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NHNE Y2K Report 22
Sunday, April 18, 1999


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NHNE Y2K Report 22
Sunday, April 18, 1999

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IT Survey Foresees Global Y2K Crisis
U.S. to Host Global Y2K Conferences
Kosovo Crisis Complicating European Y2K Initiatives
Pharmaceutical Companies Concerned About Access To Raw Materials
Russian Airlines Face Y2K Insurance Rate Hike
GartnerGroup: Most Vendor Software Not OK for Y2K
Dodd/Bennett: Fed Government Running Out Time
White House to Set Up Y2K Coordination Center
Fed Sees Possible Complications from Y2K
Sanger's Review Has New Editor


Fun in the Environment of Opinion
Get On With Life


GAO: Nearly Half the Power Firms Will Miss Deadline
Companies Urged to Prepare for Y2K Power Outages
Jim Lord Leaving Westergaard
Bennett: Will the Federal Government Be Ready for Y2K?
Bears & Bulls Face Off Over Y2K
Demand for Safe Deposit Boxes Rising
Claims of Banks Seizing Y2K Supplier Funds Doubtful
"Windowing" Only a Temporary Y2K Fix


A Better Water Pump
The Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer
"Speaking of Y2K..."






"If you want to be safe during social collapse, you can commit yourself to:

a) poverty, so that there's nothing to steal, [or]

b) service, so that you become a valuable resource and ally."




(Source: Edward Yardeni's Y2K REPORTER, 4/12/1999)

Information technology (IT) professionals are very concerned about the Year 2000 bug, according to a survey conducted by the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (ITAA) in December 1998. The poll was directed at the 11,000 direct and affiliate members "from America's largest corporations to the entrepreneurs building the blockbuster IT companies of the future." Eight-seven percent of survey respondents said the Year 2000 problem is a crisis for the nation and the world; 52 percent think the millennium bug will hurt their companies; and only 21 percent disagree with this notion. Over one-third said the bug had already started to bite, triggering failures under actual operating conditions. Other notable components of the survey include: 71 percent of respondents indicating their companies have experienced Year 2000 system failures under simulated or test conditions; 71 percent are performing contingency planning as a top priority, while only three respondents had actually completed the contingency planning process; only 18 percent of these organizations have a full-time contingency appointed executive; 44 percent of respondents will stop doing business with non-compliant suppliers but half of those will assist those suppliers who are not compliant in the event they need help; 35 percent of those surveyed are stockpiling critical materials; and 66 percent are planning manual procedures to override computer system failures. Perhaps the most striking result of the survey is that only 19 percent believe their local communities are taking adequate steps to prepare for Y2K contingencies. (LB, JG)

Link: http://www.yardeni.com/y2kreporter.html


(Source: Erich Luening, CNET, 4/13/1999)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce, William Daley, announced a new international initiative by his department to join "international partners" in the global effort to deal with Year 2000 issues. The new campaign includes Commerce-coordinated Y2K conferences around the world aimed at exchanging Year 2000 solutions and distributing educational materials to help countries best deal with the pending global deadline. Some of the materials to be distributed include 300,000 CD-ROM copies in eight languages of a "Self Help Tool," and two videos on the Y2K bug for public television and corporate use. The COMMERCE DEPARTMENT also plans to establish a Y2K website. Daley said he is addressing the concerns of U.S. executives from across the country who "are concerned that some nations and some international companies are not taking the Y2K problem as seriously as they should, or don't have the tools to identify the problems or solutions." "We have one simple message," said Daley. "We want to work with our trading partners to prevent the Y2K problem from becoming the first global economic crisis of the next millennium." South Africa's ambassador to the U.S., Sheila Sisulu, is pleased that international conferences were in the works. "The Year 2000 technology problem can have far-reaching problems, even for those countries who have made good progress in their conversion efforts," she said. "No country, no matter how far along in their efforts, is immune to Y2K problems in other countries." (JG)

Link: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,0-35066,00.html?st.ne.87.head


(Sources: Erich Luening, CNET, 4/13/1999; Scott Johnson, Y2KTODAY, 4/14/1999)

Dr. Marvin Langston, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT (DoD), has announced that U.S. military representatives will meet with their Russian counterparts in Moscow about Y2K issues from April 19-21, ending speculation that the Kosovo conflict had derailed U.S.-Russian cooperation on the Y2K issue. Langston admitted the armed conflict in Kosovo was deflecting resources from DoD's Y2K testing effort, and that if this trend continued, some "rescoping" of DoD's testing methodology might be necessary. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Vice Chairman of the SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM, has just returned from a trip to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium where he discussed the current crisis in Kosovo with NATO members, as well as Year 2000 technology efforts in the individual countries. "They have had a lot of complications over there with the introduction of three new countries into the NATO alliance, but they are paying a lot of attention," said Dodd. He praised the COMMERCE DEPARTMENT's recent initiative to host a series of global Y2K conferences as another way to get the nations of the world on the same page as they deal with the Y2K bug. (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?id=1256

Link: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,0-35066,00.html?st.ne.87.head


(Source: Stacy Collett, COMPUTERWORLD, 4/5/1999)

While pharmaceutical companies have outpaced the rest of the health industry in Year 2000 preparedness, the wild card will be getting the raw drug materials from abroad after Jan. 1, 2000. According to the SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON YEAR 2000 PREPAREDNESS, about 80 percent of the raw materials needed to produce drugs come from outside the U.S. A survey by the PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH MANUFACTURERS OF AMERICA (PhRMA), indicates that more than half of U.S. drug companies are particularly concerned about supplies from Asia and Japan. They fear telecommunications and power sources will fail and curtail raw material shipments. "If you're attempting to switch raw-material suppliers in countries where their bureaucracy is mired down with Y2K problems, you could be hard-pressed," said Kenneth Kleinberg, an analyst at GARTNERGROUP. The PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION is working with industry groups to determine how much inventory and raw materials drug companies should maintain. Most keep a one-to two-month stockpile of raw materials, and once drugs are produced, wholesalers and retailers keep two- to three-month supplies of the products themselves. "If we determine there is a need, we're planning to adjust our inventory levels. We'll make that decision a few months prior [to year 2000]," said Tracy Stenn, a spokesperson at MERCK & CO. PhRMA estimated that two-thirds of U.S. drug makers have completed Year 2000 work on all software applications. Most of the health care industry, in comparison, has just started testing mission-critical systems, according to the GARTNERGROUP. (JG)

Link: http://www.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/all/9904059C32


(Source: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, 4/13/1999)

Several Russian insurance companies, fearful of potential flight disasters due to the millennium bug, have slapped the nation's airlines with higher rates. Russia has been singled out as particularly vulnerable to the potential for disaster at year's end. The nation's top official in charge of the problem, FEDERAL AVIATION SERVICE Deputy Director Victor Gorlov, has estimated the transition to Y2K-compatible programming will cost Russia upwards of $3 billion. The preventative measures for the airline industry alone are estimated at over $3 million, none of which is expected to come from Russia's painfully-undersized budget. (JG)

Link: http://www.russiatoday.com/rtoday/news/1999041317.html


(Source: Thomas Hoffman, COMPUTERWORLD, 04/12/1999)

With less than nine months to go until the Year 2000, an astounding 81 percent of vendor software applications still aren't millennium-ready, according to a recent report from the GARTNERGROUP. Testing shows that 6 percent of vendor software that shipped Year 2000 patches aren't completely compliant either. Progress is "not happening fast enough," said Lou Marcoccio, Year 2000 Research Director at the Stamford, Conn.-based research firm. Of the so-called Year 2000-ready packaged applications examined by CAP GEMINI's Application Renovation Center, 10 to 15 percent still contain an average of four to five millennium bugs per program, said Noah Ross, who runs the Center. The problem for many corporate customers is that, to receive a free Year 2000-ready version of a vendor's software, customers have to be using the most current version. "Many customers don't, and it's a big problem." One of the biggest exposures for corporate customers is the uncertain readiness of Windows 95, said Jeffrey Tarter, Editor of "Softletter." MICROSOFT "has been very ambiguous" about whether it has identified and fixed all the millennium bugs in Windows 95. (JG)

Link: http://www2.computerworld.com/home/print.nsf/all/9904129DD6


(Source: CNNFN, 4/14/1999)

Senators Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah) of the SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE YEAR 2000 TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM scolded U.S. government agencies recently for not doing enough to ensure that contingency plans are in place in the event of any Y2K-related failures. "The committee is not satisfied with the level of progress in this area and has asked agencies to provide more details on their planning efforts by the end of the month," said Bennett, Chairman of the Committee. The senators are concerned that there is not enough time remaining for federal agencies to complete their testing to ensure services will be provided without disruptions into 2000. Nearly 500 systems (8 percent) missed the government's March 31 deadline. Those systems include Medicare payment, air-traffic control and critical national defense systems such as the Global Command and Control System essential for orchestrating conflicts, such as the one currently ongoing in Kosovo. Bennett maintained that while 92 percent of the government's systems are Y2K compliant, that "doesn't mean the government is 92-percent ready," adding that federal agencies still need to complete end-to-end testing. (JG)

Link: http://www.cnnfn.com/hotstories/washun/9904/14/y2k_govt/


(Source: Stephen Barr, THE WASHINGTON POST, 4/15/1999)

Analysts have complained for months that not enough data exists to predict the severity of Y2K glitches in the event computer systems malfunction or shut down Jan. 1, 2000, because they cannot correctly interpret the calendar change. Now comes the announcement that the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION plans to set up just such a coordinating center by the summer. To head up the new center, the White House has recruited Peter Kind, a researcher at the INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES and the Army's top information systems officer from 1992 to 1994. The center will receive Y2K alerts from major federal agencies, from states through the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA), from embassies via the STATE DEPARTMENT, and from industry groups representing crucial economic sectors. Reports will be prepared for President Clinton and a "deputies committee," the details of which are yet to be determined. (JG)

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-04/15/115l-041599-idx.html


(Source: Caren Bohan, REUTERS, 3/25/1999)

The FEDERAL RESERVE is worried about its ability to provide emergency loans to banks whose computers might seize up because of the Year 2000 bug. Speaking to the SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE, Fed Governor Edward Gramlich warned that banks' requests for money through the central bank's discount window could rise "substantially in the future." While Gramlich was not predicting a bank computer problem, he said it was still important to be prepared for the possibility that it might happen. To that end, he asked the lawmakers to support legislation that would permit the central bank to make the necessary loans without running into technical constraints on its balance sheet. Balance-sheet constraints have become a concern in light of a trend of a decline in the amount of reserves that banks hold with the central bank. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/sc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990325/sc/millennium_fed_1.html


(Source: Patrick Shannon, SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS, 4/15/1999)

SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K has a new editor and an ongoing commitment of provide daily links and intelligent summaries of the most important news articles about the Year 2000 problem. Patrick Shannon, who has been helping Larry Sanger with the site for two months, has taken over the day-to-day functions of the Review. He says he will remain accountable to Sanger and his high standards of quality reporting. Shannon has been a computer technician and consultant, mostly for small companies, since 1988. In the past year and a half, he has been an advocate of the idea that the future will unfold in a way that nobody has been able to imagine. While he admits he personally lean towards the "doomer" camp, he believes that it is important to be open to all possibilities. Sanger will continue to serve as Executive Editor of the Review. (JG)

Link: http://sangersreview.com/990415.htm

Sanger's Review: http://www.sangersreview.com/



By Jonathan Taylor

In November 1998, the WEST KOOTENAY Y2K ALLIANCE of Nelson B.C. produced a city-wide symposium with 450 people participating out of a town of 9,000. Out of this came several special-interest groups: a core group of about 25, third-party verification, food and gardens, school initiatives, elders, community outreach, a consulting group (INSTITUTE FOR TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP), website, storefront, miscellaneous events such as satellite downlinks, and the recent conference and symposia: "Y2K and Beyond" -- two days of educational displays, expert presentations, debates, panel discussions, community round tables, story telling, comedy and music with educators and activists from across North America, including Peter MacDoran, Judy Laddon and Larry Shook. We seem to have become the most active Y2K community alliance in British Columbia at this time.

Some municipalities in the Vancouver area are angling for liability exemption and our local politicians, who are thinking along the same lines, are just beginning to ask for hard data. As a result, we must walk the fine line between advocacy and lobbying on the one side, and straight research reporting on the other. The determination of accurate information, useful information and planning advice is difficult to come by, let alone manufacture in this environment of opinion. We have a few technological facts at the core of the issue. Radiating outwards from these are multiple scenarios, each in a direction that supports a particular mythology of social change, or stasis for that matter. We have taken a position slightly left of the middle of the road, using a taste of fear to drive an agenda of social change towards community resiliency and interdependence. We also include a group that is in touch with the darker aspects of social unrest, with overtones of global conspiracy and military coup. We have taken the tack that we only engage the issues that generate personal juice and raise energy. No "shoulds" or "oughts."

Our funding comes from a variety of sources: foundations, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Nelson and individuals. Much of the resources are sweat equity and in-kind donations of equipment and supplies. For the symposium we had wide support from Nelson's business community.

Our greatest challenges remain: Sustaining funding. Holding the interest and commitment of core members who are juggling full, under-financed lives with this essential service. Determining which, out of a universe of possible projects, are the critical ones; and balancing the immediate material Y2K problem needs with the clearly evident. Underlying spiritual crisis. Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of indifference, denial, hostility, and isolation from the community at large. Broadening the base of support to include a wide spectrum of community members. Discerning the essence.

Thank you for the NHNE Y2K Reports and news items. They are a great help and many of them find their way to our website.

Jonathan Taylor
Nelson, British Columbia, Canada


By Liza Christian

[The following comments are from Liza Christian, former Director of the ROGUE VALLEY Y2K TASK FORCE, who recently stepped down from her job and took some time away from the Y2K scene.]

I think there is a tendency to perpetuate the gloomy side of Y2K without even being aware that we're doing it. These days I'm trying to focus more on solutions and getting a hopeful, positive, and targeted perspective rather than rehearsing the problem over and again. When I do share Y2K information, it's with the view that this is essential information that will shape your thinking significantly, or provide you with tools and resources that lead to solutions. This new direction and focus has helped my mental state and thus my physical state considerably, and has also made me more effective in communicating the true concerns about Y2K and other predictions of a changing world scene.

I regard Y2K preparations as "insurance." I don't buy auto insurance and then wake up every morning wondering, "Will this be the day that I get to benefit from my policy?" On the contrary, I rarely think about it unless I'm making my premium payment. Even then, I don't think, "Ahhh, I wonder if it's worth it to keep paying on this policy?"

I'm more into what we can do (training, getting new resources, building skills such as first aid, etc.), what should we do, what are we willing to do, and how many others can we rally to the cause. Then, I don't have to question de Jager's flip flop, or Yourdon's increased devastation scenario, or debate whether Y2K will be a blip or a catastrophe. I'm as prepared as I can be for multiple emergency/disaster situations.

I want to live in hope and freedom. I don't want to be strangled by depression and melancholy (which unfortunately I see happening to many people), or put my life on hold. I've worked to marshall the efforts of my neighbors and friends and community. Now, I get on with life.

Liza K. Christian
Former Executive Director
Rogue Valley, Oregon



(Sources: CNNFN, 4/16/1999; COLUMBIA WATER & LIGHT Year 2000 Readiness Report, 1/1/1999)

The nation's electric power utilities have completed only 44 percent of Year 2000-related preparedness and testing, according to a government report by the GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO), giving rise to concerns about the possibility of widespread power failures as the new year approaches. The GAO reported that 46 of the participating organizations said they don't expect to be Y2K ready by the industry's June target date, and 16 percent of those organizations said they don't expect to be Y2K-compliant until the fourth quarter of 1999. Noting that the U.S. electric power supply industry is comprised of about 3,200 electric utilities, the GAO expressed concern about the industry's efforts to make their systems Y2K ready, especially given the fact that power utilities are so dependent on embedded computer control systems: "All phases of operations in the electric power industry, from generation to distribution, use control systems and equipment that are subject to Year 2000 failures....The industry's analysis of its embedded systems has shown that the Year 2000 problem places the nation's electric power systems at risk."

The GAO findings are particularly troubling when coupled with this edited excerpt taken from a Y2K Readiness Report prepared by COLUMBIA WATER & LIGHT in Columbia, Missouri, which indicates that, if portions of the grid go down, it may be difficult to start up individual power plants:

"'Black Start' refers to the ability of a generating station to be restarted from a total power failure or blackout. This is generally done either by batteries that can turn over the prime mover or by compressed air. An automobile, for example, is black started every time it is started. A power plant is rarely black started, and many are not capable of being black started. The Columbia Municipal Power Plant cannot be black started. The City of Fulton, however, has some diesel engines that can be black started. We are therefore working with Fulton to use their system to restart ours in the event of an area-wide power failure. Procedures to isolate the Columbia/Fulton system from the rest of the world, start diesels in Fulton, and bring both systems up, are being formulated. This plan would have to include an alternate form of communication between the two utilities and plans are underway for a radio link." (JG)

Link: http://www.cnnfn.com/digitaljam/9904/16/y2k_electricity/

Link: http://www.ci.columbia.mo.us/dept/wl/98y2k.htm


(Source: JOURNAL OF COMMERCE, 4/14/1999)

Y2K-related power outages at the dawn of the new year could result in costly property damage for unprepared businesses, says FACTORY MUTUAL, a commercial property loss-prevention organization. What the overall impact will be is difficult to predict, because each company's facility is different. "In cold climates, for example, loss of power, even for a few hours, could cause...building heat loss that could freeze and burst pipes and render fire protection systems inoperable," said Michael Polagye, Factory Mutual's Y2K Task Force leader. "At other locations, outages as short as 15 minutes could interrupt production lines and damage work in process."

The good news is there's still time to reduce one's risks by preparing for possible utility outages and other Y2K problems. Following these nine practical steps can help business owners prepare:

1. Create contingency plans for all critical services and processes by analyzing the potential risks, developing response methods, writing a plan and testing it.

2. Shut down processes or minimize operation levels where possible to reduce the chance of problems.

3. Make sure key employees know what to do if a problem occurs, and that they will be available in the event of an emergency.

4. Obtain and test backup heat and power well before year end.

5. Check fire protection systems to make sure they are in working order, sprinkler control valves are open, fire pump fuel tanks are full, and water reservoirs are full.

6. Eliminate sources that could cause a fire -- such as open flames and temporary heaters -- and consider shutting down hazardous processes.

7. Don't build excess inventory that your fire protection can't handle.

8. Plan for manual operations of critical systems such as boilers and processes that cannot be shut down in the event that automatic controls malfunction.

9. Prepare for post-2000 recovery if you plan to shut down vulnerable systems and processes. Some systems may experience Y2K-related problems, and start-up may not happen in the normal manner.

For more information, check with your property loss-prevention consultant. (JG)

Link: http://www.joc.com/issues/990414/i1nsur/e44806.htm


(Source: Jim Lord, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 4/15/1999)

After 81 weekly columns, WESTERGAARD columnist Jim Lord is leaving the WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000 fold. He seeks to move beyond the constraints of his former preparedness-oriented "Tip of the Week" in order to broaden his investigation and analysis of Y2K to other issues such as government, politics, technology, education, healthcare, the economy, and the environment.

Here are some edited excerpts from Lord's final Westergaard column:

"Two things worry me about the assurances from the big guys that all is going well. When Woodward and Bernstein, the reporters who broke the Watergate Scandal, were stuck, their informant, 'Deep Throat,' told them to 'follow the money.' Applying this same logic to the Y2K picture is revealing. Specifically, the spending numbers reported to the SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) indicate insufficient progress on a broad scale. As long as BELL SOUTH, for example, claims to be on schedule while their most recent SEC report indicates they've spent just 11 percent of their Y2K budget, I will remain skeptical. Studies by Capers Jones and others indicate that over the past 30 years, six of every seven large software projects either finished late or were canceled. Y2K is the largest and most expensive software project in history and it has an inflexible deadline. Why should we expect it will be finished on time?

"And then there's the 'Lucy Factor.' Lucy, of course, is the character in the 'Peanuts' cartoon series. For years she's been fooling poor Charlie Brown with a football [that] she holds in position for Charlie to kick, but at the last moment she pulls away [and] Charlie falls flat on his back. What makes this gag so funny is that Lucy always assures Charlie that THIS TIME she won't move the ball. Good old trusting Charlie always believes her. But she always moves the ball, and down goes Charlie. John Koskinen is 'Lucy' and you are 'Charlie Brown.' He wants you to ignore the government's past record and believe them THIS TIME. He wants you to ignore the fact that, in the past, virtually all their software projects have been delivered late. He wants you to ignore an history of technical ineptitude and decades of outrageously bad technical management. He wants you to believe THIS TIME they're going to beat the odds. He wants you to believe they'll finish every single one of 6,400 projects on time. He wants you to believe they have pulled off the greatest technical miracle in history. He wants you to have the faith of Charlie Brown. If you do that, like Charlie, you'll find yourself flat on your back on the ground looking up at the sky. And 'Lucy' will be looking down with the football in her hand saying, 'Gotcha!'"

"The current Y2K strategy has nothing to do with computers. It has to do with controlling you and your inflamed passions. At a recent MEDIA STUDIES CENTER forum called 'Y2K: The Press and Preventing Panic,' John Koskinen urged reporters to be generous with reassuring news and helpful advice on do's and don'ts (Y2K Report 20). 'The issue to deal with is panic. The issue is overreaction...that's where the risks are.' No, Mr. Koskinen, the issue is you and this chilling strategy of using the media to protect us against ourselves. We don't need reassurance, we need the truth, just like you promised."

"My greatest single concern, however, is with top management -- there ain't none. The lack of leadership on Y2K for the past three years is precisely why half our small businesses and small governments and most foreign countries are failing to deal with Y2K. That same deficiency has now put us on the brink of a catastrophe."

"My Final Tip of the Week is the same drumbeat I have been banging out for three years: assume personal responsibility for your own well-being and prepare, prepare, prepare."

Lord plans to continue writing weekly columns on a wide range of Y2K-related topics that he will post on his own website. (JG)

Jim Lord's Website: http://www.SurviveY2K.com

Link: http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip


(Source: Scott Johnson, Y2KTODAY, 4/14/1999

Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) could not have been more direct in the question he asked three Y2K experts during a recent hearing of the U.S. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE YEAR 2000: "Do you believe that, on January 1, 2000, the Federal government is going to be able to function without major problems?" Here is how they answered:

John Koskinen, Chair of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION: "I am confident that any problems with the economy or the American public will not come from the failure of Federal systems." Koskinen testified that, according to the latest data obtained from federal agencies, 92 percent of federal systems had been remediated, tested, and implemented.

Deirdre Lee, acting Deputy Director for Management at the OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: "We are confident that every mission-critical system will be ready for the Year 2000."

Gene Dodaro, Assistant Comptroller General for the GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO). "I'm encouraged that everything is being done to minimize the risks [but] I think it's a little premature to make that judgment at this time." The GAO warned that much work still remained and that some "fixed" systems had revealed flaws. "In some cases, independent verification and validation of compliant systems have found serious problems. For example...none of the HEALTH CARE AND FINANCING ADMINISTRATION's 54 external mission-critical systems reported...as compliant as of December 31, 1998, were Year 2000 ready, [according to] the independent verification and validation contractor."

The committee chairman persisted: "I think the American people need to be reassured that...the Federal government is not going to come to a halt, and federal services are not going to break down in a massive way, and it will not be the end of the world as we know it. Are you all comfortable with that summary?" All three nodded their head, although Dodaro was a bit slow to join the other two. (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?id=1256


(Source: Miriam Hill, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/13/1999)

SUN MICROSYSTEMS CEO Scott McNealy is telling people to buy computers now because he is worried that Y2K problems may disrupt production next year. He is not the only one raising concerns that the Year 2000, and the computer problems it is expected to bring, could slow the economy, corporate earnings, and the stock market. "I think there could be enough disruptions around the world that it could cause a worldwide recession," says Ed Yardeni, Chief Economist for DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES in New York. Yardeni puts the chances of a major recession at 70 percent, with a 90 percent likelihood of major disruptions of stocks. Yardeni paints a picture of a recession that unfolds like this: foreign companies, many of them suppliers to large U.S. corporations, are not ready for Y2K, causing big problems, making it impossible to stick to production schedules, pummeling corporate earnings.

However, for every short-term bear, there is an economist predicting that investors will barely notice Y2K. For example, a recent survey of 33 economic forecasters by the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of Philadelphia found that they expect the U.S. gross domestic product to grow at 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 1999 AND in the first quarter of 2000 -- a robust rate. At MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER, analysts Peter Canelo and Lorraine Wang believe that concerns about the economy are overblown and problems abroad are unlikely to hit hard. A few analysts are even bullish on Y2K. Thomas Galvin, Chief Investment Officer with DONALDSON LUFKIN & JENRETTE in New York, says Y2K could pump up demand for stocks in the STANDARD & POOR'S 500, as investors seek safety. And after it blows over, Galvin thinks Y2K could even BOOST earnings as companies benefit from money they spent improving their computer systems.

What's an investor do? First: Stay calm -- experts say people rarely make good decisions when they panic. Next, consider your options and decide whether to stay the course, or shift some money out of stocks into safer of havens. Study after study has shown that trying to time the stock market by selling on expectations of bad news and buying on expectations of good news simply does not pay off.

Philadelphia financial planner Roy Diliberto, President of RTD FINANCIAL ADVISORS and President-elect of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL PLANNERS, recently asked his clients to review their plans in light of Y2K. Of his 250 clients, only three took him up on the offer. Two of them made relatively minor changes, and just one client sold everything and paid about $15,000 in capital gains taxes. "His concern is that the underlying companies won't be able to do business," Diliberto said. "That's what it took to make him sleep at night."

Harold Evensky, a financial planner and author of "Y2K and Your Money," suggests that people assess their risk tolerance. People who have weathered previous downturns with little fear have no reason to do anything differently now. But people who think a decline in stock prices of 20 percent or more would trigger them to sell in a panic, should temporarily reduce exposure to stocks, he said. "It is far better to make changes in your portfolio now than to make changes in panic later." (JG)

Link: http://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/99/Apr/13/business/PROB13.htm


(Source: Sheryl Jean, THE BUSINESS JOURNAL (Minneapolis/St. Paul), 4/12/1999)

Some banks are receiving increasing numbers of requests from people wanting to place their cash in a safe deposit boxes around the turn of the millennium for fear of Year 2000 computer glitches. LIBERTY STATE BANK in St. Paul, Minn. for example, has 100 people on a waiting list for their 2,700 safe deposit boxes, says bank Vice President Joan Peper. Big banks, according to Peper, "have cut back on services, closed branches and cut down access to safe deposit boxes to three or four hours a day. That's where our demand is coming from. Basically, the consolidation and closings of banks have left people out of the loop." NORWEST BANK, owned by San Francisco-based WELLS FARGO & CO., plans to convert at least two bank branches slated to close in nearby Plymouth and Woodbury into staffed, safe deposit box centers with no other bank services.

The safe deposit box shortage is not universal. Although 14 percent of Norwest's 160,000 safe deposit boxes throughout Minnesota are available, there's a definite crunch in the Twin Cities area, said Colleen Ross, Senior Project Manager for NORWEST BANK MINNESOTA. Some Norwest Bank branches in the growing, western suburbs have no safe deposit boxes available, and "there's a two- to three-year waiting period," she said. Safe deposit boxes are a customer service -- a "safe" place in a bank vault to put important personal belongings such as jewelry, coin collections, contracts or family photos. Banks don't make money on the boxes, which carry a relatively low annual fee of $17 to $150.

Consumers could create even more demand for safe deposit boxes toward the end of the year, fearing the millennium bug will electronically wipe out their savings. "The whole taking-cash-out-of-the-bank issue is very big concern to us," said Connie Weinman, National City Bank's compliance lawyer. [There are two ironies here: in a safe deposit box, while the cash stays in the bank, it's not accessible to them; if the doors and vaults of the bank are shut by Y2K, your valuables may be "safe" but inaccessible to you. ­p;JG]

Link: http://www.amcity.com/twincities/stories/1999/04/12/story3.html?h=bug


By James Gregory

As part of their ongoing Y2K series called, "Panic in the Year Zero," WORLDNETDAILY has just published an article entitled, "Banks Seizing Y2K Supplier Funds," which claims, "As Y2K-related sales skyrocket, merchants are being accused of fraud and denied payment from banks." It continues, "Banks claim to be just following procedure. 'A large increase in sales looks suspicious to us,' says Sal Caruso, a merchant account representative from U.S. BANK. 'We have to hold these accounts for review to verify the sales are real.'"

The article then gives specific examples of banks seizing assets of companies that market Y2K-related products, such as Y2KNEWSWIRE. According to the article, Mike Adams, creator and editor of the free Y2K news and analysis service, had over $38,000 in funds seized and was informed by U.S. Bank merchant officials that no specific release date could be promised. Adams is quoted as saying, "Banks hate the Y2K preparedness industry. Because part of preparing for Y2K is taking out some cash. It's a direct conflict." The article reports: "Adams thinks banks are retaliating by working to deny Y2K companies their lifeline -- customer cash. 'They're trying to drive Y2K companies into the Dark Ages,' says Adams, who adds, 'And that's funny because it's exactly where the banks will end up if their own computers stop working on January 1.'"

Another example given is that of LUMEN FOODS: "'[The bank] called me at 8:30 in the morning and said our account had been seized,' says Greg Caton, President of Lumen Foods, a food supplier that has shipped over $3 million in orders since last August. 'They indicated fraud.'"

Reaction to the article has been swift, and some of the most serious accusations come from one of the persons quoted in the article. Greg Caton, President of Lumen Foods, published the following statement the same day as the article was published:

"Word of our demise has been greatly exaggerated!...We've never had money taken from our account. No one has ever accused us of fraud. We have never had our credit card privileges revoked, suspended, or in any way tampered with. We have nothing but a spotless 12-year history of solid relations with our credit card company. I made a few simple comments to Mike Adams at Y2KNewswire...and my comments have become more and more misstated every since. No one ever called me from WorldNetDaily to see if what was said was true or not. I will never again be able to read something in WorldNetDaily and be sure it is true....The fact is, they don't even have the good sense to call the very people they are quoting. Journalism, Internet or print, doesn't sink to any lower level than this."

For the record, here is an edited version of what was stated by Greg Caton to Mike Adams in early April:

"In late January, Lumen Foods was contacted by John Smith of FIRST DATA MERCHANT SERVICES, its credit card processing company. Greg Caton was told that the Lumen Foods account was being 'reviewed' because of dramatic increases in credit card deposits, but that this was standard practice. Smith was courteous in both explaining the credit card company's position and in his request for documentation, including financial statements. Lumen Foods complied with all requested documentation. The review was passed without incident."

Mike Adams at Y2KNewswire was the only source used by WorldNetDaily in its report on Lumen Foods. At no time was Lumen Foods accused of fraud, as WorldNetDaily reports. Nor was its bank account ever seized. According to Caton, "The WorldNetDaily report is totally false, and Mr. Farah's claim that the report must be true because Mike Adams says it is, defies all good journalistic practice."

And just to liven up the discussion, WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah (JF) posted several statements in the <comp.software.year2000> newsgroup which were later challenged by Lumen Food's President Greg Caton (GC). Farah's newsgroup statements are followed by Caton's rebuttal, both of which are currently posted on Caton's "False WorldNetDaily Report" website:

JF: If my 25 years of credibility reporting and editing news stories can be tarnished by the lies of one misguided fool, it's not worth restoring.

GC: Misguided? How am I misguided for pointing out a gross violation of journalistic practice? You continue to deny your culpability even after I provide indisputable proof that you published false information -- which must now be recategorized to "knowingly-false information."

JF: Read Caton's comments carefully and you will see he is not denying unequivocally making his comment.

GC: Is that so? What must I do to make it more unequivocal? You [are] lying, and now I am providing the proof necessary to demonstrate the sham that WorldNetDaily is.

JF: He denies talking to a WorldNetDaily reporter.

GC: I most certainly do. It never happened.

JF: He admits making the comment to a Y2KNewswire reporter, who, in fact, was working for us.

GC: Mike Adams denied this to me in a 4/14/99 telephone conversation. He did nothing more than send you some email. So that constitutes a "reporter working for WorldNetDaily?" Sir, you are an amateur.

This is not the first time questionable reporting practices have gotten WorldNetDaily into hot water. In January, a report of a nation-wide mobilization of the National Guard triggered a flood of negative comments because of sensational claims, unverified sources, sloppy reporting, and a slew of errors (Y2K Reports 12 & 13). Commenting on the latest kerfuffle, Sheri Nakken, publisher of Y2K REPORT adds: "WorldNetDaily once again doesn't quite have it right. That's why I don't use them for a source until verified elsewhere. Y2KNewswire doesn't look too good either."

Lumen Foods is preparing to slap WorldNetDaily with a libel lawsuit. Curiously, Y2KNewswire has chosen this exact moment to shut down their operations for a week. (Sources: WORLDNETDAILY, 4/14/1999; Sheri Nakken, Y2K Network, 4/15/1999; Greg Caton, LUMEN FOODS Website, 4/15/1999)

Link: http://soybean.com/wnd101.htm

Link: http://www.remarq.com/transcript.asp?group=comp%2Esoftware%2Eyear%2D2000&thread

Original article: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_exnews/19990414_xex_banks_seizin.shtml


(Source: USA TODAY/AP, 3/15/1999)

The most common technique used to fix computers vulnerable to Year 2000 failures is a quick-and-dirty solution that will require expensive repairs or replacements within a generation. The temporary fix, called "windowing," uses a sophisticated twist of logic to fool computers, and is highly controversial among insiders because it's intended to work for only 20 to 70 years. So why is the technique used at all? Because it's quicker and easier, even if it only works for a specific window of time. The permanent fix, called "expansion," requires a tedious line-by-line search and repair of all six-digit dates. Software experts hope windowing will prove adequate until these computers are replaced -- or until programmers can devote enough time and money to make permanent repairs. Industry analysts estimate the method is being used to patch 80 percent of computers worldwide. One expert describes computers already fixed with the technique as "little ticking time bombs waiting to go off."

Using windowing, programmers instruct software to guess the century for dates that fall within a specific "window" of time, such as the next three decades. The computer interprets the year based on a future so-called hinge date, or pivot, that programmers choose arbitrarily. For example, a software program with a pivot of "30" will interpret years "00" through "29" as 21st century dates, but will assume years "30" through "99" are during the 1900s. Some programmers use pivots of "50" or "70" to buy even more time. Once the pivot date is past, those computers will need to be replaced or patched again as they begin quietly contaminating data by making wrong assumptions about the century. Windowing is fraught with other risks, as well. Different programs assigned different pivots can cause havoc when companies or governments try to share information, unless they take complex precautions. Testing typically takes longer, too. Windowing problems might not appear until January, when computers start guessing which century to use. In contrast, if the permanent ''expansion'' fix is done incorrectly, the problem often is immediately obvious.

"It's a band-aid," said Jim Duggan, a researcher with the GARTNERGROUP consulting company. "I don't think some people expect to be in those same jobs," added Michael P. Harden, President of CENTURY TECHNOLOGY SERVICES INC. consultants. "Fix it now, get everybody off your back...and if there's a problem, you won't be around to have to deal with it." The federal government, doesn't discourage agencies from using windowing, but warns of consequences. "It's like the FRAM oil filter guy: 'You can pay me now or you can pay me later,'" said Keith Rhodes, a technical director at the GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, which monitors repair efforts at federal agencies. "It's not solving your problem. It's delaying the inevitable." While some government agencies, such as the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, have generally shunned the method. the STATE DEPARTMENT is using it on nearly half its most important computers, and the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION freely acknowledges using the technique.

"It's an issue of pragmatism," explained Y2K analyst Ed Yourdon. "Anybody who had to go through that choice was very much aware of the tradeoffs. We'd like to do it the right way...but we don't have time, so even though it's a quick-and-dirty approach, we have no alternative. Too bad." "People with time and money took the high road and did full expansion," agreed Duggan. "We'll replace this in 20 years, but isn't that exactly the same thing we said back in the 60s?" Harden pointed out. "The same people who created the problem are now fixing it, and installing something that will have the very same problem down the road." (JG)

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cte638.htm



(Source: Steve Troy, JADE MOUNTAIN INC., 4/13/1999)

In Y2K Report 21, we reported on the Stalwart emergency hand pump that is remarkable in that it can be installed alongside a submersible water pump. This type of pump is always ready for use in case of a power outage and alleviates the extra work of removing one to install the other.

Now we hear from Steve Troy of JADE MOUNTAIN INC. that the Stalwart pump is not that popular because it has some shortcomings: it's overpriced and made mainly of PVC plastic. According to Troy, there is a better pump on the market called the "Simple Pump," which "costs about the same, works much better, and is made of stainless steel and brass."

Simple Pump details: http://www.jademountain.com/handpumps.html (JG)


(Source: MICROSOFT Website)

MICROSOFT is offering a Year 2000 Product Analyzer that performs the following tasks:

- Identifies installed software products on specified drives by scanning the drives for executable files.

- Compares the resulting list of products to the products listed in a compliance database.

- Generates a report of the compliance levels of the products it discovered, based on the information in the compliance database.

Microsoft Year 2000 Product Analyzer download is compact enough to be placed on a floppy disk for easy installation on any PC with the following characteristics:

- An Intel 486 or greater processor
- 25 MHz or faster
- At least 2 MB of free hard-disk space
- One of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 95/98 or Microsoft Windows NT 3.51/4.0
- A mouse

And the good news is that this program is available free at:
<http://www.microsoft.com/technet/year2k/pca/pca.htm>. (JG)


(Source: George E. Tice, Research Dept., HARBINGER INSTITUTE, 3/11/1999)

The HARBINGER INSTITUTE, an organization that consults with groups working on the social aspects of the Y2K computer problem, has just published a Y2K guide called "Speaking of Y2K..." for communities and neighborhoods to open dialogue and create action. The guide includes:

- Questions and background information for two, two-hour small-group discussion sessions.
- Suggested "homework" between sessions.
- Basic guidance for running study circles.
- Action ideas for individuals and groups.
- A resource guide that focuses on the social aspects of Y2K.

The guide provides a framework for constructive small-group discussions, called "study circles," about Y2K. It's meant to be used in neighborhoods, workplaces, communities, families, groups of friends, churches, and other places where people might benefit from learning about Y2K together, and talking about how they might support each other's efforts to be prepared for possible problems.

The study circle is a simple process for small-group deliberation which creates a setting for personal learning, building community, and problem solving. Study circles using the "Speaking of Y2K..." format can help warm up a group or community to the more intensive community preparedness activities suggested in UTNE's "Citizen's Action Guide" and by the CASSANDRA PROJECT. They help create spaces for people with different points of view to come together to create stronger understanding and action over the long term.

Copies of "Speaking of Y2K..." are available for $3.50 each from: Harbinger Institute at: "harbinger@mcn.net," or as a free downlaod from the Harbinger Institute Website. (JG)

HARBINGER INSTITUTE Website: http://www.harbingerinstitute.org



(Source: Ashleigh Brilliant, NANDO TIMES/CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 1/29/1999, thanks to Michael Sohaski)

A.D. 999
Canterbury, England

An atmosphere close to panic prevails throughout Europe as the Year 1000 approaches, bringing with it the so-called "Y1K bug" -- a menace that, until recently, hardly anyone had ever heard of. Prophets of doom are warning that the entire fabric of Western civilization, based as it now is upon monastic computations, could collapse, and that there is simply not enough time left to fix the problem.

Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why did no one anticipate that a change from a three-digit to a four-digit year would throw into total disarray all liturgical chants and all metrical verse in which any date is mentioned? As well, all tabular chronologies with three-space year columns, maintained for generations by scribes using carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets, will now have to be converted to four-space columns, at enormous cost.

Stonemasons are already reported threatening to demand a proportional pay increase for having to carve an extra numeral in all dates on tombstones, cornerstones, and monuments. Together with its inevitable ripple effects, this alone could plunge the hitherto stable medieval economy into chaos.

A conference of clerics has been called at Winchester to discuss the entire issue. Many families, in expectation of the worst, are stocking up on holy water and indulgences. (JG)

Link: http://www.techserver.com/noframes/story/0,2294,12507-21171-155676-0,00.html



The stories in this week's NHNE Y2K Report were drawn, in part, from the following news sources:




Sheri Nakken (Y2K NETWORK):



Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth

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