Time warps


Back in 2005, the US government passed a bill to change the start and end dates for daylight savings time. These changes took effect earlier this year. The original scheme was somehow going to save people money by giving us more hours of natural light, thus reducing electric usage. Or maybe it was the opposite, I forget. The point is, the premise was tenuous at best.

On the flipside, millions of computer products had to be changed to accomodate the new hours. Windows, Mac, Linux — everything was affected. Even Blackberries and more obscure devices (such as digital signage players) needed a software update to recognize the time changes. This was a mild annoyance for consumers and a major expense for the companies who make those products. In fact, I would guess that the overall costs on the business side alone vastly exceeded the benefits for businesses and consumers put together.

What if the year had been shortened by a day? Or what if October suddenly had 32 days? Surely those changes would screw up lots of products and services too. I’m not sure how the daylight savings time changes got passed in the first place, but hopefully people will speak up a little more actively if the government tries to save us money like that in the future.