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Wake up to the 'daylight-saving' bug

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Hum    6,933

This year, daylight saving is starting early--a change that could cause Y2K-like headaches for IT professionals, and even for consumers.

Congress decided in 2005 to extend the period of daylight-saving time by three weeks in spring and one in the fall, reasoning that providing more daylight in the early evening would reduce energy use. However, the shift could cause trouble with software set to automatically advance its clock by an hour on the old date, the first Sunday in April, and not on the new date, the second Sunday in March.

"There has been a great deal of speculation of what the impact could be," said M3 Sweatt, chief of staff of Microsoft's customer service team. "For most people, the most apparent issue is that meetings and reminders may appear to be off by one hour."

But Microsoft may be downplaying the risk. Some say those companies that don't pay full attention to the issue are in for a rude awakening.

"We've been aware of the DST changes since late last year. But the tools and patches keep changing, or weren't available, which made it difficult to create a solid plan," said Warren Byle, a systems engineer at an insurance company. "This change might go smoothly for those who are prepared, but I think it will be the 'Y2K that wasn't' for the rest."

The move could impact time-sensitive applications other than calendaring, such as those that process sales orders or keep track of time cards. Gartner, for example, says the bug could lead to incorrect arrival and departure times in the travel industry and result in errors in bank transactions, causing late payments. In addition, trading applications might execute purchases and sales at the wrong time, and cell phone-billing software could charge peak rates at off-peak hours.

On top of that, the effect is expected to be felt around the world: Canada and Bermuda are conforming to the U.S.-mandated change, and time zone shifts have happened in other locales as well.

"It doesn't have to be Y2K to spell trouble for companies and governments," Phil Bond, chief executive of the Information Technology Association of America, said in a statement. "Organizations could face significant losses if they are not prepared."

Microsoft and other software makers have created patches to make their products ready for the switch and have filled Web pages with tips for customers. IT pros and consumers alike have to apply those updates. Otherwise, they will have to deal with electronic clocks that may be off by an hour, for three weeks starting March 11 and again for a week in the fall, when they go back on November 4 instead of October 28.

Dealing with the patches should be straightforward for most consumers. Microsoft released a daylight-saving fix for Windows XP Service Pack 2 on Tuesday, and it is pushing the patch out through the Automatic Updates feature in the operating system. An update is also available for Windows-based cell phones. However, the recently launched Windows Vista doesn't need a patch.

source

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MasterC    10

Why didn't they think about all this before they changed the dumb thing?!?

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Tokar    0
Why didn't they think about all this before they changed the dumb thing?!?

Do you actually expect George Bush to see this ahead of time? I dont even think he is aware that the "any" key doesnt exist.

And Congress...jeez dont get me started with them. If they couldnt realize this minor issue after all that hubbub about Y2K, how do you expect them to see clearly on Net Neutrality?

When it affects them personally, like when their computer reads a different time than expected, which causes them to be late for a meeting or something, then you will see Congress take action.

When they cant get their child porn or their Yahoo!/AOL chat with pre-teen children because of the lack of Net Neutrality, then they will take action.

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+GoodbyeNeowin    1,287
Do you actually expect George Bush to see this ahead of time? I dont even think he is aware that the "any" key doesnt exist.

And Congress...jeez dont get me started with them. If they couldnt realize this minor issue after all that hubbub about Y2K, how do you expect them to see clearly on Net Neutrality?

When it affects them personally, like when their computer reads a different time than expected, which causes them to be late for a meeting or something, then you will see Congress take action.

When they cant get their child porn or their Yahoo!/AOL chat with pre-teen children because of the lack of Net Neutrality, then they will take action.

I love how you are so ignorant as to blame one person, when it is the entire Congress... This whole country is run by idiots, and no matter what an idiot will be elected on both sides because our citizens are idiots. They choose to stick to one side because "oooh, I'm a Democrat so I have to vote for them" or "I'm a republican, I gotta vote for them". We all know that Congress and the rest of the polititicians are only in it for themselves. They don't care for the companies or the citizens, except for their vote.

EDIT: Also, I highly doubt many of them know how complicated technology is. I am sure they think it is like "magic" like I used to when I was little.

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struct    0

I'm in IT and I'm not moaning. Extending DST by a few weeks should not be an issue for most companies to handle.

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kombolcha    11
I'm in IT and I'm not moaning. Extending DST by a few weeks should not be an issue for most companies to handle.

nope, wasn't hard at all.

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musicman    4
Do you actually expect George Bush to see this ahead of time? I dont even think he is aware that the "any" key doesnt exist.

And Congress...jeez dont get me started with them. If they couldnt realize this minor issue after all that hubbub about Y2K, how do you expect them to see clearly on Net Neutrality?

When it affects them personally, like when their computer reads a different time than expected, which causes them to be late for a meeting or something, then you will see Congress take action.

When they cant get their child porn or their Yahoo!/AOL chat with pre-teen children because of the lack of Net Neutrality, then they will take action.

Yeah, let's blame every little thing on President Bush. You do realize that not every idea for a law, mandate, etc doesn't actually come from the President don't you?

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Danrarbc    1
Yeah, let's blame every little thing on President Bush. You do realize that not every idea for a law, mandate, etc doesn't actually come from the President don't you?

Not to mention this isn't really a terrible thing in the first place. So IT mangers will have to install a 200KB patch to fix systems, big deal.

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+Zag L.    724

Actually it isn't just as easy as installing a 200KB patch. The update from Microsoft doesn't run on anyting less than WinXP SP2. That means WinXP SP1 (or less) is out. Also Windows Server 2000 is left in the cold. There are 47 Server 2000 boxes in our forest. Same with Windows 98. Now before you all jump up and down about Windows 98, we are running about 200 '98 boxes that run Cirtix Applications. While the DST changes on those boxes aren't that big of a deal, it could have been.

Also SCO/UNIX boxes are having problems testing potential fixes. And before anyone jumps up and down about running SCO/UNIX, we don't have a choice. Our legacy business application runs in that environment and while we are moving off that platform, we are still about 12 months away from pulling the plug.

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Tokar    0
Yeah, let's blame every little thing on President Bush. You do realize that not every idea for a law, mandate, etc doesn't actually come from the President don't you?

President Bush is the one who signed the energy bill into action...he has the ability to veto it.

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libertas83    153

Well maybe Congress and the President expected people to do their jobs and obey the laws. The IT industry has had 2 years to get computers ready for the change. The responsibility lays with us in the industry to follow through what is mandated by the government just like any other regulation that is passed.

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struct    0
Actually it isn't just as easy as installing a 200KB patch. The update from Microsoft doesn't run on anyting less than WinXP SP2. That means WinXP SP1 (or less) is out. Also Windows Server 2000 is left in the cold. There are 47 Server 2000 boxes in our forest. Same with Windows 98. Now before you all jump up and down about Windows 98, we are running about 200 '98 boxes that run Cirtix Applications. While the DST changes on those boxes aren't that big of a deal, it could have been.

There are unofficial patches for those not officially supported. See here in the Freeware section: http://www.intelliadmin.com/Daylight%20Sav...%20Download.asp

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+mrbester    195
Well maybe Congress and the President expected people to do their jobs and obey the laws. The IT industry has had 2 years to get computers ready for the change. The responsibility lays with us in the industry to follow through what is mandated by the government just like any other regulation that is passed.

Except that this affects ouside the US as well. If it was just localised it wouldn't matter as much.

Congress decided in 2005 to extend the period of daylight-saving time by three weeks in spring and one in the fall, reasoning that providing more daylight in the early evening would reduce energy use

The usual retarded argument. Is there somehow more daylight just because the time is different? If you don't need to switch the light on in the early evening because you've moved the hour, what happens in the morning? That's right, YOU NEED TO SWITCH THE LIGHT ON.

FFS. People this dumb should be sterilised so they don't pollute the gene pool. They certainly shouldn't be allowed positions of power.

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Long    3
The usual retarded argument. Is there somehow more daylight just because the time is different?

Actually, yes. In summer, the earth is tilted towards the sun so you get more sunlight exposure during the day.

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I am Reid    45
The usual retarded argument. Is there somehow more daylight just because the time is different? If you don't need to switch the light on in the early evening because you've moved the hour, what happens in the morning? That's right, YOU NEED TO SWITCH THE LIGHT ON.

FFS. People this dumb should be sterilised so they don't pollute the gene pool. They certainly shouldn't be allowed positions of power.

im guessing you are 14 years old, max.

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Andareed    0
Except that this affects ouside the US as well. If it was just localised it wouldn't matter as much.

The usual retarded argument. Is there somehow more daylight just because the time is different? If you don't need to switch the light on in the early evening because you've moved the hour, what happens in the morning? That's right, YOU NEED TO SWITCH THE LIGHT ON.

FFS. People this dumb should be sterilised so they don't pollute the gene pool. They certainly shouldn't be allowed positions of power.

The sun usually rises before a lot of people wake up, so you're "wasting" daylight while people could be sleeping that you could be using in the evening.

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Fred Derf    217

Don't forget that if you live on the western edge of your time zone then you get daylight 59 minutes off from when a person on the eastern edge of your same time zone gets it.

DST makes a lot of sense for some places but less so for others. In real life we aren't all magically in the centre of our timezones.

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tomwarren    68
Not to mention this isn't really a terrible thing in the first place. So IT mangers will have to install a 200KB patch to fix systems, big deal.

Erm there's a lot more involved than just a 200K patch. Think of all the trading systems that run independently of Windows time, Java, Blackberry and so on. All of these products need updating. It's a huge task for a bit organisation

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Allan    33

Does this impact Canada ???

**EDIT**

According to National Research Council (http://www.nrc.gc.ca) that runs Canada's National Clocks (change your Windows time.nst.gov to time.nrc.ca)

Daylight Saving Time and Secure NTP service from NRC

This is just a reminder to NRC's secure NTP clients that a new period of Daylight Saving Time will be in effect, starting in 2007 on March 11 and continuing until November 4.

Canadian provinces that generally use DST have all adopted this change (see URLs below).

NTP only deals with maintaining your computer's reference time as UTC (i.e. the modern replacement for Greenwich mean time). Accurate UTC is available to be used by the computer for internal timestamps. The conversion to local time, including switches to and from DST, is generally handled by the computer's operating system. A few applications (such as Java) independently handle the conversion from UTC to local time.

If the conversion to local time is an important part of your operations, you may wish to check that appropriate patches for your computers' operating systems and applications have been installed. With the appropriate patches installed, the earlier change to DST will be a transparent changeover.

For operating systems that are no longer officially supported, you may find helpful tools and advice on the internet about updating your computers' operating systems and applications for the changes to DST.

If appropriate DST patches are not available or are not installed, the extra period of DST may be handled by manually resetting the time zone preference of the computer. For time-stamps recorded as UTC, this manual change would alter the reported time of already-time-stamped files, so users may need to be alerted to the fact that timestamps recorded for files before March 11 as Standard Time would be reported by the computer as Daylight Time after March 11.

Ontario

Search http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/ for Time Act - O. Reg. 111/06

Time Act

ONTARIO REGULATION 111/06 No Amendments

VARIATION OF TIME IN EFFECT

Time in effect

1. The time in effect, as fixed by subsection 2 (4) of the Act, is varied so that,

(a) daylight saving time shall be in effect during the period between 2 a.m. standard time on the second Sunday in March and 2 a.m. daylight saving time on the first Sunday in November; and

(b) standard time shall be in effect during the rest of the year. O. Reg. 111/06, s. 1.

2. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Regulation). O. Reg. 111/06, s. 2.

SOURCE: NRC.ca

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+mrbester    195
Actually, yes. In summer, the earth is tilted towards the sun so you get more sunlight exposure during the day.

Well spotted. Have a cookie. No, wait, I'm taking it back because the australis summer has the earth tilted away.

We also aren't talking about the diurnal period at the zenith of the analemma, but the nadir. It could be argued that as the amount of sun during the height of summer guarantees that all the working day will be in daylight (from about 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.) DST shouldn't apply then. It's only around the equinoxes that this perceived problem "exists".

The sun usually rises before a lot of people wake up, so you're "wasting" daylight while people could be sleeping that you could be using in the evening.

Lucky them. Those who work in IT tend to have more inconvenient hours. As part of the "You know you work in IT when..." list there was the memorable: "you get to work and leave work when it is dark, even in summer". Been there done that. I only saw the sun at weekends and holiday (when it normally rained) apart from out of a window.

In UK in midwinter the sun doesn't rise until gone 8 a.m., which is a little late to be waking up if you're supposed to be in the office by 9...

Also, at the other end of the year, Mr Scrooge, you have "wasted" daylight when people have finished work that you could be using in the morning. After all, we're such diurnal creatures we can't cope with a bit of crepuscule.

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