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Time Zone Database Has New Home After Lawsuit

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the let-us-handle-this dept.

The Courts 238

networkBoy writes "ICANN has taken stewardship of the time zone database after its original operators were sued for copyright infringement by an astrology software company, saying they will 'deal with any legal matters as they arise'. From the article: 'Without this database and others like it, computers would display Greenwich Mean Time, or the time in London when it isn't on summer time. People would have to manually calculate local time when they schedule meetings or book flights.'"

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So? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740414)

so? Either it violated the patents or it didn't. If it did, then the problem is either with the patent system or the specific implementation. Deal with one or the other.

Re:So? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740480)

The 'so' part would be that the previous stewards of the database did not feel they had the necessary funding to find out whether it violated patents. It would cost something to just 'find out', and if the verdict was that it did it could cost yet more.

ICANN appears willing and able to spend the money to find out, which might be enough to send the astrology folks packing.

Re:So? (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 3 years ago | (#37740828)

Or make dollar signs light up in their eyes. I hope it's the latter, because that will hopefully do to them what similar crap did to SCO.

Copyright, not patent; learn to read (N/T) (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 3 years ago | (#37740506)

(N/T)

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#37740530)

I'm sorry, patents? This issue involves copyrights .

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37740564)

oh lord the semantics police are on their way as we speak, red and blue lights whirling around like confused birds.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740632)

It's not semantics, it's two completely different areas of law. It's as different as condemning Mac desktops as being insecure virus magnets when you actually meant Windows desktops, and then when someone calls you out on it, pleading "oh, semantics police!" as a valid defence.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37740778)

It's not semantics, it's two completely different areas of law. It's as different as condemning Mac desktops as being insecure virus magnets when you actually meant Windows desktops, and then when someone calls you out on it, pleading "oh, semantics police!" as a valid defence.

Intellectual laziness always tries to assert its own validity.

It leads to strange behaviors. For example, the afflicted will usually prefer to make themselves look stupid by trying to convince you that an obvious glaring error is somehow not an error, rather than admit they made a mistake like human beings tend to do from time to time. I guess they think they're fooling anyone.

The sentiment seems to be, "how dare you expect me to know the most basic things about a subject prior to taking a position on it?! I mean really, who do you think you are?" In a way, it's amusing. In another way, it's really pathetic.

Re:So? (-1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37740848)

the fact that you turned this into a mac vs pc argument allows me to immediately dismiss this. I can only assume you knew how ridiculous this was, and thats why you posted AC

Re:So? (0)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37741186)

the fact that you turned this into a mac vs pc argument allows me to immediately dismiss this. I can only assume you knew how ridiculous this was, and thats why you posted AC

No, what's ridiculous is when the AC makes an analogy and you decide to fixate on the analogy itself in order to miss the point being made by it.

You must be desperate indeed to dismiss it if your rationale for doing so is that flimsy.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37740732)

No, the differences here are very important. Unoriginal data isn't eligible for copyright, but a method for handling data could be, at least in lower courts. Also, copyright has independent conception as a defense, while patents do not.

Re:So? (-1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37740838)

dude, it was the wrong word but the sentiment remains true. If you go after every person on the internet you're going to be spending your life fixing spelling mistakes and semantics. Just absorb the relevant information and move on.

Re:So? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37741240)

it was the wrong word but the sentiment remains true. ... Just absorb the relevant information and move on.

It's this attitude which fosters the spread of idiocy.

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37741364)

the surgery to have the rod removed from your rectum is both affordable and covered under most insurance plans.

Re:So? (0)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37741510)

the surgery to have the rod removed from your rectum is both affordable and covered under most insurance plans.

That's very mature of you. Nutria had it right.

You were merely ignorant before. Having received a correction and proving you are unable to handle that like an adult, you are now embracing willful stupidity.

It is blatantly obvious that saving face is more important to you than getting it right. The really amusing thing is, by being such a crybaby about it you are actually losing face much more than you otherwise would have.

You want to talk about levity? You're providing me with a lot of laughter right now. In fact, I'd wager you're the only one who doesn't find some humor in your desperate race to avoid admitting fault. Now wouldn't that be something, if the only one who takes this so seriously and wants so badly to bicker about it is the one who keeps demanding that everyone else lighten up. There are professional writers who struggle to so greatly portray irony.

Re:So? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37741080)

Also, copyright has independent conception as a defense, while patents do not.

If the same idea was concieved of independently, then the patent should be invalidated on grounds of obviousness.

Re:So? (1)

tqk (413719) | about 3 years ago | (#37740762)

oh lord the semantics police are on their way as we speak, red and blue lights whirling around like confused birds.

Well, excuse us for wanting to be correct. Do you enjoy it there in your misty, clouded, can't really see anything, "HOLY SHIT A BUS!" universe?

You work with tech? Do you program? What's your compiler say when you're lazy like this? It's people like you that keep helldesks [sic] busy.

Re:So? (-1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37740814)

do you always act like you program? do you go around at parties, telling people they're walking around in a misty clouded universe that only you can see through? Does the effort of holding the stick in your rectum cause you to be this annoying all the time? its people like you that need to lighten up.

Re:Ego? (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37741120)

do you always act like you program? do you go around at parties, telling people they're walking around in a misty clouded universe that only you can see through? Does the effort of holding the stick in your rectum cause you to be this annoying all the time? its people like you that need to lighten up.

You can't tell the difference between a party and a discussion about intellectual property law? Oh wait, you can but that would be inconvenient for you.

It's not a matter of "always acting like you program". It's a matter of having the slightest bit of discipline to handle the most basic things correctly. If you want a party analogy, it's like making sure you show up at the right address. What you're doing is showing up at the wrong address, knocking on the door, having it answered by a 90-year-old grandma, and handwaving away her objections that there is no party in her home and acting butthurt when she asks you to leave.

All of this is easier than just taking a correction and thanking the person for setting you straight?

Re:Ego? (-1, Troll)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37741276)

I can tell the difference between when I need to be an asshole at work vs choosing to be an asshole to everyone I meet.

You're not having a discussion at work, no project depends on this, and one guy using the wrong word doesn't hurt anyone. Try and lighten up. Replace the word patent with copyright and re-read the comment. does it still make sense? then absorb it and move on. Does it not make sense? then it isn't worth getting into.
http://lolpie.com/images/archive/content/1/3/lol-why-u-mad-tho-U9bbc.jpg [lolpie.com]

Re:Ego? (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37741410)

I can tell the difference between when I need to be an asshole at work vs choosing to be an asshole to everyone I meet. You're not having a discussion at work, no project depends on this, and one guy using the wrong word doesn't hurt anyone. Try and lighten up. Replace the word patent with copyright and re-read the comment. does it still make sense? then absorb it and move on. Does it not make sense? then it isn't worth getting into. http://lolpie.com/images/archive/content/1/3/lol-why-u-mad-tho-U9bbc.jpg [lolpie.com]

Correcting your mistake is not an asshole thing to do. You made a mistake. That's just a fact. It's not a matter of levity or gravity.

Being too proud to admit you should have gotten this right is an asshole thing to do. Just think for a second about why you're encountering so much resistance in this thread. Your lil' ego was bruised and apparently you don't handle that gracefully. You seem to be the only one who doesn't see that.

If "lightening up" is what you want so badly, start with yourself. "Lightening up" would mean you saying, from the very start, "hey thanks for catching my mistake" instead of crying about what a big meanie head everyone is. By demanding everyone else do what you failed to do, you're just a garden-variety hypocrite.

Or you can decide we're all just assholes and we're all conspiring to give you a hard time, that way you don't have to admit any flaw within yourself. You can protect your precious ego that way, at the cost of deluding yourself.

Re:Ego? (-1, Troll)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37741478)

you seem to misunderstand my position here. I'm mostly amused. Telling you to lighten up is just that - telling you to relax. My ego is intact because it isn't derived from arguing on the internet. Apparently I'm the only one capable of not being angry at random people people on the internet for their sins of semantics and grammar. thanks for catching my mistake though, bro!

Re:So? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 years ago | (#37740920)

Well, excuse us for wanting to be correct.

There's nothing wrong with being correct, and there's nothing wrong with correcting people. However, when Frosty Piss posted his correction, he added nothing new to the conversation other than a correction. The discussion devolved into an argument over semantics.

Re:So? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37741340)

when Frosty Piss posted his correction, he added nothing new to the conversation other than a correction.

Blocking error prevents conversations from drifting into wrongness.

That's no big deal when it's kids yammering about who's ricer has the baddest flames painted on the side of his Honda, but important when talking about the law.

It is a big difference. (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about 3 years ago | (#37740908)

It is a big difference, and not just semantics.

If the database was a valid patent claim, then using any type of timezone database could be blocked, forcing everyone to use GMT.

Where it is copyright, they might be able to require people to buy their version of the database. But, copyright cannot be applied to purely factual data, ie. Los Angeles being in the Pacific Timezone which is GMT-9 or GMT -8.

Re:It is a big difference. (-1, Troll)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | about 3 years ago | (#37740932)

you best watch out. the three other people who mentioned this before you have all filed for copyright on this sort of comment.

Re:So? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37741454)

How can you copyright numbers?

This is just like a phonebook.

You've got to be kidding me.... (0)

realsilly (186931) | about 3 years ago | (#37740444)

.... There are literally thousands of companies who have created time-zone databases in order to deal with the complexities that exists with all of this. So for umpteen years / decades this has not been an issue, but now in the wake of a gazillion copyright infringment lawsuits this company now claims ownership? Wow. This is just stupid.

Re:You've got to be kidding me.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740936)

.... There are literally thousands of companies who have created time-zone databases in order to deal with the complexities that exists with all of this. So for umpteen years / decades this has not been an issue, but now in the wake of a gazillion copyright infringment lawsuits this company now claims ownership? Wow. This is just stupid.

For values of "thousands" equal to "maybe two." Pretty much everyone uses this one.

Re:You've got to be kidding me.... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 3 years ago | (#37741348)

.... There are literally thousands of companies who have created time-zone databases in order to deal with the complexities that exists with all of this. So for umpteen years / decades this has not been an issue, but now in the wake of a gazillion copyright infringment lawsuits this company now claims ownership? Wow. This is just stupid.

For values of "thousands" equal to "maybe two." Pretty much everyone uses this one.

Except Microsoft.

Cue "everyone of value." comment in 5... 4... 3...

Re:You've got to be kidding me.... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 3 years ago | (#37741398)

There are literally thousands of companies who have created time-zone databases in order to deal with the complexities that exists with all of this.

Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?

Use a local clock? (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 3 years ago | (#37740472)

"Without this database and others like it, computers would display Greenwich Mean Time, or the time in London when it isn't on summer time. People would have to manually calculate local time when they schedule meetings or book flights.'"

Or, you know, manually specify the offset from GMT. Or set your clock to local time.

Re:Use a local clock? (0)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 years ago | (#37740618)

Yeah, I set my computer's clock by looking at my watch.

Re:Use a local clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740626)

Or set your clock to local time.

Oh, hmm..

<tinfoilhat>Isn't that how Windows works? I wonder if Microsoft are behind this lawsuit..</tinfoilhat>

Re:Use a local clock? (5, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | about 3 years ago | (#37740792)

Not a very good example of the importance of that database. It includes historic values, not only the current offset, that historic information is extremely useful. If you only have the current offset, applications has no way to know for example: what day is 20*365*24*60*60 seconds ago? and no, the answer is not exactly 20 year ago (ignoring leap years) because timezone changes means that not all days are 24 hours

Re:Use a local clock? (1, Flamebait)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37741122)

and no, the answer is not exactly 20 year ago (ignoring leap years) because timezone changes means that not all days are 24 hours

Time zones have nothing to do with how long a day is. Every time zone has 24 hour days. Unless you live in some weird alternate universe where some days are longer than others...

The changes in daylight savings time may impact exactly what time it is now but the only thing you have to deal with is whether you're currently in daylight savings time. Because within a year, switching to DST and back cancels itself out. A given year will have one day that acts like a 23 hour day and another that acts like a 25 hour day.

The only real thing that would make 20*365*24*60*60 (ignoring leap years) not exactly 20 years ago is if the standard for daylight savings time had changed between then and now. If daylight savings time was in effect then but not now (or not then but in effect now), you'd only be off by one hour.

Re:Use a local clock? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37741342)

and no, the answer is not exactly 20 year ago (ignoring leap years) because timezone changes means that not all days are 24 hours

Time zones have nothing to do with how long a day is. Every time zone has 24 hour days. Unless you live in some weird alternate universe where some days are longer than others...

The changes in daylight savings time may impact exactly what time it is now but the only thing you have to deal with is whether you're currently in daylight savings time. Because within a year, switching to DST and back cancels itself out. A given year will have one day that acts like a 23 hour day and another that acts like a 25 hour day.

The only real thing that would make 20*365*24*60*60 (ignoring leap years) not exactly 20 years ago is if the standard for daylight savings time had changed between then and now. If daylight savings time was in effect then but not now (or not then but in effect now), you'd only be off by one hour.

Timezones don't always switch back off of DST - see Russia, this year.

Re:Use a local clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37741414)

Lol it's only an hour, why should our computers be accurate, rite?

Re:Use a local clock? (3, Informative)

squizzar (1031726) | about 3 years ago | (#37741438)

Actually in this universe not all days are the same length...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second [wikipedia.org]

Re:Use a local clock? (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37741604)

That makes sense. But it still holds true that the time zones aren't responsible for this change in the length of a day.

Re:Use a local clock? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 3 years ago | (#37741396)

Someone please mod up parent as informative.

Re:Use a local clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740794)

Which works so well when your government decides to change when/if daylight saving time goes into effect and then you must change everything manually twice when the "helpful" automatic time change features can't be adjusted.

Re:Use a local clock? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37740860)

More likely use UTC for meetings, flights, etc. Its not a big deal and it solves a lot of problems.

Dave Mills is God. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37741034)

Or set your clock to local time.

Which works fine in Mom's basement, but not so good on Internet server clusters accessed from all over the world.

Having experienced life before NTP and timezone DBs, I gotta say they absolutely rock. Thanks, Dave [wikipedia.org] !

Do It Yourself (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 3 years ago | (#37740474)

So nobody else is capable of looking at a clock, comparing it to GMT, calculating the difference, and typing the result into a program that calculates the time from then until the daylight savings time change?

Re:Do It Yourself (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 3 years ago | (#37740606)

You can certainly do this for your local time zone. If you're booking a flight elsewhere, you can't see the clocks in that time zone.

The database in question is just a list of what everybody around the world would type in.

Re:Do It Yourself (1)

tqk (413719) | about 3 years ago | (#37740862)

The database in question is just a list of what everybody around the world would type in.

... mixed in with a whole bunch of local politics. In Canada, Newfoundland is half an hour off the next time zone. Saskatchewan doesn't do DST. Etc., etc. Check into Brazil's troubles the last time DST was defined. It was a mess.

Re:Do It Yourself (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740638)

That's not what the TZ database contains. It has city/country to timezone mapping, but it also has historical information. Timezones change, daylight savings time changes. The TZ database contains all that. That's why it is useful.

Re:Do It Yourself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740646)

I can't decide if your are retarded or just stupid.

Re:Do It Yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740654)

GMT offset is crap.

Re:Do It Yourself (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 3 years ago | (#37740678)

For the vast majority of people that is sadly impossible.

Re:Do It Yourself (2)

Hadlock (143607) | about 3 years ago | (#37740980)

I was traveling through South America for a month, hit most of the major countries. It's bigger than you think. Five countries in four weeks is a lot. Anyways, I was using Ubuntu (9.10 UNR) and Gmail on a netbook to handle most of my affairs while I was out of the country.

I'm not sure what it was exactly, either the system clock or on google's end, but when I crossed from Brazil in to Uruguay, my system clock, gmail and gcalendar got royally screwed up, to the point that I was 3 hours early to my international ferry, and despite being an hour "early" to the airport on my trip home, I barely made my flight by 10 minutes.

I doubt many people have much use for a calendar system that auto-updates the correct time depending on country/timezone you're in on a regular basis, but if your calendar says "4pm local time" and then changes it six times based on where you're viewing it, and screws up, it can be disastrous and very costly. I'm sure that's an outlier problem, but having a standardized database might give developers more time to work on kinks like what I experienced.

For the record, yes I own and wear a watch, but pilots don't always give you the local time when you land, and not always in English(!). Free wifi in airports is a blessing, but when your computer doesn't know what the actual time is, it can cause scheduling problems, especially when you're trying to catch a connecting/transfer flight.

Long story short, time zones screwed up my computer and took almost a week of use stateside before it sorted itself out again.

Re:Do It Yourself (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 3 years ago | (#37741040)

You are right. Why should we bother to use computers? Nobody else is capable of calculating the time of day looking at the sky and scratching numbers on a slate?

Re:Do It Yourself (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 3 years ago | (#37741238)

This is the sort of routine task of calculation that we use computer programs to automate. Sure, it's not much trouble to do this trivial task once, on one computer. It's another matter to do this, and a few thousand other similarly trivial tasks on a few thousand servers in a datacenter daily.

Upon hearing this... (-1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 3 years ago | (#37740494)

I immediately went out and filed a patent on "noon". Sorry folks, we're first to file now... you snooze you lose.

Re:Upon hearing this... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#37740560)

I immediately went out and filed a patent on "noon". Sorry folks, we're first to file now... you snooze you lose.

Good for you, but I already copyrighted it.

Re:Upon hearing this... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 years ago | (#37740946)

I immediately went out and filed a patent on "noon". Sorry folks, we're first to file now... you snooze you lose.

Good for you, but I already copyrighted it.

You both fail;
I Trademark'd that shit years ago!

I keed, I keed!

Re:Upon hearing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740652)

When will this stupid first-to-file talking point die? It's an incorrect distraction from the real issues of the patent system.

Re:Upon hearing this... (1)

6Yankee (597075) | about 3 years ago | (#37740866)

Sorry folks, we're first to file now... you snooze you lose.

Especially now I've patented hitting the snooze button!

Re:Upon hearing this... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 years ago | (#37740902)

Hah Hah I am suing you for patent fraud because you didn't disclose prior art in your filing.

All this time our clocks were based on *Astrology* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740554)

I could understand if the word 'astronomy' were in there, but Astrology? That's like saying our current knowledge of Biology was based on the movie Bambi.

Re:All this time our clocks were based on *Astrolo (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about 3 years ago | (#37741404)

Modern astronomy is based on ancient astrology. Everything has to start somewhere. In the case of computer clocks, it isn't so much that our clocks are based on astrology, it's that timekeeping began by studying the stars - and in antiquity, that meant astrology.

Modern astronomy still uses some of the ancient astrological terms.

Easy Solution (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#37740584)

Why can't a group of people just derive the same information from different (public domain) sources?

Re:Easy Solution (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37740624)

They can, but then they need to have enough funding to prove that is what they did in court. It does not matter if you are non-infringing if you don't have the money to prove it. Welcome to American justice.

Re:Easy Solution (1)

smoot123 (1027084) | about 3 years ago | (#37741082)

You could but as it turns out, it's incredibly handy to have one comprehensive database that everyone uses (and codes to). There's really no value in multiple people doing the grunt work and probably getting it wrong.

Really? We're going to trust ICANN with this? (3, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#37740602)

ICANN is the same group of idiots who decided in spite of numerous objections that selling gTLDs - and giving away all the rights and responsibilities for them - was a good idea. These guys don't have the best interest of anyone other than themselves in mind, and will probably sell this off to the highest bidder in a matter of months.

Re:Really? We're going to trust ICANN with this? (1, Informative)

DamonHD (794830) | about 3 years ago | (#37740806)

Hmm, I don't think that the (non-US) governments whose countries use those gTLDs were really keen for them to be controlled from the US...

Rgds

Damon

Re:Really? We're going to trust ICANN with this? (1)

game kid (805301) | about 3 years ago | (#37741360)

These guys don't have the best interest of anyone other than themselves in mind, and will probably sell this off to the highest bidder in a matter of months.

On the bright side, at least we'll get to see GoDaddy commercials where Danica Patrick makes seductive innuendo about ISO 8601.

"Want to put your +11:00 in my 2011-10-17T17:21:00, baby?" *continues with random double entendres and IndyCar lingo*

Home sweet timezone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740614)

There's no place like home.

Lawsuit is totally baseless (3, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37740642)

This lawsuit is a no-brainer. Time zone data would without a doubt be an unoriginal database, meaning that under Feist v. Rural, it isn't eligible for copyright in the US.

Re:Lawsuit is totally baseless (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37740724)

Doesn't matter if it's baseless and would get tossed out of court -- eventually. The former database maintainer didn't have the budget to fight back.

If you want to blame someone, blame the "justice" system that allows frivolous lawsuits to be filed in the first place.

Re:Lawsuit is totally baseless (3, Informative)

Jim Tyre (100017) | about 3 years ago | (#37741254)

Doesn't matter if it's baseless and would get tossed out of court -- eventually. The former database maintainer didn't have the budget to fight back.

If you want to blame someone, blame the "justice" system that allows frivolous lawsuits to be filed in the first place.

EFF is representing Arthur D. Olson (the former database maintainer).

Re:Lawsuit is totally baseless (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 3 years ago | (#37740742)

Great. Now, how many million are you willing to spend on lawyers to say that in court?

My only question (2, Funny)

Eil (82413) | about 3 years ago | (#37741178)

Will I finally be able to buy my own vanity timezone for $200,000?

Abolish time zones (3, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | about 3 years ago | (#37740650)

Time zones are not necessary in today's world.

And while we're at it, let's switch to metric clocks.

Re:Abolish time zones (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | about 3 years ago | (#37740796)

What's wrong with time since the Unix epoch? I'm using that and I'm doing fine!

Re:Abolish time zones (2)

Spectre (1685) | about 3 years ago | (#37740800)

Time zones are not necessary in today's world.

And while we're at it, let's switch to metric clocks.

Sure, no problem. What is the current .beat?

Anybody old enough to remember Swatch Internet Time [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Abolish time zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740930)

I'll raise my hand after you got off my lawn! ;-)

Re:Abolish time zones (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#37740970)

Sure, no problem. What is the current .beat?

Anybody old enough to remember Swatch Internet Time [wikipedia.org] ?

Hey who are you calling old ? I bet you can still put a Beat clock applet next to your snazzy homepage hit counter if you want.

Re:Abolish time zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740840)

No, I prefer to have multiple and fractional base in my numbers.

Re:Abolish time zones (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#37740922)

So, in your world is 12:00 during the business day in Tokyo? How about Los Angeles? What about Harare?
The reason we need timezones is so that we can easily know whether or not a particular time is a reasonable time to be able to contact someone in a geographically distant location. If you are scheduling a teleconference with people from somewhere distant and I tell it will be 3:00 AM there at the time you are proposing, you know that, except in special edge cases, that is not a reasonable time to expect the workers at that distant location to be available for a teleconference.

Re:Abolish time zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740956)

I totally agree that time zones are stupid. Why would I care if the sun rises at 6:30 AM or at 22:30? The "time" is just a reference number. Can you imagine how much easier it would be if something like a sporting event (say Olympic Downhill Skiing or a World Cup Final) was on EVERYWHERE in the world at 19:00? So what if some people would just be getting up, others in the middle of their workday, whilst still others were heading to bed? It is just a number. And having it be the same globally has value. When is that American Football game? It's at 05:00. EVERYWHERE.

Needing it to be dark at 9:00 PM and light at 8:00 AM is just stupid.

Re:Abolish time zones (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#37741072)

In the off chance that you are serious:

1) Most people still live by the sun. Some may be a few hours earlier than others (morning people) and some people may be a few hours later than people (night owls), but there is a definite correlation between when the sun is "up" and when people live their lives.

2) People find it easier to translate between time zones than they do between local norms. "Let's see, hour business hours are between 3.33 and 6.66 while their business hours are between 8.85 and 2.18. Which is a 5.52 offset. It's now 6.14, which makes it 11.66 in their time. No, that's not right. That's 1.66. No, that's the wrong way around ... screw this."

3) People hate change. Well, at least this type of change. I live in a country that switched to metric decades ago, and people still use imperial units for just about everything. Making life even more fun, different people use a different mix between metric and imperial. More often than not it seems to depend upon how they were introduced to the units, so you will run into weird combinations like measuring apples in pounds and olives in grams.

An analogous problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37741244)

We sure can have metric time. And we can keep some reference to when the Sun rises.

Analogous situations:

The Kelvin scale and the Celsius (ugh, Fahrenheit) human-adapted scale
Frequency in Hz and human-adapted octaves
Weight/volume SI units and practical units like a spoon, a cup etc.

The world won't end if someone uses auxiliary units depending on context; this is totally different from publishing a "scientific" paper in feet because they're traditional in, say, Aviation.

One has to understand though that "local time" is completely useless when your audience is global. Practical auxiliary units need to be practical: you don't need to explain what is a cup. Were you to talk to a Japanese, you might use instead "chawan".

Likewise, using a "foot" might be practical inside a small region which understands what it means. But what about the rest of the world? Are you going to explain "feet" to every generation out there?

People could start mocking you... Just saying... ;-P

or... (2)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 3 years ago | (#37740714)

we can all just switch to stardate now!

Re:or... (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 3 years ago | (#37741158)

Just a quick question out of ignorance, how does the stardate communicate relative time frames?

Re:or... (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 3 years ago | (#37741590)

My understanding was it is absolute. same stardate at the same time on Kronos, earth, and Vulcan.

Re:or... (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37741610)

Just a quick question out of ignorance, how does the stardate communicate relative time frames?

Very carefully.

Re:or... (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37741620)

In Leonard Hofstadter's voice "please don't ask that please don't ask that oh crap, you asked that. We'll never make it to the movie now."

Wikipedia (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740734)

Can everyone just update the Wikipedia entry for your city with timezone information? It would be nice if it were in an easy to recognize format along with LAT/LONG position so this can all be scraped into a database via software.

Re:Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740934)

Can everyone just update the Wikipedia entry for your city with timezone information?

Sure, if you want your official offset to be "GMT+UR TIME IS A FAGGY FAGGY FAG LOL" for half of every day and wrong the other half.

Slightly off-topic but... (4, Interesting)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about 3 years ago | (#37740870)

.

When are we going to start burning all the Astrologists as Witches?

This lawsuit would seem to be ample provocation.

.

Re:Slightly off-topic but... (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 3 years ago | (#37741112)

Right now we're too busy burning economists. Astrologists will have to wait their turn, right after TV evangelists.

Re:Slightly off-topic but... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 3 years ago | (#37741472)

Hey, many of the witches I know would be quite offended if you started comparing them to astrologers!

non-time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37740874)

"computers would display Greenwich Mean Time, or the time in London when it isn't on summer time"

??

GMT is always GMT regardless of whether BST (british sumer time, GMT +1) is in effect or not.

no need to write silly things like "the time in London when it isn't on summer time"

that's as useful as giving a weather report talking about the "the stuff that falls from the sky but isn't wet (at least until it melts)"

Just get rid of timezones. (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about 3 years ago | (#37740890)

We should just phase out timezones period. It would be a little complicated at first, but you would soon get used to it.

For instance in Central Timezone USA. We are offset -6. So instead of getting up at 6 every morning, I would get up at 00:00. So on and so forth. I realize it works out quite nicely for me, but I don't see it being a big problem for anyone else either.

Really really dumb idea (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 3 years ago | (#37741180)

The problem is that we've got clocks. They've got noon and midnight on them. We've also got the sun. It rises at dawn, sets at sunset, and mid-way through the day it's straight overhead. And silly humans, we expect our clocks and the sun to be sorta-kinda in sync. We expect that mid-way through the sun's cycle, when it's straight overhead at what we call noon, our clocks are also going to be mid-way through their cycle and will be reading noon. We expect midnight on the clocks to be in the middle of the night. And we expect dawn and sunset to be in the morning and evening by our clocks.

Any solution proposed needs to accomplish the same synchronization. Not for any technical reasons, but because people expect it. It's not an implementation detail, it's a system requirement. Your "solution" tries to cross that requirement off as invalid or irrelevant, which means it immediately gets dismissed as "fails to meet requirements".

What time is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37741298)

There is no fucking way an "astrology" software spewing company going to troll dictate time zone information to me. Ain't ever going to happen you false mother fuckers.

Some already half-do (1)

I_Wrote_This (858682) | about 3 years ago | (#37741324)

>> "...computers would display Greenwich Mean Time,"
My Windows systems already half do this. They get the time correct on Daylight Savings time, but insist on calling it GMT, which it isn't.
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