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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Daylight Savings Time is Stupid

Comments (23)

I’ve never understood daylight savings time.  My run this morning was borked as a result of my lack of comprehension of how it works, my 7am conference call with someone in Europe didn’t happen because I’m sure he (rationally) thought it was an hour later and – while most of my computers are set to the correct time because of the incredibly diligent efforts of Ross-the-IT-guy – my Cisco IP phone at home still says DST+1 (I’m sure the one in the office is set to DST.)  I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of GDP that was just wasted preparing for this and the lost GDP that will occur today due to missed / rescheduled meetings.  It sounds like Yahoo Mail also had a tough weekend – maybe they can blame it on daylight savings time.

  • http://boulderreport.com Ericka

    I agree it is stupid especially for the reason it was supposedly enacted to save energy. All of the energy experts agree the amount of energy that will be saved by turning your lights on a little later is minimal. For all practical purposes IT IS only 3 weeks earlier than usual anyway. The folks at Southwest Energy Efficiency Project in Boulder say the energy savings from lights is so minimal compared to other things in our homes including computers, plasma tvs and those set top boxes from the cable company that drain a ton of energy even when they’re off.

  • http://dsgazette.blogspot.com False Data

    I don’t have time to read through it right now, but it might be interesting to go back through the congressional record for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to see what they were trying to accomplish by making this change.

  • http://blog.offbeatmammal.com OffBeatMammal

    It’s scary when smart folks have a problem with this – but it makes me feel better (maybe I’m a smart person too!)

    I’d forgotton it was happening, so of course on Sunday my mechanical alarm was an hour behind and my day out of whack from the moment I got up.

    The clock on my microwave was wrong. And the one in the car. And the GPS of course hasn’t had a patch so thinks DST it’s due for a while yet. Same with the TV (they both know what timezone they’re in, but not that DST has kicked in).

    I’ve always found it to be a frustrating and annoying process. And in this day and age is it one we *really* need?

    Lets vote for the first presidential candidate who vows to abolish it in the first 90 days of their term.

  • Jason

    I’m fortunate enough to live in a place that doesn’t do daylight savings time. Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Unfortunately I have to deal with the rest of North America changing.

  • jane

    I hate daylight savings time. It’s like forced jet lag for most of the country, if you ask me.

  • Sparky

    Daylight Savings sucks. Companies spent millions (probably billions) to adjust for this. Save energy? How about driving more fuel efficient cars? What a complete waste of time.

  • http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/ BWJones

    Yeah, we had a couple of folks today that had problems with their schedules. Gee, perhaps the folks that decided (“Hey! I know what lets do…”) to enact this change will see clear to giving a tax write off for those folks who had to endure some costs because of this little exercise in waste.

  • http://andrewbfife.blogspot.com Andrew Fife

    There maybe some initial GDP loses due to the switch, but I suspect there are also gains due to people being more active with their extra hour of light. I can say that University Avenue in Palo Alto definitely seemed busier last night than any previous Sunday I can remember since last summer.

  • cthrall

    I had to work yesterday to make sure everything was ok after the change.

    I liked Microsoft’s messaging regarding Outlook appointments: “Consider any appointments and meetings in the extended DST period to be suspect. When in doubt, verify the correct time with the organizer.”

    For some reason, this makes me chuckle. You’re using the latest and greatest groupware technology, but you really should call the organizer of all your meetings because we can’t really predict what is going to happen.

    Of course, the one hiccup at work was with something that uses Outlook integration for scheduling meetings…

  • tom

    I have a sign company and the daylight savings time bandit has hit us too! It seems that all the time and temp signs we sold this past year will require a new chip to correct for the earlier daylight savings time. So if you see a sign by the road displaying the wrong time, don’t blame the establishment or the sign company. Blame the President and the U.S. Congress for enacting this mess.

  • http://www.thefuelteam.com Dee Rambeau

    I respectfully disagree with all of you grumps! Forget the energy savings…how about the sheer joy of evenings full of sunlight. The day we Spring forward is, and always has been, one of my favorites days of the year and I usually throw a party. I’ll remember not to put any of you on the list. Please enjoy your darkness and your confusion with a silly hour’s difference in the day!

  • http://tachophobia.com Rick

    You guys are obviously not cyclists! Cyclists across america, even the ones in warm climates, got a beautiful gift from congress this year. No more post-work indoor workouts!!

    According to a US Chamber of Commerce guy on CNBC, the earlier time change will add millions to the bank accounts of store and restaurant owners. When it’s light out, people shop and dine out more.

  • Bob Gilson

    Repeat after me: “Timezones suck. They’re left over from the sun dial ages. No advanced si-fi culture uses them.”.

    The quote is meant to provoke a smile but after you’ve built enterprise class scheduling apps you realize timezones should done away with. Simple questions like “What day is it?” become hard to answer. To answer you need to know what timezone you’re in to take the international date line into account. To know timezone you’re in, you need the date to take daylight savings into account. To know if daylight savings is in effect, you need to know the date and timezone. Round and round we go… Oh yeah, your code must run correctly even if the functions are called when one of their assumptions changes between calls, like the day at midnight or the hour when daylight savings flips. And oh yeah, if your app runs at scale it has to do this while running in several timezones simultaneously.

    Any techy sorting this out has my sympathy. Its like going through 4 mini-Y2K scenarios in one year. Next one hits in 3 weeks. While you’re waiting for things to be sorted out, try singing “Does anyone really know what time it is?” and praying for better governance.

  • cthrall

    Don’t get me wrong, it was great to walk the dog down to the beach in daylight.

    Raymond Chen at MSFT has some good reasons why DST is a pain for all of us.

    • feathers

      how about we just get to work an hour earlier and home an hour earlier and leave the clocks alone. How stupid some people are to think we actually get an hour more daylight !!! haha there is still the same amount of day and night in 24 hours, der

  • http://ocvc.wordpress.com Marc Averitt

    yeah, making the switch that much earlier has questionable benefits net/net. what i find more interesting is the fact that we still practice it all given its origins in colonial america (to help the farmers squeeze in another hour of work)…yet arizona continues to ignore it altogether???

    i’m sure glad i’m not doing any transcontinental or transatlantic flying this week…

  • http://www.ameripriseadvisor.com/carter.m.adler/ Carter Adler

    Actually, it’s Daylight Saving Time.

  • scott

    restart your cisco phone with *-6-settings, and if the server has the correct time, it’ll fix it.

  • Steve Wells

    I agree. DLST is about the stupidest thing going. I remember being a kid in the 60′s when they started it. It was suppose to be for the farmers, to give them more daylight. Well, back then our population base was largely rural. But hey oh great brain trust of today…wake up! Its not rural anymore. So our dumbass congress were too lazy to introduce legislation to end it, so they bundle it with the ol energy bit! How convient. Anytime they need a vehicle to explain away their stupidity, they just pull the ol energy or education card! (They love that one too)!

  • Dana Izard

    If each of you will write your congressperson, maybe we can get something DONE about this stupid DST system!

  • foxroswell

    Daylight savings sucks if you're a shy person who likes peace and quiet, because the extra hour of daylight means more noise from kids and car traffic.

  • Judy

    DST is completely outdated in a global 24/7 society.It is inconvenient and unhealthy.
    http://www.standardtime.com is a great site with more info.

  • Animal

    daylight savings time is the stupidest thing ever- it's not 1810 anymore!

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