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Y2K Center urges more information on Y2K readiness
05:41 p.m Aug 03, 1999 Eastern
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Nearly half the world's nations lack Web sites dealing with the Year 2000 computer glitch, a potential blow to investor confidence, a U.N.-backed clearing house said on Tuesday.
A survey by the Washington-based International Y2K Cooperation Centre found that 87 countries had no Internet sights about preparations for the possible failure of some automated systems on Jan. 1, 2000.
Only 27 nations' Y2K websites were ``highly informative,'' while 15 were ``somewhat informative'' and 23 provided ``limited information,'' the centre said.
Another 47 nations provided information in languages other than English that the World Bank-funded centre said it could not fully evaluate.
Bruce McConnell, a former technology official at the White House Office of Management and Budget who is director of the International Y2K Cooperation Centre, said the more readiness information disclosed, the better a country's chance to maintain confidence at home and in international markets.
``If little information is released, people will make decisions based on consultants or rumours,'' he said in a statement. ``They may assume the worst -- that adequate preparations have not been made.''
The International Y2K centre was set up in February under U.N. auspices to promote global cooperation to minimise problems due to the date change. It defines readiness as upgrading systems to deal with the old practice of storing dates in two-digit fields and having back-up plans for systems that are not fixed.
If information on the state of preparations is not provided, the consequences will be unpredictable and could be severe, the centre warned. It said an English-language website was essential for a country to be effective in the ``international finance community and the press.''
The centre said it was exploring ways to assist nations in translating their Y2K web-sites into English. The so-called Y2K glitch stems from fears that computers may misread the date on Jan. 1 as 1900 instead of 2000, possibly disrupting systems from airlines to bank teller machines to power grids.
The center's survey was carried out in July. Countries with ``highly informative'' Y2K websites included: Australia, Botswana, Great Britain, Canada, Chile, France, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda and the United States.
Somewhat informative Y2K websites were maintained by the governments of Azerbaijan, Austria, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Sweden and Switzerland.
Limited information was found on the Y2K websites of the governments of Albania, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam, the centre said.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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MORE SPIN, We Need More Positive Spin.
Give Us FULL SPIN Mr. Scott!!!!
-- Capt (Kirk@Star.Trek), August 03, 1999.
I'm forced to concur, Captain. they are asking for better reportage, but they really only want better POSITIVE reportage.
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