[Awareness-general] "Y2K official predicts fallout for months" Reuters ... (US Senate Y2K hearing[?] Wed., Oct. 13)

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Subject Line: [Awareness-general] "Y2K official predicts fallout for months" Reuters ... (US Senate Y2K hearing[?] Wed., Oct. 13)

Does anyone know if this US Senate hearing will air (live/taped?) on C-SPAN? Unable to find it in their schedule. It'll probably be taped for re-broadcast in the wee hours of morning.

Bruce McConnell's testimony should be interesting.

Regards, Bob Mangus

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For educational purposes only...

< http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1009-202-811867.html >

Y2K official predicts fallout for months By Reuters

Special to CNET News.com

October 9, 1999, 8:10 p.m. PT

URL: http://news.cnet.com/category/0-1009-200-811867.html

WASHINGTON--The man at the heart of efforts to manage the world's Year 2000 problem predicts that phones and lights will work just about everywhere as the new century dawns but that fallout will eat away at economies for months.

"Y2K-caused effects on daily life will be complex and more chronic than acute," said Bruce McConnell, director of the International Y2K Cooperation Center, a World Bank-funded, U.N.-backed clearinghouse.

In an interview with Reuters and in testimony to be presented to a Senate panel next week, McConnell described an emerging picture of failures that may bounce slowly from one sector to another.

"The Y2K problem is not going to look very interesting when it happens," he said by telephone this week. But a lot of relatively minor problems, like credit card rejections tied to mistakenly machine-read expiration dates, "could really gum up the works over a period of time."

At issue is the coding glitch that could cause ill-prepared computers to mistake 2000 for 1900, possibly shutting down operations. What is likely, McConnell said, is "a growing slowdown in commerce as capacity is reduced by a confluence of degraded infrastructure performance and shaky consumer confidence."

"Performance degradation, potentially exacerbated by non-Y2K factors, may cascade from one infrastructure to another," McConnell added. He declined to speculate on the scope, scale, or length of Y2K disruptions worldwide.

McConnell's testimony is to be presented Wednesday to the special Senate Y2K committee. He said he was expressing his personal views, not those of any national or international organization. An earlier report, called "Y2K: The Texture of Impact," may be viewed through the center's Web site.

McConnell is on loan from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where he oversaw the federal government's computer security and information technology policies.

As director of the International Y2K Center based here, he has been coordinating information-sharing meetings, among other things, to prepare back-up plans for a wide range of possible Y2K emergencies, including international supply-line disruptions.

McConnell said he was increasingly confident that the worst potential Y2K disruptions would be avoided thanks to the billions of dollars being spent worldwide to prepare.

In an interview in August, he had said: "We don't know whether it's going to be a 1 on the Richter scale or a 7."

Now, McConnell says that if he had to use an earthquake analogy, he would narrow the magnitude range to 2 to 5. But he says that's not a good analogy because Y2K, unlike a quake, will not just hit and be over with.

Although the Y2K rollover is characterized foremost by uncertainty, McConnell said he is 90 percent certain that what he calls the two most critical infrastructures in modern life--telecommunications and electricity--will work worldwide.

Those systems are "largely immune" to the Y2K glitch because they contain no date dependencies and, at the least, are highly resistant to failure because of back-ups, he said.

In the interview, McConnell said he was slightly less confident that telecommunications and electricity would work in Russia and the Ukraine, the only two countries about which he expressed such reservations. There, he said, he was "two-thirds" confident that phones and lights would work "because there are so many other things that go wrong."

The most significant Y2K risk is not localized technology failures, he said, but a decline in the meshing of "electronic devices, procedures, people, and organizations that together make modern life workable and efficient."

McConnell said botched Y2K code fixes, computer viruses that mimic Y2K effects, and untested contingency plans were likely to slow the process of "getting life back to normal."

Story Copyright ) 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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-- Robert Mangus (rmangus@hotmail.com), October 12, 1999


This man is a MORON! IMMUNE? What, no chips, no software? He makes go skinem look like Milne!

If you are his brain, you are not within 15 miles of his body! ;)

-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), October 12, 1999.

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