Time Bomb 2000 Author and Russia. What do you all think?

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My wife brought to my attention that a coleauge of hers met Ed Yourdon at a meeting and came away with the feeling that Ed was terrified of Russia and their fix on failure position. (Not that that shouldn't scare the heck out of anyone) But can anyone fill in the blanks for me?

Either Ed or someone who is more knowledgeable than myself.

How bad is fix on failure?

What could he really be afraid of?

I'll be checking back later this weekend to respond to any posters.

Have a happy fourth of July!!!!

These could be the last best days of our lives. Enjoy them!


-- Thomas G. Hale (hale.tg@att.net), July 02, 1999



fix on fail means that after the mushroom clouds and radiaton levels decline we roll up our sleeves and get right down to brass tacks. i for one hope they get the vending machines taken care of first cause i just know i'm gonna have one huge chocolate jones after the dust settles. i also hope some baby ducks survive. i'm not sure why, but i've always enjoyed watching little ducks.


-- corrine l (corrine@iwaynet.net), July 02, 1999.

Let me preface my remarks by clearly stating that I don't speak for Ed Yourdon and will not speculate on what his mindset is on this issue might be.

From my own perspective, fix on failure is not a bad strategy if we're talking about your screen saver, your VCR, your lawn mower, your TV, etc. But it's a bit different when it comes to defense systems.

Russia's recent troubles and actions have made a great many people nervous. With their economy in shambles and hardliners gaining strength, this concern is probably justified. I highly doubt that the recent incident with Russian bombers near Iceland was a 'mistake' as the Russians have claimed. It was more likely a very calculated move designed to send 'a message'. (Like their actions in Kosovo, perhaps the message was intended as much for internal consumption as it was for United States.)

In The Prince, Machiavelli teaches that it is never a good idea to simply wound your enemies. It is far better to eliminate the threat at once and be done with it. Leaving your enemy merely wounded only makes for a much more aggressive and determined enemy.

The nuclear defense strategy of the past few decades, mutually assured destruction (MAD), assumes that your enemy will act rationally with respect to their own best interests.

Russia is more than a bit unstable at the current time. Can they be counted upon to act rationally with respect to their defense systems and strategy? Depends on just who's in control I guess. My feeling is that we should not be rushing to make enemies where viable alternatives exist.

I'm reminded of a poster that was fairly popular back in the late 60s. It showed a mouse with his tail caught in a mouse trap. Swooping down from above was a hawk about to consume the mouse. The mouse was shown giving 'the bird' to it's oncoming executioner. The caption on the poster read "The Last Great Act Of Defiance".

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), July 02, 1999.

Great answer, Arnie!

Thomas: You'll find a lot of people (#1-Bill Cinton), including a few here, that will say "Naw, Russia justs putting on a show - they'll never really do anything." Why they assume that, I don't know. In the past, the US govt. and people worked diligently to protect our national security. Now the govt. and most people just "hope" everything will be OK -- a very dangerous assumption.

So while no-one can say for absolute sure, the signs are very frightening. But, just like Y2K, many prefer to ignore the evidence and signs.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), July 02, 1999.

Let us assume that Ed's concerns are his real concerns. They are my greatest concern. Does anyone think Russia is fixing their code or embedded chip systems? And because we hear little about their remediation is that cause for optimism or pessimism? I know how I answer that.

Thomas, you have hit upon THE great mystery of y2k. Namely, how many businesses, utilities, and nations are planning to FOF? And how will they fare?

What will it mean to FOF starting on January 1, 2000? It is a recipe for disaster. This has been discussed elsewhere in detail, but if the electric is off how do you FOF? If your system goes down, how can you tell what caused it? And once that is fixed, how do you know that other fixes aren't necessary? And when you find you NEED a chip or system replaced, who will replace it for you? Chances are you will have to get in line behind everyone who decided to use the same chip or system? And that is if the company is still in business or is still making the same chip or system. As North points out, there are only so many experts that can come in and fix the problem. For example, there are only four expert companies able to remediate noncompliant water systems. There are thousands of water systems in the U.S. How will these experts get to everyone in time. What if the planes can't fly? What if the phones are down? Or you keep getting a busy signal?

FOF is a recipe for disaster. Ed Yourdon isn't the only one concerned about Russia. Read this from Westergaard:


CIA Frets About Russia's Y2K Readiness By Rick T. Vannelli June 30, 1999 The federal government's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been doing a lot of testifying in 1999 about Russia's Year 2000 Computer Problem. In January, it presented testimony to the House Government Management, Information and Technology Subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. This House Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Stephen Horn, has been monitoring the Y2K remediation progress of government agencies since 1996. At the January hearing, the CIA warned that Russia was one of the least prepared foreign countries. Russian officials have admitted that there is not enough time or money to timely solve the Y2K Problem. Since the country is already dealing with economic problems, food shortages and other difficult challenges, the addition of widespread computer failures in the winter of 1999-2000 could create "major humanitarian problems" for the country.

In late February, the CIA told the Government Readiness Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee that it was monitoring Soviet-designed nuclear plants. Based on the CIA's analysis of the most dangerous foreign reactors, it found some of the Soviet models to be the worst. Soviet documentation of how these reactors work is poor, which makes evaluating the Y2K problems difficult. Moreover, the process of overcoming Y2K problems in nuclear reactors involves long and detailed work, yet no such efforts have been made in relation to Russian reactors. While some of the Soviet reactors that have incorporated safety improvements into their designs are of less risk, other reactors, such as the one at Chernobyl, are of great concern. Although the U.S. Department of Energy has implemented initiatives to assist Russia in dealing with Y2K-related nuclear reactor safety issues, Russia has been slow to accept this help.

Another area of concern to the CIA is Russia's Gazprom Natural Gas Pipeline network, which supplies more than a third of Europe's natural gas. The pipeline's operations centers use IBM 360 and 370 series computers, which are likely to contain Y2K bugs. Some of the pipeline operations are monitored and controlled by Supervisory and Data Acquisition (SADA) systems, which were all purchased several years ago and which contain Y2K problems. In addition, it is believed that the satellite groundstations used to transfer data from the gas-producing regions to Gazprom's headquarters have Y2K problems. Moreover, there are several hundred unattended equipment stations located in remote locations in Siberia that may rely on embedded microprocessors, which must be tested. Finally, over six hundred compressor stations, which pump gas through the pipeline, contain embedded chips that could be date-sensitive.

Looking at the missile systems, the CIA does not anticipate that the missiles will be inadvertently launched, but it does fear that there will be Y2K problems with the early warning systems that the Russians use to monitor foreign missile launches. The U.S. Department of Defense visited Moscow earlier in February 1999 to inform the Russians of potential nuclear early warning problems.

In March, the CIA provided a written statement to the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, which was formed in April of 1998 to study the impact of Y2K on government and industry. The CIA repeated its concerns about the missile systems. Given the recent statements of Major General Dvorkin at a Moscow press conference that the early warning and space control systems are threatened by Y2K, and that computer problems could lead to system outages or the transmission of incorrect information, the Department of Defense has resolved to establish a joint U.S.-Russia Defense Y2K Coordination Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The center would allow the sharing of early attack warning information, thus preventing confusion should a false or ambiguous warning occur.

Because Russia has consistently exhibited a low level of Y2K awareness, its ability to respond adequately to the computer problem by the Year 2000 is limited. Although Russia possesses a pool of talented programmers, it lacks time, organization and funding to resolve the problem. The latest estimated cost of remediation, which came from Alexander Krupnov, chairman of the Russian Central Telecommunications Commission, was $3 billion.

The CIA is committed to continued monitoring of the Y2K situation in Russia and other at-risk countries, in order that it can identify the type and extent of failures that are likely to occur is such places.

-- BB (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), July 02, 1999.

Fix on Fail, or fix on failure, "We will not acknowledge a problem is worth addressing until an actual failure takes place"

The old world description was "Don't fix what is'nt broke (yet)"

They can pretend they are a victim if there was not a real world event - such as another country that lost a nuclear plant or military mishap.

The problem here is 1. We know they know better, 2. It is too late to start "fix - even if they changed strategy and started now.

-- living (inthe@real.world), July 02, 1999.

Even IF Russia was on top of Y2K, the current conditions in that country are growing more deplorable every day. The government is teetering and the entire situation becomes more desperate with each new 'event'. Desperate people do desperate things, throw in a huge dose of pride and the situation becomes 'worrisome' to say the least....even *before* considering their war with Y2K and a doomed fix on failure solution.

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), July 02, 1999.

One overlooked aspect of the Y2K problem in Russia is that their economy has collapsed. The estimated Y2K repair cost of US$3 billion is a staggering sum: their GDP is only US$59 billion. Holland has a greater GDP! And this estimate is probably understating the true cost. Russia is not only toast, it's burnt toast.

-- Sure M. Worried (SureMWorried@bout.y2k.com), July 02, 1999.

Surely, maybe the nice dutch people could teach them how to carve wooden shoes and grow tulips. i think the russians already make those nesting doll thingies but they must not be as popular as those cute wooden shoes.

just a thought.

-- corrine l (corrine@iwaynet.net), July 02, 1999.

Subject:Major Russian Banks Shut Down
Author:Paul Milne <fedinfo@halifax.com>
  Posting History Post Reply

Russian Bank Closures Put Squeeze on Oligarchs
July 2, 1999
Russias Central Bank on June 29 pulled the licenses of four of the country s major banks  Uneximbank, Mosbiznesbank, Promstroibank, and Mezhkombank. While seen as primarily a gesture aimed at winning the favor of the IMF, the bank closures may reflect a deeper struggle against and among Russias oligarchs and the death throes of Russias experiment with the West.
It is clear to everyone involved that Russias Westernizing experiment is in its last days. Those who profited the most from it know they are the first against the wall when the revolution comes, unless they can position themselves for what comes next. If that means feeding each other to the communists, nationalists, and even to the last miserable apostles of the West, so be it.
Tra la la. Tra la la.
Nothing to be concerned about.  A crumbling country with nuclear missiles about to be incapacitated by Y2K.
Tra la la. Tra la la.
Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain.
http://www.stra tfor.com/SERVICES/GIU/070299.ASP
Paul Milne

-- a (a@a.a), July 02, 1999.

And then there is this to consider:

Forest fires rage in Russia's heatwave of the century MOSCOW, July 2 (AFP) - Forest fires raged on the outskirts of Moscow and in several other regions Friday as the death toll from Russia's biggest heatwave of the century rose to more than 140. In the Moscow region, some 126 fires engulfed 145 hectares (362 acres) of forest and bush while 200 ha. (500 acres) were burning near Saint Petersburg, the ministry of emergency situations said.

"There is no threat to the populated areas," said Tatiana Timoshenkova, spokesperson for the emergency situations ministry, adding that authorities were hoping for a reprieve from the heat to try to contain the spreading fires.

"Everything depends on the weather," she told AFP.

Meteorologists said temperatures might drop a few degrees in the coming days after hovering at 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) for weeks.

Fire fighters were battling an inferno over more than 22,000 ha. (55,000 acres) of taiga in the Far East region of Magadan while 2,500 ha. (6,250 acres) were in flames in the Siberian region of Irkutsk, said Timoshenkova.

Fires were also reported in the Volga region of Nizhny-Novgorod; in the northern regions of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk; near Kamchatka and Sakhalin in the Far East; and near Chita and Yakutia in western Siberia, she said.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in many of those regions.

The scorching heat over the past month has left scores dead from heatstroke and especially drowning as Russians seek to cool off in lakes and rivers surrounding the capital.

Authorities have pointed to alcohol as the cause for many of the deaths that have occurred during afternoons of vodka-soaked picknicking.

Eleven Muscovites drowned in just one 24-four hour period, raising the total number of drowning victims during the month-long heatwave to 140 by Thursday, Interfax reported.

Three of Moscow's drowning victims of the last two weeks were children, who most likely went to swimming holes without proper supervision, according to city health officials.

Hospitals in Moscow are reporting nearly a doubling in the number of patients suffering from various heat-related illnesses, including heart attacks and strokes, said the newspaper Moskovskye Komsomolets.

The temperatures in June have broken all records since 1895, according to Moscow meteorologists.

At least five have died in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg and "one or two" prisoners die daily in the overcrowded jails of Saint Petersburg, according to local press reports.

Russian television showed images of Moscow zoo keepers hosing down open-air cages containing the zoo's more northern-acclimated species.

-- BB (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), July 02, 1999.

Babushka's corrine... doh!

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), July 02, 1999.

Authorities have pointed to alcohol as the cause for many of the deaths that have occurred during afternoons of vodka-soaked picknicking.

Eleven Muscovites drowned in just one 24-four hour period, raising the total number of drowning victims during the month-long heatwave to 140 by Thursday, Interfax reported.


Could that be drowning in Vodka?

-- Brian (imager@home.com), July 02, 1999.

Thank you Arnie, Jon Johnson, BB, Living, Will continue, Sure M. Worried, a, Andy & Corrine 1, for the input.

Trying to make sense of the whole Y2K scenario is a gamble on just how much is realy fixed and then what safe gurards I have to take for myself and family, as everyone else here does. The outright disarray that Russia has fallen into is simply not something I wish to contemplate, esspecially when Yeltsin doesn't seem to be able to control his military, which is the best case assumption. Rather than HIM being the impetuous behind these recent inflamitory moves. (Bombers and Kosovo Troops in Pristina Air Port.)

It seems as though once things disintigrate further (as if they havn't already) then it just a power grab and the man on tom pushed a button.

At the heart of the frustration as well is that I don't live in Arizona. I live next to DC.

Which brings me to another question.

What plans to DC area residents have as a back up plan if things go beserk?

Where will you go?


-- Thomas G. Hale (hale.tg@att.net), July 02, 1999.

Col. Stanislav Lunev, the highest ranking GRU officer ever to defect from Russia, has also voiced great concern about Russia's lack of Y2K readiness, especially as it relates to early warning systems and nuclear command & control centers.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), July 02, 1999.

Tom Hale: If TSHTF, you are SOL unless you are a gubmint big-wig. There are scores of bunkers in the DC area for your rulers.
I assume you are a peon, so you're on your own.

-- A (A@AisA.com), July 02, 1999.

Take a very careful look at Russia today. You may be seeing the future of all industrialized societies, should Y2K play out in the worst of combinations. Take a cross check against the WDCY2K chart that's linked in one of the threads below. Right now they're only at about a "mild" 7.5. Like an 8 with no protests, rioting, martial law and curfews associated with an 8.

Can it get worse there? Oh yes. Can it get that bad or worse here? You betcha and I'll say worse. Russians have experienced government, an economy and a supply chain that barely work for years in the old Soviet Union.

What's going on now isn't outside the average Russian's personal or family experience. Think about what's going to happen when the average American who's always had whatever they could want when they wanted it, suddenly has to start living like a current-day Russian?

Can you say "violent national tantrum"?


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), July 02, 1999.

eh...Russia smushia...

India now has 700,000 troops massed along the Pakistani border. Gee, I wonder why? Pakistan says it will use Nuclear weapons to protect the "motherland."

Can you believe how crazy the world is right now? Totally out of balance.

Mike =================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), July 02, 1999.


Your last remarks remind me of the movie "Koyaanisqatsi," which one Web site indicates is from the Hopi language and means (take your pick) Crazy life / Life in turmoil / Life disintegrating / Life out of balance / A state of life that calls for another way of living.

-- Don (whytocay@hotmail.com), July 02, 1999.

and the answer is...."life out of balance." and i should know. i fell out of my chair looking up the answer

-- corrine l (corrine@iwaynet.net), July 02, 1999.

No Corrine you fell out of your pram very recently...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), July 03, 1999.

Don...beautiful movie isn't it?

Mike =====================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), July 04, 1999.

Just hit the submit button and it struck me.

Right now in several places around the globe we have what equals or even beats what was the tension of the Cuban Missle Crisis.

700,000 Indian troops along the border with Pakistan. Pakistan saying it WILL use nuclear weapons. In fact, a paraphrased quote of one of the Pakistani ministers was something to the effect of, "what good are nuclear weapons if they aren't to be used?" *shivers*

And it isn't even playing as a top bill to Milosevic massing 40,000 troops at the border of Montanegro. Something is wrong with this picture.

Mike ===============================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), July 04, 1999.

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