Wash Post 2/24 Article

Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by Paul Brow » Wed, 24 Feb 1999 04:00:00

Check out this article.........quoted from Senate report by Dodd(D-Conn) &
"worldwide crisis" and as "one of the most serious and potentially devasting
events this nation has ever encountered." See http://com.www.washingtonpost.

=Paul Brown


Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by Paul Brow » Wed, 24 Feb 1999 04:00:00

>Check out this article.........quoted from Senate report by Dodd(D-Conn) &
>"worldwide crisis" and as "one of the most serious and potentially
>events this nation has ever encountered." See


>=Paul Brown.........................sorry about the address mistake in
previous message!


Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by alwynaub.. » Wed, 24 Feb 1999 04:00:00

Try this for the url--direct link



Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by Rodney Victo » Thu, 25 Feb 1999 04:00:00

Here's the article. It says the Fed is planning to stockpile an extra
US$200-million. Previously it was $50-million. Is the $200-million a
mistake, or have the famous They realised that there aren't going to be
any banks open for quite a long time.

The report also paints a pretty desperate picture of the oil and
shipping industries, which does not bode well for the future.

Study Says Y2K Risks Widespread (Washn)

By Stephen Barr

(c) 1999, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - A report on the Year 2000 computer problem prepared
by a special Senate panel warns that a number of foreign
countries and U.S. economic sectors, especially the health care
industry, appear at significant risk for technological failures
and business disruptions.

The report, scheduled for release this week by Sens. Robert F.
Bennett, R-Utah, and Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., includes a
letter to Senate colleagues describing the problem of computers'
ability to recognize dates starting on Jan. 1, 2000, popularly
known as Y2K, as a ``worldwide crisis'' and as ``one of the most
serious and potentially devastating events this nation has ever

The prospect of widespread computer glitches and lobbying by
industry groups have galvanized bipartisan groups in the Senate
and House to press for legislation protecting companies that fail
to deliver goods and services on time because of Y2K problems.

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., estimated Tuesday there might be $1
trillion in lawsuits filed because of the glitch and urged
adoption of an industry-backed House bill to allay ``a great deal
of fear regarding out-of-control litigation.''

A draft copy of the Senate report, provided by staff aides to The
Washington Post, describes in vivid detail the scope of the
potential Y2K problem and the frustrations that Senate
investigators encountered as they tried to gather information
from industries reluctant to describe what progress they have
made in fixing computer and telecommunication systems.

But the report represents the most comprehensive assessment of
the Y2K problem to appear as companies and governments scramble
to fix their computer systems. In addition to health care, the
report portrays the oil, education, farming, food processing and
construction sectors as seriously lagging on computer repairs.

Among the report's findings: More than 90 percent of doctors'
offices and 50 percent of small- and medium-sized companies have
not addressed the Y2K problem; telephone systems are expected to
operate; and planes will not fall out of the sky. The Senate
panel also worries that communities will not be able to provide
``911'' and other emergency services.

Even though governments and corporations have mobilized
technology staffs and consultants to sift through millions of
lines of software code looking for Y2K glitches, the 161-page
draft also underscores how little experts know about the
potential impact of the so-called millennium bug.

``The interdependent nature of technology systems makes the
severity of possible disruptions difficult to predict. Adding to
the confusion, there are still very few overall Year 2000
technology compliance assessments of infrastructure or industry
sectors. Consequently, the fundamental questions of risk and
personal preparedness cannot be answered at this time,'' the
draft said.

Clinton administration officials have portrayed the Y2K problem
as similar to a severe winter snowstorm that causes inconveniences but
little lasting harm. Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
assured Americans that they can keep their money in the bank over New
Year's 2000 without fear.

``There's almost no conceivable way ... that computers will break
down and records of people's savings accounts would disappear,''
he told the Senate Banking Committee.

Still, almost all government agencies are drawing up emergency
plans, including the Fed, which plans to stockpile an extra $200
billion in cash for banks, about a third more than usual.

The Senate report, which grew out of a series of hearings last
year by the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology
Problem, concludes ``that the biggest Y2K impact will occur

Two important trading partners, Japan and Venezuela, seem to have
miscalculated the time and money needed to fix the computer
glitch, according to the draft report.

Relying on surveys by consultants, the report suggests that Japan
``may have underestimated the resources needed to address the
problem,'' noting that major Japanese banks have indicated far
lower repair costs than U.S. banks.

Venezuela and Saudi Arabia lag from a year to 18 months behind
the United States in Y2K preparations, raising concerns about the
availability of oil and other critical imports, the report said.

International ports are widely described as far behind in their
Y2K efforts, prompting worries that the maritime industry will
face shipping problems that could interrupt commerce, the report

International aviation and foreign airports also appear at risk,
and ``flight rationing to some areas and countries is possible,''
the report said.

Overall, the report said, ``the least-prepared countries are
those that depend heavily on foreign investment and multinational
companies to supplement their economies. Panic over Y2K concerns
may cause investors to withdraw financial support. Lack of
confidence in a country's infrastructure could cause
multinational companies to close their operations.''

The Y2K problem exists in millions of lines of software code that
uses two digits to represent four-digit years. Unfixed, computers
will assume that dates occurring after Dec. 31 use the prefix
``19,'' leading software programs to read ``00'' not as 2000 but
as 1900. That defect could cause computers to crash or spew out
incorrect data.

In assessing U.S. preparedness, the draft report reserved some of
its strongest language for the health care industry, concluding
it ``is one of the worst-prepared for Y2K and carries a
significant potential for harm.''

The industry relies on computers for patient treatment, insurance
claims and pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution. While
large hospitals are pushing to fix their computers, the report
described hospital management as ``playing a catch-up game.''

Many hospitals are relying solely on medical device manufacturers
to certify products as Y2K-compliant, which the report said
``could be a serious mistake.''

The report cited rural and inner-city hospitals as at special
risk because they do not have the staff or money to find and fix
Y2K glitches.

ends Sumayya Samsoodien


Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by flatsvill » Thu, 25 Feb 1999 04:00:00


I wouldn't necessarily assume that $200 billion is a typo.  Koskinen made a
weird statement about a week ago re: "we can print more bills faster than
they can take them out." I thought it was an insane comment to make as a
large number of depositors might take him up on it. Even with the plan to
print the additional $50 billion,  the estimated greenbacks available was
only about $2,000 per household. I was certain he'd gone woo-woo. (You will
not find "woo-woo" in a dictionary of psychiatic terms.)


Yesterday Alan Greenspan in his Senate testimony alluded that there would be
plenty of money to go around.  Was it hubris on this part?  Naw...Didn't
sound like the Greenspan I know.  Then I thought back to Koskinen's

Perhaps there is a plan to increase that $50 billion to $200 billion and
this is their not so subtle way of announcing it.

A number of people have noticed this $200 billion figure.  I suspect that by
the end of the week we'll know if it was in fact a typo or not.


Wash Post 2/24 Article

Post by Ron Schwarz -- see sig to rep » Fri, 26 Feb 1999 04:00:00

>| Here's the article. It says the Fed is planning to stockpile an extra
>| US$200-million. Previously it was $50-million. Is the $200-million a
>| mistake, or have the famous They realised that there aren't going to be
>| any banks open for quite a long time.

>Given that the total stockpile was previously said to be $200B, and given
>the average quality of newspaper reporters, my guess is that it is a

>BTW, $200-Million (the number you used in your post) won't even buy a
>good-sized building these days.

If you'd actually read the article, you'd have known it's $200 *billion*, and he
made a typo in his intro.

Are you that careful when scrutinizing briefs?  (No, I'm talking about *legal*
briefs, loy-boy.)

Do you win many cases?

Or have you figured out that win, lose, or draw, the billings go out just the

  When they say, "Eat your spam," I say, "Drink your [purple] Koolaid".

  Sender: crosscut
  Domain: killtrees.com


1. Washing Post on Y2K (was - Re: Drudge reports Washing Post on Y2K

One of the big misconceptions is this "may fail temporarily."

If a system fails, whether accounting, electric power, train routing,
whatever, due to Y2K/date calculation problems, it is unlikely in the
extreme that it wil mircaculously begin working correctly a few days
later. (Some fraction of systems _will_ begin to work more or less
correctlys, as the "time-later minus time-earlier" results resume their
positive bias, instead of th negative 100 years bias they will have around
the actual century change. This, I presume, is a tiny fraction, and only
for real-time process control sorts of applications.)

So a system which fails hard on Saturday, January 1st, is highly likely to
remain broken until the programmers can pound on it hard enough and long
enough, and iteratively enough, to get it working again. Recalling that
the Montgomery County folks worked for two months on a minor payroll
problem, without riots, power failures, and a zillion managers screaming
instructions, I would hazard a guess that many systems which fail on
January 1st will still be unfixed several months later.

And the chaos/riot effects may take down systems even faster. Read
"Patriots" by James Rawles for plausible scenarios about just how fast
things can unravel.

Anyone who thinks a few hundred cops will be able to maintain order when
welfare checks are being delayed, when WICC and AFDC checks are absent,
when the food giveaway programs are in tatters, when the unworking masses
in big cities are sharpening their spears...

"Maybe the COBOL fairy will work a miracle."

Maybe the rumors about blocking access to the Delmarva peninsula and
closing off the half-dozen bridges across the Potomac into Virginia are

"We have to face the fact that maybe letting a million welfare addicts and
clueless Washington lawyers and bureaucrats simply kill and eat each other
is a Good Thing,' said D.C. remediation manager M. Stewart.

--Tim May

I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
ComSec 3DES:   831-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
"Cyphernomicon"             | black markets, collapse of governments.

2. bufsize too small - how to fix ?

3. Faint praise for VR by Wash. Post

4. PowerPC Watchdog questions

5. Wash. Post:What Retired Mouse Jockeys Want to Know

6. I'll post my finder substitute this weekend

7. Drudge reports Washing Post on Y2K

8. How do I solve this problem?

9. Millenarians postponing apocalypse--Wash. Post

10. Washington Post April 24, 1998

11. Repost of my post from 8/24/98...

12. How to Post Article using trn