Global Y2K Experts: It's not over till it's over : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Searching all available local news media for info re last night's Durham Y2K meeting--found nothing. However, the following appeared in the Raleigh paper.

Wednesday, June 23, 1999, 01:30 AM

It's Not Over Until It's Over, Say Global Experts on Y2K

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Keep the public alerted to Y2K - but avoid panic. Hustle to update computers - but expect to miss the Dec. 31 deadline. The world is ready - but not quite.

That was the mixed message Tuesday at the second conference on international preparedness for the year 2000 computer bug, better known as Y2K. The first meeting was held last December.

The concern is that some computer programs, especially older ones, might fail when the date changes to 2000. Older programs were written to recognize only the last two digits of a year. As a result, such programs could read the digits ``00'' as 1900 instead of 2000. No country is immune.

The conference at U.N. headquarters in New York drew officials from more than 170 countries. Delegates included experts responsible for checking on anything from computers that run banks and electric utilities, to the machines that keep airplanes flying, get food delivered and water purified.

All aim to ensure that governments and businesses large and very small hum as usual on Jan. 1, 2000.

They're also overseeing contingency plans.

Early in the day, experts gave an optimistic assessment of Y2K readiness worldwide. It just won't be completely ready, they said.

``The Y2K problem is too global, too complex, and too systemic to be totally solved on time,'' said Carlos Braga, head of the World Bank's Y2K program.

Not to worry.

Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Ahmad Kamal said: ``Disruptions are not likely to be major disruptions because by and large problems have been identified.''

Kamal chaired the U.N. working group dealing with Y2K problems until the end of Tuesday's session, when he stepped down and was succeeded by Lesotho's Percy Mangoaela.

Reports on Y2K were delivered from every region Tuesday morning at a closed-door session. The results generated more optimism than expected, Kamal told a news conference. ``Action is under way everywhere, by and large according to schedule,'' he said.

But by afternoon, the tone of self-congratulation was tempered.

``Y2K is the ultimate in preventable disasters,'' said James Lee Witt, head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which achieved Y2K compliance as of March. Yet, as he put it, ``Prevent what you can, manage what you can't.''

Experts spoke of exploiters peddling Y2K compliant water coolers, and hackers who could cause mischief. They talked of a public nervous about bank machines despite assurances the banks are ready, prompting the U.S. Federal Reserve to make sure there's plenty of currency on hand.

They spoke of people in rural countries who scoff at Y2K, not realizing a faraway machine unable to smoothly enter the next century could interrupt water and food supplies.

While computer chips and software programs are the focus of compliance, Y2K preparedness doesn't stop at the hard drive and the keyboard. It affects issues like news coverage, said David Bohrman, executive vice president of CNN.

The Cable News Network is still pondering how to cover the story - and logistics should anything go wrong.

``We need to figure out how to get some real information out,'' Bohrman said. ``CNN will be looking to see what is happening, and what is not happening.''

Panelists generally agreed it's best to keep the public abreast of efforts to solve Y2K problems.

``A better-informed public is a more calm and confident public,'' said U.S. Federal Reserve Board Governor Roger Ferguson.

Lots of care is being taken in New Zealand. The first country to greet the new year and new millennium has a Web site to keep the public informed at

The government is plugging a new slogan: ``BY2K wise.'' People are advised to prepare for up to three days of disrupted services, and to stay ready from January through the end of March. All New Zealand households will get a home checklist by September.

The fondest hope was offered by David Spinks, business manager of a British consulting firm, AEA Technology. He quoted a Finnish expression: ``We will have succeeded if afterward they blame us for making too much fuss about this.''

-- Old Git (, June 23, 1999


By the way, I hope you all realize whos paying for these meetings, and the other UN functions:

2255 GMT, 990622 - The U.S. Senate voted 98-1 in favor of authorizing the payment of almost $1 billion in back dues to the UN. The bill will move on to the House of Representatives for consideration later this summer. However, such payment of delinquent U.S. accounts to the UN will come with a stipulation. Under the bill approved by the Senate, the U.S. will only be responsible for 20 percent of the UN budget and only 25 percent of peacekeeping expenses. Right now the U.S. pays 25 percent of the UN budget and 31 percent of the costs involved in peacekeeping operations.

98 Senators agreed we will pay "ONLY" 25% of the UNs forrays! They should all be impeached! I wonder who the one patiot was. Anyone know?

-- John Johnson (, June 23, 1999.

Old Git....

This same article was 'buried' on page 11 in our morning paper today. They gave it 3 short paragraphs and placed it in a section called 'Misc. News'. I was shocked to even see the evil Y2K in print. Carefull there news editor, they are watching you.

-- Barry (, June 23, 1999.

Good question John. We can only *hope* the percentage of Patriots existing in the private sector is far higher than that.

-- Will continue (, June 23, 1999.

:::ahem:::: meeee :::ahem:::

me me me me...

do ray me fah so lah teeeeee DOOOOOOOOH......

-- Fatlady (, June 23, 1999.

Old Git

Good to see you are still posting, I am alot less busy maintaining the Archive though :o)

-- Brian (, June 23, 1999.

``Y2K is the ultimate in preventable disasters,'' said James Lee Witt, head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which achieved Y2K compliance as of March. Yet, as he put it, ``Prevent what you can, manage what you can't.''

Hope we can ALL "manage" well.


-- Diane J. Squire (, June 23, 1999.

Hey- Last I checked there should've been 100 votes cast in the Senate. Bet the one missing is out shopping for preps! <8*'`

-- Michael (, June 23, 1999.

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