THE TIMES - editorial: "THE BUG NEXT TIME: Those little monsters still lurking to strike" - 'the worst is still to come' and 'what other insurance allows you to eat your own premium afterwards'greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
January 5 2000
The Times, London
THE BUG NEXT TIME
Those little monsters still lurking to strike
The planes are still flying. Traffic lights are changing. Water flows from the tap. Bank balances show the usual overdrafts. It is already five days since all the clocks clicked round to zero, and the dreaded millennium bug has so far barely shown its feelers. Is this because the world spent an estimated #400 billion on its eradication? Or is it because the bug was never as voracious as the prophets of chaos forecast? Already the cry has gone up that the world has been hoodwinked; that the computer industry created a monster so that it could spend billions taming it. By no means, the boffins reply: the dreaded bug may still lurk in the woodwork, gnawing through our systems.
So far, miraculously, none of the 890 satellites whirling across the heavens has run amok. Russia's ageing nuclear reactors, as unsafe as any technology could be, have not been tripped into meltdown. Italy, which spent a mere #100 million on examining its computers, was not carried away on a cloud of optimism - although some prisoners did discover, inconveniently, that a century had mistakenly been added to their sentences.
The problem was, in truth, never solely the witching hour of midnight 2000. Most systems that govern our daily lives are relatively simple, and the chips were not buried deep in inaccessible technological crevices. Taskforce 2000, the Cassandras who have spent three years warning the world of disaster, estimated that only 5 per cent of difficulties would reveal themselves immediately. There may be more than a hint of disappointment beneath the expressions of relief from the bug-catchers. But, they insist, the worst is still to come.
Around 80 per cent of all the glitches will probably come in the next three months as payments and transactions fall due. Britain, like many Western nations, awakes today from its winter sleep, and as millions of computers are switched on some may offer a peculiar response. Margaret Beckett, charged by the Government with technological insecticide, is not dropping her guard. Nor are those who have taken extreme measures, hoarding food and buying generators. They argue that, like fire insurance, the cost cannot be written off as waste simply because there was no fire. They may find it tiresome to consume six weeks' worth of emergency provisions. But what other insurance allows you to eat your own premium afterwards?
-- John Whitley (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 05, 2000
The bugs are definetly still in the woodwork. The worst case may be true - that they're in the foundation.
As the munching sounds become louder, they get nearer the surface.
Looks like they're gnawing on the stock market right now. Oil's probably on the menu mest.
And as to eadible premiums:
They're about 3 days late with the catchy phrase about "insurance where you can eat the premiums".
Somebody posted that phrase 3 days ago on a thread I started about being ashamed and humiliated.
O yeah, that was me. Dern, should have copywrighted it.
-- Got Termites?
-- Greybear (email@example.com), January 05, 2000.
>>only 5 per cent of difficulties would reveal themselves immediately. There may be more than a hint of disappointment beneath the expressions of relief from the bug-catchers. But, they insist, the worst is still to come.
Around 80 per cent of all the glitches will probably come in the next three months as payments and transactions fall due.<<
Another excellent article ascribing the delayed effects of technological snafus as yet "under the carpet". If only skeptics would have the courage to lift it and see what squirms out. Mainstream malfunction reports may not yet be surfacing, but there is plenty of presaging information such as this coming forth nontheless which should be concentrated on until such a time. I feel that might not be long.
-- Patrick Lastella (Lastella1@aol.com), January 05, 2000.