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Daylight Saving Time Changes for 2007 -- anyone concerned?

by HBeaker / January 10, 2007 1:51 AM PST

I just started listening to the Buzz Out Loud Podcast, and really enjoy it ? thanks for the entertainment. I had a question you all might have some insight into ? maybe not - and I apologize if this is 'off-message' (please kindly point me to the right c|net blog/forum if there's a more applicable one).

Molly blogged about this way back in 2005 (http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-6284847.html) ? but there's been very little info since. In a nutshell - this year Daylight Saving Time dates in the US are changing (we ?spring ahead? 3 weeks earlier, and ?fall back? 1 week later).

Having recently started researching this (admittedly, quite late), I am absolutely amazed at the lack of concern out there ? as well as the amount of incorrect information. While the impact for most people will be very minor, I am starting to believe this may have a more significant impact than Y2K. Not because the problem is bigger (far from it), but because nobody is paying attention to it. So, while planes won?t fall from the sky or ATM machines quit working (remember when that happened over Y2K? Wink )... I do think that there will be widespread minor annoyances (such as appointments being an hour off).

The most frightening part about this is the incorrect information being blogged. IMHO, the worst offenders are the ?just use NTP? crew who are either missing the point of the problem or who don't understand how NTP actually works. Plus, any blog posting or article that supports comments inevitably results in the ?just abolish daylight saving time? rants which are annoying and aren?t helping to solve the problem (please don't post those here - while many may agree with you, we aren't likely swaying any governments today).

To see the problem first-hand ? open your calendaring program. Open an appointment from the affected time (after March 11 at 2:00am and before April 1). Save this as an iCalendar format (you can ?forward as iCalendar? from Outlook, then save the .ics file attachment without actually sending the message -- I believe other calendar programs work similarly). Do the same thing for an appointment AFTER April 1.

Now, open the two .ics files in an ASCII text editor and compare. Look for the ?DTSTART:? and ?DTEND:? lines. These will be in UTC. Are they correct? If they aren?t, you will have a problem 3/12. Patches are being made available, but I think without some sense of urgency in the tech community at large, many people will fail to properly patch systems and March 12 will be a very annoying day in the life of IT.

Being a computer guy I am mostly paying attention to the systems I am involved in. I am also curious about the gadgets, though. Those brilliant gadgets that set their own clock (some VCRs, clock radios, standalone clocks, etc.) ? are they brilliant enough to handle this, or are they going to have a problem?

The last time a major change was made in the US regarding the observance of daylight saving time was 1986 (a time I remember well - while at least 1/3rd of the BOL crew may not have been born yet). We were far less dependent on computer systems, and we had far less systems that automatically adjusted their representation of time to reflect daylight saving time. Given today?s tech climate, this could be a rather significant, yet frighteningly underrated, event.

I feel like an alarmist when I talk to people about this, but I'm really not. I mean, those canned goods stock-piled in my basement were just on sale for a really good price. But, the more I talk to people about the problem, the more I think this could be quite significant.

Thoughts?

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Nope
by Bob Sugar / January 10, 2007 3:34 AM PST

One can only assume that the changes have already been updated on your internet connected computer via automatic update.

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nothing bad
by kellenjb / January 10, 2007 4:16 AM PST

It might be an annoyance but nothing horrible. A lot of devices as it is now run off of GMT and then just adjust for the time zone and daylight savings.

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(NT) not really worried...but I surley want advanced notice :o)
by shawnlin / January 10, 2007 7:31 AM PST
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of course not!
by aribeiro2 / January 10, 2007 7:39 AM PST

daylight summer time means i can stay at the beach until 7:30, and then go to the "cal

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Summertime
by bozeman / January 11, 2007 11:57 PM PST
In reply to: of course not!

Daylight won't mess me up in the world of computers at all, but outside the office and home it's going to make things a bit wierd. We are already on the western edge of a huge time zone. Technically we should be in Central, but are Eastern.

Our summers, we get the sun till almost 11pm which makes for some great parties and camping trips. But in the fall and spring when the changes come in, pushing those back will be a bit wierd. I'm sure the fall change won't matter much, but the spring one is a bit off for our time of the year.

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I notice MS already offers an XP patch
by punterjoe / January 11, 2007 7:08 AM PST

My Linux box uses UTC & gets time from a network server, my TV-STB gets time from the local PBS station, my GSM mobile phone from the network & every clock in my home (& my wristwatch) is "Atomic" & synchs daily with the NIST station in Ft Collins CO. As long as all those parties don't drop the ball, I'm good. I never rely on my microwave or car stereo display for accurate time anyway. Worst case scenario, it will be a Sunday morning, so things will be ironed out before too much depends on it. Happy

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