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Earth Power Technology

Alternatives to Daylight Saving Time? 755

Wellington Grey writes "Daylight saving time almost upon us. The arguments about its possible benefits and drawbacks come up twice every year. Does it save energy or lives? Possibly, but it does definitely cause a great deal of inconvenience. My question is this: what do you think would be the best possible system to replace DST with? What is the best way for humans to deal with the inconsistent amount of light over the year and still foster coordination over disparate time zones?"
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Alternatives to Daylight Saving Time?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:23PM (#25487381)

    We don't do DST in John McCain country.*

    *Unless you're an Indian, in which case you might.

    • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:34PM (#25487641) Homepage Journal

      I grew up in AZ - moved to a state that does daylight savings a couple years ago. I hate it. I never felt any lack for not having it or thought, "Gee, I wished we messed with the clocks twice a year."
      We should replace it with nothing. Just eliminate it. It would simplify life at no cost.

      • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:45PM (#25487919) Journal

        Sorry, once the government has adopted something you can't get rid of it. You can change it for better or worse (usually worse) but it is there for ever.

        • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

          by szark ( 1066530 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:50PM (#25488047)

          Sorry, once the government has adopted something you can't get rid of it. You can change it for better or worse (usually worse) but it is there for ever.

          Like Prohibition?

          • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

            by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:16PM (#25488605)
            Well, now we have the new Prohibition, in the form of the War on Some Drugs. Except this time around they decided they could do it without an amendment.
            • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:4, Interesting)

              by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @11:22PM (#25492905) Homepage Journal

              Thank FDR.

              His New Deal was being systematically shot down by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Commerce Clause didn't justify massive federal intervention in the economy. He threatened to stack the deck by appointing six new justices (making the total 15) if needed to get his legislative agenda upheld. The Court caved and started supporting the New Deal and in the process set the precedent that the federal government can do whatever it damned well wants as long as it can imply some vague connection to interstate commerce.

              The current Court has been the first one to try to roll that precedent back a bit, actually striking down a couple of Commerce-based laws, but since Obama is going to win and appoint a Democrat or two to the bench, expect the all-powerful Commerce clause to be quickly re-established.

        • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:30PM (#25488913)

          You can change it for better or worse...

          Random Daylight Savings Time!
          Are you late? Are you early?
          You'll never know unless you consult the weekly publication:
          "RDST: How Government Controls Daylight, and Why You Must Obey"

        • by cylcyl ( 144755 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:33PM (#25488967)

          Sorry, once the government has adopted something you can't get rid of it. You can change it for better or worse (usually worse) but it is there for ever.

          In that case, since they keep extending the DST anyway (it's ~7 months now), why not extend it to year round.

          Maybe we'll keep Feb 29 on "standard time" because we can't "get rid of it"

        • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

          by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:43PM (#25489133)

          >>>What is the best way for humans to deal with the inconsistent amount of light over the year

          The electric lightbulb. Specifically a 5 watt compact fluorescent. It's amazing how I can pretend it's daytime even when it's 4 a.m. in the morning. A marvelous invention, and I no longer care if the sun is up or not, and DST is irrelevant.

          • by violet16 ( 700870 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @08:10PM (#25491149)

            Not to stereotype Slashdot readers or anything, but I notice nobody sees any difference between sunlight and electric light. If you go outdoors during the day, you may be surprised to find daylight has many ambient properties not provided by your basement's fluorescent bulb (warmth, happy feelings, etc).

      • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Interesting)

        by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:55PM (#25488191)
        We should replace it with nothing. Just eliminate it. It would simplify life at no cost. While I agree it should be replaced it wouldn't be at no cost. 4 years ago I got tired of being late after the time switch so I bought a clock that got the time over the radio. Great right? Till two years ago when the idiots in Congress said lets change it by two weeks for no reason whatsoever. Then I had a clock that was wrong 4 times a year instead of two, because I forgot on the new date to change timezones and then it auto changed two weeks later. I had to buy a new clock after two years of that. I can't imagine how much software out there has all the daylight savings switches in the source. Even if it is just a patch someone has to update all the machines not connected to the rest of the world.
      • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kramulous ( 977841 ) * on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:56PM (#25488207)

        I hate it also. I live in Queensland, Australia and we don't do daylight savings. The southern part of Australia, Sydney and Melbourne do have it and constantly complain that we don't. See, they are the centre of the universe and because they do, we must.

        Never mind that we live closer to the equator, it is bloody hot outside during the day and who on earth, apart from tourists, want to go out in that sun in the middle of the day. It burns!

        I'm an early riser. I get up hours before I have to go to work. That's when I clean and shit, so when I come home I can chillax. Many do the same. If you want daylight savings so you can see more daylight, adjust your own clock.

      • by logicassasin ( 318009 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:01PM (#25488313)

        Moved here from Michigan 5 years ago. I don't miss DST at all. I just know that when I wake up at 5am, during the spring/summer, it's nearly broad daylight and in the colder months it's pitch black out. Right now, it's pitch black at 5am, at 5:30, I see some sunlight, by the time I get in my car at 6-615:am, it's daylight.

        Right now, I see the idiodicy of DST. You don't actually get more daylight, we just fool you into thinking you do.

      • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:25PM (#25488789)

        A comment indicitive of someone who lives relatively close to the equator. For those of us who see a 6-12 hour difference in the number of daylight hours it can make a real difference.

      • by floateyedumpi ( 187299 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:31PM (#25488927)

        I never felt any lack for not having it or thought, "Gee, I wished we messed with the clocks twice a year."

        That's because the one thing you absolutely don't need to conserve in the sun-baked 115 degree desert of southern Arizona is..... daylight.

      • Re:Move to Arizona (Score:5, Interesting)

        by weierstrass ( 669421 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:40PM (#25489073) Homepage Journal

        Just everyone use GMT (UTC) and get used to it. What is the point of timezones anyway? Oh, you like that it's 12 in the middle of the day and in the middle of the night. So what. Get over it. It's going to happen eventually anyway.

  • No replacement... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:23PM (#25487385)

    Why does it need replacement? Just get rid of it altogether...

  • May be ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:24PM (#25487395)
    Nightdark Wasting Time ?
  • Internet Required (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:24PM (#25487399) Homepage Journal

    "9-5" business hours is a convention because there's no easy way to do anything different in a pre-wired world.

    Now that we have or are about to have ubiquitous Internet everywhere, companies should publish smbmeta [] files at with their hours in it, and have every useful directory service (Google Local,, that iPhone thing, etc.) understand a linkage between a domain name and store (oh, and the phone thing too, which can usually be used as the 'foreign key'). Good VOIP phones could easily do the same. The cost is practically nil for everybody and we get past the need for conventions.

    Of course there are clustering reasons to coordinate business hours on a geographical basis, but individual businesses can make those decisions and either profit or lose business by them.

    • Re:Internet Required (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JeffSh ( 71237 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:35PM (#25487673)

      I'm afraid I must disagree. 9-5 business hours are becoming even more important in a connected world because of our desire/need for immediate responses.

      Businesses must be open during similar hours so that we may respond to each others requests. For instance, call cenders in India are open and running at night for them in order to service our requests from the states..

      I am not interested in dispatching an email and expecting a response. People talk to one another still and always will. 9-5 business hours are here to stay and will only get more important.

      • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:47PM (#25487975)

        The worldwide inter-connectedness of business is a strong argument AGAINST the 9-5 schedule. What good is standardizing on "9-5" when your customer on the west coast and your partners in India, Japan, and England all have their own, different 9-5?

        Who the hell even picked 9 and 5, and what makes those particular numbers so special that everyone has to change our entire time system twice a year to make sure those are always work hours?

        If every business adopted a very simple "go to work when you have to and leave when you have to" policy, we wouldn't care what the damn clock said, and would need neither time zones nor daylight saving time.

        • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:08PM (#25488431)

          I think they picked 9-5 As Sunrise as 8:00 is the latest time (without DST adjustment) the sun comes up the North Part of the United States. Allowing people of pre-alarm clock days to wake up when the sun rises. Enough time to prepare for work and get there an hour later. As for the 5 it is 8 hours later. Probably 8 hours as it can easily split up your day. 8 hours for sleeping, 8 hours for work, 8 hours of your own time... A healthy balance approach. As Well it can be split into 2 4 hour increments falling in the middle at noon for Lunch, and using the AM/PM to really help divide the day. As well 5:00 is when the sun sets on the shortest days of the year. So in general allowing lighted working conditions during your work day.

          • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:19PM (#25488679)

            Before RMS spoke about it most of you were for Cloud Computing now you are against it. You're a bunch of sheep.

            Heh. I thought cloud computing was a stupid idea when it was still called Web 2.0.

            Yes, that is the geek version of "I already listened to $BAND_NAME when they were still underground".

  • by slashname3 ( 739398 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:25PM (#25487417)
    Do away with DST. If people want/need to get up earlier or later to take advantage of the daylight then JUST GET UP EARLIER OR LATER! There is no good reason to change the clock backward and forward. Lots of places don't do it and they don't have any problems. STOP DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fear13ss ( 917494 )
      I agree, do away with it, and the 9-5 business model dates back to the days of bartering. It was implemented before mankind had the ability to control light. First we need to make more environmentally sounds lighting sources. Then the answer to a lot of our current problems can be resolved by moving to a 24 hour society. It would create jobs, reduce traffic thus improving fuel efficiency and reducing accidents. It will allow people to work during hours which may increase productivity. Personally even t
      • by snl2587 ( 1177409 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:55PM (#25488193)

        It was implemented before mankind had the ability to control light.

        Be that as it may, I'm one to prefer natural light over artificial light, and it is simply not an option to change my schedule. The way I see it, DST year-round is much better. It really comes down to personal preference, though, which makes it really hard for any democratic-ish countries to change it.

      • The idea of an 8-hour day (and the 40-hour week) has only been around since about the beginning of the 20th century. It's mainly originated from workers' demands in response to conditions in which many factory owners required people to work 12 or more hours a day. Later, it was reinforced by legislation requiring overtime for hours in excess of 40 in an attempt to reduce unemployment. Before industrialization, there was little concept of a "standard" workday. Farmers worked however many hours were necess

    • by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:35PM (#25487689)
      DST served a useful purpose at one time. It *does* reduce energy usage...for lighting. Back in the early part of the 20th century, the largest portion of home electrical usage was for lighting. Nowadays it's such a small part this savings has no measurable effect.

      The effect it does have is actually increasing energy usage as people crank on the AC when they get home earlier in the daylight of afternoon and it's hotter. And AC is vastly more expensive to operate than a bulb.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:03PM (#25488351) Journal

      Exactly this. If it's too dark when you get up or when you want to open your business, don't change the clock, change the time you get up or open your business.

      If that's too hard, lets have DST year round. Standard time is only in effect for a couple months anyway. Keeping DST through the winter would keep it light when most people get off work, which is when it actually matters anyway. I know I'd rather get up in the dark, and have an hour of daylight after work to play with, rather than getting up at dawn and wasting that hour getting ready for work.

    • by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:05PM (#25488387)
      I'd love to get up at 5am every day, and work from 6am to 2 or 3pm.

      That way I could have a ton of daylight when I come home, which is when I need it.
      Do you think you could talk to my boss for me?

      Most people work in cubes or offices, or at least inside. What use is daylight to most of us of before say.. lunchtime??

      I say we spring forward 3 hours and just stay there all the time.

      WTF do I need daylight for on my way to work, just so I can wander around my yard with a flashlight at 6pm? We're not farmers anymore.
  • Get rid of it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:25PM (#25487419) Homepage

    See subject. Then make everyone talk in UTC. That should do it.

    • Re:Get rid of it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:41PM (#25487847) Journal
      Then make everyone talk in UTC. That should do it.

      Almost. Everybody should be using 24 hour time as well. ie, it's now 20:40.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jesus_666 ( 702802 )
        Over here in Germany we use 24 hour time and UTC might not be a hard sell either (we're UTC +1/+2).

        It would definitely make things easier if at least international businesses and communities talked UTC. Remember the Firefox download day where people from half the planet wondered why Mozilla hasn't started the action even though the date/time specified on the site have already been reached. Only afterwards did many people learn that Mozilla meant that time in some American time zone nobody has ever heard a
  • Forget about it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:25PM (#25487429)
    > "What is the best way for humans to deal with the inconsistent amount of light over the year and still foster coordination over disparate time zones?"

    Russia has a dozen time zones and fares just fine - as does China, with only one. This business of claiming that 'light' is a problem needing a solution is the only issue here...
  • DST is ending (Score:5, Informative)

    by self assembled struc ( 62483 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:25PM (#25487443) Homepage

    Actually, DST is coming to an end. The summer is when the hours are artificially moved ahead. The winter time is the actual "accurate" earth time.

  • My proposal (Score:4, Funny)

    by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:26PM (#25487453)

    My ask slashdot question is this: what do you think would be the best possible system to replace DTS with?

    A system just like the current DTS, but with a monetary fine for whiners.

    Come on, how hard is it to set a damned clock? Just do it.

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:26PM (#25487467)

    ...move to Arizona. Problem solved.


  • by TheNecromancer ( 179644 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:27PM (#25487475)

    What is the best way for humans to deal with the inconsistent amount of light over the year and still foster coordination over disparate time zones?

    Turn on a lamp.

  • by Saint Stephen ( 19450 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:30PM (#25487539) Homepage Journal

    Actually, we are in Daylight Savings Time right now. We are getting ready to go back to Standard Time.

  • Wrong! (Score:5, Funny)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:30PM (#25487557)

    The issue with DST is not that it's inconvenient, it's that it's insufficiently precise! We should be changing the time every day (at least!) to make sure our time is as accurate as possible to the length of the day. Every day, 12 noon should be when the Sun is directly overhead, no matter where you are.

    Sure, this means changing time zones almost continuously while travelling, and at least daily while remaining stationary, but at least we won't have to deal with the confusion that comes from discovering that the Sun is directly overhead at 12:00:34 instead of 12 noon sharp! How can we call ourselves intelligent beings when our time system is so woefully inaccurate most of the time?

    So, scrap daylight savings time and replace it with a system of several thousand time zones, each updated daily based on the predicted "high noon" for that particular day at that particular location. If the prediction ends up being off by a few microseconds on a particular day, just change the time to correct it right then and there! Sure, wristwatches will become orders of magnitude more complex, but it's the only way to have a truly sane and accurate system of time measurement. And after all, isn't that what we all really want here?

  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:31PM (#25487567)
    Give me daylight 14 hours per day, 6am - 8pm. Move them between hemispheres or to emergency locations as needed. Productivity goes up, which pays for the mirrors.

    DST becomes unnecessary.

  • Picture this... (Score:4, Informative)

    by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:31PM (#25487569) Homepage
    You're a farmer, or construction worker, or anyone who does his business in daylight. During the months of short days, you are up and ready to work at sun up every day and need to work for 8 hours. In the summer, you can still get to the bank and do your business. But in the winter, without DST, you're stuck at work until 5:00pm and can't. DST isn't baseless. It caters to a small group of people that can't adjust their hours.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cadallin ( 863437 )
      Yeah, not so much.

      See we have this new thing called "Electric Lighting." It seems now that crazy cat edison has enabled us to pretty much light up any outdoor area; no matter what time it is! Crazy, I know, but true.

    • Re:Picture this... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:51PM (#25488073) Homepage Journal

      errr... How, exactly, does DST give them more daylight?
      The short days are standard time, BTW.
      In the winter, start at sun rise, end at sunset. It doesn't matter that the numbers on your clock read, and it doesn't matter that the hands on the watch say. All that matters is you get X amount of work done.

      For me, all this means is I get to drive into a sunset for 3 weeks..again.

  • No it isn't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sesshomaru ( 173381 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:33PM (#25487629) Journal
    Standard Time is nearly upon us, Daylight Savings Time is ending.

    Here's my favorite anti-daylight savings time page:

    End Day Light Savings Time []

    I don't like Daylight Saving Time, or as I call it "Pretend it's an hour later than it is," and will be glad when the clock in my car doesn't make me do addition to remember what time it is (I refuse to adjust it for this nonsense.) This silly dance we do every year twice.

    My alarm clock is a self-adjusting atomic model (not internally of course, it readjusts itself via radio signal from the U.S. Atomic Clock in Colorado).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      "Pretend it's an hour later than it is,"

      Time measurement is an artificial construct. The time is when we say it is, there is no pretending it's a different hour.

      If you don't want to take the 10 seconds to adjust your clock, then fine but don't whine about doing the 'math' in your head. If adding or subtracting 1 in you head cause so much trouble, find some other place to post.

  • DST is useless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Talgrath ( 1061686 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:36PM (#25487713)

    As others have pointed out (, Daylight Savings Time likely doesn't save us any energy. This, of course, makes sense as if people are getting up earlier to avoid it being dark when they get home, they're still using electricity in the morning which is now dark. In short, the only way that daylight savings time in the modern day is beneficial to anyone is people who want to play sports or do something else outdoors after work. Not only that, but studies have shown that Daylight Savings Time often actually costs companies money due to needing to change clocks, employees who show up late/early to work during time changes and computer errors resulting from time changes. The solution, is to abolish Daylight Savings Time and save us all some time, money and bother.

  • by jddj ( 1085169 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:41PM (#25487845) Journal

    what do you think would be the best possible system to replace DTS with?

    I think DTS disappeared with the release of SQL Server 2005. I'm pretty sure it's all .NET code now...

  • Nuke it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jordandeamattson ( 261036 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:45PM (#25487927) Homepage

    Daylight Savings Time has enormous costs and very little value in return.

    We should get read of it and say, "Good riddance..."

    If there are issues with available daylight in a particular area, then the times of events should be adjusted accordingly. If it is to dark at 7 AM for kids to go out in order to reach school at 8 AM, then push back the start time of school, etc., to 9 AM.

    In reality, this is what Daylight Savings Time does, but at much greater cost.

  • by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:45PM (#25487931)
    ...although some will call me one. I couldn't care less, this arguement comes up twice a year, and twice a year I don't really care. I've heard all the arguements and everything, but truth be told, the switch doesn't bother me that much. The only day that really concerns me is the one where we turn time back, the extra hour is always nice. The winter time is just a pain because I like to leave work and still have some daylight - but that's just me.
  • by onkelonkel ( 560274 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:45PM (#25487941)
    In the interest of Getting Things Right, I'll point out that it's "Daylight Saving Time" not "Daylight Savings Time".
  • by IWood ( 1380317 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:49PM (#25488015)
    Alternately, a mission to Jupiter that will trigger the monolith's sun conversion program.
  • Japan's "System" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FFCecil ( 623749 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:50PM (#25488039)

    Simple answer: abolish it. I lived in Japan for several years and they don't adjust their clocks. Guess what? I didn't notice! Well, except that I didn't have the hassle of changing all my clocks, and throwing off my sleeping rhythm twice a year.

    Frankly, I don't see the point of DST anymore. So many people work in giant window-less buildings now, what does it matter? The lights are on the same amount of time regardless. And if you desperately need consistent daylight, move closer to the equator. Or you could invest in some full-spectrum light bulbs (they help me quite a bit).

    Meh, just my $0.02.

  • DST (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sxmjmae ( 809464 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:04PM (#25488367)
    I have always found it a funny topic. The politician like to think they have so much power by implement DST or not. Has anyone ever told them they can control the real number of hours of sunlight through legislation? I remember one local politician saying DST would give farms an extra hour of day light! Wow I thought - how could they have such power over the cosmos.
  • by An dochasac ( 591582 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:09PM (#25488467)
    One of my schoolteachers suggested this back when most clocks ran on 60Hz synchronous motors. Speed up time during the work day, slow it down at happy hour.
  • Four words (Score:3, Interesting)

    by diablovision ( 83618 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:22PM (#25488745)

    Four words:

    One time for Earth.

  • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @05:40PM (#25489093)

    Daylight Saving Time really only works (if it works at all) for a narrow range of latitudes.

    Too far south and the sun sets at the same time all year anyway. Too far north and the sun sets ridiculously late in the summer, and sets very early in the winter. Few of our southern hemisphere friends live far enough south for this to be an issue. Anybody here from Ushuaia?

    Even here, in southern Canada (49 degrees north), the sun sets at 1600 in the winter. If we didn't mess with time zones the sun would set at 2000 in the summer, and it isn't really dark until nearly 2200. How much later do you want it to set?


  • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:01PM (#25489417) Homepage

    the original clock was when the sun actually rose and set on the horizon of the earth.

    but we wanted to know exactly how far through that period we were.

    so when clocks were invented - we very linearly divided the day up into 24 parts,
    and then (based on ancient sumerian base 60) -- divided the 24 hours into 60 smaller parts.

    we still linearly divide our day (despite the fact that every day changes sunrise / sunset times), and we still use ancient sumerian base 60 in our measurement of time (minutes) today -- omg, its amazing we don't still use Cubits & Fathoms to measure things...!

    so, we can carry on with using base 60 for minutes, and medieval linear ideas of time, or we can take advantage of our understandings of science to create something more rational. so here are two proposals to take time measurement out of the medieval dark ages:

    1) 0:00 HOURS = SUNRISE. everything has a chip in it nowadays - you can't find a watch that doesn't have a chip in it. and if you have a chip in it -- computation is easy. we no longer have to use the medieval linear way of dividing up the day -- finally, we are able to have clocks that dynamically adjust for sunrise and sunset -- like SOL []. the length of a day continually gets longer & shorter -- so should our watches. since all our watches have a chip in them already -- the sunrise/sunset computation should not be an obstacle. we propose the elimination of the terms of 'noon' and 'midnight' -- and always start counting 0:00 hours at sunrise.

    2) DECIMAL TIME. we no longer want to use 24 hours (why 24!?!?) and 60 minutes (base 60!!) -- instead, we use decimal time -- 10 hours in a day, 100 minutes per hour. the resulting 'minute' will be 1.44 of our existing old-style minutes.

    so there you have it -- no half-way medieval measures -- sunrise = 0:00 hours, there are 10 hours in a day, and 100 minutes in an hour. businesses always start at 2pm (2 hours after sunrise) -- ALWAYS, and people go home when it gets dark ALWAYS -- the business day will grow and shrink with the seasons, and all will be much more sensible, and in acccord with the natural rhythms of nature, while being easier to measure, because its all measured in decimal.

    2cents from toronto

  • by thorayi ( 1385555 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:03PM (#25489441)
    I never understood how DST saved anything anyhow. However, I do know that it causes a lot of intricate bugs, especially when programs contain time based loops. In most of the SDKs and Frameworks the default DateTime.Now returns the local time. A lot of software applications fail during DST switching because of loops in the code that compares two different times returns wild and unexpected results. I even had to mandate using DateTime.UtcNow in the code all the time.
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:13PM (#25489615) Homepage

    Is to get you to buy stuff. The initial intent was good - to save on candles and kerosene. These days DST simply doesn't make sense and the only reason it exists is because retail lobby wants it to exist. See, you're less likely to go out shopping when it's dark outside. So they make you adjust the clock, so you'd go shopping in the evening.

  • by kiddygrinder ( 605598 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:14PM (#25489631)
    The only real solution is to network all clocks and have them auto adjust by say 10 min a few times during the year. Give it 5 or 10 years and it'll be fixed. Personally i don't have much of a problem with the way it is now, i just miss an hours sleep once a year to get an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon to sit on the veranda and drink beer, but to each their own i guess.
  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:37PM (#25489975) Homepage Journal
    No, really -- I hate daylight savings, with a passion. And by passion, I mean "fucking passion".

    Twice a year, my sleep cycle is systematically deranged. It's a goddamn kick to the head, and I don't mean that in a good way -- it's like the entire country gets a massive injection of jet lag extract.

    Maybe society wants to keep its members from operating at peak efficiency, so let's pull the rug from under everyone's circadian rhythms twice a year, keep 'em off balance ....
  • Lafayette, Indiana (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:59PM (#25490263) Journal

    An area of Indiana around Lafayette (and Purdue University) doesn't observe DST. They stay the same all year while the areas around them switch back and forth. They suffer no ill effects from not changing their clocks twice a year. The further suffer no ill effects due to different amounts of light and darkness compared to their stable time system. Like the rest of the planet, those that need to resort to a world-wide time standard use Greenwich/Zulu. Once again, no ill effects of keeping the same time difference between their time standard and Greenwich/Zulu have been observed.

    I mention no ill effects because my ex-wife, who ran a substance abuse treatment center in Lafayette, and I, running one in Virginia, compared daily intake numbers for three years. Every fall, the weekend after time changed in Virginia, we had a 250% increase in admissions. She saw no such change. As to whether a sudden smack to the diurnal rhythm forcing one into crisis and so into treatment is an ill effect or a beneficial effect remains open for discussion. The vast majority of the people in the Lafayette area will continue to not care.

  • STOP... (Score:4, Funny)

    by NickHydroxide ( 870424 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @07:05PM (#25490349)
    Hammer time?
  • Alternatives (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hugonz ( 20064 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2008 @07:12PM (#25490451) Homepage
    what do you think would be the best possible system to replace DST with?

    Say, like simply freedom and the stimuli of letting electrical rates change and be variable so utilities try to flatten their demand?

  • NTP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jemenake ( 595948 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @07:18PM (#25490519)
    If you look at the map of where DST is used, you'll notice that it's used more the closer you get to the poles (where there's a larger swing in the length of the day between the seasons). Now, when you realize that, then it dawns on you that there's no particular reason why there should just be a 1-hour shift for everyone in the US regardless of latitude.

    Why doesn't California have a 1-hour shift and Washington have, say, a 2-hour shift... and Alaska have an 8-hour shift? Seems asinine, right? Well, then why even have a 1-hour shift, then? It's a slippery-slope argument, but it's difficult to argue that, as sub-optimal as a "1 hour fits all" approach is, that it's any less optimal to scrap the whole thing completely.

    So, I'd can it. However, if you *really* still want it... how about this? With so many devices (computers, phones, etc.) syncing their clocks to servers, lets just have a national conversion to server-sync'd house clocks (kinda like the upcoming switch to digital TV) and then, if you really want DST, just have the servers gradually slew it in, day by day, as the sun moves toward solstice.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.