Sunday, March 9, 2014

Petition Needed NOW!

Arizonans Think
  In just a few more hours I will be doing the same thing to all of my clocks as Arizonans do - nothing.  Why is this the only state of the contiguous 48 states in the United States that isn't stupid or at least isn't overloaded with golf players? I commend them for their courageous stance going back at least four decades.
   Do you think?  If you do think (which means you are against Daylight Saving Time) and can make a petition for us all to sign at Change.org please send email to any of the following email addresses:  hhhobbit[GNAT]securemecca.net, henryhertzhobbit[GNAT]yahoo.com, hhhobbit[GNAT]gmail.com, or hhhobbit[GNAT]hotmail.com.  I think.  I gave the email addresses in an order from most read to least read.  This is an important issue.  If you can think, you know immediately what you should do.  Write me with the subject "I think, therefore kill DST."  See the note on Petition Drive Needed at the end of this blog entry.

 Television Programming Problems
(click on picture to enlarge)

   They still have problems with it.  This is not a complaint.  It is a sympathy vote.  But dealing with them on this issue, especially concerning the differences here and the neighboring state of Arizona is a pain.  They immediately shift to local time rather than doing all calculations in UTC time and then adding the time offset.  In just a few minutes, you will still be subtracting 7 hours for Arizona whereas here in Utah with idiots we will be subtracting 6 hours.  But look at the picture carefully.  Look at the times across the top.  I snapped it before DST went into effect.  The description says 1:00 AM but the time on the top says 08:00.  In case you are wondering, yes, I would much rather have a 24 hour clock.  It will take a few days before I mentally stop sutracting 7 hours and instead use 6.  Why the difference?  They set that top time with Javascript which is my machine which uses UTC time.  They should use PHP to get it off the server instead.

My Career
   Looking back over life I wished I had done my undergraduate work at Northern Arizona University and my graduate work at the University of Arizona in Astrophysics.  Right now I could be working tuning all of telescopes in Hawaii or the Canary Islands.  And I would have the blessed relief of no Daylight Saving Time!  You see, Hawaii and Alaska don't use Daylight Saving Time.  But like my computers, the astronomical observatories don't use local time anyway.  They use UTC time.

Finer Time Precison
   NIST in Boulder Colorado?  I wouldn't be surprised that old Cesium time clocks may be phased away.  They are using Mercury that paradoxically needs to be heated before it is super-cooled with a laser.  The result is that the temperature is dropped down extremely close to absolute zero (just a few millionsth of a degree above it).  See the fifth episode in the series "Physics for the 21st Century."  It is titled "The Quantum World."  And in addition to finer time they are exploring fundamental questions in Physics that relate the small (atom - Quantum Mechanics) and the large (universe - Einstein's General Theory of Relativity).  You contrast this excellent work and see the clock smashing an hour forward and thankfully giving you an extra hour of sleep in the fall But what a contrast.

Daylight Saving Time Kills
   Here is a good one on why you should probably stay home the Monday after the shift to Daylight Saving Time in the spring:


But DST doesn't kill just in that way.  It kills due to an increase in heart attacks any many other health related problems.  Maybe I should state this in a way that makes sense.  By forcing Daylight Saving Time (DST) on us the congress of the United States has done the equivalent of passing a law mandating we must all smoke tobacco products.  It is about the same thing.  Think about it for a while.

PETITION TO END DST NEEDED!
   We  need a petition to end DST.  A perfect place to do it is Change.org.  Who should do it?  Not me!  Why not me?
  • I don't have the requisite skill set to create and handle the petition.
  • I get 500+ spam messages a day because my IWSP (Yahoo) can't get the idea into their heads that only messages addressed to me (hhhobbit), abuse, postmaster, and webmaster should go into my email.  Otherwise they are pretty good in delivering good service or I would change to another IWSP.  But I used to get malware as well.  The last two big days of the malware were no spam and 500+ messages with malware attached to them.  I categorized them into five types of highly dangerous malware the first day.  The second day the sampling wasn't as good and I had only two types.
  • I am reviewing the malware links at MalwareDomainList.com to make sure we are not blocking hosts that no longer pump out malware and are otherwise valid.  In this area I am highly skilled.  Only a few other people are doing it.  Do you want me to stop doing it? 
  Ergo, if somebody is interested in doing it please email me at hhhobbit[GNAT]securemecca.net, henryhertzhobbit[GNAT]yahoo.com, hhhobbit[GNAT]gmail.com, or hhhobbit[GNAT]hotmail.com.  Use the subject "I think, therefore kill DST." I will help you out as much as I can but please realize I am busy.  Where can I best be used?  I mentioned malware.  Just like a hacker I am an excellent foot-printer.  I can find information on lots of things where others fail.  Why?  I don't quit searching and I am never satisfied with the information I have gathered.  So let's get this petition started.  How effective are they?  On one an India ambassador to the UN was paying less than minimum wage to an employee.  At the end the Indian government had him strip searched, hand-cuffed, and whisked off back to India for what ever they did to him.  What ever they did wasn't good because I haven't even heard of him ever since.  Change can happen!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We Need Action



End Of Sales Pitch
 
   All of the foregoing was just a sales pitch.  Like I said, I am not against a gradual moving to an earlier in time in say two half hour increments in the spring but by shifting to an earlier time.  I do not want the clock moved at all.  No Daylight Saving Time shift.  Here is the latest on the problems it caused for OpenSuse Linux in the middle of the Ocean in Fiji of all places:

Yast TZ Clash Folder

You cannot see the first one in the text file but should be able to see the next two.  If not some suitably enhanced - read cropped and reduced in size to 1152x768 (my screen resolution is an ungodly 2000+ x 1500+) images will show the problems.  It is not just that Novell / OpenSuse are bad or incompetent that are causing the problem.  They and all Linux distributions are in one way - they keep tying the language and the TZ together like they are same thing.  Parts of Spain are in the same TZ as France but even more importantly, language and TZ are two separate entities.  The problem is simply that Daylight Saving Time is much too complex.  Albert Einstein said every system should be made as simple as possible and no simpler.  Getting rid of Daylight Saving Time completely and putting the time zones back the way they were to standardize railroads and telegraph needs to be done to make the system as simple as possible and no simpler.  Trying to resolve two adjacent time zones by shifting the time in one TZ to match another is trying to make TZ too simple..  If some people want to shift things, then just shift the boundaries of the two TZ.  That includes those sections of Indiana and Illinois where there is a problem.  If there is a problem it is more of the boundary of where the Eastern and Central Time Zones boundaries is at that is causing the problem.  Stop doing it by state or political region and resolve it via a more practible means.


What Is Needed
A Referendum (?) Vote Of The People

   What we need is a grass-roots effort.  I looked it up and NoMoreDST.org is now available.  This needs to be the legal arm of this movement.  The movement needs to start in the United States and move outwards.  Do not expect any help from people in Congress.  I highly doubt new blood is going to help. The Tea Party is going to have the same sporting industrial complex headed by the golfers churning in millions of dollars for their election campaigns which will kill the effort to get rid of DST just like it is being done now. We need something that pushes it to a vote by the people by referendum.  That is correct people.  We need to get petition drives set up and a place to store said petitiions.  We need digitizers (scanners) and OCR to make all of this stuff available to the public.  We need people that are good web designers (that is not me).  We need a good attorney who is sympathetic who can create the petition.  We need people who are good in grass roots political activism.  They need to be able explain to people that they won't lose their extra hour in the summer.  It is just that it will be honest with people doing things earlier.  So write to me at hhhobbit gnat gmail.com and lets get the ball moving.  I especially need somebody who is good at web design and layout.  I wished that I was rich but I am not.  But unlike Shuttleworth and Ubuntu Linux (thinking of Gnome being replaced by Unity) this effort needs to maintain some semblance of order without radical departures from the main thrust.  There may be no big chief - just a few little Indians.  So write to me at hhhobbit gnat gmail.com and lets get the ball moving.  If nobody writes I interpret that as a lack of interest.
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Energy-Savings

Before I get started on this section I have one more statement to make about the Mayan calendars.  Neither the Tzolkin which is thirteen equal periods of twenty days each for 260 days, nor the the Haab which is composed of 18 equal periods of tweny days and an extra five days which are not part of any period (total of 365 days) are as accurate as the Gregorian.  if the Gregorian was allowed to go both forwards and backwards from 1582 when it was implemented it would not only be the most accurate calendar, but just as regular as the Haab with its extra five days or the Julian with a leap day every year that is evenly divisible by four.  The Gregorian just drops 3 out of the 4 century leap days that the Julian adds.

Calendar Accuracy
Program Representation
2012-01 Folder (download program)

At one time the United States had mainly incandescent bulbs.  The primary argument for selling DST was the energy savings due to one less hour of them being turned on.  In today's world with Compact Fluorescent lights, that is less of an issue than it once was:

Compact Fluorescent Lights

The most surprising thing to turn up was that we now have a side by side DST versus regular time to compare the two in this energy savings argument now.  Indiana has proved that DST causes more energy to be used, not less.  Here is what Joe Romm has found on the issue:

DST Wastes Energy

It seems Indiana farmers got tired of all the thrashing and that only 15 of the 92 Indiana counties were doing the DST hop dance.  But then Indiana shifted to everybody doing DST by mandating it in the state legislature.  What was the result?  They had to spend $8.6 million more in electric bills every year.  You may be tempted to say that is an exception.  Is it?  Here is what the highly respected Wall Street Journal says:

Wall Street Journal concurs - DST wastes energy

The Golf, Sporting, and other merchandising  people continue to cite an ancient study that DST saves energy.  With shifts of people to more Southern states, the increased energy use of air conditioning is playing more of a factor.  Back when DST was created many people didn't have air conditioning.  Now they do, and because of DST it runs an extra hour at night because people usually turn the AC off when they go to bed.  I am sure I have this link here some place else but it is the Huffington Post weighing in with a more general look at what the effects of DST are but they also mention that over-all DST probably does not save energy:

Huffington Post concurs - DST wastes energy

I have only one more point to make here.  If DST does cause us to use more non-renewable petroleum products and coal and every indication points that way then it is potentially causing an increase in global warming which causes us to use even more air-conditioning which means more coal is burned which leads to more global warming which ...  It gives us an ever downward spiral to more energy use, not less.  These long term effects that don't take global warming into account in earlier studies need to realize that it may be a factor.  Personally I am not all that sold on the cause of global warming.  I can remember the effects of Mount Saint-Helens eruption.  It caused so much snow to fall that it was finally just compacted down on minor streets in Salt Lake City.  In the spring they removed the compacted snow with front end loaders.  They also had an abrupt shift from cold to warm, causing the overflow pipes to no longer be able to contain the run-off and they directed the flow down the streets.  So what we do can possibly cause problems.  But I would say DST is more likely to contribute to warming and thus increased energy use for air conditioning in the long term.  No long term effects and factors have been analyzed in the energy saving issues.  In all future studies they must be looked at.  If we don't do that then we may be robbing Paul in the future with less energy savings to pay Peter with more energy savings now.

Even if DST did save energy and it seems it doesn't, again, by shifting to just doing things earlier we achieve the same results without using DST to achieve it.

If you ask me, heat management is the big factor here.  In southern Spain they manage that by having a lot of cave houses.  I have been in one such house built in the US, not in Spain.  The temperature is remarkably consistent, varying little from summer to winter.  In winter it is much warmer than an ordinary house.  In summer it is cool.  If you want to save energy, build a cave house.  If that isn't possible, then use more insulation.  You will use less energy in winter since you have housing that stays warmer.  In summer you use much less air conditionng.  More insulation will save much more energy than DST ever will save or has saved. So will shifting to renewable rersources like wind and solar to create electricity which in turn will create less CO2 gas that will futher reduce the need for cooling in the summer.  There are a lot of things that can be done to save energy but DST is not one of them.

In short, DST causes us to use more energy, rather than less energy.  Since energy savings is the main supporting argument for DST, once it is shown to be false it is time to just dump DST into the trash-can it came out of.  Let the congressional golfers schedule their government meetings earlier so that they can do their golfing longer and later but do it without DST.  Maybe they should do all their government stuff from home to save even more energy.  There is certainly a lof of hot air generated in those congressional meetings on the subject of DST.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Schedules

I have had I don't how many conversations wih people about TV schedules.  I can remember an earlier age where they would say 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central.  So that makes it 6 PM for Mountain and 5 PM for Pacific, right?  Wrong.  Here is where we get into a lot of problems.

I just went and shifted my History H2 channel from EST to MST in the browser on the computer.  Wonders of wonders and miracles of miracles, it is correct according to what Comcast provides.  But H2 which used to be the International History Channel has never had the problems the History Channel has.  So I shift to the History Channel with Comcast and it is showing "Hairy Bikers, Squirrel Stew".  No amount of shifting the time zone in the browser makes it line up.  How in the world are they going to get it right for DST when they don't get it right now.  There may be a possibility Comcast is airing later but I doubt it.

Since I am in the MST zone I should shift to it, right?  Wrong.  What I do is note the following for every channel.

1. How many feeds do the have?  Occasionally but very rarely would they have one for all four continental United States Time Zones.  Usually they have an Eastern feed at one UTC time and a Pacific feed at a UTC time that is three hours later which means the local time for both the east and west coast are the same.  Central usually gets the eastern feed which means it is one hour earlier in local time.  Mountain can get either Eastern in which case it is two hours earlier or Pacific which means it is an hour later. Some times they have only one feed.  In that case Central is an hour earlier than Eastern, Mountain is two hours earlier than Eastern, and Pacific is three hours earlier than Eastern in local time.  Occasionally, Central has its own feed.

2. You will note I studiously avoid mentioning the feeds in anything other than UTC time.  If you don't do that you foul up.   EST = UTC-5, CST = UTC-6, MST = UTC-7, and PST = UTC-8.  For DST you just subtract one less hour.

3.  Where the problem comes in for MST/MDT is Arizona and attempting to use local time because Arizona is always MST.  I can guarantee that well over half of the TV channels will never get Mountain time straight because of that.

4. Finally I just set it to which ever feed Mountain gets and do the adding and subtracting myself.  Except for the History and a few other channels that usually works, until we have a DST shift.  That usually fouls things up for a few days.

Fortunately, Comcast and other cable providers seem to get things straight.  But even maneuvering around 24 hours in advance is sometimes impossible.  So if you want to see what time Christmas programs come on you really need to use the browser.

Now we add to this already complex situation DST.  When I started off a long time ago I showed just complex that is in a previous blog entry I showed a picture how they have to do those transitions.  I have news people - they are special pages they have to put in place twice per year to handle.  Some never do get it handled.  They have my sympathy.  But more to the point it causes problems for me in knowing what is on when.  There are some Channels I do have mapped out but even now, some are mystery to me.  The History Channel (not H2) will never get it straight until DST is abolished.  They are not the only ones.

So what are airlines, buses, and trains using?  If they are smart they are using UTC time.  Again, using DST fouls them up no end.  A long time ago they were able to use the local times.  But the trains and plane especially probably just use UTC time to avoid collisions.  The avoidance of train collisions was what drove the decision for time zones in the first place on land.  It was always needed at sea for longitude.

There is no doubt in my mind that doing away with DST and having the channels work from the base of their UTC time feeds will finally bring an end to the madness of finding what is airing when.  We will never achieve consistent across the board TV schedules unless we get rid of DST!  Next, Energy Savings.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Circadian-Rhythms

Bookkeeping

You will note that I have been putting some of the files in this folder on the web server that is primarily dedicated to making blocking filters:
This folder has just been opened to the world.  It does need some cleaning up.  Basically it lets people see all the nuts and bolts that went into the making of those filters I created and I just used it for a parking point for the files that are used for this issue.  It has even led to my blocking cookie filter list being made a part of the Cookie Safe add-on for Firefox.  It is an optional portion of Cookie Safe.  My only question is, who would want these tracking cookies?  Now, does that mean people dedicated to doing away with DST have been given the boot?  No.  It just means they have been given their own folder that can be indexed into from the public folder which is just above it.  Here is where the NoMoreDST folder is at:
It does contain some things that are not in the blog.  Let me know if I have anything amiss.  I will have most of the files not at the top level but in sub-folders that are in year-month in numerics from now on.  I made it this way so if others have things of interest they can send them to me and I will add them into the folder.  This especially holds if it is something that gets rid of DST.

I did have a chuckle while cleaning up the links in the old blog entries.  The one for the bug in iPhone TZ (Time Zone) data-base for 2010 had disappeared.  So when I went to find another one, the iPhone had yet another new TZ database problem in 2011.  Here it is and maybe I better give them by date from now on to keep track of all of them:
If the people writing the TZ code at Apple can't get it right, then who can?  The people writing the code aren't stupid.  They may have a problem of thinking in local time instead of UTC time which make their lives more difficult but DST makes things infinitely more complicated than it should be.  I will say this over and over until we get the point through.  DST is way too complicated even for top tier computer scientists to write code to handle it.  Why do you think I use UTC time for my computers and everything else I can?  If you look in the folder you will see an entry for 2011-11 for my Opera Linux machine.  DST is too complicated, even for highly intelligent computer programmers!  If they can't handle it, then who can?  What got me started on this was the fact that Microsoft set the hardware clock for local time but Unix time systems use UTC time and the TZ database.  But every shift led to problems.


Circadian Rhythms

This blog is not dedicated to just random rambling.  In the near future I will be coming up with ideas where we can take this to the people.  What we want is some way of forcing a vote on the ballot to do away with DST.  On my part I have informed all the US Congresss people in my state about this blog.  I strongly urge others to do the same thing.  We are not going to get rid of Daylight Saving Time unless we have a grass roots effort.  Talk to your friends.  Talk to your families.  Just me writing a blog is not going to do it.  We need a ground swell movement until we get something sensible.

I finally boiled down the major cause of why there are so many suicides and health problems associated with two things.  The first is literally a loss of one hour of sleep.  People today are over-worked, under-paid, and tired!  Losing just one hour of sleep can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.  But that is just one part of it. The other part may be an even bigger problem.  DST is throwing our Circadian rhythm off twice each year.  Many studies have been done showing that people who have their work schedules constantly changing have lower life-time expectancy and far more health problems.  Here are some URLs that will hopefully get us started:
The reason this blog entry has been so long in coming is because I have had a hard time getting a good handle on the issue of the health issues that are connected to DST.  Latitude is easy to see.  Even if the issues of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity and Quantum Physics are easier (at least for me) to understand than this issue which is terribly complicated.  I will come back and write more later when I get what I feel is a fair look at the issues.  I think what is making DST even worse now than it was 40 years ago from a health stand-point is because we have much more pressure now.  The DST spring shift with a loss of just one hour of sleep is just too much for the human body to handle any more.
First, here is a major clearing house for the health effects of Daylight Saving Time:
Health Effects of DST - Index
Here is the Swedish study and despite all of it's negative information, Sweden does have DST and has had it since 1980.  Before then the earlier period they had it was 1916.
Swedish Study
Here is an abstract of its effects on male suicide and it is highly technical:
Spring DST Effect on male suicide rates
I think something needs to be said here.  Just because we shift to doing things an hour earlier in the spring does not mean that wouldn't also have an affect on suicidal rates.  It is quite likely it would.  The only way I see out of it is having a shift of 30 minutes around the first of April and then another 30 minutes the first of May.  Would it be confusing?  It probably would be confusing the first few times but it actually be less confusing than which direction to shift the clock.  But it is obvious the lack of sleep is what is causing much of the problem  Having it chopped into two half hour losses may be better.  There is nothing wrong with the change of doing things an hour later in the fall.
Here are the affects it has on myocardial infaction (heart attacks) as published in the New England Journal of Medicine:
Heart Attacks
Here again, it is that spring time loss of one hour but in a way that tries to fool you that causes the problem.  Again, splitting it up into two half hour losses may help considerably.
Here is a fairly clear ordinary summation of the problems as given by Carrie Mayes, a licensed Chiropractic:
DST Problem Summation
Here is what the LA Times has to say about this idiotic way of doing things:
LA Times - Effects of DST
With so much conclusive evidence that it has bad health effects, especially in the spring then why does the entire world use Daylight Saving Time?  The answer is not blowing in the wind.  It is no farther away than a Wiki article:
Who Uses DST
I have only two words to say to the people maintaining that page.  Good luck.  I have yet to not have at least 6-12 updates to my TZ database on Linux per year.  Now, Russia has permanently shifted forward but with so many time zones (seven?) it must have been madness trying to keep it all in sync.
All that you can really say here is that there are very definite bad health effects of DST on people.  I think what I would do if I was New Zealand is use UTC time at the South Pole.  Can we have less bad effects by just shifting when people do things?  There are two answers here but realize that it is the spring shift that causes the problems.  The first is that if the shift is an entire hour at least by shifting it an hour you aren't messing with Circadian Rhythm except in an honest and open way.  But by losing only half hour twice with the clock held the same I believe you can minimize the bad health effects considerably.  Without trying it for say a three year time span we will never know. Next, TV schedules which I have already touched on.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Latitude

Fortunately for all of us this is going to be a very short blog entry.  I must say though that every time I have turned around during the past few months I have had multiple time zone updates for my Linux / Unix type systems.  Since Time Zone updates are buried deep in the bowels of major updates for Windows systems they were also in them. You just do not see them but they cause problems for Microsoft as well.  But lets start off with the effects of latitude by asking a question, who can benefit from DST?  Surprisingly, unless your latitude lies within the range of 30 degrees to 45 degrees latitude North or South you just cannot benefit.  Why?  Well, if you are closer to the equator you just don't have that much difference between the daylight hours between the summer and winter solstices.  What you are trying to take advantage of is the fact that there are more minutes of daylight in the summer than there are in the winter, but not too many more minutes. You get these differences because the Earth's axis of rotation isn't vertical in relation to the sun but on a slant.  If you go farther away than 45 degrees of latitude away from the equator the differences between summer and winter minutes get abnormally large.  In fact they are so large you have a perpetual night in winter and if you only sleep when the sun is down in summer you aren't going to get enough sleep unless all you need is two to three hours per day.  But if you are in Miami the differences between the two just aren't that great.  Here is a starter URL:

 Solstices

I am not going to go out and find a cross section of the links of the effects of latitude on the number of daylight hours because almost all of them are wrong.  Just rest assured that the number of daylight seconds in Anchorage during the summer solstice is much greater than they are in Miami. You don't believe me?  Then look at this Mathematician's way of looking at it (and he is probably wrong on most of it because he didn't grasp the most salient point - the actual amount of seconds for day and night at any given day of the year at various latitudes):

Math-Daylight-Time

Note when all of this is going on and when the person wrote it. It is very close to the 23 September, the fall equinox.  Guess what?  There isn't much difference between the number of daylight seconds at any given latitude for either the fall or spring equinox.  They are very close to 43,200 seconds for both daylight and night hours when you are at an equinox no matter what latitude you are at.  Where the differences are the greatest are when you are near the summer or winter solstices. Okay, isn't there really something that will show me why I got only 6 hours of sleep at the end of June in Tok Junction, Alaska?  Will it also show me I would have got almost my required ten to twelve hours of sleep down at Key West at that same time of year during the night?  Well, yes there is something that will show it and it is graphical:

Affects-Of-Latitude-On_Daylight

Thank you University of Nebraska at Lincoln!  You have it correct!  You get an A not only for having it correct but by giving people a visual way of seeing how latitude affects things.  It enables you to see that the time shifts far more the farther you go away from the equinox by latitude.  You can actually see all of this by for example selecting either March 20 or September 23 and then varying the latitude.  If there is a difference  it is so minute most people don't see it.  Now select the day that DST ended in the US for the year 2010: 7 November.  Drag the latitude control from the southern tip of Florida to the Great Lakes area.  In the Keys at about 24.5 degrees North latitude you will have about 11 hours of daylight.  But in Duluth Minnesota at about 46.8 degrees you will have less than 9.6 hours of daylight.  There is definitely a difference of time for the two latitudes and it gets more pronounced both the farther you are away from the equator in latitude and the farther you are away from the equinoxes / closer you are to the solstices.

Safety:
That leads to some problems.  Children in Key West may safely go to and from school on 5 November since they will probably have ample daylight between sun up and when they go to school.  But children in Duluth, Seattle, and other places will have difficulty because usually when they are traveling to school it is sometimes actually dark.  In addition to the danger they face, precious energy is wasted because they are getting up too early so lights are turned on, and temperatures are raised.  What this is leading to is that there is no one size fits all.  What is appropriate in Key West is not appropriate in Northern states or closer to the equator.  In fact it is so bad that in most of Alaska and Hawaii things are so bad that DST just doesn't make sense any more due to latitude.  But even for northern states in the 48 contiguous states of the US it also does not make sense.  In fact it is so bad that one thing that those time zone updates for Linux are indicating is that DST is going to come to an end sooner in the year 2011 than it did in 2010 in the Pacific time zone and other places.  I have a better solution.  Just shift the clock to the standard time this fall when they do that and leave it there.  Drop DST and just shift to doing things a little earlier if it makes sense for your given latitude and temperature conditions.  The reason Arizona doesn't do DST has gone on for 40 plus years now and it is very simple.  They shut down during the middle of the day during the summer because it is just too hot to do anything.  It is this kind of common sense thinking that needs to be done and to do it DST has to be brought to an end.  I don't want little children being killed in Duluth MN, Bismarck ND, Great Falls MT, or Seattle WA just because of an inflexible time system called DST.  It is time to send DST to the scrap heap and allow these people to decide regionally when it makes sense to starting doing things an hour later or maybe even splitting it up into two shifts of 30 minutes each.  By that I mean they would shift from a start time of 08:00 to 08:30, and then 09:00 a few weeks or month after that. That would be in the fall.  In late spring it could go the other way. But you don't have to shift the clock to do it.  All you need to is to change the start times to earilier in the spring and shift them back later in the fall. For some states like Tennessee (low change in latitude) it probably can be done by state.  For states like California it could be done by locale.  Crescent City is at about 41.45 degrees northern latitude, San Francisco is at 37.45, and San Diego is at 32.43.  If you start looking at those differences on that interactive graph provided by the University of Nebraska you should be able to see you may need something different in all of those locales. You may want to do the time shift eariler / later at each latitude or maybe no shift at all.  But you should do it without using DST!  I am committed to doing away with this stupid insane nonsense called DST once and for all.  It may have got started with the claims of saving energy with incandescent bulbs but I am not the only person that has swapped out incandescent for fluorescent which I did twenty years ago.  The biggest way to save energy is simple - use more insulation.  That and fluorescent bulbs reduce your electrical needs considerably.  The people in the Andalusian area of Spain have saved energy by having lots of cave dwellings.  They are much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and use much less energy.  That is the kind of thinking we need more of.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hours Minuntes and Seconds of Time - Part 2

It is official.  In the United States on the 13th March 2011, the 02:00 will also be 03:00.  So if you have things that are set to local time that don't shift instantaneously from 02:00 to 03:00 you will have to do it yourself. In the past just making your time pieces spring forward an hour was enough.

I finally finished that humoungous NIST document on time.  Whew!  They even went through the concerns of whether or not time runs either forwards or backwards.  It seems that ever since the big bang and as the Universe has expanded entropy (randomness) has increased.  In fact it is the concern that if randomness could decrease that we could have been fooled and because of relativity that time could be going backwards.  Or it could even be that time could actually pulse backwards and forwards.  Then I confront this Darwin character who tells me that the Theory of Evolution does just that, that order comes out of chaos!  That makes me very suspicious that I should not accept Evolution.  Maybe the order was there from the beginning and still is.  I don't think Darwin gave the whole thing enough thought.  But then I doubt he knew all that much about Physics.

While doing other things and not even searching for something I run across this and at first thought it was just five things that would affect your health:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42030025/ns/today-today_health/

How they got five when I counted only four I don't know.  But it does show the problems that will be caused and that the time is upon us to yank the clock forward an hour, lose a precious hour of sleep, and have 02:00 instantaneously and mysteriously become 03:00.  Thanks goodness I do not have to worry about two programs at the same time since there will be no TV program from 02:00 to 03:00 since that hour doesn't even exist.  But the History Channel's on-line listing for MT will still be off and will be that forever.  I have no idea how they intend to resolve the Arizona versus the rest of MT zone issue, but my solution is simple - scrap DST!  Then the History Channel may finally get it correct but only if they finally calculate the local viewing time based on which of the two feeds given in UTC time that you get.  For the Universal Sports channel it is a little simpler. They have only one feed given in ET, so just subtract one hour in CT, two in MT, and three in PT. Okay, on to how we got hours, minutes, and seconds.

My avocation was to provide filters for people to protect them from
the abuses of the Internet:

http://www.SecureMecca.com
http://SecureMecca.BlogSpot.com

I regularly pulled down and studied dozens of malware files per week.  If I keep them (zipped with encryption naturally) there is an entry like this as one of the description lines to identify what it is:

Date:   2010-10-22 14:06   (35411)

This date corresponds with a file named WrongPopCorn.pdf.  Boy do they have the name right.  It is a PDF file where the malicious Javascript is obfuscated by coding / encryption.  It is designated by AV companies as being either a Trojan.Pidief or Exploit.JS.Pdfka.cuk.  Now you know why I backed up and looked into the year calendar problem.  You can also see that business calendar that was proposed by the US Congress has a problem.  What do I do for the timing if I pull down the sample on the end of year day between December 30 and January 1st?

Business-Calendar

The other one is the leap day, but on that one we already have a problem with a birth on February 29th.  Instead of some people celebrating their 92nd birthday it is only their 23rd.  That is the up side.  The down side is that they have to wait 72 years for their 18th birth date so they have the right to vote. For me the answer is simple:

Date:   2010/2011 15:33

So there is a way out of it. Similarly, I can also handle the leap day with:

Date:   2012-(06-30)/(07-01) 02:23

I am not going to get into how to identify a file pulled down at 02:27 local time on 7 Nov 2010 and another one almost an hour later at 02:22 on the same year month, and day. Why not?  Because I use UTC time on my computers.  It is the ONLY way to fly for an IT person if they have a choice.  DST just causes way too many problems, especially if you have Linux and Microsoft Windows on the same machine.  Linux makes the internal clock time UTC and calculates your local time based on how you set your TZ variable.  Microsoft makes the internal clock in local time.  You will never get the two to ever agree.  Microsoft did it wrong just like the History channel has it wrong.  Specify it in UTC time as long as possible performing the conversion to local time at the last instant.

Several years back I watched a humorous episode of Northern Exposure where Maurice J. Minnifield purchased an ancient German clock for a huge amount of money.  Holling Vincoeur and Shelly Marie Tambo come by to see the marvelous clock only to point out that it is at least one hour out of time according to their inexpensive wrist watches that probably lose or gain no more than a few seconds at best or just a few minutes at worst every year unless the battery dies. Maurice has to put up with his clicking lemon but it does illustrate just how bad older chronographs were.

Then how did people handle this way back when?  They used the sun!  The sun came up, they got up or at least closed their shutters if they wanted to sleep more.  Most people didn't have clocks until the end of the late 19th or early 20th centuries.  Only the rich had them and for most people it was much later than the development of the first accurate mechanical clock by Huygens.

Pendulum-Clock

Actually.  most of Tennessee didn't have electrification until the mid 20th century with the Corp of Engineers TVA project which was instrumental in the making of the nuclear bomb during World War II.  The amount of energy expended in extracting the right isotope of Uranium for the bombs used more electric power than almost all other uses of electric power in the United States combined.  So if DST was meant to minimize the use of electrical power the solution is simple.  Stop making nuclear bombs!

Now here comes the first myth.  I keep reading idiots who say that Benjamin Franklin proposed DST.  He did no such thing!  He observed Parisians burning candles until late in the night, snd then closing their shutters in the morning to sleep longer.  So he humorously suggested the passing of a law that shutters should be taxed and candles rationed.  He also suggested that cannons be fired at first ight in the morning as a sort of communal alarm clock that would shift a few seconds or minutes plus seconds each day. But Franklin couldn't possbily have suggested DST because nobody had any accurate time pieces. There were no time zone standards and much of the other work that needed to be done to even consider time zones wasn't done until more than a century after his death. Franklin did some work on discovering what electricity was but it took almost 50 more years before the work of Faraday in understanding electricity and magnetism took place.  It took another 50 plus years before James Clerk Maxwell created his unifying theory of electricity and magnetism along with his famous equations. After that came the telegraph. Another 25 plus years and we have Nikola Tesla who gave us the AC current we use today.  DC is fine locally but it just can't be used any time the distance exceeds 5+ miles.

So what brought about the accurate time pieces we take for granted today?  A disaster involving the loss of many seamen by the Britsh Navy although the French also made earlier efforts:

History-Of-Longitude
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitude_Act_1714

John Harrison was the brilliant man who stepped up to the almost impossible task of creating a mechanical chronometer to measure the longitude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harrison

Basically a mechanical chronometer or later a Cesium based chronometer are nothing more than extremely accurate time pieces.  But if you read that long NIST document you eventually understand that if you have a fixed rate of either velocity or starting velocity plus acceleration then distance traveled which is the known can be used to measure time elapsed. But it also correlates to the angular rotation of the earth where the distances aren't fixed because the distance traveled to move fifteen degrees at the equator is far more than it is near the poles.  But degrees of rotation can be used to calculate the time and given the latitude and knowledge of the mean radius of the earth distance traveled as well.

Dava Sobel wrote a book about the effort that was turned into a joint BBC and Arts and Entertainment series to dramatize the effort, comprising mainly the work that John Harrison did. Some have compared what Harrison did with an analogy of somebody coming up today and saying I have created a car that gets a thousand kilometers on a measley 4 liters of petrol.  The accuracy of his chronometers was just too good to believe.

Longitude-Book

This is all fine and well but how does that align with normal people do things?  Did Benjamin Franklin have a good watch?  I doubt it.  He probably had a clock which was not very reliable.  I doubt that they could count on them.  The lubricants they had were awful, frequently gumming up and sometimes even turning completely solid within less than one to two years. John Harrison got around that problem by using a wood named lignum vitae to reduce the friction and then invented what is called the grasshopper escapement which reduced the friction of the regulator movement almost to zero.  Harrison also found a way to fight the effects of heat and cold in a pendulum clock by creating the gridiorn pendulum which used alternating brass and iron rods to have the effects of cold and heat to cancel out due to the nature of the different properties of the two metals.

Eventually, what Harrison created spread widedly, was copied and eventually less expensive mechanical chronometers were created.  But people still used the lunar method on land to calculate the longitude even well into the 19th century.  What drove the change for the wider spread use of accurate chronometers was first the needs of seamen to find their longitude to prevent disasters.  It was further enhanced by a need for synchronizing railroads in the 19th century so that multiple locomotives could share the railroad lines and avoid collisions.  Even in the early 20th century the Trans-Siberian railway which was created consisted of just one ribbon of two rails where one train going the opposite direction of another had to go off on a siding to allow another train going the opposite direction to pass. It was critical to have accurate time with telegraph and then telephone to avoid collisions.  But finally it was the industrialization that hastened the adoption of time keepers and schedules and the abandoning of when the sun is x amount of degrees up from either east or west, please show up.  Time zones were finally created, primarily for railroads in the United States and Russia to give some standardization to time.  Time zones were not needed in England and most of western Europe which was just set as one hour later than it was in England. But time zones were needed in India and throughout the rest of the British empire, the United States, the rest of Europe, and Russia.

The needs of the navies and the railroads finally led to the creation of the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and standardized time zones in the late 19th Century:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Mean_Time

DST was first implemented during World War I as an energy saving measure.  It was dropped almost immediately.  It should be obvious that World War II was what drove the US military to adopt Zulu time (GMT) as their standard time. It finally all led up with the invention of the Cesium atomic clock to create the replacement of GMT time with what we use today, UTC time which is now the standard:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinated_Universal_Time

Actually, the UTC acronym is a French designation which seems to be lost.  I think it was Universale Time Coordinaire.  Okay, what is going on here?  At the start we have seamen dying because of inaccurate chronometers (clocks / watches) who didn't know their correct longitude.  Before they had accurate chronometers seamen had to estimate their longitude solely by dead reckoning.  If they reckoned wrong, they frequently ended up dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Reckoning

At the end we have Maurice Minnifield finding out just how far people had progressed in creating more accurate chronometers in just a few hundred years. An inexpensive wrist watch costing less than $15 beat out his expensive multi-thousand dollar German clock that wasn't more than 250 years old.

But we also have this monster called Daylight Saving Time smashing forward an entire hour every spring and yanking it back another hour every fall.  It is worse than that.  In America there is one hour on one day in spring that no longer exists:  02:00 ... 03:00. In the fall we have one hour repeated twice: 02:00 ... 03:00. In the fall we have one hour repeated twice: 01:00 ... 02:00. Why do that? Here the brains behind this time business have worked for centuries to the point you can frequently find your longitude by just using the GPS capabilities stuffed into your cell phone (using UTC time, not local time).  But we also have these idiots in the Congress of the United States and various other legal bodies in other countries around the world that pass this insane nonsense called DST with no thought for the problems it causes just to satisfy the retailing lobby.  The biggest part of that lobbying effort that accrues the greatest benefits are the petro-chemical and sporting industies. At the very apex is the Golf industry.  We have this thrashing and destroying of the carefully crafted time by some people just so they can increase their profits up to a whopping extra 50% for the golf industry by using DST to achieve it.  Talk about the tail wagging the dog!  And to prove the point that it is bipartisan, Senators Hatch and Kennedy argued with each other non-stop all day only to join each other on the golf course at the end of the day.  I don't mind them loving golf. But I KNOW this thrashing of the time clock MUST come to an end! Tell Senator Hatch to play his extra round of golf at the time it is really at, 8:00 PM rather than 7:00 PM (for me 20:00 local time).  If they want to make it any longer just be honest and schedule congressional meetings an hour earlier from spring through fall.

Here are some extra links on time:

http://www.nist.gov/pml/div688/faq.cfm
http://www.nist.gov/pml/div688/leapseconds.cfm
http://zapatopi.net/metrictime/

With metric time we have 24 hours per day versus 10 hours per day versus 30 which seems to be rather inconsistent.  Ten is definitely not enough.  Some of the time even 24 hours is not enough and we have some rather strange time zones at various places in the world.  Thirty may be even more appropriate measuring 12 degrees of longitude rather than 15 degrees with our current 24 hour days.

The main thing to remember is that compared to DST, there is a lot of very deep thinking going into measuring hours, minutes, and seconds extending all the way into the Theory of Relativity for the large (the cosmos) on down to Quantum Mechanics for the small (the atom and sub-atomic particles).  Compared to all of this deep thinking about time the thrashing around of Daylight Saving Time would be comical if it were not for the problems it causes.  But it is quite a contrast that highly skilled technical people have made great efforts to make time measurement better and better over hundreds of years.  But now we have Daylight Saving Time that is throwing a monkey wrench into the works.

Whew!  I am glad we got this out of the way.  Next we look at the safety issues and the effects of latitude.  What this is all leading up to is to say goodbye to DST and start with voluntarily doing things earlier that takes into account things like latitude and other things.