Tuesday, August 9

Daylight-Saving Switch May Cause Tech Woes

President Bush is expected to sign a bill on Monday that will extend Daylight Saving Time by three weeks in spring and one week in the fall. This is intended to be an energy saver, by allowing Americans to make use of natural light later in the evening so that they musn't turn to the electric alternatives.

Problems are expected to arise when older technological devices with automatic DST correction are no longer changing the clocks on the right date. As Windows users have probably seen, when the clocks must be adjusted your computer tells you on startup that the time has been changed. The programming for this auto-modification is hardwired to the current system of DST changes (first Sunday in April and last Sunday in October), and it will require a software update to work according to the new standard.

VCRs, online calendars, and computers will all be affected by this issue, and they will likely have to be manually modified to stay in step. My favorite quote from the article is this:

"We get up and change the time on the VCR ourselves," Tzur said. "These things come with directions."

If only things were actually that simple for the vast majority of Americans these days.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.