Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fateful Fall Fiasco

Reset your Clocks
Well, the day has arrived for me except for GandalfTW that I am typing this on and Sauron who is experiencing a hiatus of sorts.  At 02:00 in the United States, reset your time back an hour to repeat the 01:00 to 02:00 hour a second time in the wee hours of the 7th of November, 2010.

Sauron is taking a rest to get some new feet on him for him to keep his cool but both of them are blissfully set to UTC time for Windows, Linux and BSD.  Most of you in the United States or Canada will be repeating the hour of 01:00 to 02:00 twice, but when it comes to when and how things move in DST it is a lot more complex than that!  There is no mention of the extra hour on one of my two PBS stations. But the other one has it in a rather strange fashion (click on the picture to enlarge it):

I don't know what to make of it. It shows the hour twice, but the first one which is the standard Austin City Limits shows a start time of 12:07 AM and the second one a start time of 1:05 AM. The second on-line PBS channel schedule ignores it altogether.  I don't know if that means Astrospies will be shown twice, whether they will have a filler and it doesn't show, or the rest of the schedule is out of line in some way. Such is the fiasco of DST in the new modern age.  The Internet is one of the biggest drives of showing the weaknesses of the DST way of doing things. In simpler times with less global communications DST may have sort of worked but in the modern era the flaws of DST should be readily apparent to everybody. Here, let me look at what Comcast provides with their menu schedule.  At least they have the History schedule correct.  Until DST bites the dust and the History channel shifts their way of computing the local time based off which feed you have based in UTC time they will never get it straight! For mountain time zone users select Pacific and add one hour except in Arizona in the summer. Comcast makes it a little clearer:

12:00 ... 01:00 Rosemary and Thyme
01:00 ... 02:00 NOVA - Astrospies
01:00 ... 02:00 Antiques Roadshow
02:00 ... 03:00 Lords of the Gourd

So the program I want to record in the morning is the first 01:00 ... 02:00 that is the DST hour. On that subject I list everything in 24 hour time. Just keep in mind for two twelve hour time periods that 12:00 PM is noon and 12:00 PM is midnight.  Or is it vice-versa?  Let the Wikipedia 12 hour time experts sort that one out:

12 Hour Clock

If you ask me, in addition to eliminating this clock thrashing, everybody in the world should standardize on a 24 hour clock.  The article also points out that frequently we end up with confusion due to the time in Internet forums. That just makes a good argument for or all things involving computers, do everything in UTC 24 hour time if you can help it.  Try it!  You will like it! Do we have this all sorted out?  No, because in the southern hemisphere they were (are?) jerking the time forward while in the northern hemisphere they are falling back. But surely they have it all straightened out now don't they?

iPhone DST bug (AGAIN)!

The one I originally put in the blog was for 2010 and it has disappeared.  But when I went to find a link for it in Google I found they have the same problem again in the year 2011.  Will the problem ever disappear?  Yes if we send to DST to the scrap heap.  No if we continue trying to use such an insane system as DST!  If the DST system is so simple, then why is the most modern device we have, the iPhone, experiencing problems?  I have news for you. Apple developers are a lot smarter than the now Republican controlled United States House of Representatives is and Apple still fouled up!  But having Republicans back in control in the US Congress does not bode well for reform.  Too many of them play golf. The people in favor of this clock thrashing are the retailers and most notably the sporting retailers and the apex of those thinking DST is a good thing is the golfing industry.  I hope some of the new Republicans are like the Republican who slept in his office, showered at the congressional athletic club and used the money he saved by not having a fancy town-house to finance his son's college education. Who thought what this Republican representative was doing was a bad idea?  The speaker of the House, Tom Foley, a Democrat. What we need are more creative people that can see we must come up with a better way of doing things! So don't let up people.  We need to get this standard time only way of doing things back on track.  I am going to digress in the next post and give a time keeping 101 so you know what that standardized time is.

A Better Way

What is the better alternative?  Put the clocks back to a standard time and leave them there.  The various national legislative bodies need to pass legislation that encourages but does not mandate when they shift to doing things earlier but tells them to probably do it in two separate time shifts of 30 minutes about three to four weeks apart in the spring.  You do that by showing up to work at 08:00, then 07:30, then finally 07:00. That may get rid of the spring suicides, accidents and other health problems caused by a too rapid shift forward in doing things.  Some may whine, that won't work. You will never know whether it works or not until you try it.  Nobody has tried it yet! But why should congress mandate when these shifts forward in doing things takes place?  Florida doesn't have that much extra daylight in the summer than the winter but Minnesota does.  Let the locale determine if and when to make these time shifts. The reason Arizona said it is dumb is two-fold.  First their summers are so blistering hot that they have a mid-day shut down of sorts in summer.  They work in the morning, do a siesta during the mid-day hours when it is too hot, then work again in the late afternoon, especially when they work outside.  I should know because I used to work in Arizona.  You only work all day long in the summer if you are up in the mountains like in Flagstaff or a place like that.  Second, shifting the clock forward and then backward really is a dumb idea!  Arizonans must be blessed with more intelligence because they saw that. For Alaskans it was a stupid idea anyway. If you only sleep at night you will be getting less than 3-4 hours of sleep during the summer in most places. Hawaiians just don't benefit from DST since like Florida but even more so they have almost no difference in the number of hours in summer or winter.  If you do not believe me start Google Earth and fly to Hilo, Hawaii. The latitude is only 19 degrees, 43' 47" North.  That is amazing detail!  "The times, they are a changing."

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