Changing Daylight Saving Time could be a technical nightmare [Hub Debate]

Old Clock at Zion's First National Bank (source)
Old Clock at Zion’s First National Bank (source)

We’re debating whether Daylight Saving Time should end. Learn more about it here. If you’d like to contribute a post, send it to UtahPoliticoHub@gmail.com.


 

I’ve never much liked Daylight Saving Time. Resetting all of the not-so-smart devices in the house twice a year is kind of a pain, and tracking time across that shift is about as cumbersome. It’s only gotten worse with kids since they don’t adjust well to it either. Overall, it’s a giant bucket of suck that I curse at least twice a year. And we can’t get rid of it.

Blame our devices. Any device that tells time these days comes with a very complex set of rules about keeping time. When Congress extended DST a number of years ago, a lot of effort went into modifying those rules so that time would be properly kept on billions of computers, smart clocks, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Many didn’t get an update at all because they were just too old (looking at you, Windows 2000) and were doomed to never keep time accurately again.

So what would happen if Utah chose to abandon DST? It depends on which time is the new standard. If we go the Arizona route and stay on standard time, devices can simply piggyback onto the existing time zone and be none the wiser. This does present a challenge, however, if the given device uses a location to determine the time zone (e.g. setting your location as Salt Lake City automatically assumes Mountain with DST shifts). If we decide to make DST the new standard time, things get a lot tricker. There’s not any time zone currently that observes those rules, so a lot of devices will break without software updates from manufacturers. Many of them may choose to ignore us entirely. That would be bad.

So as much as I’d like to see DST pound sand, I don’t want to see it cause chaos with all of my timekeeping devices. It’s just not worth it.

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