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1997-08-14 12:17:42


This Problem Is Being Ignored



London's SUNDAY TIMES (April 6) reports on the embedded chip problem. Robin Guernier, head of Taskforce 2000, warned that among public utility firms, only 35% of those contacted bothered to respond to his letters warning them of this problem.

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"People don't realise that there are chips everywhere, from gas and water systems to oil rigs and home videos," said Robin Guernier, former chief executive of the government's Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency, now head of Taskforce 2000, set up by the government to deal with the millennium time bomb.

"On new year's day, many of those chips will make the assumption that it is 1900 and that is going to cause disaster. It's a deadline we can't afford to miss and I think it's very worrying," said Guernier.

Outside, in the dawn of a new century, technology will be going haywire. Your car may not start, according to Tony Handley of SAS International, a database company. If it has a chip controlling its engine, it may no longer be able to compute, though Ford says its engine management systems will not be affected. Traffic lights may also fail. And if you do make it to the office the following day, you may not get in or be able to use the lifts [elevators].


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