Friday, March 9, 2007

Day-Light Saving bug: Impact on the Digital World

In case you don't know about it: the day-light saving time (DST) is going to begin at 2AM on Sunday, March 11, 2007 (instead of April 1) and end at 2AM on Sunday, November 4, 2007 (in the past it used to start in April and end in October).

FYI: The sole idea of day-light saving time is to save energy by using more of the solar energy that we get for free. The Energy Policy Act 2005 contains an addendum to the Uniform Time Act (2006) which aims at saving more by using more of the sun's energy.

But what does it mean to us (other than making us wake up an hour earlier in the morning)? It won't be as devastating as Y2K bug(estimated loss: $23 billion), for sure. But, let's see what could happen if sufficient measures are not taken: most of the time-sensitive applications (for example, time cards) do not know how to react to this change, and it could lead to incorrect arrival and departure times in the travel industry and result in errors in bank transactions, causing late payments. In addition, trading applications might execute purchases and sales at the wrong time, and cell phone-billing software could charge peak rates at off-peak hours.

Microsoft and other software-makers have created patches to fend the blow. But it seems that the companies using Microsoft Exchange as their email client can still face problem. Many of them still use MS softwares which Microsoft has stopped providing support for: Windows 2000 and Windows XP prior to SP2 are probably the best examples.

Let's see how it can affect us!

Read more:
CNN, CNet, Wikipedia, Microsoft

No comments: