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Trump Orders Government To Stop Work On Y2K Bug, 17 Years Later (bloomberg.com) 460

The federal government will finally stop preparing for the Y2K bug, seventeen years after it came and went. Yes, you read that right. Bloomberg reports: The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would eliminate dozens of paperwork requirements for federal agencies, including an obscure rule that requires them to continue providing updates on their preparedness for a bug that afflicted some computers at the turn of the century. As another example, the Pentagon will be freed from a requirement that it file a report every time a small business vendor is paid, a task that consumed some 1,200 man-hours every year. Seven of the more than 50 paperwork requirements the White House eliminated on Thursday dealt with the Y2K bug, according to a memo OMB released. Officials at the agency estimate the changes could save tens of thousands of man-hours across the federal government. The agency didn't provide an estimate of how much time is currently spent on Y2K paperwork, but Linda Springer, an OMB senior adviser, acknowledged that it isn't a lot since those requirements are already often ignored in practice.

Trump Orders Government To Stop Work On Y2K Bug, 17 Years Later

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2017 @11:40PM (#54630643)

    As another example, the Pentagon will be freed from a requirement that it file a report every time a small business vendor is paid, a task that consumed some 1,200 man-hours every year.

    So they layed off one guy...whoopdedoo! Looks at those savings! Who wants a paper-trail of who the pentagon pays money too anyway?? What a zany idea.

    • While paper trails are great, I do not think there is a reason for a paper trail for purchasing, for example, a cheap pen.

      Also, the summary says that those regulations were already ignored in practice. This, in my opinion, is bad as selective following of rules can lead to a spiteful manager punishing an employee for ignoring the rules everyone else is ignoring. So, either follow the rules or change them.

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      You should be modded up.

      1,200 man-hours per year is LESS THAN one full time job.
      For reference, a 40hr/week job is 1880 - 2080hr/year (5 weeks vacation - zero vacation).

      I'm certain that the cost to make those changes was waaaay more than the cost of those 1200 man hours. I wouldn't be surprised if this article wasted more than 1,200 man hours of peoples time reading it. It's like trying to save money by shopping at whole foods so you can re-use the bags and save $0.05/bag, while paying more for everything el

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2017 @11:42PM (#54630651)

    Signed and dated: 6/15/17

  • Seriously? Is there anything else they are preparing for that has already come and gone?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      :-D

    • I'm not ready to assume it has come and gone. My first question is; is this related to unpatched systems that are continuing to provide incorrect data? Don't jump to being credulous of narratives, there are always narratives offered.

    • by drnb ( 2434720 )

      Seriously? Is there anything else they are preparing for that has already come and gone?

      There was a telephone tax that was to pay for the Spanish American War of 1898. I think it was paid off a decade or two ago, I'm not sure if the tax was removed.

    • many of the bugs classified as Y2K bugs have NOT come and gone, they are still pending with various fixes that simply moved the milestone forward or known date limitations that will hit in the coming years. I don't know about any of the US systems but I am familiar with many of the systems in our country and personally know of several Y2K bugs that won't hit till the early 2020's
      • That's kind of a stupid reason to have periodic status reports, though. It's a good reason to have a current status report, and to update that when the status changes.

    • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @02:27AM (#54631087) Journal

      Seriously? Is there anything else they are preparing for that has already come and gone?

      Well reputedly in 1803 the British government prepared for the potential invasion of Napoleon by creating a civil service position for someone to stand on the white cliffs of Dover with a spyglass and ring a bell if they saw Napoleon coming. The position was finally cancelled in 1945, 124 years after Napoleon died.

      • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @03:04AM (#54631185)

        Well reputedly in 1803 the British government prepared for the potential invasion of Napoleon by creating a civil service position for someone to stand on the white cliffs of Dover with a spyglass and ring a bell if they saw Napoleon coming. The position was finally cancelled in 1945, 124 years after Napoleon died.

        Yes well, they're British. As Terry Pratchett said, if they can't remember why they're keeping the tradition, that only makes the tradition more sacred.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2017 @11:49PM (#54630669)

    Gotta keep track of those unsigned 32-bit int timestamps, they're going to creep up on you in 2038.

    • On 64bit systems we're good until December 4th, 292277026596.

      But keep in mind, 32 bit timestamps are signed, not unsigned. This is important when constructing things like HTTP cookies when you want the maximum time, which is going to be 0x7fffffff.

      The good news is that most programs that blindly trust that signed 32 bit value will just think it is 1901, there is no reason they would crash. Most of the servers and things that having calendar-aware timing that would set up a crash situation will have already

  • Leave it to ... (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by PPH ( 736903 )

    ... the computer industry to abbreviate 'Year 2000' as Y2K. It was this kind of thinking that got us in trouble in the first place.
    -- Adrian Tyvand

  • by pahles ( 701275 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @01:01AM (#54630861)
    Luckily the century turned a year later...
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @01:24AM (#54630899)
    to get the main point:

    " the Pentagon will be freed from a requirement that it file a report every time a small business vendor is paid"

    I foresee a _lot_ of 'small business vendors" cropping up over the years now.
    • Eh... I think the main point is actually here:
      "The agency didn't provide an estimate of how much time is currently spent on Y2K paperwork, but Linda Springer, an OMB senior adviser, acknowledged that it isn't a lot since those requirements are already often ignored in practice. "

      Trump just agreed that it's okay for everyone to not file the reports they were already not filing. This is a non-story that shouldn't have garnered any attention or discussion.

  • a task that consumed some 1,200 man-hours every year

    So, one single person working 24 hours a week. No wonder the US debt is so high.

    • No worries. The turmoil caused by propagating the changes to stop doing it will make up for years of that loss to the economy.
  • "Trump Orders Government To Stop Work On Y2K Bug, 17 Years Late"

    Damn, there goes my lucrative government job. I knew it was too good to last. Maybe I can get a contract for the Y3K bug.

  • I'm afraid that trying to fight with Parkinson Law, Trump would make himself a lot of enemies.
    Bureaucrats would plot to shoot him as Kennedy have been shoot.

  • I got a Y2K bug in 2013 - stupid fucking flexnet "licencing" software designed to punish the honest decided the perpetual licence of the software I wanted to run expired in the year 2000.
    Modes of failure like that can still run if the developers of the software are idiots and the QC people do not exist.
  • by SCVonSteroids ( 2816091 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @08:14AM (#54631953)

    The headline is literally a stab at Trump to make him look like an idiot for touching on something that's 17 years gone, but the fact that worthless required documentation is being removed from government should be celebrated as a move towards efficiency. A government that is willing to admit stuff is useless and scrap it is a lot more useful than a government that bloats itself with process.

    I'm waiting for everyone to come in and tell me everything Trump has done wrong now, but that's not my point whatsoever, so enjoy. (I probably will!)

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @08:53AM (#54632113)

    Municipal night court judge Munroe Slemp of Snakebit, NV has already responded to a petition from COBOL programmers by blocking Trump's order, citing his lack of IT expertise. The Ninth Circuit is expected to review the decision by sometime in November.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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