A rational explanation for making Y2K preparationsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
For educational purposes only:
Whether or not it is prudent to make personal preparations in light of the risks associated with the Year 2000 Technology Problem
Some say that personal preparation is not necessary for the so-called risks associated with the Year 2000 Technology Problem. Among them, there is contention that personal preparations are extreme actions, and that the decision to prepare for more than a few days is a poor and misformed decision. A common proposition of this mind set is that: Y2K is being addressed. The vast amount of money attributed to Y2K readiness is one clear indicator. There are also many positive reports. Some feel these reports can be believed.
On the contrary,
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Y2K describes Year 2000 computer failures that could affect the critical underpinnings of society, such as government services, public utilities, banks, insurance companies, airlines, etc. In view of our profound dependence on technologies that are vulnerable to Year 2000 failures, it is we who are at risk.
According to Webster, risk is a factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger. The risks associated with the Y2K Technology Problem are not completely mitigated due to the late start of most Y2K projects and other project issues, the potential for catastrophic accidents and failures that lead to catastrophic events, and the occurrence of Y2K problems. As long as Y2K issues continue to require attention, assessment, remediation, testing, and debugging... real people, their property, and their way of life continue to be at risk.
According to Webster, an indication is something that serves to indicate; a sign. Y2K readiness does not necessarily refer to Y2K projects. Whether or not the amount of money spent (and being spent) is vast or not is, in fact, not a clear indicator that there are neither potential failures nor risks. Vast amounts of money (spent and being spent) is a sign, however, that the Y2K technology problem is being taken seriously by those who have spent and continue to spend money toward Y2K readiness. If there is a risk to an organization, then there is a risk to people.
According to Webster, the adjective, "positive," describes a thing as displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation. Alternately, the thing is to described as admitting no doubt; irrefutable; absolute such as in the phrase "positive proof." The Year 2000 Technology Problem refers to the design flaw in which the calculation of the years date in double digits is at risk at the turn of the century; therefore, reports stating that the status of Y2K projects is such that less risk is to be associated with specific Y2K technology problems are not "irrefutable" and "absolute" until the rollover. Neither public indifference nor confident statements made to the public represent positive proof that Y2K risks are now insignificant. Furthermore, not all reports are confident that the problem has been addressed.
A. Whether or not the risks associated with Y2K are serious
The Year 2000 (Y2K) Technology Problem is a software and hardware problem that is the result of a computer programming convention that used two digit numbers to denote years (such as 99 for 1999 and 00 for 2000). It can cause computers and embedded processors that (directly or indirectly) use dates to become confused when 99 becomes 00, and to function incorrectly or shut down. In the last 40 years, programmers have continued to use two digit years in new software, and many of the old computer programs were not discarded. A number of these programs became the core of todays vast, complex mainframe systems used by government and large businesses. Meanwhile, two digit years were also written into hardware that is embedded in an immense array of devices and automated systems to be found in things as common as a personal computer or check out system at a grocery store or as critical as in oil rigs, refineries, international shipping, nuclear power plants, etc.
So How Bad Is It Really Going to Be?
Michael Hyatt - November 16, 1998
"I am assuming at least a twelve-month disruption of basic goods and services, including periods of
+ No electrical power
+ No clean water
+ No telecommunications
+ Shortages of food, gasoline, clothing, and all retail goods
+ Wide-spread bank failures and inaccessibility of funds
+ A stock market crash
+ A dramatic drop in real estate values
+ An economic depression
+ Wide-spread unemployment
+ Civil unrest, including protests, riots, and general lawlessness
+ Inability of government agencies to deliver welfare, Medicare, Social Security, and Veterans benefits
+ No meaningful leadership from the Clinton Administration"
My Y2K Outlook: A Year of Disruptions, a Decade of Depression
Edward Yourdon - February 7, 1999
"... my opinion is that we're going to suffer a year of technological disruptions, followed by a decade of depression. It may turn out to be less severe, it may turn out to be more severe; it may turn out that I'm totally wrong in my conclusions."
Due to the complexity and interdependence of the modern economy and the many billions of computers and embedded chips used in every economic sector, the Y2K Technology Problem has the potential to disrupt services that we take for granted today. These services include financial services, telephone, power, water, and the distribution of food, gasoline and other goods to local merchants. The impact of failures has the potential of global recession (or a less likely depression), increased unemployment associated with the failure of organizations, reduction of wealth associated with the possible destabilization of the stock market and banking system, social unrest and riots associated with local, state, and federal government failures to provide basic services, increased crime and violence as anger, frustration, and needs combine in increasing numbers of people, and, loss of life and property.
Peter De Jager's reply to criticism of his article, "Doomsday Avoided" Peter De Jager - March 17, 1999
"Some of you have suggested that I've said the problem is totally fixed. Really? I said this? I'd love to know where. Here's a fact I made a big deal of in the article: 'We were so incompetent as an industry, we started a project so late, we didn't leave ourselves enough time to fix all the applications we were responsible for maintaining. The practice of triage is an embarrassment.'"
"I have never said preparations are unnecessary. I have said that preparations along the lines of those sufficient to cope with Montreal Ice Storms are reasonable and prudent. I've gone even further and stated that parents have a responsibility to their children to always maintain that level of preparation, regardless of Y2K."
Report to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue: IRS' Year 2000 Efforts
United States General Accounting Office - September 1999
"The refund plan and paper submissions plan were inconsistent and incomplete in two key areas of IRS' guidance. These areas were performance goals and mitigating actions. These weaknesses raise questions about whether these two plans provide sufficient assurance that IRS has taken all the necessary steps to reduce the impact of a potential year 2000 failure."
"IRS does not have viable, alternative back up systems for the various information systems used for processing tax returns. Further, IRS' refund plan that in the event that one or more of these systems fail, IRS may experience a 'major working stoppage,' depending on how long the failure continues."
Some progress has been made in Y2K projects, particularly by big companies and some government agencies. In many examples that are known, organizations began Y2K projects at a point in time at which (1) complete compliance of all systems was not possible and (2) deadlines for getting critical systems compliant did not allow for much error. Many organizations (including government agencies) have focused exclusively on the triage of critical systems, but some have not developed contingency plans for failures beyond brainstorming on paper. Problems have arisen. Many local governments as well as small and medium-sized businesses are still not sufficiently aware of the Y2K Technology Problem or ramifications of the problem. Other countries, including many of our trading partners, are behind the United States in their remediation efforts. As a result, it is generally agreed that all Y2K problems will not be fixed in time; failures will occur.
Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan
Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan, Before the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion - September 17, 1999
"There is nothing exactly like the Century Date Change [Y2K] in our historical annals from which we can infer its potential consequences."
"Given the potentially broad range of uncertain outcomes at the CDC [Y2K], the cost of advance preventative preparations in most cases is probably correctly perceived by businesses and households to be low, or at least acceptable."
"The potentially most important piece in the Y2K puzzle for the rest of the year is the uncertain response of the American consumer as the year-end approaches. A small number of households, driven by fear of the unknown, tell pollsters that they are planning to build large stockpiles of food, water, fuel, and cash as the millennium approaches. Most, however, profess much more limited plans."
"Nonetheless, we at the Federal Reserve must be prepared for all contingencies and have made especial plans for currency availability in the remote possibility of heavy withdrawals from banks."
Frequently Asked Questions
United States Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Problem
"Because we live in a global economy, which is highly dependent upon information technology, the problem exists in many different sectors of the economy and in virtually every country."
"We are hopeful that any interruptions to the power grid will be minimal and isolated, and that if such interruptions occur, they will be fixed quickly." "While the Senate Y2K committee is concerned that some federal programs will have difficulty making the Y2K transition, we are more concerned about the lack of coordination between Federal and State programs, the implementation of federal programs at the local level, as well as the overall readiness of the country."
"The Committee is hopeful that state and local governments are taking this problem seriously. Citizens should ask their local government about the steps that they have taken to ensure readiness."
Even at this date, Alan Greenspan, the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, and the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion state that they don't know what disruptions are likely occur and where, or the extent of such disruptions. Despite the vast intelligence, the testimony of experts and community activists, the cooperation of industries, industry groups, and foreign nations, the prognoses is a paradox of confidence and uncertainties: reassuring, yet neither positive nor without serious doubts. The greatest fear, however, is how people are going to react in anticipation of Y2K and, then, to actual disruptions as problems occur. Don't panic and do not make serious preparations is the advice that has been given to us.
Given the nature of the Y2K technology Problem and our profound dependence on unseen technologies that can be effected by this problem, what is at risk? Our lives, our property, and our way of life is at risk. Life, property, and way of life are all goods which can be said to be serious to us. In this way, it can also be said that the risks are serious. Whether the probability is lesser or greater that these goods are at risk, does not make what is at risk less serious. No one may know what disruptions may occur and where on January 1, 1999. No one may know how how these disruptions will impact those near and far to the points of failure. We know, however, what is at risk and, that any risk to these goods are serious risks. Therefore, personal preparations are advisable. It can also be said that personal preparations are prudent.
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 21, 1999
B. Whether or not concerns about risks are an exaggeration on the Y2K problem
Risk is that which involves uncertain danger. Taken together, these risks are serious risks. That these risks are not completely mitigated also makes these serious risks by the nature of their possibility. A climate of doubt about the existence of the Y2K Technology Problem and the risks associated with Y2K dominated previous years, but the same continues to prevail in the public at large and among other doubt Thomases. Despite such cavalier attitudes, there are intelligent reasons for our continued concern. The list below outlines some of these reasons, but not all:
+ Record of software projects being behind schedule and software projects failing
+ Late starts on Y2K projects that provide for little or no error in remediation
+ Insufficient financial resources available for Y2K projects and inadequate allocation
+ Underestimation of the cost and scope of Y2K projects by government and others
+ Focus on the triage of mission critical systems due to late starts for whatever reason
+ Missed Federal Y2K project and project-stage deadlines
+ Downsizing of mission critical Y2K projects in order to claim to have met deadlines
+ Lack of concern and action, mostly among medium-size and small businesses
+ Failure to make or inadequacy of critical preparations required by contingency plans
+ Lack of concern and action among the public; lack of public education
In addition to these problematics that dampen our confidence in Y2K projects in general, the possibility that some disruptions could be catastrophic at the outset of their occurence, while others can lead to catastrophic consequences. Human lives are at risk. Beyond these concerns, the fact is that real Y2K problems have occurred and continue to occur, therefore we have no reason to believe now that the nature of the problem has been misdiagnosed.
Year 2000? Shut Up Already!
Midrange Systems Articles - June 14, 1996
"Let me set the record straight. The Year 2000 is a hoax. The compu-world won't crash, the planet won't be paralyzed, and chaos will not reign... at least no more than usual. Sure, the millennium might spell a software bug or two, but nothing we can't fix over a few lunch-hours in '98."
Y2K IS JUST PURE HYPE AT ITS BEST
Posted by william casey jr (email@example.com) on November 21, 1998
"Y2K problem is being exaggerated in great proportion! please stop it! nothing is going to happen, everything will be just fine!"
Y2K and the Uneducated
Posted by BrianMei@prodigy.net on September 4, 1999
"I'd say that the only problem that is with the Y2K, is the news reporters that are making a big deal out of it..."
"Nothing will happen. We will be perfectly fine. The reporters and the government need to stop making a big deal out of nothing."
And you think you got problems...
CNN-Salon Book Reviews - www.salonmagazine.com
"If our biggest fear about the encroaching millennium is a pestiferous computer glitch, things could be -- and have been -- a lot worse, as historian Robert Lacey and journalist Denny Danziger make amusingly clear in their new book, 'The Year 1000.'"
Some have believed and others continue to believe that the Y2K Technology Problem is not a serious problem; they believed (and continue to believe) that Y2K is a hoax, that Y2K is grossly exaggerated, and/or that there are little or no risks that deserve our attention, concern, and action. Some suggest that this same attitude contributed to the potential of the risks now associated with the Y2K Technology Problem. Those in government and business who had first thought Y2K was not a serious issue and later found out that indeed the risks were serious, began Y2K projects with not enough time to do anything more than focus on the triage of mission critical systems. Others continue to fail to recognize that their systems are vulnerable to Y2K-- especially medium-size and small businesses. In this light, some will not make it to the finish line. Despite government misgivings, chemical disaster scenarios reach public
AP - September 15, 1998
"Under government orders, manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and chemical companies across the nation compiled worst-case scenarios such as these, spelling out the effects of hypothetical spills, explosions or other catastrophes."
"The information is available at the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site (www.epa.gov) but is somewhat difficult to search. So the two nonprofit groups, OMB Watch and The Unison Institute, compiled the reports in an easily searchable format on their "Right to Know" site on the World Wide Web (www.rtk.net)."
Chemical Safety Board Presents Y2K Report to Senate Special Committee
United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board - March 15, 1998
"'We want to be sure that Y2K doesn't become an explosive catalyst for system failures in the chemical industry," Bennett said. "This industry is already accustomed to dealing with dangerous chemicals, and although I am hopeful there won't be Y2K-related accidents in the chemical industry, the risks are too great to chance the possibility of failures that threaten human lives.'"
IMF concerned over booming U.S. stock prices
Reuters - September 8, 1999
"The IMF also said that corrections to stock prices and to currency levels and the uncertainties of the Y2K computer glitch could all have an adverse impact on banks."
Again, the risks of computer and embedded chip failures include simultaneous and multiple disruptions in services including financial services, power, water, sewage, health care, telecommunications, public safety, distribution of food and other goods, and the operation of offices and stores. Some of these risks include potential disruptions that can lead to catastrophic consequences (i.e., failure of natural gas delivery systems leading to loss of heating in private homes) and those that can be catastrophic at the outset (i.e. environmental pollution, chemical disasters, nuclear disasters, etc.). In view of the life-threatening and other risks associated with Y2K, those risks are, indeed, serious. Again, risk is that which is an uncertain danger; therefore, we can and do know that serious risks are associated with the Y2K Technology Problem.
Y2K repair leaves cash machines on the blink
The Oregonian - July 28, 1999
"A software glitch rattled up to 5 percent of the nation's automated teller machines for more than two weeks earlier this month. The glitch resulted in failed machines, slow transactions and incorrect bank balances for tens of thousands of ATM transactions."
"All ATM processors were required by federal regulators to be Y2K- compliant by June 30, meaning that their computer systems had to be able to process dates in the year 2000 and beyond. ACS began installing a new operating system in January, upgrading an old system that was not able to properly process dates beyond 1999. The company had been moving terminals systematically onto the new system without incident, until it moved the last of the terminals on the last weekend in June."
Y2K Test Causes Huge Sewage Spill
CBS - June 17, 1999
"How do you know when a computer system has failed a Y2K test? When it caused 4 million gallons of raw sewage to spill into the streets."
Above are just a few of the easily identified Y2K problems that have been reported in the news. The stories that were reported, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Had no Y2K problems occurred, it may have been possible to say that the risks associated with Y2K are less serious. However, Y2K problems have occurred and continue to occur. We may not know what disruptions may happen and where they may happen, but we can be sure that there will be disruptions. Therefore, the possibility of uncertain dangers remains a possibility. The serious risks of computer and embedded chip failures remain an uncertain danger; we can and do know that serious risks are associated with the Y2K Technology Problem.
Some argue that others (concerned about the risks associated with Y2K) exaggerate the nature of Y2K problems as illustrated by a concern for risks associated with Y2K. To argue this, however, is to confuse the meaning of risk which is that which involves uncertain danger. By definition, risk is not a certain danger; risk is that which involves uncertain danger. The risks associated with Y2K include two of kinds of serious risks (technology problems and people problems). On the one hand the risks associated with the failure of technology can be said to be serious; these serious risks include simultaneous and multiple disruptions in services including financial services, power, water, sewage, health, telecommunications, public safety, distribution of food and other goods, and the operation of offices and stores. On the other hand, the potential of technology disruptions to the containment of hazardous materials, chemicals, and radioactive materials is catastrophic. There are also serious risks associated with the anticipation of technology failures including the potential of a loss of confidence in the stock market, banks, and government. In view of the serious risks associated with Y2K, personal preparations are advisable; it can also be said that personal preparations are prudent.
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 21, 1999.
C. Whether or not Y2K related expenditures clearly indicate Y2K Readiness
The term, "Y2K Readiness," is legal concept concerning liability and not the actual progress of Y2K projects. However, the use of this term in the context of Proposition One suggests that it refers to a threshold point (delta) in Y2K projects at which risks associated with Y2K are no longer serious or severe. Some argue that Y2K related expenditures (as one instance of indication) clearly indicate that the risks associated with the Y2K Technology Problem are no longer serious or severe. On the contrary, Y2K related expenditures are neither clear in indicating that Y2K projects in total (or individually) have reached delta nor do Y2K Readiness expenditures provide a full reading of individual and total Y2K progress made.
"EVIDENCE EXCLUSION- No year 2000 readiness disclosure, in whole or in part, shall be admissible against the maker of that disclosure to prove the accuracy or truth of any year 2000 statement set forth in that disclosure."
"To establish certain procedures for civil actions brought for damages relating to the failure of any device or system to process or otherwise deal with the transition from the year 1999 to the year 2000, and for other purposes."
The term, "Y2K Readiness," is a legal concept concerning liability and not the actual progress of Y2K projects. A proper understanding of this concept will come from a reading of the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act of 1998, (a U.S statute enacted on October 19, 1998. See S.2392) and the Y2K Act (see H.R. 775). In general, Y2K Readiness should not be understood as a successful and diligently conducted Year 2000 conversion (another legal concept which also does not mean absolute compliance) However, Y2K Readiness may indicate that a Year 2000 assessment and conversion is underway. Therefore, Y2K Readiness expenditures (generating Y2K readiness statements and publishing these statements, for example) can be said not to necessarily indicate the progress of (total and individual) Y2K projects.
Findings Contradict Regulators' Tallies
BUSINESS WIRE - March 8, 1998
"In a new survey of Y2K preparedness, 247 of 1,128 banks and S&Ls reported completion dates that were deemed to be inadequate, according to Weiss Ratings Inc., a leading bank rating agency."
World Bank, Global Commodity Markets Report - July 1999
"There have already been some unpleasant surprises in preparations for Y2K such as the discharge of raw sewage into a Los Angeles park during tests of computer and electronic systems (Washington Post), the loss of telephone service during Y2K testing in Canada (The Ottawa Citizen) , and the shut down of a nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania during testing."
"Despite the vast amounts of money spent, "some unpleasant surprises" have occurred and are occurring. On the other hand, some Y2K projects have missed important deadlines-- despite the vast amounts of money being spent. Therefore, there is no necessary and defining correlation between money spent and the success of Y2K projects. If there is no necessary and defining correlation between money spent and the success Y2K projects, it is unlikely that money spent is a clear indication that "delta" has been achieved. However, it is possible to propose that the vast amounts of money spent may be viewed in a court of law as a clear indication of Y2K Readiness on the part of an organization."
Quarterly Report (SEC form 10-Q)
EXXON CORP (XON) August 31, 1999
"Notwithstanding the substantive work efforts described above, the corporation could potentially experience disruptions to some mission critical operations or deliveries to customers as a result of Year 2000 issues, particularly in the first few weeks of the year 2000."
"Through June 30, 1999, about $210 million of costs had been incurred in the corporation's efforts to achieve Year 2000 compliant systems. The total cost to the corporation of achieving Year 2000 compliant systems is currently estimated to be $225 to $250 million, primarily over the 1997-1999 timeframe, and is not expected to be a material incremental cost impacting Exxon's operations, financial condition or liquidity." Source: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/990831/xon.html
GM To Spend $360-$420 Million On Y2K Bug
Reuters - August 16, 1999
"General Motors Corp., the world's largest auto maker, said Monday that it will spend $360 million to $420 million to prepare its extensive computer systems for the year 2000."
"GM already spent $142 million in 1997 and 1998 and about $96 million in 1999 for work on the year 2000 bug, while EDS has performed $233 million of work under its master service agreement."
Vast amounts of money have been spent (and is being spent) on Y2K projects. Past and current spending, however, fail to account for future spending and upgrading of Y2K project budgets. However vast the spending, such spending is one indication (and a clear indication) that the risks associated with the Y2K Technology Problem to organizations are serious and severe. In fact, no absolute conclusion can be drawn (from the vast amounts of money spent) that these Y2K projects have successfully reached "delta" until after the rollover.
It can be argued that vast amounts of money may be admitted as evidence to indicate the Y2K Readiness of an organization in a court's determination of liability. It can neither be said that the vast amounts of money spent on Y2K Readiness necessarily reflects spending on Y2K assessment, conversion, or compliance. Nor does it reflect that "delta" has been achieved in the total sum of Y2K projects. Ultimately, "Delta" can not be verified until after the rollover. Generically speaking, organizations have and are spending vast amounts of money on Y2K projects in light of the serious risks associated with Y2K technology problems that may have impact on them.
Despite this spending, some Y2K projects have encountered problems and missed deadlines, therefore it can be said that serious risks remain. If there is a serious risk to an organization or one of its holdings (a nuclear power plant, for example), people are at risk (in this case, those people whose local grid receives electricity from the nuclear generation of electricity and, perhaps, those people who live within the vicinity of a nuclear power plant ). In view of that serious risks associated with Y2K are not necessarily mitigated by any amount of money to spent on Y2K projects), personal preparations are advisable; it can also be said that personal preparations are prudent.
-- Stan Faryna (email@example.com), September 21, 1999.
D. Whether or not the reports about minor Y2K related risks are positive
There are reports, studies, press statements, news stories, and opinions about the Y2K Technology Problem in general and concerning individual cases. They represent the body of information through which an interested audience comes to understand the Y2K Technology problem and the risks associated with Y2K. Government, associations, institutions, industries, organizations, main stream, regional, and independent media, experts, every day people, etc. contribute daily to the "Report". On the one hand, confident "prognoses" dominate this information. On the other hand, some confident and so-called prognoses conflict (more or less) with facts, criticism, information, and possibilities. There is legitimate concern , moreover, that concerns about public reactions drive a campaign of disinformation.
Gartner Symposium: Embedded systems will not fall prey to Y2K bug
World Bank, Global Commodity Markets Report - October 15, 1998
Posted by Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org) on September 15, 1999
"The risk of embedded systems crashing because of Y2K is based on ill informed and over hyped information, analyst company Gartner Group warned this week, encouraging users into unnecessary remediation work."
Embedded Systems Fault Casebook
The Institution of Electrical Engineers - May 1999
Index of results
Access control, eg-01, eg-02, eg-51, eg-53
Acid treatment, eg-84
Air conditioning, eg-13, eg-14, eg-15, eg-16 , eg-17, eg-18, eg-67
Audio monitor, eg-32
BMS, eg-03, eg-52, eg-53, eg-54, eg-55
Building management system, eg-03, eg-52, eg-53, eg-54, eg-55
Car park management, eg-24
Card access, eg-24, eg-01, eg-51, eg-53
Chart recorder, eg-26
Chemical, eg-58, eg-79
Communications, eg-04, eg-13, eg-17, eg-23, eg-28, eg-30, eg-54
Custody transfer, eg-75, eg-78
Data loggers, eg-19, eg-20, eg-21, eg-25, eg-50, eg-68, eg-69, eg-70, eg-74, eg-76
Date coding, eg-05, eg-06
DCS, eg-07, eg-08, eg-60, eg-61, eg-62, eg-63
Density analyser, eg-48
Fire alarm and control, eg-03, eg-09, eg-10, eg-11, eg-12, eg-64, eg-65, eg-66
Fuel dispensing system, eg-77
Fuel pump, eg-36
Gas, eg-07, eg-35, eg-36, eg-48, eg-76
Gas flare stack, eg-80
Healthcare, eg-31, eg-32, eg-49
HVAC, eg-13, eg-14, eg-15, eg-16, eg-17, eg-18, eg-67
Intruder panel, eg-02
Logging, eg-19, eg-20, eg-21, eg-25, eg-50, eg-68, eg-69, eg-70, eg-74, eg-76
Milling, eg-39, eg-58
Monitoring, eg-12, eg-17, eg-19, eg-20, eg-21, eg-25, eg-27, eg-32, eg-34, eg-42, eg-45, eg-50, eg-55, eg-58, eg-60, eg-66, eg-68, eg-69, eg-70, eg-76,eg-84
Packet switching, eg-23
PLC, eg-37, eg-38, eg-39, eg-40, eg-69, eg-79
Railways, eg-27, eg-28, eg-72
Satellite dishes, eg-22
SCADA, eg-41, eg-42, eg-43, eg-44, eg-45, eg-79, eg-80, eg-81, eg-82
Security, eg-01, eg-51, eg-52
Smart instruments, eg-46, eg-47, eg-48, eg-83
Stand alone instrument, eg-49, eg-50
Surface mounting, eg-56, eg-57
Swipe cards, eg-53
Tape machine, eg-19, eg-30
Train describer, eg-72
Vibration, eg-27, eg-76
Waste disposal, eg-26, eg-72, eg-84
Water leaks, eg-20
Weighing, eg-33, eg-46
Findings Contradict Regulators' Tallies
BUSINESS WIRE - March 8, 1998
"In a new survey of Y2K preparedness, 247 of 1,128 banks and S&Ls reported completion dates that were deemed to be inadequate, according to Weiss Ratings Inc., a leading bank rating agency."
"The Weiss results contradict recently announced tallies by the FDIC -- that only 2.9% of insured institutions have failed to achieve a "satisfactory" rating in their Y2K compliance evaluations." Source: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000b3u
U.S. Y2K Work 97 Percent Done - White House
Reuters - September 15, 1999
"The U.S. government has completed 97 percent of Year 2000 fixes on its most important computer systems at a cost of $8.34 billion, the White House budget office reported Tuesday."
Rep. Horn sees little recent progress on Y2K
Computer Government News - September 10, 1999
"Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) released his latest year 2000 report cards on Friday, grimacing at what he called unacceptable progress made by the federal government in the past three months."
"'Progress during this quarter, which ended Aug. 15, is discouraging," Horn said. "The flurry of activity we saw among federal agencies earlier this year has slowed to a snail's pace.'"
"Overall, the government improved its year 2000 compliance by only 1 percent; 5 percent of the systems most critical to the government's mission are still not ready, Horn said."
Above are just a few of the examples of previous confident prognoses which were based on supposed facts, educated presuppositions, judgements from experience, etc. that have been contradicted or shown to be erroneous. In fact, reports from different government offices conflict with each other: confident predictions from the President's Council on 2000 Conversion conflict with sobering reports from the Senate Special Commitees on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. The Senate Special Committee reports, however, seem overly confident when compared to reports from the General Accounting Office (GAO) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or vice versa. On the other side of the coin, experts that were previously concerned about severe Y2K problems have downgraded their assessment of Y2K risks (a la Peter de Jager). Furthermore, there are failed prognoses of pre-Year 2000 risks that did not have significant impacts (as some had anticipated to occur on various dates throughout 1999).
Y2K Prof: Power Industry Misrepresents New Year's Party as Y2K Test
PRNewswire - September 8, 1998
"'Don't believe anyone who says tonight's so-called Power Companies Y2K Test is actually testing anything!' So says Professor Dick Lefkon, who has taught New York University's Y2K-Methods courses since 1996."
"'Rather than performing any real Year 2000 testing at all, what they're actually doing is rehearsing the same New Year's Eve Party that nearly every other major enterprise is already or soon will be will be holding -- called a Manual Contingency Plan.'"
The Electric Utility is Y2k (sic) Ready
North American Electric Reliability Council - August 3, 1998
"If the transition to the year 2000 occurs tonight, the electric utility industry would operate reliably with the resources that are Y2k Ready now. That is the bottom line in the North American Electric Reliability Council's (NERC) final quarterly report to the U.S. Department of Energy on the industry's Y2k readiness."
Source: ftp://ftp.nerc.com/pub/sys/all_updl/docs/pressrel/8-3-99-Y2k-Press-Rel ease.pdf
NERC Y2K ELECTRIC SYSTEM READINESS ASSESSMENT
North American Electric Reliability Council - March 1999 Composite Results
Nuclear Generation Facilities
1. Date: 04/10/99
No. of Responses: 15
4. Have you completed an integrated test of the facilities listed in 2 above?
Yes: 1 No:15 16?
Beyond general contradictions to be found in Y2K related documents and statements, some reports are internally inconsistent, some misrepresent actual events or data, or (upon public discovery) reports are covered up or swept under the rug (a la Jim Lord's Pentagon Papers). At a September WDCY2K meeting, Janet Abrams of the President's Council on 2000 Conversion attempted to mislead a questioner about Jim Lord's Pentagon Papers-- until the laughter of the audience was so loud that she realized the questioner was none other than Jim Lord himself. Such examples jeopardize the credibility of government, institutional, and corporate sources. The possibility of belief in reports becomes a serious question for those willing to engage in independent thought. What criteria is effective in the hands of an ordinary citizen in order that they can better evaluate the credibility and accuracy of reports regarding the Y2K Technology Problem?
Panel Urges Responsible Y2K Reporting
Newsbytes - September 17, 1999
"Print, broadcast and Internet media outlets bear a heavy responsibility to avoid Y2K alarmism and to provide balanced coverage of the upcoming date rollover, a panel of journalists, industry leaders and federal authorities said today."
"Koskinen participated in a panel on media coverage of the date rollover at a Y2K Summit sponsored by a handful of media trade groups." Source: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001QKm
Y2K Drill Preparations
North American Electric Reliability Council
"The April 9 drill is intended to instill public confidence through success and at the same time be a real test of our ability to operate with limited communications capabilities. How can these two goals be balanced to provide the greatest value from the exercise?"
"Prior to drill, test the system(s) that will be exercised."
"Verify that there are no real security issues during the date of the drill."
"Do not make the drill to complex. We want to have a successful and meaningful story for publication." Source: ftp://www.nerc.com/pub/sys/all_updl/docs/y2k/drill-preparation-strateg ies.pdf
Y2K Spin Comes Home
Randy Guidry - June 16, 1999
"In my opinion, the Community Conversations program is essentially a means of dispensing the party line through organized local government channels via a pretty package. Including everything from sample flyers and posters to invitations for local celebrities and executives, the Community Conversations package has all the makings of a media dreamhigh exposure, familiar faces, and a lot of good news about the Y2K problem. Dont worry about Y2KGo back to your daily lives, citizens." Source: http://www.michaelhyatt.com/editorials/community.htm
Y2K preparedness of other countries posted online
Dallas Morning News - September 15, 1999
"Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate special committee on the year 2000 problem, said after reviewing the report that the State Department was 'withholding information from the public for fear of creating panic.'"
"'The information vacuum this helps create may result in the very panic they are striving to avoid,' Mr. Bennett said."
Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/technology/0915tech111y2kglobal.htm Community Y2K Preparedness: Is There News They Can Use?
Testimony of Edward Yourdon, Before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem United States Senate - May 25, 1999
"It's obviously important to report on the speeches and announcements of key public figures and corporate leaders, regardless of whether the statements uttered by those individuals ultimately turn out to be right or wrong. But at the same time, I believe that the media should devote at least some of its resources to good old-fashioned investigative journalism; that does not seem to be present when it comes to Y2K. For example, Congressman Horn's subcommittee reported in 1997 that there were approximately 9,000 mission-critical systems in the major federal agencies; by early 1999, that figure had mysteriously shrunk to approximately 6,000. What happened to the other 3,000 systems? Why hasn't some reporter done some research to identify at least a few of the systems that were once considered mission-critical, but have now been demoted to a lower level?"
What is a believable report? Are reports from the mainstream media and government to be believed? And if they are not to be believed, what does it serve to lie about or misrepresent the risks associated with the Y2K Technology Problem? In fact, Government officials have expressed a serious concern about the risks of panic ( a la Alan Greenspan in his recent speech). On several occasions, Chairman of the President's Council on 2000 Conversion John Koskinen have urged members of the media to exercise the greatest restraint when describing failures and risks. According to Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 problem, incidents have not been reported and information has been withheld from the American public.
A positive report is a report that is irrefutable; absolute. The Y2K Technology Problem is expected to unfold over time, but notably so on January 1, 2000. Until we get to the other side, the best report possible is the best estimate possible. By definition, a report on the Y2K Technology Problem can not be a positive report. But is a best estimate possible in view of contradictions, errors, misrepresentations, lies, and the withholding of information? An evaluation of the seriousness of risks associated with Y2K becomes difficult. Generically speaking, credentials and credibility must themselves be evaluated with scrupulous attention. And without overwhelming positive proof or positive statements that Y2K risks are now less serious than before, personal preparations are advisable. It can also be said that personal preparations are prudent.
-- Stan Faryna (email@example.com), September 21, 1999.
CONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS
To say that a thing is addressed means many things. In this context, Webster offers several appropriate meanings by which we can fully understand the term, "addressed," as used in proposition, "Y2K is being addressed." With assistance from Webster, we can understand this particular use of "address" to mean the following: to direct the efforts or attention of, to deal with, to deal with a thing with skill, deftness, or cleverness. Can it now be said that Y2K is being addressed? Can it be said that Y2K is being addressed honestly, diligently, and courageously? If both of these questions do not have a positive answer, what are we, then, to conclude? Furthermore, are we only to come to mere conclusions and not conclusions that should be acted upon?
Whether or not Y2K is being addressed
It can be said that Y2K is being addressed by some and not by others. Some are directing their efforts and attention to, dealing with, speaking about, and skillfully, deftly, and cleverly dealing with... those concerned about Y2K, Y2K in general, and Y2K projects (broadly to include fixing problems, developing contingency plans, creating public perceptions, making laws, and educating the public). Y2K is not being addressed by others including those people who do not (or refuse to) understand the Y2K Technology Problem, their personal or business-related dependency on technology, the related risks, and what is at risk to them personally or otherwise. Generically speaking, the American public (and others) is not addressing Y2K; most are not preparing. Therefore, it cannot be positively stated that Y2K is being addressed.
Whether or not Y2K is being addressed well
It can also be said that Y2K is being addressed honestly, diligently, courageously, and in other excellent manners by some and not others. Some are diligently working on fixing problems, other are not. Some are speaking honestly of what they know and understand, others obscure Y2K, risks, and what is at risk. Some are courageous in their attempts to educate the public about Y2K risks and what is at risk, others are foolhardy and cowardly in what they say or what they fail to say. In general, then, it can not be said that those concerned about Y2K, Y2K in general, and Y2K projects are being addressed honestly, diligently, courageously, or in any other excellent manner. Therefore, if it could be positively stated that Y2K was being adressed, it still cannot be positively stated that Y2K is being addressed honestly, diligently, and courageous.
Whether or not we should prepare for Y2K
If it can not be positively stated that Y2K is being addressed or that Y2K is being addressed in an excellent manner, then it can not be said that Y2K is a problem which does not deserve our concern. The Y2K technology problem can effect the very technologies upon which we critically depend for our life and our happiness. As such, it cannot be said that the risks are not serious. They are serious for several reasons: we are at risk through our dependence on technology (seen and unseen), the risk is serious, the vast amount of money spent on Y2K readiness does not necessarily correspond to the successful progress of Y2K projects, there are no positive reports and there can be no positive reports until after the rollover, and the very possibility of belief and trust in reassurances (and overwhelming fears) is questionable. Therefore, it can be positively stated that one should prepare for Y2K, and that a prudent man and woman will make personal preparations.
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 21, 1999.