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31 December 2006
NEW YORK, NY -- Businesses, government, and individuals worldwide are set to ring in the New Year with more anxiousness than usual this year, with the threat of the so-called "Year 2007 Bug" (or Y2.007K for short). The effects of the problem could cripple economies worldwide by hampering financial transactions, disabling the internet, and potentially causing massive transportation problems, and rapidly expanding gases inside the units.
The nature of the problem itself is fairly simple. Back in the year 1999, when people were preparing for the Y2K problem, date formatting in computer systems was changed from 2 digits to 4 digits so that the year 2000 wouldn't be incorrectly interpreted as the year 1900. At the time, engineering designed the system to accept dates only through the year 2006, widely predicting that by then all technology from 1999 would be obsolete and completely replaced. That, however, turned out not to be the case.
"In retrospect," comments one Microsoft software engineer, "we should have extended the date range to the year 9999." The company's chief architect Bill Gates, however, promised that the new Windows Vista operating system will be "fully compatible" with the year 2007, by the year 2012, after a special patch is downloaded. Critics note, however, that the year 2008 is not yet supported, so the patch will be "just a temporary measure."
Software designers worldwide were scrambling to fix their source code before January 1st, and many admit they're not yet ready. Officials at US stock markets are so worried, that they pre-emptively closed major exchanges for January 2nd, under the guise of "mourning for Gerald Ford." "I wasn't really sure people were gonna believe that reason," explained Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke, "because who the hell cares about Ford - but I guess people bought it, averting a panic." He added that if the software isn't patched up by January 3rd, they would declare a new holiday to celebrate the Full Moon that happens to be that night.
The United States isn't the only country preparing for the worst. In Iraq, the execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein was hastily arranged to happen before the New Year, just in case the electronic gallows malfunctioned in 2007. Meanwhile, France publicly declared that they surrender any and all wars that will start in 2007 - officials wanted to make sure this is known in case communications are down later because of the computer problem. In England, Agent Y2.007K, also known as Y2.James BondK, is on alert to fight off any fiends set loose by "Y2.007K".
Programmers assure the public that the Y2.007K problem will be fixed in a much more comprehensive way than Y2K was. "Instead of only allowing 6 more years of dates, we will allow 8," vowed one engineer. The year 2015 was selected as the limit because in the film "Back to the Future II" there are flying cars, and certainly if there are flying cars modern computers must be obsolete and so this will no longer be an issue.