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United States Government Politics

Daylight Savings Change Proposed 1392

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the time-to-patch-some-code dept.
AveryRegier writes "CNN is reporting that Congress has added an amendment to the Energy Bill to extend daylight-savings time by two months. They expect to "save the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil a day." How long it would take for the associated energy savings to overcome the cost to make, test, and deploy the necessary code changes? How would the cost of this change compare with Y2K? Does most date routines' reliance on GMT make this just an issue of presenting the right time to the user?"
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Daylight Savings Change Proposed

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  • Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#12167403) Homepage Journal
    How would the cost of this change compare with Y2K?

    It has been speculated, and fairly so IMHO, that Y2K was what initially drove the .com bubble. While I certainly wouldn't discount releases of many previously classified technologies and growth of the internet, there was a consider amount of capital put into hardware and software upgrades in the mid-to-late nineties.

    Imagine what kind of capital would be required to change DST behavior on govt computers alone. We could probably convert CO2 and H2O back into hydrocarbons cheaper.

    CSC, Accenture, EDS, et al are probably salivating at the thought of such a passage of law.

    • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lgw (121541) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:20PM (#12167569) Journal
      Y2K drove the dot com bubble indirectly: the Fed loosened the money supply when it would ordinarily have been tightening, in order to give companies easy access to capital in case Y2K became a crisis. When Y2K passed uneventfully, the easy acces to capital became a different sort of crisis. IMO it was a risk worth taking, as the dot com bubble only destroyed my bank account, but Y2K seemed poised to destroy my ability to bank.
      • by Thud457 (234763) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:28PM (#12167719) Homepage Journal
        If. I. ever meet Ben Fucking Franklin, I WILL KICK HIS ASS!!!!
      • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:35PM (#12167837) Homepage Journal
        Y2K drove the dot com bubble indirectly: the Fed loosened the money supply when it would ordinarily have been tightening, in order to give companies easy access to capital in case Y2K became a crisis. When Y2K passed uneventfully, the easy acces to capital became a different sort of crisis. IMO it was a risk worth taking, as the dot com bubble only destroyed my bank account, but Y2K seemed poised to destroy my ability to bank

        The Fed did loosen the money supply, but they did also post 9/11, and it's still ultra inexpensive to borrow, but companies aren't because they lack faith that they'll be able to pay back loans based upon exected revenue forecasts (geez, I'm a geek, why do I know this stuff?, oh, right, I love econ :) anyway, fear of Y2K drove spending, because fear of being stranded was more compelling than fear they couldn't pay back any loans.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:45PM (#12167971)
        The thing that pisses me off is people going "oh, Y2K, nothing freaking happened.". Nothing freaking happened BECAUSE people like me spent a year poring over 20-year-old code in minute detail and at great expense! To consider all that expenditure a "waste of money" because "nothing happened" really pisses me off, like saying "what's the point of paying for seatbelts, when I was driving and dinked that lampost wearing one, I didn't even get a concussion!"

        • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Informative)

          by el-spectre (668104) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:56PM (#12168130) Journal
          I wish I had a link, but I recall that the DoD did an experiment for y2k. They used the software fix as an opportunity to replace some only mainframes with newer hardware and software. Then they let these 3 old machines run through the end of the year, unpatched.

          Yup, all 3 failed within seconds.
          • Re:Creating a Boom? (Score:5, Informative)

            by LordPixie (780943) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:00PM (#12168988) Journal
            I wish I had a link,

            I sense a need for my Mad Googling Skills. LordPixie, to the rescue !!

            After wasting the last 15 minutes of my life. (OK. Fine. My employer's time/money.) I have determined that this little story is not apocryphal bullshit !

            For example, see this [garynorth.com] little site. It not only covers the anecdote you mentioned, but also includes a link to a (now defunct) CNN article. Further references can be found by simply googling for Koskinen "three computers" [google.com].

            I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that LordPixie usually charges for the services of his Madcap Googling Skills. This time was free. =)


            --LordPixie
    • by jeff4747 (256583) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:32PM (#12167780)
      Imagine what kind of capital would be required to change DST behavior on govt computers alone.

      I submit that the vast number of programs out there are going to rely on the OS for TZ information, instead of trying to calculate DST themselves. Especially given the patchwork nature of DST in the US.

      So, 1 OS update later, and most programs will 'just work' with a longer DST. (Yes, some highly specialized programs will need updating)

      • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:41PM (#12167929) Homepage Journal
        I submit that the vast number of programs out there are going to rely on the OS for TZ information, instead of trying to calculate DST themselves. Especially given the patchwork nature of DST in the US.

        OS will likely account for much of it, but every damn computer will have to be thoroughly checked to be sure. You know how it is, right?

        I once worked in the logistics industry (fancy name for transportation of goods anywhere on a schedule) and we had huge tables of locations and had to indicate whether they were or were not subject to DST. IIRC Indiana has some bizarreness, where Arizona uniformly doesn't do DST. It's an example and I don't know how many others in transportation, telecommunications, etc would have similar concerns. But they have to first be certain whether they will or will not be affected then test the patch, so it's still a bit Y2K-like.

    • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:46PM (#12168001)
      It has been speculated, and fairly so IMHO, that Y2K was what initially drove the .com bubble.

      ...because it couldn't possibly have been the Internet.

    • by dsginter (104154) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:51PM (#12168055)
      An Economical Project [webexhibits.org]

      Definitely not a new idea.
  • by sachmet (10423) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#12167409)
    Here's a PDF of the amendment [house.gov], as agreed, from the house.gov page on the session yesterday [house.gov]. Realistically, if it'll make that big of an impact, why not make Daylight Savings Time a year-round proposal? If this amendment is passed by the House, we will have a period of a little over 3 months annually (Dec, Jan, Feb) in which DST is not in effect. That seems ridiculous. Not to mention that if DST becomes year-round, the change in software becomes a static offset to GMT as opposed to figuring out when the annual switch days are. Even Windows allows you to set a time zone that ignores DST, so a company in permanent CDT would only need set their time zone to EST and not worry about changing the clocks again.
    • by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:14PM (#12167454) Homepage
      actually that happened during WWII - it was called 'war time' and lasted for the duration, from 3 Feb 1942 to 30 Sep 1945

    • by atteSmythe (874236) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:16PM (#12167495)
      I've long felt that this should be the case. The modern workday favors it. Honestly, who cares if it's a bit darker when you go to work. When you go home, wouldn't it be nice to have it be light outside?

      There's so much talk about SAD (seasonal attitude disorder, or whatever they're calling it these days), and all of America seems to be on antidepressants. How much of that would be eliminated if people could drive home in the daylight?

      Especially this year, since the changeover, the change in my mood has been dramatic, and I even find myself unintentionally working a little later just because it's still so bright outside. I can't see how permanent DST could possibly be a bad thing.
      • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:36PM (#12167845)
        We can't do that! Changing DST to be year-around would be an economic disaster!! The drug companies Anti-depressant Sales (A-D's are the #1 prescription drug in the USA) are required to meet Wall Street's expectations or the stock crashes. If Wal-Mart and CVS (the store not the software package) don't sell as many prescriptions they don't make as many mega-millions and their stock goes down. And so on and so on until we have a dammed economic crash all because the goofballs in Congress wanted to get in 18 holes after work instead of 9! :)
      • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:49PM (#12168041)
        I personally think DST is idiotic and pointless.

        Here is a...semi-serious piece on it

        http://www.nationalreview.com/miller/miller2005040 10806.asp [nationalreview.com]

        "Congress passed the first DST law in 1918 and repealed it the next year. Franklin Delano Roosevelt imposed year-round DST for three years during the Second World War. In 1966, Congress approved a uniform DST standard for the whole country. In the 1970s, Richard Nixon had the nation go on DST for 15 consecutive months in order to conserve energy. The last president to modify DST was Ronald Reagan, who advanced DST's start date to the first Sunday in April."

        "As Michael Downing points out in his new book, Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, urban businessmen were a major force behind the adoption of DST in the United States. They thought daylight would encourage workers to go shopping on their way home. They also tried to make a case for agriculture, though they didn't bother to consult any actual farmers. One pamphlet argued that DST would benefit the men and women who worked the land because "most farm products are better when gathered with dew on. They are firmer, crisper, than if the sun has dried the dew off." At least that was the claim of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, chaired by department-store magnate A. Lincoln Filene."

        "We're also informed that DST helps conserve energy, apparently because people arriving home when the sun is still up don't switch on their lights. Didn't it occur to anybody that maybe they compensate by switching them on earlier in the morning? Moreover, people who arrive home from work an hour earlier during the hot summer months are probably more prone to turning up their air conditioners. According to Downing, the petroleum industry once was "an ardent and generous supporter" of DST because it believed people would hop in their cars and drive for pleasure -- and guzzle more gas.

        But the very worst thing about DST is that it's bad for your health. According to Stanley Coren, a sleep expert at the University of British Columbia, the number of traffic accidents and fatal industrial mishaps increase on the Monday after we spring forward. The reason, presumably, is because losing even a single hour of sleep over the weekend makes a lot of people a bit drowsier on what we might usefully call Black Monday. Unfortunately, there's no compensating effect of a super-safe Monday as we go off DST and "fall back" in the autumn."

        http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/occupational/coren 0164/two.html [mcmaster.ca]
    • we will have a period of a little over 3 months annually (Dec, Jan, Feb) in which DST is not in effect. That seems ridiculous.

      Because then you'd have kids going to school in the dark. As soon as one is hit by a car that's the end of that.

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:17PM (#12167520) Homepage Journal
      why not make Daylight Savings Time a year-round proposal?

      Because where I live, on December 21, the sun rises at 7:55 AM CDT. This means that it's almost daylight when I drive to work. Ain't no way I'm going to go along with changing that to 8:55 AM.

      Remember, you're not lengthening the day - you're taking time from the morning and adding it to the evening.

    • Permanent DST was considered in the 1980's during the oil crisis. The problem is that some children would be walking to school in the dark in the winter months. I don't remember if some were actually hit by cars or not, but it was this concern that killed the idea.
    • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@NospaM.thekerrs.ca> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:32PM (#12167786) Homepage

      A lot of people have responded to your post with a variety of reasons on why not to go to a permanent time. All my life I have lived in Saskatchewan (just north of Montana and North Dakota). We do not change times, and are one of the few places in North America that doesn't. Usually every spring there's talk about it and without fail, the government decides to just leave things alone.

      Yes, this means that children to go to school when its dark. No, this typically does not mean that more are getting hit by cars. Farmers typically don't start work at a given time, they start with the dawn and finish when its to dark to see properly. The only reason they worry about the time is when they need parts to continue harvest/seeding/etc. Most parts places around here are starting to have extended hours during the seeding and harvest seasons.

      It does cause a little confusion at times. Most of our TV channels will start an hour earlier/later. If you're doing business outside of the province you have to be aware of the local time.

      Personally, I love the fact that regardless of the time of year, I can say that we are GMT -6. When a story gets posted that mentions an ecllipse or meteor shower, I can quickly determine the best viewing times from almost any summary.

  • by foobsr (693224) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#12167416) Homepage Journal
    There is (should be) a study dated 1998 (which I was not able to locate yet) sponsored by the EU Commission which states that daylight saving time does not have the desired effect on energy consumption (which is taken as a common fact anyway here (de)). I wonder why the US should differ - anyone any idea?

    CC.
  • No problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by waynegoode (758645) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:12PM (#12167422) Homepage
    This would not be anything like Y2K. The code to change the time for Daylight Savings Time is already there. This is just a change in the data. Plus, it is generally only the OS that needs to be changed. The only real problem would be embedded electronics.

    Living on the eastern edge of a time zone, I would love for DST to be extended.

    • Embedded Systems (Score:3, Informative)

      by bsd4me (759597)

      In every embedded system I have worked on, we always dealt with time in UTC or ticks from a predefined epoch. Presenting local time to a human was always up to the system communicating with the embedded system, as was converting time to UTC or ticks for sending to the embedded system.

  • I could be wrong... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaHat (247651) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:12PM (#12167426) Homepage
    But isn't it "Daylight Saving Time" and not "Daylight Savings Time"? (ie no s)
  • by DeadSea (69598) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:12PM (#12167432) Homepage Journal

    The problem with standard time in the summer is that the sun rises before anybody is up (like 4 AM) and some daylight in the morning is just wasted. Daylight savings time moves dawn back to 5 AM and gives you an extra hour of daylight in the evening.

    You probably see where I'm going with this: who in their right mind is actually awake at 5 AM to enjoy the daylight?????

    Daylight savings time should move the day another five hours or so. Imagine if the sun were just coming up as I started thinking about getting out of bed by 10. At 11 or so it would have fully roused me and I could get up and enjoy the full day. At 2 or 3 in the morning the sun would be setting just as I was starting to grow weary of my hacking and start thinking about going to bed. I -- along with most other similarly minded geeks -- would be ever so much more productive.

    Of course some of you might complain about the extra screen glare, claim that you don't get any natural light in your basement anyway, or state that you just plain dislike that burning yellow eye in the sky.

    --
    Rate Exchange Calculator and Currency Convertor [ostermiller.org]

  • how about just.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supernova87a (532540) <(kepler1) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:13PM (#12167434)
    why doesn't congress stop tapdancing around the real issue, and instead pass some well-thought out legislation to reduce wasteful energy use, implement a rational gasoline use tax, and other things that would actually address the real problem? Hm?
    • by gatekeep (122108) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:22PM (#12167613)
      I agree that we need to encourage energy conservation. It'd ridiculous that nearly every day when I leave my office, 80% or more of the lights in the building are on. When I come back in the morning, those SAME lights are STILL ON. I've tried turning them off, only to find that the cleaning people turn them on and then never turn them off.

      I know my case isn't unique. Even late at night on weekends, one only needs to glance to the side of the freeway to see the rows of highrise buildings all aglow in artifical light. I can't believe that many people are putting in such long hours. It's as if energy has 0 cost, financially and environmentally. Maybe if taxes were increased it would encourage businesses to be more thrifty with regards to energy uses.
  • by vmcto (833771) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:13PM (#12167440) Homepage Journal
    I don't have the information necessary to make an observation regarding the net energy savings if any exists, but as a resident of Pennsylvania which runs from Lattitude 39 43' N to 42 N I would sure welcome the extra daylight.

    I gotta say that driving to work in the dark and driving home from work in the dark is not a prticularly gratifying experience. In fact it's downright depressing.

    Interestingly enough the times have been changed in the fairly recent past (according to the US Army [army.mil]:

    During the "energy crisis" years, Congress enacted earlier starting dates for daylight time. In 1974, daylight time began on 6 January and in 1975 it began on 23 February. After those two years the starting date reverted back to the last Sunday in April. In 1986, a law was passed permanently shifting the starting date of daylight time to the first Sunday in April, beginning in 1987. The ending date of daylight time has not been subject to such changes, and has remained the last Sunday in October.
  • by youngerpants (255314) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:13PM (#12167448)
    Does anybody know any FORTRAN or COBOL hackers for some contract work?
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:15PM (#12167470) Homepage Journal
    If memory serves, we did it for the entire year. If it was such a great energy-saving idea, why didn't we just keep it?
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:15PM (#12167483)
    Let me try and get this straight. We'd save 10,000 barrels a day. We use 20 million.

    This is a savings of 1/20th of a percent. And I'm not able to make out if that savings ONLY exists for those 2 months or the year round. Not particuarly impressive either way.

    Here's an idea. Let's start passing legislation and using incentives to promote recycling, efficiency, and alternate sources of energy. You know, going to the heart of the problem as opposed to screwing around with something that presents piddly savings and smells more like a publicity stunt.

    As for the coding repercussions . . . I can't say for sure.
    • by nmos (25822) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:06PM (#12168283)
      his is a savings of 1/20th of a percent. And I'm not able to make out if that savings ONLY exists for those 2 months or the year round. Not particuarly impressive either way.

      Here's an idea. Let's start passing legislation and using incentives to promote recycling, efficiency, and alternate sources of energy.


      Just sending congress home for an extra month in the summer would save more than that in AC costs alone.
  • retarded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nordicfrost (118437) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:16PM (#12167487)
    (excuse me for the bad typing, i hadsurgery in my hand...)

    this is the way you want to save energy? a saving of 10 000 barrels / day? if you look out on the streets, do all the people that drive SUVs need to drive them? this is an argument that also apply for eupoe, but goes double for the us. tax the hell out of fuel guzzling monster cars (almost the same size as monster trucks) and lower the tax waaay down on cars like VW Polo, MB Smart and hybrids. this also deal with a lot of other problems like parking. some snowy staes might be a little m ore lean on the tax, like snowy states. But theres no need for an Suv in LA, NY, Paris or Oslo.
    • Re:retarded (Score:5, Insightful)

      by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:29PM (#12167742)
      Yes, let's just tax everything.

      If you "tax the hell out of fuel guzzling monster cars," then you are skipping taxation of older fuel guzzling cars that are not as efficient as the newest SUVs.

      If you tax gasoline more, you increase the burden on everyone, including poor people that cannot afford to buy a new gas-efficient car. You increase the cost of all goods that are shipped anywhere, or the cost of services that rely on those goods or shipping services.

      And where does the tax money go? Does it fund research on alternative fuel sources? No, it is spent on pork barrel projects by Congress.

      As/if oil gets scarce, the price will go up naturally, and the market forces will dictate people drive more efficient cars or alternatively-fueled cars.

      Artificial taxes on things only screw everything else up, with no actual benefits. Its just a political game.
  • by Matt Clare (692178) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:16PM (#12167500) Homepage
    First they intrude into one individual's health care, now they want to bend time itself!

    Is there nothing Congress doesn't assume it has control over?
  • Statistics!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnotNosedKid (845144) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:17PM (#12167518)
    10,000 barrels of oil a day certainly sounds like a lot if you're planning to put it in my back yard, but exactly what percentage is it. Is it just a drop in the proverbial oil bucket. I imagine so. How would it compare to having cars get one extra mile per gallon?
    • Re:Statistics!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rnelsonee (98732) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @04:14PM (#12169152)
      As previous posters pointed out, the DST thing saves us 0.05% of oil.

      As for the other calculation:

      The average American drives 8000 miles per year [usf.edu] (I think car owners drive 17,000 mi/year, so this average includes non-drivers)
      Let's say the average car gets 28 mpg [sierraclub.org]
      The US has 296M [census.gov] people.
      Each barrel of oil yeilds about 20 gallons of fuel [roshd.ir].
      So we have 8,000 miles/year * (1/28) gallons/mile = 285 gallons used by each American per year, or 285/20 = 14.25 barrels per year.

      14.25 * 256M = 3.648 billion barrels used by cars in the US per year.

      Now the same calculation getting 29 mpg, we get 3.531 billion barrels used, saving us 117 million barrels of oil per year, or 320,500 barrels per day.

  • My question is.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkMantle (784415) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:18PM (#12167528) Homepage
    How does Daylight savings affect the use of energy? Either way, we sleep (using minimal electricity) get up, go to work, come home, cook supper and go back to bed after watching TV.

    Please cure my ignorance and tell me how this effects power usage.
  • oh yeah.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by WndrBr3d (219963) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:18PM (#12167537) Homepage Journal
    "The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use," said Markey, who cited Transportation Department estimates that showed the two-month extension would save the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil a day.

    Apparently they're also going to change how the Earth tilts on its axis. The weather doesn't care what time of day it is.

    Leave it to American politicians to think this one up.
  • by SenorAmor (719735) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:19PM (#12167549)
    As a panel programmer (among other things) for a security company, this would be a major pain in the butt. All of our security panels (and I would assume most others) have built-in DST changing abilities.

    Having to reprogram each of our panels to change at a different time would be extremely time-consuming for a small company like mine. I don't even want to imagine what bigger companies would have to go through.

    The security field is very time-dependant. One hour could mean having the police called thinking someone is trying to break in or having your premise completely unsecured.

    I, for one, hope this change does not get approved. At least Y2K had the possibility of not causing problems. This will definitely cause problems.
  • by yotto (590067) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:19PM (#12167556) Homepage
    Why not abolish it?
    Seriously, Daylight Savings is the biggest PITA. Either half of your company is late to work or half of them are early and won't get paid for that hour they're sitting around. Then they stand around talking to those of us who are on work on time, wasting our productivity.
  • by telstar (236404) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:21PM (#12167598)
    Can we lose the hour in the middle of a work-day, and gain the hour in the middle of the night? That'd get my vote.
  • DST is a kludge! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClayJar (126217) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:24PM (#12167649) Homepage
    Why not just do away with DST completely, and by congressional mandate, require all businesses (banks, stores, employers, etc.) shift their hours back one hour? Requiring such a shift by legislative means is no worse than DST, and it need only happen once.

    As far as staying on DST and dropping the shift back to Standard Time, that is one thing that I cannot allow. Noon was traditionally the moment when the sun was directly over the longitude of the observer. With Standard Time, this was quantized in order to create a manageable time system -- this is a perfectly acceptable optimization which was necessary for an interconnected civilization.

    Admittedly, we do not directly depend on sunlight as much as in times past, however arbitrarily redefining "noon" to mean "1:00 'PM'" is completely preposterous. Why not just go all the way to metric time while we're at it? (Has the Swatch patent expired yet?)

    With the whole 2000 versus 2001 thing, I can let mathematics slide a little due to the sociological significance of changing four digits at once. Declaring that we use the wrong time in perpetuity? That would be the real life analogue of the urban legend about redefining "pi" as equal to the integer value "3".
    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:03PM (#12168224) Homepage Journal
      Bravo, I wish I still had my mod point from yesterday. :-)

      Daylight Savings Time is one of the most idiotic concepts we have around today. I cannot believe that people actually signed on to the concept of arbitrarily moving clocks around twice a year. If I were around when this idea first started, I would have mocked those people mercilessly.

      Several places do not observe Daylight Savings Time at all. In the United States, the entire state of Arizona stays at GMT -7 all year 'round. Funny, I don't read news story about how many more kids are killed from walking to school in the dark in Arizona, how much more energy that state uses relative to the others, or how much more depressed Arizonans are than people in other states! Parts of Indiana are the same way.

      Congress needs to repeal everything that has to do with Daylight Savings Time and pass a law prohibiting it (to keep states from doing it themselves). If companies care about when it's daylight, let them adjust their hours accordingly. My company already does that in the summer, even WITH Daylight Savings Time.

      If you don't like when the sun comes up and goes down, too bad. Complain to God for making it that way. I don't like having to get up and leave my house before dawn to go to work. The way I see it, at least I have nature and thousands of years of human history on my side.

      I wonder how much productivity is lost each year at the beginning of DST because of people forgetting to dink around with their clocks? Or as is most likely the case, people CLAIMING to forget? It's the one day a year when everyone has an automatic excuse for being late to work and everyone's bosses say, "Oh yeah, that's understandable." About half my office showed up late.

      Nice reference to the redefinition of pi, by the way. It certainly does apply here. And I really like your thoughts about how DST redefines arbitrarily what noon means. I hadn't thought about that, but it makes a LOT of sense. And to the other poster, making a law mandating when businesses open and close IS kind of silly. I think that is the parent's point--it's less silly than the concept of Daylight Savings Time, yet we still foolishly screw around with our clocks twice a year.
  • by mrtroy (640746) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:24PM (#12167652)
    SUV's, trucks, and 6+ cylinder engine cars for city commuting result in a ridiculous amount more of oil being consumed than anything related to Daylight Saving Time.

  • by MisterLawyer (770687) <mikelawyerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:27PM (#12167696)
    This article focuses on all the bad side effects of switching Daylight Saving Time, but there can be some benefits too.

    For example, changing Daylight Saving Time could prevent terrorist attacks:

    In September 1999, the Palestinian West Bank was on daylight saving time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank Palestinians prepared time bombs and smuggled them to Arab Israelis, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded--one hour too early--killing three terrorists instead of two busloads of people, the intended victims. (from webexhibits.org [webexhibits.org])

  • Its all relative! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrcarns (874249) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:27PM (#12167712)
    Why move the time we can just adjust our mindset? If we want to have more daylight hours then change our work starting times or when businesses open. Instead of an average 8am to 5pm work date, switch to to 6am to 3pm - the military already does this.

    The sun doesnt give us more daylight hours just because we reference time differently.

  • Change Implications (Score:5, Informative)

    by mugnyte (203225) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:50PM (#12168047) Journal

    Answering the original question, I work in the power industry as a developer. I can watch the local load curve and do a bit of my own research about supposed "energy savings" by artificially making the sun set later in the day. BoooOogus. The savings would be low.

    You all know this: The devil is in the details. The programming impact would be larger than anticipated. Power is usually tracking in "hour ending" and various participants use a 23 and 25-hour day when necessary, defined as "relative hour of the day". Because of this, date conversions abound and the the "first sunday in april/last sunday in october" algorithm is in quite a few places. The impact would be high.

    I think it's political hot air. Why not just ask people to pay more for oil? The markets know how to react.

  • Largely symbolic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @02:51PM (#12168057)
    This is largely a symbolic gesture. It let's congress do something which has little effect on the situation, but allows them to say that they "took measures" to save energy.

  • by El (94934) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:13PM (#12168385)
    Gee, how much oil could we save if they just made the fucking CAFE standands apply to SUVs???
  • Oh. Dear. God. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbiffle (211614) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:18PM (#12168453)
    As an Arizonan first and a programmer second, I think history is going to look back on DST as essentially equivalent to the (anecdotal) story of lawmakers legislating pi to 3.

    Arizona doesn't do DST. I've only visited areas that observed daylight savings time, and it never ceases to amuse me. The conversations usually go like this:
    Q. Why do you keep changing your clocks around?
    A. To get more daylight!
    Q. So changing your clock alters the rotation or axial tilt of the Earth?
    A. No, see, normally it would get dark at 7. Now it gets dark at 8!
    Q. But the sun doesn't rise until 8 or 9 AM. When you need to make your blanket longer, do you cut a foot off one end and sew it onto the other?
    A. But...*gzert*...more daylight! More daylight!
    Q. Why don't you just wake up an hour earlier, if you want more daylight?
    A. *gzert* *pop*

    (Okay, they don't actually short circuit, but they tend to run out of coherent arguments. It seems most people haven't really thought about this.)

    Add to this my programmer's view of time (as a monotonically increasing quantity [relativity aside] unrelated to human foibles) and this seems a lot like Congress trying to legislate the tides, or apply our IP laws in Norway.

    (Oh, wait. Heh.)
    • Re:Oh. Dear. God. (Score:4, Informative)

      by evilviper (135110) on Friday April 08, 2005 @02:27AM (#12173557) Journal
      A. No, see, normally it would get dark at 7. Now it gets dark at 8!

      Q. But the sun doesn't rise until 8 or 9 AM. When you need to make your blanket longer, do you cut a foot off one end and sew it onto the other?

      Nonsense. In the summer months, the sun rises earlier (and sets later too), so getting up earlier makes perfect sense, because the day DOES get longer. A blanket obviously doesn't get longer, so it's a lowsy analogy.

      Q. Why don't you just wake up an hour earlier, if you want more daylight?

      Because just being awake doesn't cut it... You need stores to open earlier, your own work schedule to start an hour earlier, etc. Changing all clocks is by far the easiest way to change everything.

      The fact that most people haven't spent hours of their lives pondering the reason we have DST, doesn't have anything to do with the validity of the idea.
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @03:30PM (#12168603)
    I hear Congress is meddling with Daylight Savings Time - Leave it alone!

    The real issue is for the Federal Gov't to realize that our Foreign Oil dependance is a National Security threat as well as an Economic one. We need a Federal program similar to putting a man on the moon to harness alternative fuel technologies. Only the public sector can drive the research against the vested interests. It would create jobs, increase security, and be a new technology that the USA can export to the rest of the world.

    Extending Daylight Savings Time by 2 months will break computers (like Y2K) because new 'Timezone' rules will need to be programmed into every computer that manipulates dates. The estimated savings is 10,000 barrels a day when we use 20 million! What a short-sighted idea that totally misses the big picture.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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