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Prepared for Next Year's Time Change? 293

Posted by Cliff
from the fall-back-falls-backwards dept.
wohlford puts forth this query: "Next year, daylight saving time will be extended another four weeks. Slashdot has covered the time change proposal and its estimated impact, already. Since then it has been signed into law. Looking around on the Net I don't see anyone taking this seriously. Will this become the next tech doomsday or just another joke like Y2K?"
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Prepared for Next Year's Time Change?

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  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:42PM (#16682083)
    Personally, I hate daylight savings time and see no need for it. Just get up earlier or later as needed. Further, I don't see why we can't just all use GMT. So you get up at 08:00 and I get up at 21:00, big deal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by porkThreeWays (895269)
      Great idea! Hey, while you're at it why don't you get America to use the metric system too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Loconut1389 (455297)
        I'd vote for that too- they've been teaching it in schools here for at least 20 years. Maybe not flip the switch overnight, but start putting highway signs in both on every sign (not just a few every hundred miles on major highways)- then people will have a real feel for how fast 100km/h is and how long it takes them to go 40km to work. Once people 'feel' the distances/measurements, it'll be much easier.
    • by creimer (824291)
      America should be using metrics anyway. :P
    • by MeanMF (631837) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:46PM (#16682835) Homepage
      You'd still have to know more or less what time zone other people are in...And I don't think the Japanese, Australians, Californians, etc. would appreciate their normal business hours spanning two days.
      • by cloricus (691063)
        Hmm ish. You are really replacing one hard problem with one easier problem. For example people currently say 5 pm EST with the rude assumption that who ever is reading it a) knows whos Eastern Standard Time that is talking about and b) its GMT conversion amount. Where as if you moved to global 24 hour time you kill both of those problems and have one new problem of a) I have to learn which times mean what in my area (eg for Australia sun up would now be 2000 hours instead of 0600) with the huge advantage
        • by honkycat (249849)
          Using GMT is easier for the specific problem of arranging international conference calls and similar things. It's less convenient for almost any other use. If I want to book a flight to Ouagadougu, I want to arrive at a reasonable time (locally) so I want to see a flight arrival time in local time. When I get there, I want to ask the guy at the hotel what time they serve breakfast and get an answer that I can immediately relate to the behavior of the sun and moon. Further, it's not any harder to look up
    • by aduzik (705453) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:47PM (#16682845) Homepage

      Quick: the current time is 00:30 -- is it morning, midday, or night where I live? If I open my business at 12:00 and close at 22:00, what kind of business do I most likely own: a coffee shop/lunch place, a retail store or a restaurant? If I open at 16:00 and close at 02:00, can you make a sign that (in a non-confusing way) makes it obvious to my customers that, while I open on Monday and stay open continuously until Tuesday, that I'm actually only open for ten hours?

      Now what if I tell you it's 6:30 PM local time? I don't even have to tell you where I live, do I? You would know that it's about dinnertime here, regardless of where "here" is.

      I live in the states, but the time is 00:30 UTC everywhere right now. If I call my grandma in Australia, is she going to say, "ugh! Why did you call me at 00:30?" or is she going to say, "oh, you picked a perfect time to call." (My grandma does, in fact, talk like that, by the way.)

      The point of time zones and "local time" is that it provides *context*. Wednesday is going to turn into Thursday (or already has) in the middle of the night -- for everybody. With UTC, it would be Thursday here in most of the US already. So while it may be a pain to have to adjust for local time in other localities, at least you'll know about what time of day it is there. Unless you happen to live in Greenwich, or maybe one or two time zones in either direction, using UTC would be nothing but a pain in the ass. Do you really think it would make sense for me to leave for work on Sunday "evening" and get home on Monday "morning" -- to say nothing about how lame New Year's Eve parties would be in most of the world. (In Eastern Europe and Asia, you'd enjoy a celebratory cup of joe first thing in the morning. How fun.)

      • by guet (525509)
        Quick: the current time is 00:30 -- is it morning, midday, or night where I live?
        I live in the states, but the time is 00:30 UTC everywhere right now. If I call my grandma in Australia, is she going to say, "ugh! Why did you call me at 00:30?" or is she going to say, "oh, you picked a perfect time to call." (My grandma does, in fact, talk like that, by the way.)


        Let's look at the present situation - before you call your grandma, you need to know 3 things :
        What time (local time) does she get up/go to bed
        What
      • by CAIMLAS (41445)
        Well, obviously we'd have to change the way we refer to time. Instead of saying "it's 11am here" (as it is currently for me, at US Central Standard adjusted forward 6 hours to match gmt) you'd say "I'm -6 GMT here" or maybe "11am minus 6" or something to that effect. Not only would it tell the same information but it would provide more.

        But: I do agree that changing it is stupid. Daylight savings does have application - particularly to farmers, ranchers, etc. who by essence set their daily schedule to the li
      • In Eastern Europe
        While it's just a nitpick I thought I'd correct you that Eastern Europe is GMT+3 at max, so there is three hours of difference, not suprising since GMT is in Western Europe...
    • by hal2814 (725639)
      I LOVE Daylight Saving Time. I'd love even more to not need it but I have an 8AM - 5PM job. As long as that remains the case, I'll take going to work while it's still dark over going home at dusk.

      As an anecdotal story, I used to drive to work going East. Starting early fall, the sun would be in my eyes every morning. Then it would finally be dark my whole commute when DST would end and put the sun right back in my eyes!
    • DST is stupid. The sun rises at ~6:30 now instead of ~7:30. It sets at ~04:45 instead of ~5:45. How does this help anyone? I can't even see how it would help save energy.
      Getting rid of DST would have little to no impact for most people.

      As far as using GMT, I'd have no problem with that either and might as well get everyone on a 24hr clock too while we're at it.
      This would involve a lot of small changes - business hour signs, clocks, etc. plus take awhile for people to get used to it.
  • We don't care about how you silly mainlanders play with your clocks.

    Aloha!
  • Y2K a joke?!?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NaugaHunter (639364) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:46PM (#16682131)
    Go to hell. A lot of people put a lot of work into resolving a real problem. We'd sure as hell have heard about it if we hadn't.

    One of those damned if you do, damned if you don't things I guess.
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      We're the Casandras of the modern age.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pla (258480)
      Go to hell. A lot of people put a lot of work into resolving a real problem. We'd sure as hell have heard about it if we hadn't.

      I think you meant to phrase that as "A lot of obsolete geeks got to put in a hell of a lot of billable hours as a result of Y2K". Easy mistake, "resolving a problem" to "made a fuckload of cash for babysitting a mainframe". No harm done, eh? ;-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mollymoo (202721)
        Easy mistake, "resolving a problem" to "made a fuckload of cash for babysitting a mainframe".

        Right on dude! I don't even know why they bother babysitting those mainframes running ancient code. Just re-write it all in Ruby. I could have done it in a couple of days. It's not like those mainframes store any really important data, like your bank balance or... Hang on!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AC5398 (651967)
        Jerk. A whole lot more went into fixing y2k than babysitting a goddamn mainframe.

        But if you'd been someone who did any work for y2k, you'd know that.
      • by honkycat (249849)
        Insightful? No. Troll? Probably not. Funny? Yeah.
  • I still wonder why we bother with DST. At this latitude (49 north) the summers are plenty light anyway (latest sunset about 2100 PDT, still light after 2200), and the winters are dark (earliest sunset about 1600 PST), no matter what we do. It's even more pronounced the further north you go.

    I agree with others: Y2K wasn't a joke. There were real issues, but these were identified and resolved ahead of time. It only looked like an anticlimax. It wasn't.

    ...laura, who babysat computers and satellites the eve

  • I just set an alarm to remind me when people in various parts of the world play with their clocks.

    One for each -- Europe, the East Coast of the USA, etc. I've never had to worry about Australia, though -- do they play with clocks down there or do they have better things to do?

    • by Kris_J (10111) *

      I've never had to worry about Australia, though -- do they play with clocks down there or do they have better things to do?

      As it happens we do, well most states do. Moreover, Western Australia is currently going insane [abc.net.au]. A bill is currently being debated as to whether or not a "trial" daylight savings thing is started on the 3rd of December this year . A month to go and we don't even know if it's going to happen yet. It's going to be a freaking nightmare.

      • Once upon a time, a bunch of clueless types from the East persuaded the Legislature to adopt summer time here. The popular response was so one-sided that the first thing they did when they reconvened in the fall was revoke it.

        Now, when someone tells us about how wonderful it is to crank the clocks forward one hour, we get all gushy about it and tell them that twelve must be even better. Moonlight Savings Time is a wonderful idea when your summer temps regularly run above 45C and the only decent time of d

    • Australia, though -- do they play with clocks down there or do they have better things to do?

      The announcers on national radio are calling out five times each half hour. I live in the tropical and subtropical state that voted on it - 49 percent for, 50 percent against changing and less than 1 percent informal votes in a compulsory election - it looks like people actually cared.

      Last year daylight saving was extended in one state and Microsoft operating systems were still set to change back early - I beleiv

  • is using a time and attendance system that i wrote and next year, they are going to find out that it needs to be fixed for the people who log in from the chicago office (the server is in arizona-- they'll be o.k.)
  • My vote goes to..... (Score:3, Informative)

    by bernywork (57298) * <bstapleton@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:25PM (#16682599) Journal
    It's only the US, who cares?
    • Unfortunately it affects any place doing business with the USA, and Ontario Canada decided to change with them.
      What a big waste!

      http://www.abandonedstuff.com/2006/10/29/bushs-mar tial-law-bill-signed-daylight-time-replay/ [abandonedstuff.com] Here are the levels of oil saved, and my guess as to the cost of implementation. It's a boondoggle by Bush, to distract us from real oil saving measures.
      • by bernywork (57298) *
        Given that this is a geek web site, I figure this is slightly relevant.

        Most meeting requests and other stuff (Which affects the most amount of people) will be sent using GMT. Although some things like street lights and other stuff may not come on at the right time, in the grand scheme of things, I don't think this will affect people.
    • 300 million people, according to the latest figures. Which makes it the third-largest country in the world.
  • Halloween (Score:2, Interesting)

    by taniwha (70410)
    Sadly this will push the change back past halloween leaving the kids wandering the streets in the light and stealing a lot of the magic of the celebration

    If I didn't have my tinfoil hat on I'd think it was part of a plan from the religious right to do away with it

    • by Bastian (66383)
      A lot of municipalities have rules about trick-or-treating, and a common one is that it has to stop at sundown.

      I have a feeling one of the industries that sent lobbyists for this is the candy industry, since it means they'll get an extra hour of trick-or-treating in the places that do have ordinances about it.
    • by tverbeek (457094) *
      Halloween is already dying around here. 10 years ago, I used to get 70 or more kids at my door over the course of the evening. The numbers took a big dive in 2001, when parents started imagining terrorists behind every shrub, and they've been dwindling ever since. These days the parents seem to be taking their kids to the freakin' mall or their church (depending on which is their place of worship) instead of letting them visit their neighbors. I always hand out pretty good treats (candy and a comicbook o
  • The daylight saving time is embedded in millions of devices/systems. An example would be the elevator system in my office building. It's used to control access times for secured floors. There is no patch for this, the control system will have to be completely replaced.

    Our phone system has the change encoded. It will require a full software upgrade to fix this.

    So... it's a bummer!
    • All I can say is that the designers of those systems are incredibly stupid. The transition dates have been changed many times since DST was first introduced, and will undoubtedly be changed again. They also vary by state and region. Hard programming the dates is just silly.
      • by tverbeek (457094) *

        All I can say is that the designers of those systems are incredibly stupid. The transition dates have been changed many times since DST was first introduced, and will undoubtedly be changed again. They also vary by state and region. Hard programming the dates is just silly.

        So is using 2-digit years when you have room for 4. Doesn't matter. They did it. Now, given that fact, do you have any productive suggestions for how to deal with all the VCRs out there that these stupid people shipped without firmwar

    • The daylight saving time is embedded in millions of devices/systems. An example would be the elevator system in my office building. It's used to control access times for secured floors. There is no patch for this, the control system will have to be completely replaced.

      Our phone system has the change encoded. It will require a full software upgrade to fix this.

      Or, you could just change the time on those systems twice a year. It's not that difficult a problem. I also think you're overestimating how many

  • I have to say that I'm greatly anticipating this. After just getting out of daylight savings time and having to deal with the depressing, irritating new time where everything gets dark far too early and I'm constantly failing to properly estimate the time I wish we'd stick with the earlier, DST time year-round.

    Then again I also think that times should be shifted by 6 hours making midnight 6 PM, dawn (roughly) 1 AM noon 6 AM and dusk 12 AM (12 should be the end of a time section, not the beginning, it's amaz
    • One reason we have a noon/midnight-based clock instead of sunrise/sunset-based is that sunset and sunrise times vary throughout the year, but midnight and noon are constants. And except for the latter-day deviations introduced by time zones and, yes, daylight saving time, local noon is easily determined by obversation, even with no instruments.
  • Changes to daylight savings time start and end times are hardly a big deal. In Australia it happens all the time. Just this year, daylight savings time was extended by a week in March, and no planes fell out of the sky. About half the computers I used updated and showed the real time, and the other half (including some apparently independent clocks that were set by some remote mechanism) switched back early and were an hour slow. Everyone coped just fine.

    Most people know what hour it is anyway, so it's only important computer systems that matter. And if Microsoft can have a patch for two states and one territory in a relatively small country, then they can have a patch for the vast majority of their home country...

    Absolutely nothing to worry about. Just enjoy the extra daylight in the evening!
    • > And if Microsoft can have a patch for two states and one territory in a relatively small country, then they can have a patch for
      > the vast majority of their home country...

      I wouldn't bet on it, they screwed some people in Europe up since the move to "last week in October" from "fourth week in October":
      http://www.support.microsoft.com/kb/910268 [microsoft.com]

      Still, I'm not aware of any planes falling out of the sky because someone turned up to a meeting an hour late...
      • by zsau (266209)
        That's probably a retaliation for the EU's antitrust suit. Did they have any important meetings with them in October? :)
    • Why would you want more of it? When are you fuckin' normals going to learn that the Sun is a killer?
      • by zsau (266209)
        Apparently up in Queensland, the Australian equivalent of the American South, they don't have daylight savings because, amongst other things, it'd give their children cancer, or something. But I wouldn't exactly call Queenslanders 'normals'.
  • I don't expect there will be any issues for Windows PC's, as long as they are on the current version, which at that time will be Vista.
    • Except for the millions of users who have perfectly good PCs and are simply unwilling to upgrade their hardware just to be able to pay the Windows tax all over again.
    • by tverbeek (457094) *
      I hope this was intended to be sarcastic, because there are large numbers of people out there still using Windows 2000, ME, and even 98. To say nothing of the huge installed base of XP (including pre-SP2 systems) that will still be in place a year from now. Granted, MS is certain to provide a patch for the versions that they're still supporting, but that's still going to depend on people installing it.
  • 10 minute intervals of change, that way everybody can see the sun rise at the prescribed "optimal" time within 10 minutes instead of a whole hour. We could do it by locality, county, and state. Heck, every town could chose their own implementation to match local custom and maximize efficiency. It will be a power and labor saving coup!

    [/bizzaro politicians world]

    I'd be happy to ditch the whole thing. For those of you who complain about skipping DST and having the sun wake you up at 4am I have one word: Curt
  • I love changing the clocks. I want more, more, more! Instead of all that '2am on the first Sunday of April' crap, we should put the clocks back two hours at 4am every day. And put them forward again at 2pm.
  • Java [sun.com] has had support [sun.com] for the new Daylight Saving changes since 1.4.2_11.
    • by badfish99 (826052)
      Which is yet another example of how broken and retarded Java is. Individual application programs like the Java interpreter should not need to contain their own unique version of the timezone support code.
  • The real issue is that we don't need daylight saving time. We can just stagger when we work and go to school. Changing the time that it is light outside isn't going to change anything than our television schedules, and those can be staggered too.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind year-round daylight saving time, where solar noon is pretty much at 1pm, give or take. Since we're on DST most of the year, this is just a minor change during the lesser-light months. Plus, how many would enjoy having more light toward th
  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:39PM (#16683847)
    I want a patch for my operating system that will automatically let me know when Congress does something stupid...
    • by Dracos (107777)

      No you don't. You'd pull the patch out after a week of getting inundated with messages.

    • by topham (32406)
      Wouldn't that get annoying?

      Wouldn't you prefer it notify you the moment they do something that isn't stupid? Much less likely to be annoying.
  • It's stupid, right now its getting dark at 6:00pm, its about damn 'time' they did this. They should make the change 2 hours as well. 90% of the population is no longer farmers, damn it takes the gov a lot of time to catch up.
  • by Announcer (816755) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @11:45PM (#16684253) Homepage
    I work for one of the "dying breed" of Daytime ONLY AM radio stations. Because of the effects of the sun on the ionosphere, Medium Wave (AM Broadcast) signals bounce off of a layer the ionosphere at night, and are absorbed by a different layer which forms during daylight hours. As a result, a number of stations were allowed to operate only during daylight, when the dominating station on that frequency would not be affected.

    Case-in-point, WFIF where I work. WTOP (now WTWP) has operated on 1500Khz for many decades. They are the dominant station on that frequency for the entire Eastern half of the US. (At night, you can hear them from Maine to Florida. Been there, done it.) They are located in Washington, DC. WFIF was licensed to operate on that frequency in 1965, as a daylight-only station. Thus, every day at the FCC-established "legal sunset", we must sign off. We cannot return to the air until the FCC-defined "legal sunrise". (The FCC defines the sunrise/set times for each month, based on an average, so the actual sign-on/off times remain the same through each month.)

    Now we throw the DST/Standard time curveball into this. Because the sun doesn't change, only our clocks do, this affects when we can sign-on and off, and it affects our program schedule.

    Example- under the present system, in October, during DST, we sign-on at 7am and off at 6:30pm. When we change to Standard time on that last Sunday, we get to sign-on at 6am and off at 5:30pm until we hit November. In November, we sign-on at 6:45, and off at 5pm.

    Now throw this new monkey wrench into the works...

    We will no longer have *any* Standard time operation in October, because it won't kick-in until November... so, that means we won't be able to sign-on until 7:45am! (Right now, our latest sign-on is 7:15am in December & January.) That's pretty darned late in the morning to be signing-on! Once Standard time takes effect, we'd be back to where we are, now: 6:45am to 5pm.

    In March of '07, we're going to have another curveball to throw at our audience... we will have been signing-on at 6am for the first few weeks of March. Then the clocks will be changed. Now, we won't be able to sign-on until 7am! Programming that had already re-established itself with our audience will go on yet another hiatus, before returning in April. (The early morning music program already goes away in October & Dec/Jan due to the later sign-on.)

    So, as you can see, there are some radio stations and listeners that are going to be ***VERY*** inconvenienced by this mess.

    We won't even go into the issue of how many computers are out there still running Windows 98SE, which won't be getting any help from Papa Bill to patch it's internal time-shifting routines. I am hoping for a 3'rd party solution... but won't hold my breath. Since we still have a fair number of perfectly functional Win98SE boxes running, we'll just have to disable the automatic time-shift routines, and do it manually.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tech (15191)
      The original Win98, as I recall, came with a timezone editor on the original CD although it didn't install by default. I'm not sure whether it was included on the Win98SE CD, but if not the older one would probably still work. The program you're looking for is tzedit.exe and a quick search of the CD should show whether or not it is there.

      Otherwise, Googling "timezone editor" came up with what looked like several alternatives and a link to a Microsoft KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317211 [microsoft.com] which d
  • Obviously, the real reason they are doing this is to force the entire country to buy new clocks which will spy on you, figure out if you are a "political dissident", and send the data to the Haliburton death squads.

    We're all fucked!

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