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NHNE Y2K Report 26
Sunday, May 16, 1999


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NHNE Y2K Report 26
Sunday, May 16, 1999

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"I'm in at least weekly contact with John Koskinen, the UN, and other governments and companies. My take is that there is a false sense of security, and that the situation is not quite as rosy as we would like to have it, primarily because of some factors that are obscure and that not many people understand. Our company and others such as STANDISH GROUP have discovered over the years that about 50 percent of large software projects either run late or are canceled. [However], if you looked at the reported status of these projects 90 days before the nominal delivery date, you would reach the impression that none of them were going to run late, because they were all supposed to be under control and moving right along. But, in fact, half of them don't make it. We are at the point [with Y2K] where almost everybody says everything is under control, but that does not mean that everything is under control."

--- Capers Jones, Y2KTODAY, 5/10/1999 (See "Everything Is Not Under Control" in this issue for more details)




Clinton Administration Disputes Y2K Spending Report
National Guard: Y2K Communication Exercise A Success
PC Makers Form Y2K Alliance
Software Houses Dumping Non-Y2K Compliant Apps
Group to Monitor UK Food Supply Chain
Aviation Watchdog May Ban Airlines In Australia Over Y2K
Turkey Seeks Y2K Advice from Israel Electric Corporation
Channel Tunnel to Close for Y2K


Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Has Back-Up Generator Problems
Y2K Glitches Show Up In British Nuclear Plants
Seattle Times Classified Department Averts Potential Disaster


Special Senate Hearing on Y2K Community Efforts Set for May 25
America's Y2K Laggards
New Air-traffic Radar Systems Creating Havoc
Global Trade Connections Vulnerable to Y2K Threat
Startling Nuclear Statistics
Bennett Misquoted In Syndicated Column
Capers Jones: Everything Is Not Under Control
Why Are Most High-tech Execs Not Concerned About Y2K?
The Bean Theory: The Case for Individual & Neighborhood Preparedness


Medical Manual Gets Boost from Y2K Buyers


Y2K Puzzle




(Source: Orlando De Bruce, FCW, 5/10/1999)

The Clinton administration has denied recent accusations by the GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) that some federal agencies have either misspent or not properly tracked hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for Year 2000 fixes (Y2K Report 25). The GAO report claimed that at least 18 agencies had used the Year 2000 funding to replace PCs and network hardware, such as the AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT (USDA) spending $8.5 million for rural development to accelerate the replacement of PCs. Anne Reed, Chief Information Officer at USDA, explained that the agency bought the new PCs because the old ones did not have the power to accept a Year 2000-compliant mission-critical application. "To deliver the program, they not only had to upgrade the application, but the host [PCs] had to accept the application." In response to the charge that nine federal agencies did not keep track of spending, and three departments -- USDA, State and Treasury -- refused to respond to GAO's requests for information, Reed said her agency closely documents its Year 2000 supplemental-money spending. "I'll be more than happy to open the books up for GAO." The STATE DEPARTMENT added it too had submitted "volumes of information" to GAO. "GAO's characterization of State's cooperation as not providing relevant information on Y2K cost tracking is incorrect." The OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) insisted that its Year 2000 funding process is closely scrutinized. "We have absolute confidence that the process which exists monitors costs, expenditures and compliance appropriately," said Linda Ricci, an OMB spokeswoman. Jim Kerrigan, President of COLMAR CORP., a market research firm, speculated that agencies' Year 2000 spending practices may be caught in a political battle. "I don't think they are doing anything improper." (JG)

Link: http://www.fcw.com/pubs/fcw/1999/0510/fcw-newsy2kreport-5-10-99.html


(Source: David M. Bresnahan, WORLDNETDAILY, 5/10/1999)

The NATIONAL GUARD has completed the first ever nationwide test of a backup communication system in preparation for possible Y2K-related problems. The exercise, codenamed "Communications CPX," was conducted to practice a full mobilization of all 480,000 members of the Guard to prepare for possible consequences of the Year 2000 computer bug which could cause major disruptions of power, telecommunications, transportation, and banking. An alternative method of communication would be needed if standard telephone service is not available. Using only a high-frequency radio system powered by generators, command staff of the NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU were able to make simultaneous contact with 96 percent of its chain of command. The only glitches took place in Guam and in Hawaii, but with some improvisation they were able to complete the exercise. The event itself was surprisingly low key, in contrast to the controversy whipped up by WORLDNETDAILY in January (Y2K Reports 11 & 12). (JG)

Link: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_bresnahan/19990510_xex_national_gua.shtml


(Source: Edward F. Moltzen, CMP MEDIA, 5/7/1999)

Nine computer hardware makers have formed an alliance to standardize Y2K hardware compliance specifications and provide road-map information. The alliance, made up of ACER, AMERICAN MEGATRENDS, COMPAQ, DELL, HEWLETT-PACKARD, IBM, GATEWAY 2000, TOSHIBA and PHOENIX, is spurred in part by an effort to ease Year 2000-compliance fears. "The question we asked was, 'With less than eight months to go, how can we help PC users at this late point?'" said John Archer, Director of Strategic Marketing for PHOENIX TECHNOLOGIES, and Chairman of the PC Y2000 ALLIANCE. The organization has created a website to act as an aggregation of common information and guidance the hardware vendors had already been openly providing. The website also contains instructions for determining whether PC hardware is Y2K-compliant. "The alliance puts the full weight of the PC industry behind the road map to Year 2000 readiness," said Marybeth Marcello, Compaq's Manager for Y2K Marketing. "We wanted to provide reassurance that nobody needs to stop, or start over, with a Year 2000-compliance plan." While not official members, INTEL and MICROSOFT are also cooperating with the new alliance. (JG)

PC Y2000 Alliance Website: http://www.pcy2000.org

Link: http://www.crn.com/dailies/digest/dailyarchives.asp?ArticleID=4698


(Source: Sylvia Dennis, NEWSBYTES, 5/7/1999)

INFOLIANT, a Year 2000 compliance tracking database service, has revealed a worrying trend among software houses in recent weeks: dumping, rather than updating, those packages which are still not Y2K compliant. According to Infoliant, almost a third of the 604 compliance status changes detected during April by the company's compliance tracker service were negative as manufacturers disclosed previously unknown Y2K issues or simply announced the discontinuation of support for non-compliant products. Kevin Weaver, Infoliant Executive Vice President, said that the firm was initially surprised by a sudden increase in the number of products changing compliance status during March. "The results for April and the products currently under review by our research team indicate that even more testing, patching, and disclosure is coming from information technology manufacturers at all levels." According to Weaver, the changing information makes the task of preparing off-the-shelf products for the Year 2000 harder than the company initially thought. (JG)

Link: http://www.cnnfn.com/digitaljam/newsbytes/130329.html


(Source: Bill Goodwin, COMPUTER WEEKLY NEWS, 5/13/1999)

Supermarkets and food manufacturers in the UK are planning to track basic foodstuffs through the supply chain as part of a nationwide assessment of the impact of the millennium bug. Consultants will trace key foods from manufacturing plants to wholesalers to the supermarket shelves, assessing the likelihood of Year 2000 failures at each stage. The study follows industry concerns that panic buying could have a far greater impact on the availability of food supplies than any Y2K failures. "The retailers and manufacturers are going to be ready in time. But we need to reassure people that it will be business as normal," said Tim Cooper-Jones, Chairman of INITIATIVE 2000, the group of retailers and food companies backing the scheme. The study will focus on key items such as bread, cereals, milk and meats for full end-to-end evaluations. In the case of milk, for example, the studies would include evaluations of bottling plants, embedded chips within refrigeration systems and cold stores, and the readiness of transport companies. Retailers believe the survey will give a good indication of the impact of Y2K on other food supplies which are likely to share much of the same distribution infrastructure. The group aims to release its initial findings by July. (JG)

Link: http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/cwarchive/news/19990513/cwcontainer.asp?name=C11.html


(Source: THE AUSTRALIAN/AAP, 5/6/1999)

According to the Australian CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AUTHORITY, airlines could be banned from flying into the country if they are found to be at risk of the Year 2000 computer bug. Mick Toller, Director of Aviation Safety confirmed that all airlines operating in Australia would be checked for Y2K compliance in the next few months. Toller played down the risk to air travelers, "There are not any significant issues that have been identified other than in a few minor navigation systems in old aircraft which are not safety-threatening." Chief executives of a number of major airlines, including QANTAS, Australia's national carrier, have already announced they will not fly across the new year. Bruce Gemmell from the DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT lauded their decision, "If something actually goes wrong I don't particularly want the CEO who has got the decision-making capacity up in the air and uncontactable. I want him on the ground where he can fix the problem." (JG)

Link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/extras/007/4140016.htm


(Source: David Hayoun, BUSINESS ARENA, (Israel), 5/10/1999)

Turkey's national electric corporation has approached the ISRAEL ELECTRIC CORPORATION (IEC) seeking urgent consultation on the Y2K bug. IEC General Manager Rafi Peled consequently asked two of the company's executives to go to Turkey to learn more details about the assistance IEC is being asked to provide. The Turks are interested mainly in project management support and are not asking IEC to take responsibility for the consequences of the Y2K bug. Peled recently initiated a special national forum of infrastructure companies to discuss cooperation on the Y2K bug, an action which has been roundly praised by Y2K experts. IEC has yet to make a formal decision concerning the Turkish request. (JG)

Link: http://www.globes.co.il/cgi-bin/Serve_Archive_Arena/pages/English/


(Source: SILICON Website)

The Channel Tunnel will be shut on News Year's Eve because of millennium bug fears. From 8 p.m. on December 31 to 4 a.m. the following morning, no passengers or freight will travel through the tunnel; instead, test trains will be used, with full safety crews standing by. "The problem is to do with the interface between our systems and those of the National Grid and the equivalent in France," explained a spokesperson for EUROTUNNEL. But Ian Hugo, Assistant Director of TASKFORCE 2000, claims that a possible problem with the safety system could be the real reason for the closure. (JG)

Link: http://www.silicon.com/public/door?REQUNIQ=926429048&6004REQEVENT



(Source: Patrick Connole, Reuters, 5/13/1999)

According to NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) Chairman Shirley Ann Jackson, the 670 MW Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth, Mass. has had repeated problems with their emergency backup diesel generators, which are required to keep the facility safe in the event of Y2K blackouts. The NRC said the plant's owner was working to solve the problem by adjusting the temperature limit for the generators, improving air flows and increasing the amount of diesel fuel it keeps on hand. ENTERGY NUCLEAR, a non-regulated subsidiary of ENTERGY CORP., bought the Pilgrim plant for $80 million in 1998. In the 1980s, BOSTON EDISON, the previous owner, spent about $300 million to fix problems at the Pilgrim plant, after it was heavily fined by the NRC. (JG)

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/tc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990513/


(Source: L.G. Williams, IAEA, September 1998)

The fact that nuclear power plants are more analog than digital is used by the industry to play down the threat of Y2K. Nevertheless, Y2K-related problems at nuclear power plants do occur. The following examples of date-related problematic systems found in British nuclear power plants are from a paper by L.G. Williams, Director of NUCLEAR SAFETY DIRECTORATE and Chief Inspector of the British NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS INSPECTORATE, delivered at a meeting of industry representatives in September, 1998 in Vienna:

Data Processing Systems: A problem was found with a monitoring and control system which normally obtains its date and time from a radio clock signal. When the signal was not unavailable, the systems would not accept "00" or "2000" as a valid date. This could have led to the system becoming degraded if parts of the system needed to be re-booted.

Security Systems: The access control systems failed due to excessive error messages being generated on transition to Year 2000.

Emergency Plume Gamma Monitoring System: Historical trend information did not appear correctly if the data spanned the transition.

Main Turbine and Main Boiler Feed Pump Governors: The version of the operating system used in this equipment had a problem which prevented it from being re-started in the Year 2000.

Fuel Flask Leak Detection: The software that compared the current and calibration due date caused an illegal syntax error and halted the processor when it did this check on 1/1/1999.

Water Chemistry Control System: A water treatment plant control and chemical monitoring system was found to work incorrectly in the Year 2000.

Activity in Low Level Waste Drums: A system which monitored the activity of low level waste stored in drums would not operate after December 31, 1999. In addition, it did not recognize February 29, 2000.

Maintenance Scheduling Computer: A maintenance scheduling computer was not Year 2000 compliant and required modification.

Emergency Indication: A Remote Emergency Indication Center had a number of date-related non-compliances which needed to be rectified. If this was not done, the efficient handling of emergencies would have been in jeopardy. (JG)

Link: http://www.iaea.org/ns/nusafe/y2000/uky2ksta.htm


(Source: Joe McGarvey, THE SEATTLE TIMES, 3/1/1999)

In 1997, a team of engineers from software manufacturer ATEX MEDIA SOLUTIONS INC. discovered that the 25-year-old mainframe which runs the classified advertising system for THE SEATTLE TIMES, was likely to quit working at the end of the millennium. To compound problems, they also found that extensive customization to the original system made it impossible to fix the Y2K bugs. This ominous news meant the entire mainframe, which also hosted the paper's billing, accounting and prepress systems, would have to be replaced. Given that classified ads generate approximately half of the paper's revenue, Kurt Dahl, Vice President of Information Technology, realized that he needed to move quickly and chose PWI TECHNOLOGIES, the company which helped the Times launch its website in 1995, to deliver a solution. PWI replaced the newspaper's DIGITAL mainframe with a new SUN E10000 server that is Y2K-compliant, capable of supporting an upgraded version of the Atex editing program, houses 22 UltraSPARC processors, 18 GB of RAM and .75 TB of storage, and will support multiple databases and systems that will be used to create a data warehouse. Although the new system has now been in place at the paper since the beginning of the year, "it will take us well into 2000 to transfer all the systems," says Dahl. (JG)

Link: http://www.techweb.com/se/directlink.cgi?VAR19990301S0022



(Sources: Paloma O'Riley, CASSANDRA PROJECT, 5/12/1999; Liza K. Christian, ROGUE RIVER Y2K TASK FORCE, 5/13/1999; Gary North, GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND FORUMS, 5/14/1999)

A special Senate hearing on Y2K community efforts has been called for May 25 in Washington D.C. Witnesses will include Y2K analyst Paloma O'Riley (founder of THE CASSANDRA PROJECT), Ed Yourdon (well-known programmer and best-selling author of "Time Bomb 2000"), Liza Christian (former Executive Director of THE ROGUE RIVER Y2K TASK FORCE), and Michael Nolan (city administrator of Norfolk, Nebraska). Each panelist will be given five minutes for oral testimony.

Written testimonies are also being solicited from other prominent community preparedness spokespeople, including NHNE's David Sunfellow, Director of the SEDONA Y2K TASK FORCE. Along with reporting on how NHNE and the Sedona Y2K Task Force has worked with Y2K, Sunfellow plans to include data from the nation's first grassroots community preparedness survey in his written testimony. To date, over 100 people from all over the U.S. have participated in this survey, including many of the nation's most well-known grassroots organizers. The survey, which was created by Tom Atlee of the CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, was widely circulated among Internet-based Y2K mailing lists. It will be housed on a special website and is expected to be finished next week.

The hearing seeks to gather answers from the community witnesses and written testimony to the following questions:

- What has been your experience as you've worked to convey information and prepare your community for potential Y2K disruptions?

- What are your achievements, both in awareness and contingency planning?

- What areas haven't you had success? Why?

- What has the media's role has been to help/hinder your efforts? What ways could they be more effective?

- What are your goals and objectives in the months remaining?

Subsequent to the oral testimony, a committee of senators will question the panel of witnesses. Liza Christian says, "It is incumbent upon us to expose them in a compelling way to our concerns, be they in the oral or the written testimony, so that they will be prompted to ask a lot of cogent questions."

When Y2K analyst Gary North, who is never at a loss for words, learned about the special Senate hearing, he had this comment: "The Senate's Special Committee on the Y2K Technology problem [plans to] hear testimony on May 25 from local organizations. The representative from the Rogue Valley will receive five minutes -- yes, 300 seconds!...I'd give more information, but after thinking about the implications of this, I have to get to SAM'S CLUB to buy another 100 pounds of pinto beans."

[By the way, all the expenses for this trip -- flight, lodging, transportation, meals -- are borne by the participants themselves. -JG]

Link: http://www.garynorth.com/y2k/detail_.cfm/4681


(Source: BUSINESS WIRE, 5/7/1999, thanks to Sherry J. Stultz)

Some of America's largest corporations are among the furthest behind in fixing their computer systems for the millennium, according to WEISS RATINGS, the only provider of Y2K readiness ratings on banks, insurance companies, and Fortune 1000 companies. Three companies -- WAL MART, INTEL, and CONAGRA -- received a Weiss Y2K rating of "low," indicating potentially serious delays. Eleven of the nation's 50 largest companies received a Y2K rating of "below average," including America's two largest corporations, GENERAL MOTORS and FORD, as well as TEXACO, CHEVRON, BELL ATLANTIC, MOTOROLA, PEPSICO, KROGER, SBC COMMUNICATIONS, UNITED TECHNOLOGIES, and COMPAQ. Only three of the largest 100 nonfinancial companies in the country merited a Weiss Y2K rating of "high": COSTCO, AMERICAN STORES, and AMR.

Martin Weiss, Chairman of Weiss Ratings commented: "We've known for some time that small and mid-sized companies would have difficulties in their preparations for the new millennium. But the poor progress made by so many of America's largest companies comes as quite a shock, implying potentially serious disruptions in the operations and profits of at least some of these companies." Overall, the 538 nonfinancial companies rated by Weiss have budgeted $26 billion for Y2K-related preparations, but have spent only $13.6 billion, barely half of the funds allocated. This indicates widespread delays and the likelihood of a major eleventh-hour rush to catch up as the end of the year approaches.

Weiss is particularly concerned about the utilities and telecommunications industries, "not only because they are essential to our everyday lives, but also because the majority of the companies in these industries tend to be lagging behind." Among the 61 electric and gas utilities receiving a Weiss Y2K Rating, 69 percent received "below average" or "low" Y2K grades, while only 5 percent received "high" ratings. Among 19 telecommunications firms rated, 68 percent received "below average" or "low" grades, with none receiving a "high" grade.

"One of the greatest dilemmas we face," added Weiss, "is the continuing lack of public disclosure. Over 34 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies we reviewed have failed to disclose sufficient information on their Y2K progress upon which to base a rating. The disclosure issue is even worse among the nation's 11,000 banks and 4,000 insurance companies. Without this information, the public is more likely to assume the worst and make hasty decisions with their savings and investments." The accuracy of Weiss Ratings reports has been confirmed by the U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) and national consumer organizations. (JG)

Weiss Ratings Website: http://www.weissratings.com

Link: http://infoseek.go.com/Content?arn=BW1059-


(Sources: Matthew L. Wald, NEW YORK TIMES, 5/6/1999; Y2KNEWSWIRE, 5/7/1999; Jon Hilkevitch, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/7/1999; REUTERS, 5/7/1999)

Malfunctioning air-traffic radar systems have been taken out of service at Chicago's two major airports after causing serious delays recently. The old system called "HOST" was in the process of being replaced with a Y2K-compliant upgrade called "ARTS 6.05" when the new computer failed as it was linked to a new type of display screen for the controllers. HOST automatically took over, but it, too, promptly malfunctioned. After the two computer systems failed, a third system was put into use, but since that system did not provide as much data, air traffic controllers had to double the spacing between planes to 20 miles.

This snafu came just two weeks after a discovery that new FAA radar control systems were slower than the ones they were replacing -- even after an investment of a billion dollars and several years of effort. Henry Brown, who represents New York-area members of the PROFESSIONAL AIRWAYS SYSTEM SPECIALISTS, complained, "The [FAA] rushed this system into service, against our wishes, because they want to say we've got another 40 percent of our equipment Y2K compliant." FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro countered, "We've made a top priority of correcting the glitches in the ARTS 6.05 software program in Chicago and returning it to service as soon as possible, but no later than June 30" -- the date by which the FAA has pledged to have all its systems free of Year 2000 bugs. He admitted that the "FAA does not have a fallback strategy if the kinks in ARTS 6.05 are not worked out by June 30." When asked what the FAA planned do if such a situation occurred, Molinaro said, "I wouldn't even want to speculate on it." HOST is not Y2K certified, meaning hardware and software using date-dependent information could shut down computers or generate inaccurate data on Jan. 1. Similar problems have created havoc recently at La Guardia, Newark and Philadelphia airports as well.

In a related story, FAA Chief Jane Garvey has booked an AMERICAN AIRLINES flight from Washington to Dallas on New Year's Eve and will be in the air when the Greenwich Mean Time clock that controls air navigation rolls over to the Year 2000. Her move is an attempt to allay public fears about flying through the date rollover. "We appreciate the administrator's confidence in us," said Chris Chiames, a spokesman for American Airlines, which has spent $200 million on renovating its own computers. (JG)

Link: http://www.y2knewswire.com/19990507.htm

Link: http://chicagotribune.com/version1/article/0,1575,ART-28177,00.html

Link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/tc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990507/tc/yk_reservations_1.html


(Sources: Bob Cohen, YEAR 2000 OUTLOOK NEWSLETTER, 5/7/1999; Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Press Release, 4/22/1999)

The millennium bug could throw a large rock into the world's economic pond, according to a new report issued by Commerce Department's INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION (ITA). The report, entitled, "The Year 2000 Problem and the Global Trading System," avoids discussions of individual country readiness, focusing instead on the intricate set of trade relationships which bind one nation to the next.

The stakes in this game are enormous: One-fifth of global output involves international trade. The U.S., for instance, exports over 20 percent of everything it makes, and counts on commerce with its trading partners to support 12 million American jobs. "The international trading system, with its complex web of suppliers, distributors, customers, and transportation links, is supported by a critical infrastructure of products and services," the report notes. "The most important components of the infrastructure are energy production and distribution facilities, transportation modes, communications channels, and financial networks. These sectors are highly computerized and interdependent and are particularly sensitive to dates for the smooth exchange of goods and services. These characteristics render them especially susceptible to Y2K-related problems. Breakdowns in any part of the trade support structure could slow or halt shipments of key imports needed to keep factories working, hospitals functioning, food in continuous supply, and people employed."

Y2K could impact other U.S. trade vulnerabilities too, like minerals. The report notes that the U.S. is "totally dependent" on imports for such commodities as bauxite and alumina, columbium, natural graphite, manganese, and mica. More than 50 percent of minerals like platinum, tin, zinc, tungsten, and cobalt come from overseas. "Temporary disruptions in the supply of some of these materials could affect automobile manufacturing (catalytic converters and pollution control systems), the petroleum and construction industries (drill bits), and the electronics sector (cathode ray tubes and electronic capacitors)," the report says.

According to the ITA: "By the end of 1999, it is estimated that the U.S. will consume 19.3 million barrels of oil a day, about half of which is imported....The petroleum industry is highly dependent upon information technologies in every aspect of its business operations, including production, maintenance, finance, communications, security, safety, and delivery. Embedded microchips are widely used in the industry's distributed control systems." To further highlight the seriousness of this aspect of the issue, consider these edited excerpts from a statement by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd during a hearing to investigate the potential impact of Year 2000 on oil imports:

"The oil industry is highly dependent upon maritime shipping. Oil tankers, for example, depend on reliable on-board navigation, communication and safety systems, all of which are vulnerable to Y2K problems. In 1998, SHELL OIL examined one of its crude oil carriers, which was built in 1996. Y2K testing revealed failures in seven areas, including radar system mapping, ballast monitoring and ship performance monitoring. According to Shell, "Not one of these failures would stop the ship, but they might if they all happened together." Overall, when Shell assessed their fleet, it found approximately 3,000 date-sensitive embedded chips on its 50 vessels. The highly automated functions make it difficult for a small crew to manually operate the ship in an emergency."

"With the exception of North America and Northern Europe, the actual Y2K readiness of the international ports remains a virtual unknown. When a ship arrives in port, Y2K-related failures could prevent cargo from being unloaded and oil from being pumped out of tankers. Y2K difficulties in ports could include the failure of the giant cranes used to offload containers from ships and could also create congestion. According to the INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, one oil company found that a dockside crane refused to operate because an embedded chip determined that it was overdue for a technical inspection."

"Some companies, such as British Petroleum (BP), are taking a very proactive approach to Y2K. BP is very influential in the shipping business and is the world's third largest user of oil carrying vessels. In May 1998, BP surveyed 650 companies from which it chartered tankers. BP made it clear that failing to respond to the questionnaire would result in termination of charters with the oil company. The response was disappointing. Half of the companies that BP had used in the previous two years were unable or unwilling to disclose the Y2K readiness of their vessels. Beginning in January 1999, BP started refusing to employ vessels that could not offer an assurance of Y2K readiness. But while BP and other companies might be able to obtain Y2K ready charter vessels, they cannot make international ports compliant."

"The oil industry is working hard to solve its Y2K problems and is trying to achieve Y2K readiness by September 1999. However, Y2K failures in maritime shipping and foreign ports still pose serious threats to the flow of oil and our economic well being." (JG)

Link: http://www.senate.gov/~y2k/news/pr042299.html

Full ITA report: http://y2k.ita.doc.gov/y2k/y2k.nsf/


(Sources: ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE, 5/6/1999; Declan McCullagh, WIRED, 4/30/1999)

A total of 434 nuclear power plants are now operating around the world, according to data reported to the INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) "Power Reactor Information System." Overall nuclear power plants provide about 16 percent of the world's electricity production. Eighteen countries rely upon nuclear power plants to supply at least a quarter of their total electricity needs; here are the top 12:

Lithuania, 77.2 percent
France, 75.8 percent
Belgium, 55.2 percent
Sweden, 45.8 percent
Ukraine, 45.4 percent
Slovak Republic, 43.8 percent
Bulgaria, 41.5 percent
Republic of Korea, 41.4 percent
Switzerland, 41.1 percent
Slovenia, 38.3 percent
Japan, 35.9 percent
Hungary, 35.6 percent.

To handle Y2K computer concerns related to the world's nuclear power plants, member states have requested the IAEA act as a clearing-house for diagnostic and remediation actions being taken to make these facilities Y2K ready. In response, the IAEA has established a special project to address the relevant nuclear safety concerns of the Y2K problem on nuclear power plants and research reactors.

The most recent quarterly report from the NORTH AMERICAN ELECTRIC RELIABILITY COUNCIL (NERC) revealed that one-third of the nuclear plants in the U.S. will not be finished with Y2K repairs in time to meet the industry's self-imposed summer deadline of July 1, 1999. The group advises that hospitals; telephone companies; and gas, water, and sewage facilities "should review their emergency power supply provisions and procedures." (JG)

Link: http://www.wired.com/news/news/email/explode-infobeat/politics/story/19419.html

Y2K readiness, by country: http://www.iaea.org/ns/nusafe/y2000/countinf.htm

Link: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/may99/1999L-05-06-06.html


(Sources: Joe Bauman, DESERT NEWS ARCHIVES, 5/9/1999; John Hamre, DoD Website, 2/22/1999)

Staff members for Sen. Robert Bennett have criticized a nationally-syndicated column for misquoting the senator. The column by Jack Anderson and Jan Moller claimed that the U.S. military is preparing to take action in case social disruptions accompany Y2K computer failures (Y2K Report 25). "[This] was confirmed to us recently by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), who chairs a special Y2K Technology Problem Committee," the column stated. The article went on to quote Bennett that the Y2K problem is everywhere and nowhere at once, and that there is not enough time to understand where all the problems are going to surface so we must be practical and prepare for the worst. "This column is a complete fabrication," charged Don Meyer, spokesman for the SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE Y2K TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM. "The quote was supplied...only as a way of describing the nature of the [Y2K] problem," Meyer said. "We never confirmed that the U.S. military is planning a sophisticated social response network."

In response to the charges, Moller, the editor of the column, double-checked and agreed that it was incorrect in saying that Bennett had "confirmed" the reports. "It was an editing error on my part." The actual reporting was by a team member named Kathryn Wallace, who got the information about Y2K military plans independently of any information from Bennett. Moller said that when he was working with the information supplied by Wallace, "I assumed that Bennett was talking about the military part, which he was not. [He] was referring to the general problem of the Y2K."

The columnists, however, still "stand by the accuracy of the story" about military preparations. Their position seems to be confirmed by a memo from John Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense. Here are some edited excerpts from the first in a series of policy memos designed to ensure that the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DoD, the Department) has the ability to effectively respond to the many and varied demands that may be placed upon it during the Y2K date transition period:

"Efforts in the public and private sectors have resulted in great strides toward Y2K compliance. Despite these efforts, it is possible that localized system failures will occur, and that the possibility for more widespread, systemic problems, both domestically and internationally, cannot be ruled out. Accordingly, the Department is taking prudent action to ensure its ability to meet its national security responsibilities and, consistent with those responsibilities, to respond to requests for assistance from civil authorities both domestically and overseas throughout the Y2K date transition period."

"Past DoD responses typically have been applied to localized acute situations, most of which have not been simultaneous. By contrast the Y2K problem, has the potential to involve a large number of events that occur over broad geographic areas, within a short time frame. [Given] the broad, near-simultaneous, systemic nature of potential problems during the Y2K date transition, a set of criteria that more clearly establishes the Department's focus and response to domestic and foreign requests for military assistance [is needed]. Accordingly, the following priorities will be adhered to in responding to domestic emergencies and for foreign assistance throughout the Y2K transition period (September 1, 1999 to March 31, 2000):

1. Essential national security missions
2. Immediate response situations
3: Domestic public health and safety
4: The economy and the nation's quality of life"

"Within the U.S., local commanders may undertake immediate, unilateral, emergency response actions that involve measures to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage, only when time does not permit approval by higher headquarters. Overseas, immediate response may be undertaken when time is of the essence and humanitarian considerations require action. Except for [these] immediate responses, requests for DoD support will be considered only if submitted through the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY or appropriate offices of the DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THE NATIONAL GUARD will continue its traditional role of providing military support to civil authorities through their respective state governors, and will simultaneously ensure its ability to respond to national security requirements." (JG)

Link: http://www2.army.mil/army-y2k/depsecdef_dod_civil_support.htm

Link: http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_reg?dn99&9905100342


(Source: Scott Johnson, Y2KTODAY, 5/10/1999)

Capers Jones is the founder of SOFTWARE PRODUCTIVITY RESEARCH and a leading expert on the economic impact of the Y2K problem. Here are some edited excerpts from a recent Y2KTODAY interview:

"I'm in at least weekly contact with John Koskinen, the UN, and other governments and companies. My take is that there is a false sense of security, and that the situation is not quite as rosy as we would like to have it, primarily because of some factors that are obscure and that not many people understand. Our company and others such as STANDISH GROUP have discovered over the years that about 50 percent of large software projects either run late or are canceled. [However], if you looked at the reported status of these projects 90 days before the nominal delivery date, you would reach the impression that none of them were going to run late, because they were all supposed to be under control and moving right along. But, in fact, half of them don't make it. We are at the point [with Y2K] where almost everybody says everything is under control, but that does not mean that everything is under control."

"As of this year, about a third of the problems that are occurring are being found in software that nominally was repaired, tested, and put back into service. Another issue is that for the last 50 years about seven percent of all software updates have accidentally inserted new errors. Some of these fresh bugs are troublesome in their own right. Given the fact that we are missing dates and injecting new problems, I think it is very unlikely that we will end up with all of the dangerous problems fixed at the end of the century. The industry average for finding and fixing any kind of bug is 85 percent, leaving 15 percent behind. [And, in addition, while], the number of [embedded] chips that need to be replaced is not as big as we first thought, replacing them remains one of the most difficult parts of the Year 2000 problem, because you have to take them out and replace them. And if the vendor's gone out of business, or it's in an offshore oil rig, it is not an easy trick."

"The federal government is doing a reasonable job now, [but] they started a couple of years to late. I blame Gore more than Clinton for not being a leader in this situation, because of the impeachment, Clinton had other things on his mind. One thing that I find troublesome [is that] for the last couple of years, Ken Starr's budget has been roughly ten times bigger than John Koskinen's. I think the government has grossly misspent on the independent counsel stuff and grossly underspent on the Year 2000 work. I've been told by people who know him that Al Gore is afraid of [the Y2K threat] because he figures that it will wipe out his election [chances] in 2000. He was the poster boy for the Internet and high technology. He should have taken the lead in trying to solve it. By backing away and not saying anything about it, he has lost the confidence of the high-tech community that should have been his main supporters. On the state and municipal level, the bigger government entities are pretty active and energetic, [but] I'm very concerned about the smaller communities."

"[While] Jon Arnold, who publishes a weekly status report on the electric utility industry, is pretty candid, and Koskinen is pretty open, given his position [as Chair of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON THE YEAR 2000 CONVERSION], I'm very troubled by the industries that don't have any kind of consolidated look at their Y2K status -- natural gas, trucking, shipping, governments -- because all of them are pretty much lagging. [On the international front], Western Europe, which should be in very good shape, devoted too many resources to the euro, [which has] a lot of problems, some of them big: currency conversion errors to billions of dollars, funds transfers to the wrong bank. Italy is just getting started; they've been devoting too many resources to the Year 2000 [Jubilee]. As far as Eastern Europe goes, I suspect that they don't have a clue. It also looks like the Pacific Rim is not going to be in very good shape, nor are South America or Africa." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/home/default.asp?feature=true&id=1418


(Source: Benny Evangelista & Jon Swartz, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/3/1999, thanks to Dan Drasin)

According to a recent survey by the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, many Silicon Valley executives are not concerned about the Y2K threat and blame the media for doomsday forecasts. Here are some edited responses to the questions of how concerned they are about the Y2K threat and what they plan to be doing on the last day of the year:

Scott McNealy, CEO, SUN MICROSYSTEMS: "I will probably be asleep as soon as all three boys go to sleep (about 9:30) and will wake up and change Y2K-compliant diapers."

Jim Clark, co-founder of NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS, SILICON GRAPHICS and HEALTHEON: "I consider [Y2K] a complete ruse promulgated by consulting companies to drum up business."

Larry Ellison, CEO, ORACLE: "Y2K is going to be a problem, but nowhere near the problem some people seem to think it will be. I will be ready, the company will be ready, and things will be OK."

Jim Barksdale, former CEO, NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS: "I'm not concerned about it. Actually, one of the biggest dangers we face over the next six months is the press hyping Y2K and turning it into a crisis situation for the public."

Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, ACTIVISION: "Worried? Not at all. I think it's entirely invented by a division of MICROSOFT."

Graham Spencer, co-founder, EXCITE: Is not planning on traveling at the beginning of the year out of fear of scheduling snafus and delayed flights. "I'm going to buy bottled water and canned food; I'll have extra batteries for flashlights and radios; and I'll probably withdraw some extra cash. I probably won't buy a backup generator; I'm definitely not buying a gun or moving into a bunker."

Ed Dilworth, CEO, ARNOLD INGALLS MORANVILLE: "My wife's gonna have a baby in six weeks. I don't care about anything but that. The actual event in January -- pfft."

Sunil Paul, CEO, BRIGHT LIGHT TECHNOLOGIES: "Personally, I'm planning to party like it's, well, you know. But I might carry a spare flashlight with me, perhaps one that doubles as a party favor. The hysteria that has people hiding in bunkers in mountains is overdone. It's not the end of civilization -- it's a computer bug."

Do these dismissive responses from the captains of technology indicate that they are confident that the millennium bug has been squashed? William Ulrich, co-author of "The Year 2000 Software Crisis: Challenge of the Century" and President of TACTICAL STRATEGY GROUP, has another explanation: top corporate executives are too far removed from trying to fix the Y2K problem to become overly concerned about its potential effects. "You get to a certain point in life where you think you're immune. The only thing you're really worried about is where your stock price sits. The people who least appreciate what's going on are the people who live in Silicon Valley. Their world is OK, so the rest of the world must be OK." He claims that the deeper you delve into the trenches of the Y2K problem, the more people you find concerned about the threat. At a recent conference of Fortune 1000 chief information officers and Y2K project leaders, for example, a poll showed the majority of attendees feared moderate to serious problems ahead. (JG)

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/05/03/BU42286.DTL


(Source: Sally Strackbein, Y2KKITCHEN Website)

The Y2K community widely advocates community preparedness. But, according to Y2K analyst Sally Strackbein, it isn't enough -- individual and neighborhood preparedness is also imperative. Here are some edited excerpts from her essay about why community preparedness alone will not work:

"I frequently hear individual preparedness efforts labeled 'hoarding.' We, who are worried enough to be making plans for our families and neighborhoods, are labeled 'survivalists.' Individual and neighborhood preparedness is about planning for the survival of the neighborhood. If the families in each neighborhood survive, the community will survive. Individual and neighborhood preparedness is not about 'heading for the hills.' It is about taking responsibility and building cooperation."

"This paper advocates survival through diversity. Our world has become increasingly dependent on computers and, for the first time, many of them will experience bugs almost simultaneously. This is the first time we have had advance warning of a catastrophe of this magnitude. We need to prepare in as many ways as possible: individual preparedness, neighborhood preparedness, community preparedness, city preparedness, state preparedness, national preparedness and world preparedness. Diverse preparation by diverse people is essential."

"The following illustrates why it is absolutely imperative for the middle class to prepare for the onslaught of Y2K disruptions. Let's use Fairfax County, Virginia [and cans of beans] as examples:

"Beans are an inexpensive and readily available source of nourishment. They provide enough food value to keep a person alive for a while. Canned beans don't need to be cooked to be edible. An institutional size can of pork and beans holds 3,250 calories of food and weighs 7 pounds, 2 ounces. A 10-year-old child needs about 2,000 calories per day; this number works for the average adult too.

"Let's compare two scenarios: unprepared individuals and neighborhoods as compared to semi-prepared individuals and neighborhoods:

"Sardine Scenario: The average school in Fairfax County serves a population of 3,901 people, including adults and children. Assume all need shelter at the school because everyone believed the Y2K optimists and made no preparations. This is called the "Sardine Scenario" because it provides for six times as many people as the schools were designed for, crowded like sardines.

1 Day 3 Days 14 Days

People to feed 3,901 3,901 3,901
Cans of beans 2,400 7,200 33,600
Water (gal) 3,901 11,703 54,614

If we assume that community preparedness is required and that the disruptions will last for only two weeks (a conservative estimate), Fairfax County (population 913,012) would have to rent 1,404 20-foot cargo containers to store the required beans to take care of the whole population.

Semi-Prepared Scenario: Let's assume the majority of families have prepared for themselves. Assume the number of people sheltered at this school equals the number of students who attend the school.

1 Day 3 Days 14 Days

People to feed 629 629 629
Cans of beans 387 1,161 5,418
Water (gal) 629 1,887 8,806

"The above scenarios do not include toilet paper, blankets, diapers, tooth paste or any other essentials. Neither does it make arrangement for human waste disposal, required in case of water shortage."

"While neighborhood cooperation is preferable, individual families, in isolation, stocking their pantries with extra food and water is far better than not having them prepared. Most average middle class families have the resources to prepare if they buy just a little bit extra each shopping trip to the grocery store for the rest of 1999. The better prepared the middle class family is, the smaller the number of people who will need shelter in public facilities. Therefore, individual family preparedness is good for the community. Food stored in individual homes does not need storage space in public facilities. The same holds true for water."

"It is imperative to alert everyone, especially middle class families, as soon as possible that they need to begin preparing NOW! Plan for the community to take care of those unable to prepare for themselves and urge those who can to prepare. This is how we can truly avoid panic." (JG)

Link: http://www.y2kkitchen.com/html/y2k bean theory.html



(Source: Monica Eng, THE MODESTO BEE/CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/12/1999)

The HESPERIAN FOUNDATION has been selling its Third World medical manual, "Where There Is No Doctor," at a brisk pace for more than 25 years. But no one at the nonprofit publishing house was ready for the avalanche of orders that they suddenly started receiving last December, when people from the fully-developed world began calling with requests and monthly sales quadrupled. "We couldn't figure out what was going on," said Todd Jailer, Hesperian publications coordinator. "So we started asking people when they called with their orders and finally we realized it was all related to Y2K." It seems that the manual, which explains medical procedures from diagnosing parasites and treating malaria to delivering babies and dressing gunshot wounds, has made it onto highly-recommended lists among some Y2K preparedness groups. Y2K preparedness guru, Paloma O'Riley, recommends it on her CASSANDRA PROJECT Website, "I think its a good book to have, not just for Y2K, but if you are ever away from medical facilities."

The classic public health text has meant survival for thousands in the Third World since the early 1970s, according to officials from the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) and the U.S. PEACE CORPS. It was then that a group of health workers in rural Mexico began stapling together hand-copied pages of health tips that they then distributed to local villagers who had no access to doctors. By 1973, biologist and public health worker David Werner turned these packets into a full-fledged book written in Spanish. By 1977 an English language version was published and today, with three million copies translated into 85 languages, it is the most widely-used public health manual in the world. Its success has spawned such offshoots as "Where Women Have No Doctor," "Where There Is No Dentist," "A Book for Midwives," "Disabled Village Children" and "Helping Health Workers Learn."

Werner's original intention in writing the book was to create a manual that would allow those underserved by medical professionals to educate themselves about basic health. "The book was given its title, not because it tells you what to do until the doctor gets there, but what to do [when] the doctor is never going to get there," said Jane Maxwell, co-author of the current edition of the book. Because many places without doctors also have little or no literacy, Werner and subsequent co-authors have geared the book to reading levels between fourth and sixth grade. (JG)

Hesperian Foundation Website: http://www.managingdesire.org/Hesperian/Hesperian.html#anchor1069997

Link: http://www.modbee.com/living/story/0,1155,80664,00.html



(Source: K. Jackson Anderson, THE DAILY HERALD (Everett, Wash.), 4/30/1999)

"Why is it possible, less than one year from the end of the world as we know it, to buy a two-year subscription to newsletters and magazines sponsored by those who are predicting the downfall of civilization?"

--- Marney Mason, Y2K Project Manager for the U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, Seattle district

Link: http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/99/4/30/10854497.htm



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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