Y2K Early Warning System?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I saw Senator Bennett of Utah announce his concept for a y2k early warning system that would monitor the worldwide geographical locations that roll over prior to the east coast of the U.S., thus allowing an opportunity to see what we might expect. Also, in theory, this would allow the west coast an additional three hours and Hawaii a full day from when the first roll over to the century occurs.

Is there failure in this logic? Perhaps it's just me, but if there is a failure of communications or the grid when New York rolls over then will that not affect the central and west coast at that time? I understand the three hour time difference but if the east coast part of the grid goes dark or communications are lost what difference does it make? Wont it immediately put a strain on the rest of the grid and thus possibly cause a domin

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), October 03, 1998



Do you have a link to this on the Web? I'd like to read about his idea, even though I don't think a couple of hours warning is going to make much difference. If TSHTF there will be a panic, whether we get the news from CNN, or some official warning mechanism. You can bet the military will be watching the situation unfold.

There is a thread in the archive called "Who will be the first to know." This type of thing was discussed a bit there. I know this: If people have a couple of hours to get ready, they'll rush to the filling stations and 24 hr. groceries to "prepare." We will have a mess. Of course, everything that's going to break won't fail at the stroke of midnight 1/1/2000, so we may have plenty of warnings - some of them months in advance.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 03, 1998.

Mike, I'm not sure which article Michael read, but here is one I found:


-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 03, 1998.

I read the report @ Gary North's web site. The title starts out..."Final 17 Hours..." Oct. 3. I think Mr. Bennett's logic is becoming absurd and rediculous.

Texas Terri

-- Terri Symington (TJSYM@AOL.com), October 03, 1998.

I watched C-Span for three hours today as they discussed Y2K and the 17 hour early warning. Christopher Dodd made it sound like Bob Bennett figured this early warning out all by himself and that it was really some profound information. DUH! . Also, one of the men testifying held up a cell phone and said, "This will not work in 2OOO." They basically had a three hour hearing on emergency and contingency planning.. I'm telling you people, GET PREPARED! The federal government is keeping quiet about this so as not to cause a panic.

-- Dave (dave22@concentric.net), October 03, 1998.

Hey, Dave! Maybe they read our forum. :-) We talked about that several weeks ago.

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 03, 1998.

isn't CNN based in Atlanta GA, EST? some of us who are watching CNN here in MT may not be able to watch for information up to 2400 hrs MST. I am not in any way envious of people on the east coast who will be able to watch until 2400 EST.

I agree with Michael that as soon as 2400 hits, the entire country is hit.

-- areseejay (areseejay@aol.com), October 03, 1998.

Thanks to Gayla for the link. I read the article, and I think Bennett ought to focus on telling people to prepare personally. We need to be ready more than a few hours in advance. It sounds like FEMA is "almost" saying that.

I really like this:

***Bennett's Democratic opponent, Salt Lake City surgeon Scott Leckman, said Friday that while Y2K is an important problem, there are other pressing problems that ``more people can identify with'' -- such as helping parents with limited incomes gain a better financial foothold to raise their children. He noted that the Social Security Administration first began working on Y2K computing problems a decade ago. ``I hope that we can get [Bennett] retired early so that he can devote himself full-time to this problem,'' Leckman said wryly.***

Maybe someone should tell Leckman that voters will have no problem "identifying" with Y2K if TSHTF!!!!!

I think Bennett is sincere, and he's doing the best he can. I think if he really said what he believes, then his collegues would just think he was nuts. He wouldn't be able to get anyone to listen to him then. I read his speech to the National Press Club. He knows we are in deep doo-doo. Must be frustrating. It will be interesting to see what he does within the next year or so.

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), October 03, 1998.

Contact him (the senator) directly.

Contact your own rep and senator - its an election year, grill them unmercifully about it.

Be blunt: what will they do about your mortgage whenyou can't pay? What will they do about your credit report when it is screwed up by bad computer reports? What will they do when the power goes out? What will they do about losing personal freedoms because the FBI is targetting Y2K Christian Chuches? What will they do to keep their offices open in Jan and Feb 2000?

Are their computers compliant? Are their houses compliant and prepared? Are they ready for riots or theft when security systems go down? Does their police protection work if the phones are down? Will they guarantee that the USPS will deliver bills?

What will they do to protect businesses if the mail system fails? Banks are beginning to respond, but none are ready yet. Why isn't the military ready? When will it be ready? Are the missle defense sites tested? How will we protected from rioters if the military can't and police can't communicate and and can't get transporation.

Why should we trust them with our money and with our taxes if the IRS is failing? Why should we pay taxes if the IRS is going to lose track of the money?

How will they stop tax cheaters, and protect taxpayers?

And the most important question of all:

Why should we believe them at all? What have they done to prove to us that liars in government are punished? Why should believe anybody in government?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 03, 1998.

An early warning sign: At last y2k has been addressed by AARP. The October AARP BULLETIN has a big cartoon on cover showing men fighting a big bug on a PC with the caption, Taming the Millennium Bug. The dominant article (just inside) Beating the bug...Computer glitch likely to sting, but not as fiercely as some feared. (Then in the small print)..But then again it might. The bulk of the info was about all the work being done and you get the feeling everything is going to be ok. They do admit there may be some problem esp with Medicare. They end with a special area on page 23 which reads as follows: How to be a y2k problem solver......Although y2k snags are iffy, it's not to early to think about your response should problems occur. If you take prescription drugs add to your stock. Prepare for the possibility of a power outage. Have extra food and bottled water on hand. Keep paper records...have enough cash....Ask you bank, utilities and others whose services you use what they're doing to be y2k ready. (above condensed)

-- ronbanks (phxbanks@webtv.net), October 03, 1998.

This is an intersting sentence. "The committee is prepared, if necessary, to introduce legislation in the event that the existing authorities and mechanisms are not sufficient to accomplish the implementation of the Y2K early warning system.''


-- Vic (Light_servant@yahoo.com), October 04, 1998.

What can you do with 17 hours?

How many troops can you move into cities in 17 hours?

How many road can be blocked in 17 hours?

How many diesel generators can be moved from a military reservation to some point in the middle of a city in that period?

How many water trucks can be filled and head out, how many trucks can be loaded with supplies and be one the way?

Early warning.......yes, but not for remediation of computer problems. If these haven't been taken care of in the past several years then 17 hours won't buy much. Seventeen hours won't help utilities......but it will help a mobile military.


-- rocky knolls (rknolls@hotmail.com), October 04, 1998.

As other countries crash and burn, we are supposed to get a forwarning as to what will happen here? Give me a break. This is not an apple to apple problem. The world economic crash has already begun, instead of 17 hours, we will have about 17 weeks.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), October 05, 1998.

This idiotic "plan" actually acts as a disservice, because it perpetuates the myth that Y2K problems will begin at midnight Jan 1, 2000. Maybe that is when a lot of systems (including embedded) will fail, but there will be plenty of fireworks ahead of time. The Joanne Effect, fiscal year rollovers -- maybe even the GPS rollover (~8/22/1999) should be included also.

-- Joe (shar@pei.com), October 05, 1998.

No arguement that the concept of THIS single "early warning plan" is not operationally valid.

But don't fault the concept, just the "Washington" bureacrats who would think it works.

Write 'em back - show them (very politely) that they need to use an different "early warning" concept:

programs are already failing (now), and so those current failures are the "early warning that DC needs:

- Sept 1998, Medicare computers stole 570 Million from senior citizens due to a bad Y2K conversion.

- May 1998, one computer failure in one satellite control program stopped pagers and ATM's nationwide.

- Oct 1998, no US utility, water system, or sewage system has been able to pass a simple "bottoms-up" Y2K test.

- Sept 1998, every corporate and industrial test ran to date, including the Stock market's "test of the testing program" has found unexpected failures, delays, and unusual critical problems that the programmers did not predict, and could not not immediately solve.

- Sept 1998, only one US city has run a Y2K disaster drill, and that drill did not simulate long term power outages.

Early, complete testing is the only way to be sure power, lights, and communications will work.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 05, 1998.

What would be the point? And just where does he think the genius in his idea is, anyway? I intended a long time ago to listen to the BBC New Years program and see what was happening. But CNN will broadcast anything really weird in less than 30 minutes, so I won't get more than a few minutes extra. Of course, if CNN is completely down, COULD THAT BE CONSIDERED A CLUE? Once again, it is confirmed, politicians have their brains removed before being allowed to run for office.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 05, 1998.

<< Also, one of the men testifying held up a cell phone and said, "This will not work in 2OOO." <<

Actually, what he said was that he was not going to count on it working, a significant difference from "it will not work". The gentleman in question was some muckety-muck at the University Of California, Berkley and a past chariman of a national law enforcememnt communications group. (Yea, I know it's vague. My memory ain't what it used to be. Sue me.) Let's not get any more melodramatic than necessary.

As for the main post...

I head Bennett's statements about a 17 hour early warning. I don't think it's too practical an idea for several reasons.

1. We've already heard that Europe's remediation efforts are behind those of the U.S. Therefore, their failures may not be very instructive to us.

2. 17 hours is not very much time when measured against the tasks at hand. Yes, it may be helpful in some circumstances, but I have my doubts about whether or not the information that we would gain from failures in Europe would be usefull in staving off similar problems here with that little advance warning.

3. If the communications networks go down, exactly how are we going to find out what happened in Europe 17 hours ago? Sen. Bennet runs around bemoaning the potential collapse of the telecommunications infrastructure on one hand, then depends on it's being in place and operational on the other hand. His staff needs to do a better job of preparing him for these things.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), October 05, 1998.

I agree there probably isn't much good that can come of the 17 hours. You should see how people react around here (Mid-South) when 1-2 inches of snow is predicted. Bread and milk disappear! Be very sure you don't need anything on Dec 31, because if the warnings are bad, the stores will empty. BTW, I like the idea, because I will be sitting at work and have enough time to get home and fill some extra water containers before we go down.

-- margie mason (mar3mike@aol.com), October 05, 1998.

Without arguing the merits or insanity of Senator B's plan it is exactly what I plan to do to get an inkling of what I'll be facing. I for one am not prepared enough to debate the merit's of his plan for the nation as a whole. Good luck to all.


-- John Hebert (jhebert@co.waukesha.wi.us), October 07, 1998.

Perhaps in the light cast by the news that the National Guard will be prepared to roll, 17 plus hours is quite enough time to get the guard and other emergency units in place before things come tumbling down. Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), October 07, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ