Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


How Often Things Break Down - Y2K Defence

Lights go out, computers crash, flights are delayed, baggage is lost, ATM's run out of cash, cellular phone calls won't go through - that's on a normal day. The White House wants you to know that. John Howard reports.

Concerned that any technical failures on January 1 will be blamed on the Year 2000 computer date rollover problem, the White House has released figures showing how often some systems typically break down.

In the increasingly complex world of technology, the above disasters occur individually on any day of the week.

The White House says the information is a precaution to avert public panic at the first sign of a disruption in electricity or another essential service that may coincide with the date rollover but was not caused by the y2k computer glitch.

Some failures may take weeks of study before y2k can be blamed or dismissed as the cause.

"Every day things go wrong, and nobody pays much attention to them, nobody thinks twice about it," says John Koskinen, President Clinton's top y2k adviser. "But any of these things happening on January 1 will immediately be presumed to be the indication of a y2k problem."

Software is already so enormously complex that computers sometimes fail. For example, Microsoft Corp., whose Windows software runs most of the world's personal computers, fields roughly 29,000 phone calls each day from customers using more than 4,000 programs, who ring to complain their PC's are not working right.

Tell me about it. My new Windows 98 keeps throwing up the "blue screen of death" - fatal exception error. Still, with patience I work around it and that's what we're all going to need next year - patience.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction… These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Barriers Facing Female Politicians

On the current evidence though, voters are less likely to regard a female politician as ‘likeable’ than a male one, and – even worse – this perception tends to become a barrier that only female candidates in the main, have to face. More>>

The Detail: Britain's Trump Is Now Its Prime Minister

Guardian journalist James Murray says Boris Johnson wears the hat that works, depending on what he’s trying to achieve. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>


Mediaversaries: 20 Years Of The Scoop Information Ecosystem

Scoop celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. To celebrate, we are offering 20% off all ScoopPro subscriptions, including the newly launched ScoopPro Citizen service for Citizen readers. More>>