-life (real-time
testing for 24-26 years.), are properly packaged in nitrogen, and are
dried from raw. You can prepare for the future now (especially Y2K)
by contacting us at:
http://www.members.home.com/food2000 (mirror site)
Phone: (619) 462-8763
When you contact us, please let us know that you heard about us through
NHNE. A donation is being made to NHNE for every purchase.
For information about how you can sponsor The NHNE Y2K Report, send
an email to "email@example.com" with "Send Sponsor Info" in the SUBJECT
FIELD of your message.
Apple Making Return to Super Bowl with Y2K Spot
Nineteen States to Mobilize National Guard
Feds Plan Y2K Spin Control
FEMA's Y2K Workshops to Begin
Impeachment Proceedings Delay Y2K Hearings
Russia Sees Transport Problems from Millennium Bug
Inventor Patents "First Year 2000 Silver Bullet"
United, Delta Move to Prevent Y2K Losses
Y2K GLITCH WATCH:
Y2K Driving Some Businesses Under
Australian Hospitals Fail Y2K Test
Millennium Bug Strikes University of Alberta
Utility Billing Disrupted In Colorado
Date-Bug Warning for Visual Basic
The Absolute Importance of Citations
The Real Process of Bringing about Change
Thinking of Starting Something In Show Low
Y2K & The National Guard: Round Two
Poor Countries at Risk
Wall Street & Y2K
National Intelligence Officer Testifies on Y2K
Cadillac Y2K Letter a Hoax
Sunfellow, Sedona Task Force & Wild2k In the News
A "New" Solution for Y2K-Induced Power Outages
Year 2000 Bug Bytes Weekly
Vital Power Supply
Break Free from the Power Grid
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
Will Your PC Go Kablooey on the Millennium Midnight?
APPLE MAKING RETURN TO SUPER BOWL WITH Y2K SPOT
(Source: Charlie McCollum, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/27/1999 via YEAR
2000 INFORMATION CENTER)
Fifteen years ago, APPLE COMPUTER changed the face of Super Bowl advertising
with the compelling "1984" spot that many experts consider the single
best TV commercial ever made. The ad, which cost a then-unheard-of $1
million to make and aired only once, showed a group of people apparently
held captive in a huge room where a Big Brother figure raved at them
from a theater screen. A woman shatters the screen with a sledgehammer,
symbolizing the liberating impact Apple hoped its new products would
have. Now, after a 14-years absence, Apple returns to the big game with
a one-shot spot that stirred considerable buzz at this month's MACWORLD
CONVENTION. Featuring HAL, the computer from "2001: A Space Odyssey,"
the commercial touts Macintosh immunity to the Y2K bug. HAL's eerily-calm
voice asks, "Dave, do you remember 2000, when computers began to misbehave?"
In the end, HAL says: "You like your Macintosh better than me, don't
you, Dave? Dave? Can you hear me, Dave?" For the privilege of airing
the relatively simple ad (which cost only $250,000 to produce), FOX
charged Apple more than $3 million. If you missed it on TV, you can
catch the commercial on the Apple website. (JG)
Apple website: http://www.apple.com
To find out more about Macintosh Y2K compliancy (Macintosh hardware
and system software is compliant, but some third-party applications
aren't), visit the compliancy section on the wild2k Website:
NINETEEN STATES TO MOBILIZE NATIONAL GUARD
(Source: Tustin Amole, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/25/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
A recent SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE survey has found that 19 states
plan to mobilize their National Guard units at the end of the year to
deal with any Y2K problems that might arise. The following states have
plans for a general mobilization: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida,
Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York,
Washington, and Wyoming; while Maine, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island and Wisconsin, expect to at least activate their Emergency
Operations Centers or their tactical headquarters by New Year's Eve.
Officials in several other states are considering similar action, such
as Colorado Governor Bill Owens, who says that if problems occur on
Jan. 1, the 5,000 members of his state's National Guard could be mobilized
within a matter of hours. Mobilization of the National Guard is a decision
made on a state-by-state basis by state governors. The National Guard
Bureau says there are no plans for a national mobilization of the Guard
(Y2K Report 11) at this time. (JG)
FEDS PLAN Y2K SPIN CONTROL
(Source: Declan McCullagh, WIRED NEWS, 1/26/99, thanks to John Steiner)
Fears of Y2K panic have prompted the federal government to begin quietly
preparing a media strategy designed to assuage public fears of blackouts
or other potential infrastructure failures. John Koskinen, Chairman
of the White House's Y2K council, has entered into discussions with
a public-relations firm, which has recommended conducting awareness
surveys and honing a "stay-calm" message based on the results. The campaign
is designed to thwart widespread hoarding and extreme reactions to Y2K,
including the possibility of bank runs and stockpiling-sparked shortages.
Jack Gribben, a spokesman for the Council, stressed that no decisions
have been made. Other strategies are also being considered, such as
asking broadcasters to donate free air time and creating a media-advisory
group that would work hand in hand with the federal Y2K council to soothe
anxious Americans. (JG)
FEMA'S Y2K WORKSHOPS TO BEGIN
(Source: Press Release, FEMA, 1/26/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND
On February 17-18, the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) kicks
off the first in a series of regional Y2K Preparation and Consequence
Management Workshops in Atlanta, Ga. A total of ten workshops will be
held across the country through the end of March to provide a forum
where the emergency management and fire services communities can discuss
initial Y2K compliance assessments, potential consequences of Y2K disruptions
and the coordination of necessary responses among local, state and federal
responders. The regional workshops will pave the way for a national-level
Y2K consequence management exercise to be held in Washington, D.C. in
June. As chair and coordinator of the EMERGENCY SERVICES SECTOR (ESS),
FEMA is one of nine critical sector coordinators working with the PRESIDENT'S
COUNCIL ON Y2K CONVERSION to make sure that all segments of the nation's
emergency management community operate normally through the cross-over
period from 1999 to the Year 2000 and beyond. (JG)
IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS DELAY Y2K HEARINGS
(Source: Erich Luening, REUTERS/CNET NEWS.COM, 1/27/1999 via SANGER'S
REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
U.S. Senators and industry observers are voicing concern about the ongoing
impeachment proceedings delaying Y2K hearings and pending legislation.
The press secretary for Sen. Chris Dodd, (D-Connecticut), for example,
has said it was "wrong" that Dodd's staff was having to work on issues
related to the President's trial rather than focusing on Y2K issues.
According to the Senate's Y2K committee office, a hearing on the Y2K
glitch's impact on the food supply industry had to be rescheduled for
next month. Despite the delay, some Y2K legislation is in the works,
such as a bill to authorize the SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION to make
loans to eligible businesses for their Y2K work, and Sen. Bennett, head
of the Senate Y2K Committee, is still meeting every Wednesday with the
President's Y2K advisor, John Koskinen. (JG)
RUSSIA SEES TRANSPORT PROBLEMS FROM MILLENNIUM BUG
(Source: REUTERS, 1/27/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND FORUMS)
Russia has admitted it expects to face serious transport problems as
a result of the millennium computer bug, but said an army of specially-recruited
experts would keep Russians moving across their vast territory. "Problem
2000 is a most serious problem for trains, as our computer system works
on many levels," said Valery Panferov, Head of Automatic Systems Development
for the Russian rail network. He pointed out that if the network's main
computer failed, signals could stop working, leading to a potential
disaster on all of Russia's far-flung railways. Russia is playing catch-up
with other countries in the race to combat the millennium bug. "We believed
up until a year ago that the 2000 problem was not a serious threat,"
said Mikhail Salnikov, Chief Editor of COMPULOG MAGAZINE. "Unfortunately,
many specialists left the state sector...during perestroika and now
there are not many people left...to assess this problem." (JG)
INVENTOR PATENTS "FIRST YEAR 2000 SILVER BULLET"
(Source: Press release, Roger Brown, 1/25/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K
LINKS AND FORUMS)
The U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE (PTO) has awarded inventor Roger
Brown the first Year 2000 "Silver Bullet" patent for a process, Brown
claims, may very well be the fix that thousands of companies and governments
worldwide have been waiting for. Unlike other tools and processes on
the market, his patented process works on everything, installs quickly,
and doesn't require a lot of costly programming. The method, called
the "Quick Install Process Patent" (QIPP), sets the computer system
back in time while still operating in a 2000+ environment. The process
works on the system and not the applications running on it, thus there
are no data losses or maintenance problems. All Y2K date problems are
automatically remediated through the environmental modifications, greatly
reducing the time and cost required to make a system Y2K compliant.
A further benefit is that it will automatically keep applications running
that have no source code. The process and Brown's claims have yet to
be verified by an independent lab. (JG)
QIPP process: http://www.doitnow.com/~commtec
QIPP patent: http://www.qpat.com
UNITED, DELTA MOVE TO PREVENT Y2K LOSSES
(Source: Stephen Gregory, LA TIMES, 1/23/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF
Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
UNITED AIRLINES and DELTA AIR LINES, two of the biggest carriers in
the U.S., are taking steps to ensure they won't take a loss from passengers
stricken with Year 2000 jitters. To avoid empty seats aboard flights
between Dec. 16 and Jan. 10, both carriers have decreed that full-price
walk-up fares to places such as New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Honolulu
and virtually all of Florida be nonrefundable to ensure more certainty
in travel plans among customers. The move is meant to keep customers
from tying up seats with reservations that they may cancel at the last
minute. Typically full-price walk-up fares are refundable. The fares
are not entirely devoid of an "out" clause: passengers can still opt
to skip their December flights without penalty and use the value of
those tickets for other travel within one year's time. Terry Trippler,
Editor of AIRFARE REPORT, expects the other major airlines to follow
Y2K GLITCH WATCH:
Conventional wisdom says that if there are going to be Y2K problems,
better for them to trickle in throughout 1999 rather than all arrive
at once on Jan. 1, 2000. That way skeptics can be slowly brought around
in advance of the millennium, and people can be alerted to unexpected
problems while there is still time to deal with them.
With these thoughts in mind, NHNE is introducing a new feature in the
Y2K Report: "Y2K Glitch Watch" -- a weekly log of disruptions, problems
and breakdowns due to Y2K.
Y2K DRIVING SOME BUSINESSES UNDER
(Sources: AP/CNN, 1/23/1999; AP/STAR TRIBUNE (Chippewa Falls, Wis.),
1/22/1999, both via Y2KNEWSWIRE)
It seems that for some companies, it may be cheaper to shut things down
than fix their Y2K problems. On Jan. 22, for example, PRODIGY COMMUNICATIONS
notified the 208,000 subscribers of "Prodigy Classic" that the pioneer
online service will terminate in October because of the Year 2000 computer
problem. Prodigy's chief executive officer, Samer Salameh, explained
that the company's Classic service was "built using proprietary technologies
that predate current Internet standards" and the company's engineers
were "unable to make them Y2K compliant." Y2K is not expected to affect
the 433,000 subscribers of its newer "Prodigy Internet" service, launched
in late 1996, and its Classic subscribers are being encouraged to switch
over. Although Prodigy's Classic service once boasted 1.13 million subscribers,
it was never profitable.
On the heels of the Prodigy announcement, CHEAP FOODS, a small grocery
store in Wisconsin, announced that it would fold rather than spend the
money for a Y2K-compliant upgrade. Polly Deane, a spokeswoman for the
stores' parent company SUPER VALU was not able to estimate the exact
cost of the upgrades -- she could only say that the costs would have
Y2K analyst Larry Sanger predicts that this sort of thing will become
a trend: "smaller businesses that can't afford the fixes will be gobbled
up by large companies that can, or they'll just go out of business."
AUSTRALIAN HOSPITALS FAIL Y2K TEST
(Source: Andrew McGarry, THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/6/1999 via Y2KNEWSWIRE)
Almost a third of computer-related equipment in South Australian hospitals,
including cardiac monitors and drug distribution systems, have failed
their millennium bug tests. The potentially-disastrous results have
forced the State Government to boost funding by $19 million to combat
the effects of the bug. According to Bob Hancock, the Year 2000 Coordinator
for ROYAL ADELAIDE HOSPITAL, one of the hospitals tested, they will
have to replace both their monitoring and pharmacy systems because of
non-compliance. Time is of the essence, he added -- decommissioning
systems, including the transfer of crucial information, could take up
to four months. The hospital has set a deadline of June 30 to allow
time for replacements to be installed where necessary and to complete
testing of all systems. "But even more important than testing systems
is to have contingency plans in place in case something does go wrong."
MILLENNIUM BUG STRIKES UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
(Source: Vicki Hall, EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/13/1999)
Computer glitches are causing constant busy signals, long lineups and
growing frustration a year earlier than feared at the UNIVERSITY OF
ALBERTA (U OF A). Students trying to change their schedules for the
winter semester waited in vain for hours to get through to the university's
automated phone registration system, and when they finally got through,
the system mysteriously disconnected them. An effort to head off the
Year 2000 computer bug is at least partially to blame for the irritation,
said U of A registrar Brian Silzer. The problem came after the university
installed a new mainframe computer, in part to avoid problems with the
millennium bug. (JG)
UTILITY BILLING DISRUPTED IN COLORADO
(Source: Roger Fillion, DENVER POST, 1/28/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF
Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
What was supposed to have been an inoculation against the millennium
bug, has instead caused a billing snafu at WESTPLAINS ENERGY. The utility
company mailed incorrect electric bills to at least 1,700 customers
in Pueblo, Canyon City and Rocky Ford, Colorado. One customer received
notice that he owed six times the previous month's bill. The Pueblo
utility, which serves 85,000 electricity customers in Colorado confirmed
the error, but said it had been corrected. The extent of the problem
is still being investigated: some of the utility's 40,000 natural gas
customers in Colorado also may have received incorrect bills, and similar
problems may have occurred in Minnesota. (JG)
DATE-BUG WARNING FOR VISUAL BASIC
(Source: Cliff Saran, COMPUTER WEEKLY NEWS, 1/28/99 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
Databases could be corrupted by a new date bug affecting Microsoft Visual
Basic applications, according to Paul Miller, managing director of database
marketing firm MILLER STARR. The problem concerns the ActiveX Data Object
(ADO), a programming interface MICROSOFT recommends for accessing databases
such as SQL Server, Access and Oracle. During Year 2000 testing, Miller
noticed his Visual Basic database application was generating incorrect
dates inside a Microsoft Access database. ADO assumed the date was presented
in U.S. date format, where the month comes before the day field, but
the Visual Basic programming language would not allow a developer to
use the U.S. date format consistently throughout the application. Miller
said that while bugs in code are a fact of life, when they occur in
a major product such as Visual Basic, they can cause significant problems.
There has been no response from Microsoft about the problem. (JG)
THE ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE OF CITATIONS
"Concerning the article 'Y2K Glitches Plague U.S. Senate' in Y2K Report
10, I discovered that the citation listed does not match. As a professional
information broker, I know the absolute importance of citations. In
my line of work, legal liability exposure is always a sword hanging
over me and my company. As for applications involving our Y2K work,
we are often challenged as to the source and veracity of the information
we share, so as a matter of credibility, we should make it a point to
have a proper citation lest we be challenged as to origin of our data."
--- Ron Cornish, Flagstaff, Arizona
[We are religious about sourcing the material we send out, so we
completely agree with your concern. In the case of the article you mentioned,
we double-checked the URL, and you are right, it does not lead to the
correct article. The rub is that it did when we first posted it. Some
online news sources have the very unfortunate habit of deleting, moving
and/or changing the address of their material after a few days, which
is apparently what happened in this case. If you visit Gary North's
website, which also reported on this particular story, you will notice
that he has the same article referenced to the same incorrect URL, which
means someone at ROLL CALL moved things around. -DS]
THE REAL PROCESS OF BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE
"I found the article entitled 'Where the Rubber Meets the Road' in your
Jan. 1, 1999 Special Report (http://dispatch.mail-list.com/archives/nhnelist/msg00033.html)
to be very valuable because it was based on real-life experience rather
than someone's theories, which we get too much of on Internet. The funny
thing is that many people don't like reporting real-life experiences,
perhaps because they are much more complex, contain disappointments,
and, for some, are part of the 'realm of darkness' they're trying to
get away from. However, for operatives who are dealing with that 'rubber-to-road'
interface, this is the real process of bringing about change.
"I've circulated a copy of the Report round the internal Glastonbury
circuit, because we face similar issues to Sedona, such as this one:
with everyone so preoccupied with protecting their own, it's easy to
overlook the possibility that places like Sedona and Glastonbury are
likely to get flooded with refugees. Glastonbury, for example, is three
hours drive from 20 million people.
"The biggest problem we have here is people's fears and beliefs. However,
once reality hits, people slot into another mode of being, which can
actually lead to quite remarkable spontaneous feats of good-naturedness
and cooperation. One of the more memorable experiences of my life was
in 1982 near Glastonbury, when we had eight feet of snow in one night.
We were snowed in for ten days, the lights and phones went out, and
the social response was amazing -- such sharing and cooperation! What
was most remarkable was that these were mostly very ordinary people!"
--- Palden Jenkins, Glastonbury, England
[You bring up an exceedingly important point, Palden. Preparing
ourselves and our communities isn't enough. We must start there and
then reach out to those around us. In Sedona, along with organizing
our community, we have been very active in helping our surrounding communities
also get prepared. And, of course, we've been doing what we can via
the Internet to help others, in other parts of the world, to do likewise.
Along with a genuine concern for the welfare of others, we also share
your concern about being inundated by refugees if we don't help others;
Sedona (population 10,000) is only two hours from Phoenix and a day's
drive from Los Angeles! -DS, JG]
THINKING OF STARTING SOMETHING IN SHOW LOW
"I so enjoy and am grateful for your Y2K Reports. Keep up the good work.
Because of your work in Sedona, I am thinking of starting something
here in Show Low, Arizona."
--- Quila Rider, Show Low, Arizona
Y2K & THE NATIONAL GUARD: ROUND TWO
By James Gregory
As expected, both the writer and publisher of a three-part series and
follow-up article on the Y2K preparations of the National Guard took
exception to our article in Y2K Report 11 that was critical of their
dramatic but unverified claims. We were concerned about the accuracy
of the articles, and so decided to go to the source. We contacted two
spokespeople in the National Guard Bureau and here are a few things
- The National Guard has had a high-frequency communication system since
1990, despite a claim in the articles that no such thing exists and
will have to be created.
- The articles claimed that National Guard members would be paid in
advance for January 2000 so they would be obligated to stay on the job.
Not true, said the National Guard Bureau.
- The articles claimed that December 1999 leaves of all National Guard
members would be canceled. National Guard members do not get leave.
- The articles stated that there was an investigation underway to determine
the source of the leaks. Not true, said the National Guard Bureau.
The Y2K Report was not the only publication to find errors in the articles.
This from the KANSAS CITY STAR: "A writer with WORLDNETDAILY...posted
a long piece on the Internet recently that led some to believe the National
Guard is planning to mobilize its 480,000 members May 1-2 for a Y2K
communications drill....Not entirely true. Yes, a drill is planned.
But no, troops will not be mobilized to drill, said spokesman Joy Moser
with the Kansas National Guard in Topeka." This from Y2K analyst Larry
Sanger: "TECHWEEK staff writer Amara D. Angelica checked out Bresnahan's
claim that Jeffrey Hunker, Director of the White House's Critical Infrastructure
Assurance Office (CIAO) was aware of the plans. Hunker...denied any
awareness of such National Guard plans....Bresnahan also said Jack Gribben,
spokesman for the President's Council for the Year 2000, also knew of
the exercise. But Jack Gribben also denied awareness of such plans....Bresnahan
also reported in the Jan. 19 issue that a recent CIAO meeting focused
on Y2K, among other infrastructure problems. But Hunker said that the
CIAO meeting had "nothing to do with Y2K."
NHNE stands by our coverage of this story. The bottom line is that we
are relieved that the National Guard is preparing for potential problems
at the turn of the millennium. What we object to is reporting that sensationalizes
and misrepresents the story.
(Sources: Finn Bullers & David Hayes, KANSAS CITY STAR, 01/22/1999;
Amara D. Angelica, TechWeek, [date] via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K
POOR COUNTRIES AT RISK
(Source: Harry Dunphy, AP/YAHOO DAILY NEWS, 1/26/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
According to a recent report from World Bank comparing the Y2K compliance
status of 139 developing nations, "only 54 had national policies in
place and just 21 had taken 'concrete remedial steps' to reduce their
exposure," raising concern they might have trouble obtaining food, health
care and electricity. The lack of preparation is most acute in sub-Sahara
Africa, but countries in Asia, Latin America and the former Soviet Union
also could be hard hit.
"Any potential Y2K economic and social instability will ripple throughout
the global economy," said Joyce Amenta, Y2K Co-ordinator for the World
Bank. Already problems are starting appear "in incorrect projections
in loan payments, lost patient records, and prematurely canceled orders
for supplies, such as food, oil machine parts and microcomputer chips,
just to name a few."
Hugh Sloan, a bank information technology specialist for Africa said
there was a false impression that the low level of automation in developing
countries may immunize them against Y2K problems: "Actually, the impact
could in fact be greater because the developing countries are more dependent
on fewer and older computing systems and they have many more competing
national demands for scarce resources." Even in poor countries, computers
are used extensively in the financial sector, power generation and the
transportation of raw materials and manufactured goods.
"The resources are just not available to fix all of the problems," said
George West, the senior Y2K information manager at the World Bank. At
the next WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, bank officials intend to call for increased
international cooperation to deal with the problem, including money
to support a Y2K INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CENTER. Already, the World
Bank has lent $30 million to Argentina for Y2K preparation and approved
$29 million for Sri Lanka. (JG)
WALL STREET & Y2K
(Source: Victor Porlier, WESTERGAARD ONLINE SYSTEMS, 1/27/1999)
High-level Y2K remediators and top managers from the banking, securities,
and insurance industries came together recently in a conference with
the daunting name of "Year 2000 Systemic Risk in Financial Institutions
and Markets: Contingency Plans and Risk Management." According to Y2K
analyst Victor Porlier, the news coming out of the conference was good,
and not so good.
The good news: high levels of confidence in the state of the financial
sector are being expressed based on the increasing numbers of the systems
now internally compliant or nearing compliance. ("Ready" is replacing
"compliant" as the new buzz word.) The FDIC spokesman said that there
were less than 400 smaller and medium-sized banks that were not on schedule
(that's less than 4 percent). He said, "Nothing gives us major concerns,
but there are minor ones," which include inadequate documentation, over-reliance
on vendor statements, and minimal internal testing.
The not-so-good news: there are serious concerns for the financial system
as a whole:
1. A great deal remains to be done on testing the inter-operability
of all systems, such as international electronic data interchanges,
which is still in the early stages of planning.
2. Many foreign financial institutions, and the power and telecommunications
companies upon which they depend, are months behind and have little
or no funds for Y2K.
4) The lack of Y2K progress by businesses and governments to whom large
loans and investments have been made.
5) The growing public uncertainty, the possibility of bank runs, and
a liquidity crisis. (JG)
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER TESTIFIES ON Y2K
(Source: Lawrence K. Gershwin, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES press release,
1/20/1999 via Y2KNEWSWIRE)
On January 20, 1999, Lawrence K. Gershwin, National Intelligence Officer
for THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL testified
before THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT, INFORMATION, AND TECHNOLOGY.
His testimony provides exceptional insight into the global implications
of the Year 2000 problem and the potential impact on the U.S. from non-compliant
trading partners. Here are some edited excerpts:
"Fixing the Y2K problem is labor and time intensive, and challenging
with respect to project management. Current GARTNERGROUP estimates of
global expenditures to fix the problem are on the order of one to two
trillion dollars, which is about 3-5 percent of every country's annual
gross domestic product."
"All countries will be affected by Y2K-related failures. Problems in
one country or sector can have widespread consequences because of interdependence
between sectors worldwide. The consequences of Y2K failures abroad will
range from the relatively benign, such as a localized inability to process
credit card purchases, to problems within systems across sectors that
will have humanitarian implications such as power loss in mid-winter.
We have few indications that countries are undertaking contingency planning
for recovery from Y2K failures."
"The lowest level of Y2K preparedness is evident in Eastern Europe,
Russia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and several Asian countries,
including China. Global linkages in telecommunications, financial systems,
air transportation, the manufacturing supply chain, oil supplies, and
trade, mean that Y2K problems will not be isolated to individual countries,
and no country will be immune from failures in these sectors."
"While Russia possesses a talented pool of programmers, they seem to
lack the time, organization, and funding to adequately confront the
Y2K problem. Concerns include problems with computer-controlled systems
and subsystems within power distribution systems and nuclear power generating
stations leading to reactor shutdowns, or improper power distribution
resulting in loss of heat for indeterminate periods in the dead of winter
"Although Western Europe is in relatively better shape, European awareness
of and concern about the Y2K problem is uneven, and they do lag the
U.S. in fixing their problems. European attention was focused on modifying
computer systems for the European Monetary Union conversion, which was
implemented successfully on 1 January, but this was done by, in many
cases, postponing coming to grips with Y2K problems. For example, the
Netherlands has expressed concern that the EU members are not working
together to solve Y2K problems, and has threatened to cut off its power
grid from the rest of Europe in order to protect domestic power distribution
from external problems."
"The Asian economic crisis has hampered the Y2K remediation efforts
of all of the Asia-Pacific countries except Australia. While the lines
of authority for China's Y2K effort have been established, its late
start in addressing Y2K issues suggests Beijing will fail to solve many
of its Y2K problems in the limited time remaining, and will probably
experience failures in key sectors such as telecommunications, electric
power, and banking."
"We are focusing increasingly in our study of foreign Y2K problems on
those critical sectors that directly affect U.S. interests. These include,
among others, foreign military systems, trade, and oil production and
CADILLAC Y2K LETTER A HOAX
(Source: E.L. Core, WESTERGAARD ONLINE SYSTEMS, 1/28/1999)
A recent letter on what appears to be official letterhead from CADILLAC
OF AMERICA is being widely circulated because it claims that thousands
of its older models are known to be non-Y2K-compliant. Here is the text
of the letter (omitting the contact information for the service center):
We regret to inform you that your product purchased from an authorized
General Motors Dealership is not compatible with the Year 2000 Problem.
Steps are being taken to resolve this problem and the solutions are
in the making. The onboard computer in Cadillac models made from 1974
to 1992 are not designed to recognize the year 2000 as the year 2000.
Problems may arise in the climate control and repair maintenance modules.
Modifications may be made to your Cadillac's onboard computer. The nearest
authorized service center is [deleted]. The service to be performed
on your model is free of charge, and we apologize for any inconveniences
that this may cause you.
General Motors, Inc.
Cadillac of America
The letter was suspicious for a number of reasons: GM is NOT going to
do any free repairs on a 25-year-old car unless forced to by a most
unusual and severe safety problem. That would be a recall, and this
is clearly not a recall letter. There is no 1-800 telephone number or
any other contact information listed to call Cadillac if you had questions.
Y2K analyst E.L. Core called the phone number given in the letter, which
turned out to be a direct line to the parts department of a real service
center. There he talked to Rob Headlee, who told Core that the letter
is definitely a fake. Cadillac vehicles made in 1974 did not have on-board
computers and there is no such entity as "Cadillac of America." (JG)
SUNFELLOW, SEDONA TASK FORCE & WILD2K IN THE NEWS
By James Gregory
David Sunfellow and several projects initiated by Sunfellow and NHNE
are finally getting some well-deserved public recognition. On Jan. 22,
1999, the VERDE INDEPENDENT, a paper serving Sedona and the Verde Valley,
published a two-page spread entitled, "Y2K Scare Prompts Formation of
Special Task Force in Sedona." The article focused on the work of the
Sedona Y2K Task Force, an organization operating under the NHNE non-profit
umbrella that is directed by David Sunfellow, the President of NHNE.
The same day, Sunfellow and the Sedona Y2K Task Force also made the
big time: CNN published an article entitled "Grassroots Y2K Efforts
Sprout" in which Sunfellow is interviewed along with several other grassroots
leaders and organizers. Here is an excerpt of the article:
"Not even the so-called experts have consistent theories about what
will happen. That presents perhaps the greatest challenge to grassroots
organizers. 'It's such a difficult thing for people to get a handle
on -- how a little two-digit problem could have such global ramifications,'
says David Sunfellow, Director of the Y2K TASK FORCE in Sedona, Arizona.
There is a plethora of opinions on the consequences, making it difficult
to know what to do. Should you stockpile a week's worth of food and
water, or enough to last a year? Should you join the list of people
waiting for a new supply of generators to come in at the hardware store?
Or should you figure the power grid really will, as the U.S. government
predicts, operate well enough to avoid widespread failure? How much
cash is enough? 'The nature of the situation produces uncertainty and
confusion,' Sunfellow says. 'Obviously, it's very difficult to mobilize
a grassroots response out of that.'"
Two days later, on Jan. 24, the ARIZONA REPUBLIC published a lengthy
special report on Y2K preparations around the state. One article, called
"Year's End Not So Far Away," pointed out that "the Internet is filled
with Y2K websites offering conflicting information and viewpoints" and
identified sources that the reporter had determined to be "generally
more informative than alarmist." Second on the list was NHNE's wild2K
To cap off the week's coverage, the wild2k Website was also mentioned
on a Mississippi television news program. NHNE SwiftWing reporter, Sherry
Stultz, who has been busy organizing her local community (Ocean Springs,
Mississippi), no doubt had something to do with this. The wild2K Website
registered a few hundred extra hits because of this coverage and one
Mississippi alternative power supplier asked to be included in our links
so local residents could be directed to a local alternative energy supplier.
All this comes at a time when local interest in Y2K is rising. On Jan.
23, the Sedona Y2K Task Force hosted "Sedona and the Y2K Bug," a special
meeting to introduce the staff, volunteers and preparation teams of
the Sedona Task Force, discuss Y2K preparation and field questions.
Sunfellow's opening remarks were followed by a talk from Eric Levitt,
Sedona's Assistant City Manager, and other members of the Sedona Y2K
Task Force. In all, 250 people attended -- an encouraging response from
a town of only 10,000!
Next on the Sedona Y2K Task Force's agenda is organizing a state-wide
gathering of grassroots preparedness groups. This event, the first of
its kind in Arizona, will take place February 15 in Camp Verde. Many
of the state's most active groups have said they will be there and the
event is expected to be covered by the national press. (If you happen
to be an Arizona-based Y2K grassroots organization that we haven't contacted,
please contact Linda Becker for more information: "firstname.lastname@example.org".)
Meanwhile, plans are continuing to unfold for NHNE to produce a weekly
Y2K television program. We'll have more about this in future updates.
(Sources: Paula Blankenship, THE VERDE INDEPENDENT, 1/22/1999; Jonathan
Sidener, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/24/1999; CNN, 1/25/99; Nancy Weil,
1/22/1999; SEDONA RED ROCK NEWS, 1/27/1999)
A "NEW" SOLUTION FOR Y2K-INDUCED POWER OUTAGES
(Sources: Jim Lord, WESTERGAARD ONLINE SERVICES, 1/11/99; Zolton Cohen,
AROUND THE HOUSE FORUM website, 2/15/1998)
Electricity is needed to keep most homes warm in the winter. It can
be used directly to make heating elements glow or indirectly to operate
compressors, pumps, blowers or controllers. Most heating systems won't
work at all without electricity. Because of this dependency, power outages
brought on by Y2K could be perilous. Under moderate to severe Y2K conditions,
we clearly need a good way to heat homes and businesses without electricity.
An ideal system would be inexpensive, clean, highly efficient and safe.
Fuel should be widely available.
Thanks to recent regulatory changes in many states, such a system does
exist: vent-free gas heaters. In fact, it has been widely used for 20
years or more in industrial applications, but conflicts between state
building codes and bureaucratic fumbling have prevented its use in home
heating up to now.
"Vent-free" means the heater doesn't have a stovepipe to carry away
the fumes. On the surface, this seems dangerous -- the newspapers are
full of stories about whole families perishing due to carbon monoxide
poisoning in house trailers with open-flame heaters. In this case, however,
the carbon monoxide problem is eliminated by designing the heater to
operate at very high temperatures, much like a catalytic converter.
Vent-free heaters burn the gas so completely they are commonly rated
at efficiencies greater than 99.9 percent. This means that virtually
all the energy is converted to heat with no carbon monoxide produced.
The only byproducts of the combustion process are carbon dioxide and
water vapor -- exactly what you breathe into the air. A built-in Oxygen
Depletion Sensor (ODS) measures the oxygen level in the atmosphere.
If the level drops to 18 percent (20 percent is normal), the unit simply
ODS-equipped, vent-free heaters first came onto the scene in the 1980s.
Fresh from the ravages of the oil shortage, the federal government passed
a law superseding all state laws making the heaters instantly legal
in all 50 states. However, state bureaucrats didn't like to be pushed
around, and since an exemption was permitted in the UNIFORM MECHANICAL
CODE that governed such items, virtually every state applied, and for
20 years, this highly-beneficial technology was been withheld from the
public. Fortunately, most states have just recently come to their senses
and adopted a newer, broader standard contained in the NEW INTERNATIONAL
MECHANICAL CODE which approves vent-free gas heaters as long as they
are equipped with Oxygen Depletion Sensors.
Here's why Y2K analyst Jim Lord likes vent-free gas heaters so much:
- They use no electricity.
- They are probably the most efficient forms of heating known.
- They are easy to install. There are no holes to punch into the ceiling,
no chimney is required and there are no electrical lines to worry about.
They do require a gas line.
- They operate on either natural gas or propane.
- They are amazingly-inexpensive to purchase. A 30,000 BTU unit capable
of heating heat a 1,500-square-foot house retails for $225 - $400.
- They will humidify your home if you live in a dry climate.
- They are thermostatically controlled.
However, according to home handyman Zolton Cohen, ventless gas heaters
have a down side: they exhaust 100 percent of their combustion products,
like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and water vapor, inside the house.
Ventless heaters are designed to burn cleanly, but age, dirt and misadjustment
of the air intake can make the flame burn dirtier, producing more combustion
products. Couple this with the fact that energy-conscious people make
their homes as airtight as possible, and you have a potential health
Nevertheless, Jim Lord's "Tip of the Week" is to consider vent-free
gas heaters as a inexpensive backup source of heat to your existing
system in the event of Y2K-induced power outages. (JG)
Ventless heater website: http://gasgiant.ppages.com/ventless.html
YEAR 2000 BUG BYTES WEEKLY
(Source: YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER website)
BUG BYTES is a weekly report provided by the good folks at the YEAR
2000 INFORMATION CENTER on unexpected failures across the globe related
to the Year 2000 computing problem. It is a useful companion to their
comprehensive Y2K clipping service. (JG)
Bug Bytes: http://www.year2000.com/y2kbugbytes.html
Year 2000 Information Center: http://www.year2000.com/
VITAL POWER SUPPLY
(Source: Darryl Jones, VITAL POWER SUPPLY website)
Conventional electric generators have a number of shortcomings:
1. They are not ready when needed -- the power is out while the generator
is being set up, and again when it runs out of fuel; even with an "uninterrupted
power supply" (UPS), power is only available for about ten minutes.
2. They are noisy and inefficient.
3. They require a dependable source of fuel.
Newcastle inventor Darryl Jones felt that something better was called
for, and so he came up with the concept of a Vital Power Supply (VPS):
a solar powered system, with battery charging capacity from the mains
when power was available, an input into the VPS for a direct charge
generator to charge the batteries, or an optional wind generator. Another
neat feature Jones introduced was the inclusion of four emergency lighting
output circuits, that turn room lights on the instant the power fails,
and off again when the power comes back on. Jones has managed to fit
all this into one ready-to-go cabinet-sized unit that anyone can install.
Because it is a double conversion system, i.e. the incoming power is
put into the deep cycle batteries first, then converted to AC on demand,
the VPS unit is totally impervious to mains failure, surges, spikes,
low voltage or even long-term blackouts. Because it utilizes one or
more large 200-amp deep-cycle batteries, it continues to provide power
with no interruption, making it ideal for Y2K preparations. VPS can
be powered by all or any of four inputs simultaneously: solar panels,
fuel-driven direct charger, mains power, or windmill. (JG)
BREAK FREE FROM THE POWER GRID
(Sources: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS website; THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC,
1/24/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
Here are two more resources to consider if you are worried about your
dependence on the power grid:
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS (AES) of Mississippi has been providing power
systems for hurricanes, ice-storms, and other disasters long before
Y2K concerns started spreading. They offer complete, sensible systems
powered by sun, wind and water at less than retail prices. AES promises
personalized service of a small southern business: "We can deliver a
wide variety of renewable energy products at a competitive cost, along
with custom-design work. Submit a shopping list on our quote request
form and we will send back a numbered quotation. We also do non-profit
work for needy peoples and those ministering to them."
Then there is "TurboGenerator" -- the stand-alone mini-power plant manufactured
by ALLIEDSIGNAL POWER SYSTEMS (ASPS) in Torance, CA. TurboGenerator
cranks out 75 kilowatts of electricity -- enough to supply a medium-sized
business, small apartment community or a very large residence. "There's
only one moving part and it can run on diesel fuel, alcohol, unleaded
gas, natural gas, even kerosene," says Hal Walker, a spokesman for ASPS,
"and it's more environmentally-responsible than coal or nuclear." Several
Walgreens and McDonald's have already installed the generators. The
TurboGenerator sells for about $40,000, although prices are expected
to drop as production increases. (JG)
Alternative Energy Systems website: http://www.aesms.com
TurboGenerator website: http://www.sonat.com/home/sps/products.htm
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
WILL YOUR PC GO KABLOOEY ON THE MILLENNIUM MIDNIGHT?
(Source: Robert E. Hilliard, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000)
(To be sung to the tune of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor on
the Bedpost Overnight?" with apologies to Lonnie Donegan)
Oh me, oh my, oh you.
Whatever shall I do?
Hallelujah, the question is peculiar.
I'd give a lot of dough, if only I could know,
The answer to my question: is it yes or is it no?
Will your PC go kablooey on the millennium midnight?
When your consciousness says, "Go test it," do you run and hide in fright?
And you find it's not compliant do you heave it out of sight?
Will your PC go kablooey on the millennium midnight?
My computer is not quite clear, as to this date the 2000 year.
Will I loose my data? The fix is still in beta.
I've read the scary stories, about the effect of just two zeros.
And if I test my PC, what a hero I would be.
Now the world rises, to fix Y2K's surprises.
A hole for me is dug, all due to this millennium bug.
I voice my discontent, unto this nation's president,
Upon the burning question which has swept the continent:
If my PC is not compliant, do I buy a cave or a tent?
On the millennium mid. I need ya' and I want ya' and I gotta bootup
I've gotta test my PC, but I'm afraid I don't know how.
On the millennium mid. A BIOS is a BIOS, and a byte is a byte;
I'd execute a program, but it's after midnight.
On the millennium midnight!
Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth
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Editor-in-Chief: James Gregory (JG)
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