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Microsoft Takes a 'Patch Tuesday' Break

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the wish-i-could-take-a-post-friday-break dept.

Windows 151

Phill0 submitted a ZD story about Microsoft's week off which says "Microsoft has no new security updates planned for Tuesday, despite at least five zero-day vulnerabilities that are waiting to be fixed. The patch break could be a welcome respite for IT managers still busy testing the dozen fixes Microsoft released last month. Also, many IT pros may be occupied with the switch to daylight saving time, which at the behest of Congress, is happening three weeks earlier this year. "

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Zero Day (0)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18287912)

Yeah, we're all tired this month. Zero-day, shmero day.

Re:Zero Day (1, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288022)

Yeah, I mean, screw it. Who cares about security vulnerabilities, viruses and spyware? If we did, none of us would be using Windows, that's for sure... ;)

Re:Zero Day (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288258)

Actually that caught my eye too: "at least five zero-day vulnerabilities are waiting to be fixed." It's the number of unpatched vulnerabilities that matters, not the number that were discovered by black hats before white hats. In any case, I'm not even sure it makes sense to say "this is a 0-day exploit" if it's something that was discovered a month ago (regardless of who discovered it first).

Re:Zero Day (3, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288330)

"Zero-day vulnerability" is totally meaningless. Even the proper "zero-day exploit" makes no sense after zero-day. Totally useless garbage speak, just the marketroids and talking heads who make up words like "factoid" because somehow the word "fact" is not descriptive enough.

Re:Zero Day (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288728)

Factoid is to fact as truthiness is to truth.

Re:Zero Day (4, Informative)

wordsnyc (956034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289034)

http://www.word-detective.com/101800.html#factoid [word-detective.com]

Blame it on CNN -- they started the whole ruckus by taking a perfectly good word and twisting it.

"Factoid" is one of those rare words that were undeniably invented by an identifiable individual, in this case Norman Mailer, in his book "Marilyn," published in 1973. The Oxford Dictionary of New Words defines "factoid" thus: "A spurious or questionable fact; especially something that is supposed to be true because it has been reported (and often repeated) in the media, but is actually based on speculation or even fabrication." Norman Mailer himself defined "factoids" as "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority."

Mailer invented the word by combining "fact" with "oid," a scientific suffix meaning "resembling or having the form of, but not identical to." Needless to say, "factoids" in Mailer's sense are the antithesis of serious reporting, and to accuse a journalist of trafficking in "factoids" was a grave insult, at least until CNN came along.

Re:Zero Day (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288042)

Ya... who needs to patch holes in Windows when people might run their own code on a 360! Oh the humanity!

Zero Time (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288194)

Ah, the sad life of a Windoze admin. So busy testing endless and useless security patches that they never have time to look at anything else. It's almost like M$ planned it that way.

Re:Zero Time (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288424)

That's the life of a very bad admin. A good admin doesn't need to do any of that because the patches worked without a hitch.

Yeah, right. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288582)

A good admin doesn't need to do any of that because the patches worked without a hitch.

Tell me what a good admin can do to make sure M$ does not break someone else's program. Even if M$ were not malicious, they can't know what other non free companies have done on any given computer and will break things with changes.

A good admin will also keep up with the ever changing tools M$ and others throw out, and this causes even more wasted time. I've seen ambitious young admins spending months of weekends reading four inch thick books on things like Visual Studio, knowing .NET is just around the two year away corner.

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288722)

A good admin will also keep up with the ever changing tools M$ and others throw out, and this causes even more wasted time. I've seen ambitious young admins spending months of weekends reading four inch thick books on things like Visual Studio, knowing .NET is just around the two year away corner.

That's like saying that keeping up with the different releases of apache (first 1.x, then 2.x) is a waste of time, so we should all just lag behind in terms of technology. Apache 2 was just the natural evolution of the webserver. Likewise, .NET is the natural evolution of the microsoft programming implementations.

Re:Zero Time (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288518)

This is opposed to the heart-stoppingly exciting life of posting anti-MS FUD on a Linux news site?

I think I'd rather take the 'endless' patching.

Re:Zero Day (4, Informative)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288320)

You obviously don't work in an enterprise.

These last 2 weeks have been crazy. Monstrous. Patches for Windows, patches for Exchange, patches for Outlook, patches for Java, patches for Oracle, patches for Act, patches for Blackberries, patches for Treos, patches for that weird-ass cell the COO uses and no one else does. Patches to replace patches. Patches to undo the damage other patches have made. I firmly place blame on the software companies for waiting this long to sort things out, but this says it all: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914387 [microsoft.com] NINETEEN REVISIONS. That's the most for an MS KB article ever.

Yes, there are zero-day vulnerabilities out there. However, considering the potential trainwreck that's going to happen Monday, no admin in their right mind would install new patches on Tuesday. No admin worth their salt would do so anyway: usually you wait a few days for the early adopters to fish out the bugs and MS to release any new versions. You let your security hardware and software (which has barely needed to be patched) deal with any potential problems. That's just smart business sense.

For those of you admining a handful of servers, serving basic stuff like webpages, laughing at the work some people have to do for this, that's great. Enjoy yourselves. For the rest of us with a real workload: hundreds of servers and tens of thousands of desktops, all with software on top of software that may or may not be compatible with each other patchwise, this last few weeks have been a living hell. A couple people getting their Word documents hosed is nothing compared to payroll systems not working, trade systems coughing up blood, etc. I'll hand that responsibility off to Symantec and friends -- I've got more important stuff to worry about.

Re:Zero Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288650)

These last 2 weeks have been crazy. Monstrous. Patches for Windows, patches for Exchange, patches for Outlook, patches for Java, patches for Oracle, patches for Act, patches for Blackberries, patches for Treos, patches for that weird-ass cell the COO uses and no one else does. Patches to replace patches. Patches to undo the damage other patches have made. I firmly place blame on the software companies for waiting this long to sort things out

No, you should put the blame where it belongs: the US Congress for passing a law changing the dates when DST starts & ends, and George Bush for signing it.

A few extra weeks of DST is not going to have a significant effect on energy consumption, but the amount of work required for this change is enormous. Not to mention the FDA advisories on medical devices not working.

Re:Zero Day (1)

jsolan (1014825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288692)

2 weeks?

Granted, I'm not a microsoft admin, but some of our 3rd party apps still run on server 2003. I understand that some companies may not have had patches out until recently, but we started back in January with our Oracle and Java patches. Our approach was to bite of small junks as early and often as possible.
We also pushed back on any 3rd party applications that we pay support to, to get DST patches as quickly as possible.
We've had most patches (all mission critical ones) in place on test systems since early February, giving our users ample time to test.

The past 2 weeks have been relaxing AFAIC compared to the previous 4-6.

Re:Zero Day (2, Informative)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288964)

If you haven't been following the mayhem, the original DST patch for Windows XP/2003 came out very late last year. That was coupled with a call to edit the timezone files manually in 2000. Fine.

Then Microsoft released another update in January, replacing the existing. That had to be regression tested and rolled out. Then they released a cumulative update with that and a new fix for a specific timezone (think it was Nova Scotia - can't remember). Fine.

Then, Exchange team came out and said "Guess what, now you need to update your servers as well." But you also need to update Outlook, because if you tell Exchange to fix calendars it'll screw them up in other countries that *aren't* changing this Sunday.

All the while, people are creating appointments that will become off by an hour when the time switches over. The Outlook update has gone through multiple revisions and just got a silent installer about a week ago. The earlier you did the system patch, the more likely appointments will be off.

On top of this, Blackberry and Treos didn't get their patches until late, and you need to do those AFTER the Exchange/Outlook patches. So we had to wait for MS to sort this nonsense out.

And I'm just talking messaging here. This doesn't even begin to go into the other software that's affected.

I feel your pain... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18290010)

I'm leading the charge on DST for my company and well.... let's just say that I manage over 350 servers with over 4000 users. It's going to be ugly though, if I do my job properly it should mean some good kudos afterwards :)

Re:I feel your pain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18290264)

It's going to be ugly though, if I do my job properly it should mean some good kudos afterwards :)
Heh... I doubt it, but good luck with that. More likely nobody will notice anything if you do it right, but you'll get shit if something goes wrong.
Such is life.

A Fiasco (1)

artgeeq (969931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288706)

I'll apologize in advance if this is a redundant post, but it is just too good to not read. This is full of the usual Microsoft doublespeak and PR. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2102366,00.as p [eweek.com] It was not so hard to update my Red Hat systems.

Re:A Fiasco (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289052)

Again, to be honest, what is your setup? 5 RedHat systems? 100? 1000? What enterprise-level software were they running? Oracle? SAP? Did you have to deal with user-level issues regarding particular client software?

My responsibility extends to both sides of the fence (servers and desktops) for thousands of machines. The software they use is disparate and spread out across the globe.

I don't mean this as an offense (as we do have RedHat admins in our enterprise), but the majority of Linux machines out there were fairly simple to patch because there wasn't much going on with them. Most of our RedHat admins just have a bunch of Apache servers. The ones that had a large number of servers were using them as basic clusters -- timezone issues wouldn't be a problem anyway. The Windows boxes were handling things like procurement and payroll, with client software to match - stuff that relied on time values in multiple locations and had a much bigger matrix of patches and potential conflicts. When all your server does is serve a few pages or render some basic results, it doesn't really matter when it's patched.

Re:A Fiasco (1)

artgeeq (969931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289232)

I would say that on principle it was easier. Red Hat, running sendmail and some web applications, required only a patch to the operating system. Microsoft requires patches to applications, such as Exchange 2000, and also patches to calendar applications and even some calendar items (patches to data). It's a whole different job with MS.

Re:A Fiasco (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289346)

That, I will admit, was the most totally braindead portion of this: Exchange. The multiple system patches I can kind of stomach because various government organizations were sorting this out to the last minute. But to have Exchange use its own time setup, in addition to Outlook modifying that setup for its own purposes, was especially stupid. I hope this got the Exchange team to wake up and realize how awful their design was.

Re:Zero Day (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288958)

If you're so damn busy, how do you have time to write a book to post on /.? Cry me a river r-tard

Re:Zero Day (1)

thisisjace (800324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289432)

The Anonymous Coward had me until the name calling.

Jargon!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289770)

So, "zero-day vulnerabilities" means what? Unpatched vulnerabilities? Who could patch unknown vulnerabilities? Why are people referring to unpatched vulnerabilities as "zero-day"??

The term zero-day used to refer to attacks. ..attacks simultaneous to or before a vulnerability is publicly announced.

The term zero-day attack means something. Zero-day vulnerability is mindless, sensational jargon!!! A publicly announced vulnerability that is unpatched is an unpatched vulnerability!!! Public unpatched vulnerabilities can typically be mitigated against.

Know what you are talking about!!! Lets not dilute the term to the point it is totally meaningless. At this rate, we will be referring to frozen hot-pockets as "zero-day lunch".

UUGGGGG!!!!

"Patch Tuesday" Break? (4, Funny)

instantkamera (919463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18287926)

So they were allowed an extension to their "Avoid Releasing Decent Software" Decade vacation?

A positive note! (4, Funny)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288010)

At least they can't break anything new this week!

Re:A positive note! (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288280)

Don't be so positive yet. We've still got the DST thing coming up on Sunday morning... (if you're in the US)

Re:A positive note! (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288356)

I'm not ;-)

DST (5, Insightful)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288038)

Stupid congress and their DST. How much energy do they think we will save by moving up DST 3 weeks? How much economic loss will be caused by companies all over the place busting their ass trying to get all kinds of systems pathced and working right...?

Idiot congresspeople.

What about when they realize it was stupid? (4, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288096)

Are we going to have to re-patch everything in a year or two when they change it back?

On the good side, we found out what doesn't come back up automatically after a reboot on the Sun systems that needed the libc patch, too.

Re:DST (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288152)

How much energy do they think we will save by moving up DST 3 weeks?
Simple answer: 100,000 barrels of oil daily. [foxnews.com]

How much economic loss will be caused by companies all over the place busting their ass trying to get all kinds of systems pathced (sic) and working right...?
It's already law. If you don't like it, too bad.

Idiot congresspeople.
Harsh truth: you're no match for lobbyists.

Re:DST (1)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288394)

The question was rhetorical. Instead of mucking with the time zone and such, there are other far more sensible ways to save energy.

Too bad? So that means I am not allowed to complain about it? Do my complaint insults Prince Dubya?

No match for lobbyists? Really? Thanks for keeping me enlightened. Go back to bed Mr. cranky pants.

Re:DST (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288684)

I know you love to play the victim, but that was pretty weak. The question was rhetorical. Instead of mucking with the time zone and such, there are other far more sensible ways to save energy. To coin a phrase, two rights don't make a wrong. Just because there are alternatives doesn't mean that this isn't good. Too bad? So that means I am not allowed to complain about it? Do my complaint insults Prince Dubya?
Straw man argument. No match for lobbyists? Really? Thanks for keeping me enlightened. Go back to bed Mr. cranky pants.
Unconstructive sarcasm, ad-hominem attack.

Re:DST (1)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288910)

playing the victim?
whatever dude, you are reading WAY too much into my post and taking it way to seriously.
I was simlpy griping about another stupid change made by idiotic government bodies.
get over yourself, ummmkay?

Re:DST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289562)

get over yourself, ummmkay?
You first; and quit your whining.

Don't bust Congress' chops... (2, Insightful)

narftrek (549077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288164)

Hey I can agree that Congress does alot of messed up crap and I would also agree that it may not help much but you should really put blame where it is due: Microsoft. Why? Well mainly because they decided to HARDCODE it into Windows. That is about as silly as when the clock chip makers hardcoded the calendars into the chips for the Y2K incident. Anything that could POSSIBLY change should be treated like the variable it is and make some register for it to be changed in...even things in science we call constants get changed every once in a blue moon so simply making them variables would have made this switch so much easier for everyone. I know when I was in programming 101 my professor would mark my programs into oblivion when I didn't have my variable declarations for everything possible and then initialize them. Somehow or another though Microsoft didn't have such a structure for their coders and now we are left with this mess. I'm sure another instance will arise in the future as well. I hope the coding behind Vista is better. I know alot of people enjoy blaming M$ for alot of crap and usually it is unfounded but this time I think we can all razz them for screwing the pooch on this one.

Re:Don't bust Congress' chops... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288494)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914387 [microsoft.com]

Doesn't look very hard coded to me...

Doesn't do a damn thing for TZ env var usage. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289908)

This still doesn't help out the problems with the TZ environment variable usage under countless apps written in MS Visual C, Visual C++, .NET Studio, etc, where timezone logic has been hard-coded into all those MSVCRT.DLL and MSVC*.DLL files. Microsoft's usage of the TZ environment variable, depending on who you ask, might or might not obey the POSIX standard syntax for modifying the start and stop dates for DST encoded into the TZ variable's string (e.g. TZ=EST6EDT,M3.2.0,M11.1.0). I cannot find any official MS documentation on their implementation of how they read and interpret the TZ string for any version of Windows older than Vista, which purportedly does support the full POSIX syntax for TZ. There seems to be a mostly complete absence of official documentation for older Windows versions' TZ variable supported syntax.

To give an indication of how big of a problem this might become, a quick search on one of my servers shows no fewer than FIVE different versions of the Visual C runtime DLLs that could be affected, and some of my apps are written to use the TZ environment variable in lieu of obtaining the timezone info from elsewhere in the system. The vendors of those apps are clueless about the problem and are trying to feign ignorance about it too.

Microsoft does have a knowledge base article listing some replacement DLLs for each version, but they were just announced very recently (less than two weeks ago) and the DLLs are not downloadable... you must have a paid support agreement with them to get these.

The situation totally sucks.

Re:DST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288182)

How much economic loss will be caused by companies all over the place busting their ass trying to get all kinds of systems pathced and working right...?

Quite a bit, I would imagine. But then again, that's what we've come to expect from Republicans. They'll go on and on about how they understand economics. But then they turn around and take action that, from an economics standpoint, are completely moronic. This DST nonsense is one such example. It's too bad the Democrats are just as bad.

There is no loss... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288348)

What Company A spends in costs to upgrade systems for DST, Company B receives. It isn't a loss, it is an economic stimulant.

As a contractor, I've been working extra hours upgrading telecom switching systems and while it is a pain-in-the-ass, I'm happy to have the extra work. Extra work is extra money.

So far, every upgrade I've done includes more than just DST patches. Like the whole Y2K bit, companies are using this as an opportunity to squeeze out more funding for upgrades.

Sorry buddy, it is a loss (2, Interesting)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288578)

You're illustrating the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] , which assumes that since money for repairs is spent somewhere, it isn't lost and is entirely stimulative.

The problem with that is that the opportunity cost of not having that money elsewhere. Of course money never vanishes, it recirculates. If the $1 spent on Y2K7 compliance isn't spent there, it is spent elsewere to earn a return, or as profits to be retained and reinvested or given to shareholders as dividends. All involved would no doubt prefer to spent the money A) increasing widget production, B) developing a new widget, or C) reinvesting it in a profitable opportunity elsewhere. None would choose to spend it D) on updating DST calculations.

Now, when an economy is in a depression or deep recession, sometimes their is a stimulative effect of bad spending (hence the Keynesian stimulation of deficit spending), because the economic loss of unemployed resources is such that the economy may get a lift from spending to bring it out of the depression... that's how WWII ended the great depression... in a non depressed economy, few would argue that the best use of scare resources is to blow up the cities of other countries and send a chunk of your workforce to go into combat half a world away, but in a depression, reducing unemployment through war spending and by removing conscripts from the potential labor force may be stimulative enough to get the economy growing.

However, right now, this isn't economically beneficial. That said, I can't wait for the extra hour of sunshine Monday night!

Alex

Re:Sorry buddy, it is a loss (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288676)

Correct, for the most part.

You neglected the last sentence I wrote where I said that so far, the DST "repairs" were more than just repairs. Like Y2K, people were using this as an opportunity to upgrade as well.

Sort of like taking that broken window and replacing it with a two-pane, double-glazed, double-hung window. Besides fixing the break, you've improved efficiency, insulation and increased longevity.

No, it isn't a 100% recovery, but it is better than just the fix.

Still, a nice link. Thanks. I need to read that one more thoroughly.

Re:DST (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288262)

It is a glorious tradition. I can't think of any other reason to do it. The change also allows congress to follow another glorious tradition, doing stuff that they can say they did.

Seems about par for the course when you throw in a bit of democracy though.

Energy, schmenergy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288484)

Daylight Savings time is there so that those of us who don't fly can still experience the joy of jetlag twice a year!

(wierd capcha today, is there supposed to be a space between "frag" and "rant"?)

Re:Energy, schmenergy (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288574)

(wierd capcha today, is there supposed to be a space between "frag" and "rant"?)

No, there isn't. [reference.com]

Re:DST (1)

Smurfeur (915009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288504)

On the other hand, not adaptable == badly designed system.

Re:DST (1)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288534)

heu heu

Changing DSt Aint that complicated with the proper tool, they can be deployed via automated script with logon script and i'm pretty sure .

The economic loss is grossly exagerated like the w2k bug that NEVER hAPENNED

Re:DST (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289618)

The economic loss is grossly exagerated like the w2k bug that NEVER hAPENNED

Which Windows 2000 bug was that?

Oh, you meant Y2K? Yeah, it "never happened" because thousands of dedicated professionals worked for years to fix and upgrade old systems.

Re:DST (2, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288570)

How much energy do they think we will save by moving up DST 3 weeks?

It has nothing to do with saving energy. It's about Congress and the Administration wanting to look like they're doing something about our dependence on foreign oil. There's very little energy savings to be had: these new weeks come in the heart of winter, where a few extra hours of daylight in the evening won't matter because who's going outside when it freezing, and more importantly, people will still have to be heating their homes and offices regardless. And since it will be darker in the morning, when people get up to go to work, any evening savings will be offset by morning usage.

They would have been better off writing a bill to increase tax credits for alternative energy sources and trying to encourage more fuel efficiency in cars and an increase in mass transit. Instead, we get window dressing.

Re:DST (3, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289388)

In a significant and large portion of the country, March is the heart of spring. I saw people studying out under trees yesterday because the weather was beautiful. It is 64F right now. I turned on my air conditioning briefly because my apartment got uncomfortably hot yesterday.

If you don't live in Maine, this makes a heck of a lot more of a difference than you apparently realize. (Yes, restricting to only Maine is an exaggeration, too. Deal with it. You know what I mean by it anyway.)

Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288858)

I've never really understood why they didn't just make DST permanent. In other words, get rid of the whole spring-forward/fall-back business, and just move the time zones in the U.S. up an hour, if that would give us more daylight in the evenings, when apparently we want it.

It's all just a psychological game, anyway; the actual amount of daylight obviously never changes, it's just that people really hate having to get up before their clock says they should, and thus it's necessary to fudge the clocks so that people get up earlier, and don't waste daylight and end up having it dark in their (clock-proscribed) "evening."

If we want it to show something different on the lock when the big warm ball starts to rise in the morning, which is apparently what we want, I don't get why we don't just push all the U.S. time zones forward an hour and leave them there, and get rid of this fall/spring switching.

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289136)

It's all just a psychological game, anyway; the actual amount of daylight obviously never changes

Ummm ..... no actually, the amount of daylight changes continuously throughout the year. From the winter solstice until the summer solstice, the days keep getting longer. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, they get shorter. The vernal and autumnal equinoxes are the midpoints of that transition. The time of sunrise and sunset change throughout this whole cycle, by quite a range

DST is designed to give us longer periods of 'daytime' sunlight in the spring through fall, and in the winter we say 'bugger it' and go back to shorter days since they're going to be so short anyway. This year, we're starting that a little earlier.

The amount of daylight, and the time of day at which it occurs, absolutely changes (though, not simply from DST). It's just that 90% of the population doesn't need daylight at 5:30am, so we push things around to coincide with when people will be up and about as it changes throughout the year.

Like it or not, both timezones and DST are an attempt to make the ever-changing solar day fit in with our lives a little better, and account for that whole round-aspect of the Earth. :-P

Besides, even if it is a 'psychological game' ... when on Sunday it's not dark until 7pm instead of 6pm (cause I don't case what it looks like at 5am, ever), I'm going to be a very happy camper. It means more of the time I'm going to be awake is going to be in the presence of sunlight.

Cheers

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289228)

Get up earlier.

You're doing it anyway, it's just masked by the fact that we swap time zones for half a year. It's a stupid, horrible solution to a minor problem.

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289320)

Get up earlier.

You're doing it anyway, it's just masked by the fact that we swap time zones for half a year.

Yeah, but we're all doing it at the same time. So, I still show upfor work at 9am like always, it's just that less daylight has burned off before I start my day, and there's more left of it after I go home. I'll accept that as a trade-off.

It's a stupid, horrible solution to a minor problem.

*shrug* I guess I've never had a problem with DST, so I just don't see why the big hate on for it.

If you would like to live your life off by an hour for the next 8 months or so, and correct it as you go through your day as a form of protest, you have that option available to you. Whatever floats your boat. ;-) Me, I'll embrace the fact that more daylight will be available to me starting next week, even if I go a few days of trying to change my day by an hour.

Cheers

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18290044)

I'm aware of that -- I should have been more clear. I was stating something more obvious: the day doesn't actually get magically "longer" as a result of Daylight Savings Time. There's still the same number of minutes of daylight on a particular day in the year, regardless of whether you bump the clocks backwards or forwards an hour. It's all just a mind game to get people up earlier, and thus let them make use of more daylight, so that the day seems longer. But the day is the same length whether you're awake or not, obviously.

I wasn't implying that the days don't get shorter in the winter -- they do (and that's kind of why we have a winter to begin with). However, what I'm not clear on, is whether the daylight actually shifts earlier and later in the day, in addition to becoming longer and shorter (i.e., does the "median daylight time" or 'middle of the day' actually move, or does it grow shorter and longer at both ends equally?). If it the 'middle of the day' doesn't move significantly, then it seems like we could dispense with the clock-setting and just move the TZs earlier.

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289288)

It's all just a psychological game, anyway

That's why my favorite time fudging clock is this one [lunchclock.com]

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (4, Informative)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289722)

I don't get why we don't just push all the U.S. time zones forward an hour and leave them there, and get rid of this fall/spring switching.
Because you share them with Canada, and we really need the spring-forward/fall-back. If we stuck with summer time, the sun would set at 3:30pm in mid-winter. If we stuck with winter time, the sun would rise at 4:30am in mid-summer. Either way, I'm glad the clock changes back and forth. That being said, I don't think there's anything to be gained by moving only 3 weeks, except to put some money in IT consultants' pockets.

Re:Why not just fudge the timezones permanently? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289830)

It's all just a psychological game, anyway; the actual amount of daylight obviously never changes, it's just that people really hate having to get up before their clock says they should, and thus it's necessary to fudge the clocks so that people get up earlier, and don't waste daylight and end up having it dark in their (clock-proscribed) "evening."
So it's a psychological game... it's one that pays off both mental health and in energy consumption. Double plus good.

Here [webexhibits.org] 's a ton of info on DST, including rationales for, arguments against, history of, etc.

Since humans are diurnal creatures, we should be out and about during daylight for maximum efficiency. It only makes sense that we should manipulate the clock in order to better stick to diurnal hours.

Re:DST (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288920)

Heck, if you think that's bad, wait for this one - they were actually arguing about just switching to DST permanently [time.com] , but the cows [house.gov] were against it. (Search for "cow") Heck, there's a lot of "cow" [blogspot.com] arguments [heynorton.org] against [webexhibits.org] DST [pittsburghlive.com] .

Re:DST (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288972)

DST is actually horribly harmful. One of the stated reasons for it was to provide more light for agricultural workers, but that's a bunch of bullshit. Neither crops nor livestock give a shit what time it is. They care when the dawn comes. So it screws up the farmer's dealings with the rest of the world. When we switch to/from DST, automobile accidents increase, IIRC by 16%, for about a two week period. But anyway, don't take my word for it [72.14.253.104] ...

Re:DST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289910)

Why on earth would you use the cache link for a page that still exists?
http://www.ucei.berkeley.edu/PDF/csemwp163.pdf [berkeley.edu]

Re:DST (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18290190)

Because I don't like to provide PDF links, opting for the HTML version instead, and my feeling is that people on slashdot are smart enough to extract the original URL from the link, or they can go take a flying leap, because anyone not that smart on slashdot is beneath my notice anyway. This is, after all, supposed to be news for nerds.

Re:DST (1)

YoungHack (36385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289280)

Money is neither lost nor created. It only changes form and location.

Re:DST (it's about the money) (2, Interesting)

wasabikev (933528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289652)

It's not about energy, regrdless of the name of the bill it was in, it's about money- more specfically, commerce. Not as many people go shopping when it's dark out. That downtown just isn't as much fun to walk around when it's dark out. Conversely, when it's still light out (after work) people are more likely to go out and... that's right, spend money shopping. Bean counters figured out that the economy will generate [x] more dollars a year with an extra hour of daylight. That's tax revenue folks.... the retail sector wins, government coffers win, the only ones that gets hosed are those of us with toddlers trying to adjust thier bedtimes 1 hour. =P

Re:DST (1)

tres (151637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289710)


Daylight Savings Time change is direct result of tourist lobbies on the 101st (Republican controlled) congress.

Just another short-sighted, profit-driven change made without taking into account the costs.

I tried to read it... (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288056)

I clicked on the no new security updates planned [com.com] link and I got this, which doesn't actually say anything at all:

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification
Updated: February 13, 2007
Security Bulletin Advance Notification

The next security bulletin advance notification is scheduled for March 8, 2007, and will outline information for the March 13, 2007 security bulletin release.

That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (0, Redundant)

itz2000 (1027660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288100)

One day, a vulnerability had been found in Microsoft Word and what did Microsoft commented? They have announced everyone not to open Word documents from people you don't know (duh?!) un-till they will patch it (the patch came only 2 weeks later!).
Their answer made me out of my mind, people can harm my computer because of a security bug in their software, and they can't fix it in the same day/day after?

By the way, after I've switched to linux, I've found out more of its advantages and stayed till this day, if you didn't switch yet, you should try it A.S.A.P google "linux distribution download" for download links.
More secure, More Stable, More Free == better --> USE LINUX!

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (3, Informative)

lostwars (964935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288122)

Linux has to to be patched as well for DST.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (1)

itz2000 (1027660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288156)

I was talking about

at least five zero-day vulnerabilities that are waiting to be fixed.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (0)

Plossl (1022927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288180)

Enable ntpd. I don't know if ms windows has a similar capability, but I'm bet there are at least utilities.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288332)

That will only updated your system clock. It will not fix any date calculations in software (now - 1500). The time will be wrong. That's what all the patches are about. Updating your system clock is easy, it's making sure the time calculations show the appropriate time is what everyone is worried about.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288606)

That will only updated your system clock

Dude, you need to lay off the Thiotimoline [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288336)

Enable ntpd. I don't know if ms windows has a similar capability, but I'm bet there are at least utilities.
And how exactly is this going to help? NTP tells your machine the current GMT time, not your local one -- in fact, it has no real way of knowing where you are. It's up to your local machine to know the time-zone offset, and the DST change changed exactly this.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288362)

You don't know how ntpd works. It uses differentials from UTC. How is it going to know to adjust your clock if your time zone is still standard time? FYI: Windows has had integrated NTP since Windows 2000.

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288500)

For linux it's one file and that can be automated.

For Windows it seems that half the software needs to be patched, plus the OS (reboot required of course).

I mean... Exchange? Oracle? You'd think the authors of software like that would have a frikkin clue. Harcoding DST routines into user applications? WTF??

Re:That's one of the reasons I use OpenSource (1)

present_arms (848116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288512)

Most Linux Computers are already fixed for DST thru Apt-get/urpmi etc etc

maybe (3, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288140)

Maybe nothing needs patching!? Ya, that must be it.

Occam's Razor (1)

Necrotica (241109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288210)

"Microsoft has no new security updates planned for Tuesday, despite at least five zero-day vulnerabilities that are waiting to be fixed. The patch break could be a welcome respite for IT managers still busy testing the dozen fixes Microsoft released last month. Also, many IT pros may be occupied with the switch to daylight saving time, which at the behest of Congress, is happening three weeks earlier this year. "

Maybe it's because they don't have any patches to release?

Re:Occam's Razor (2, Funny)

thetroll123 (744259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288260)

Don't be absurd. The simple explanation is that it's another evil Microsoft conspiracy to take over the world. How can you not see that?

Looks like strange (0)

joxeanpiti (789529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288390)

Looks like strange because they have many known flaws that need to be fixed. I can't understand why the f* they don't releases patches but, well, is the problem with closed source software vendors.

Re:Looks like strange (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288520)

Testing, testing, testing, testing and more testing.

DST fiasco (3, Insightful)

Vexler (127353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288434)

They had since August 2005 to address this, but the software patch only came out in early February of 2007. Then, they had the gall to change the instructions no less than four times while I was preparing to upgrade (KB930879 was updated three times while I was reading it two Thursdays ago), along with a new version of the upgrade tool that were substantially different from what the instructions said. Even the consulting firm we hired only got it to work this past Sunday night.

Microsoft blew it, folks. This is not to say that OSS does it much better, although Red Hat and FreeBSD (two other OSs we use) nailed the patch months ago. But when you are a $50B company and could only produce the detritus that is the DST patch, there is no excuse for it.

Re:DST fiasco (0, Troll)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288572)

Linux fanboy alert!

Please, for the love of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288852)

Please, for the love of God, will somebody PLEASE mod this non-contributing troll into oblivion?

Thank you for your time.

Re:DST fiasco (2, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288888)

No, really not, actually. I agree 100%, and I work with Microsoft products for a living and will often defend them against the more egregious slurs posted on Slashdot.

But in this case they've blown it. We called them a year ago to ask them about their plans for the change to DST and they asked "what change?". They only really started to come out with patches a couple of months ago.

CRM? Don't get me started...they kept on finding new components to be patched, server and client, said they'd release the patches in early March (!), finally promised to release on February 28th, and then two days before release date came out and said they'd found some problems and the release would be delayed for another few days. And by the way, if you have more CRM clients to be patched than can be easily handled manually and you don't run your users as local admins, then you're in trouble because it's nigh impossible to get CRM patches distributed over SMS.

The Exchange/Outlook tools are a nightmare. The rebasing tool causes all appointments set in the three week period between new DST time and old DST time to be sent out again so all our users came in to work one morning to find their inboxes filled with dozens of appointments which had been resent. And the whole dismal complicated procedure is so complex we've been told it'll achieve perhaps a 90% success rate and there will be problems that we have to fix manually.

No, ordinarily I'll at least be able to defend Microsoft against Linux zealots and fans, but this time they messed up. Big. That the people we talked to didn't even know this was coming a year ago until we alerted them is just wrong, and it has very plainly been downhill from there.

Re:DST fiasco (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288600)

And had the gall to charge US $4000 per product for it as well.

Re:DST fiasco (1)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288740)

No shit they blew it! $4000 for a patch?!? Oh I will be upgrading my Exchange 2000 boxen soon, just not to anything Micro$oft! When Leopard comes out, XServers [apple.com] are going to be pretty high on the list of candidates!

Putting the screws to us with client licensing? Strike one...
Windows Vista? Strike two...
$4 grand for a patch?!? Strike three...you're outta there.

Re:DST fiasco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18289272)

4 grand is for them to write a CUSTOM patch for time critical enterprise solutions (ie banks, where every millisecond counts), fucking moron.

Re:DST fiasco (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288700)

I think the DST change shows one of the problems of MS. Microsoft these days has spread itself very thin. They are too busy focusing on Vista. And Office. And competing with Google. And Apple. And the problems with the EU. And lawsuits.

Re:DST fiasco (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288814)

Yes, I would agree that they are spreading themselves too thin. But two of the things you mentioned can only be blamed on Microsoft itself: The EU situation and the lawsuits. Those are not "market forces" like Apple or Google that Microsoft can say, "Well, they are our direct competitors and we have no choice but to deal with them and protect our market share." Getting sued because they are an aggressive and ruthless monopoly is solely their fault.

Re:DST fiasco (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289694)

Well, competing with Apple and Google is really their fault because in they way the chose to compete. They chose to enter into new markets that Apple and Google have. Apple has always competed with MS on OS. Apple on their own decided to get into the MP3 player industry. Now MS wants a piece of that and thus MSN Music and now the Zune were born. Google and MSN have always sort of competed on search. But MS looks like they are trying to do everything that Google is doing on the internet.

These moves are one reason I dislike MS. IMHO, they do not do these things for the benefit of customers or to actually create something new. They are only doing these things to preserve their monopoly. All the while they claim that they are 'innnovating' while stifling others from competing.

MS will be busy applying DST to their own servers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18288554)

which is probably the real reason for no patches this Tuesday..........

Perhaps they need a good lawyer like the ones at http://www.bozolawyers.com/ [bozolawyers.com]

Zero Day? (1)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288586)

How can they be zero day if they are publicly known? Oh, I know, zero day sounds so much more 'dangerous'.

Re:Zero Day? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289620)

How can they be zero day if they are publicly known?

Zero day vulnerabilities not only can be known, they have to known. The term refers to a vulnerability that is known by blackhats and/or the public before a patch is available. A 3-day vulnerability would be a vulnerability that became common knowledge three days after a patch that fixed that vulnerability was released (probably discovered by reverse engineering that patch). The term, however, is more commonly applied to exploits, instead of vulnerabilities. A zero day exploit is an exploit that was "in the wild" before any patch to the vulnerability it is affecting was available. This has been your terminology lesson for the day.

Wel,, they're a bit busy this week, (0, Offtopic)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288602)

What with the High Def photography standards and all...

Definitions aside, you'd think the HD Photo site could at least show some examples, blowups of a given resolution with different codecs and graphs of the files size implications so we could be interested in using the standard.

Instead, one dry page. And seamonkey at that: it starts out by saying it's new, ends by saying it's really just the new name for wmphoto and in between claims "more than twice the quality of jpeg". Huh? Are they using smaller pixels? Will my quality slider in Photoshop now go to 24?

With implementation and marketing like this, you can see why the Zune will soon be the AMC Pacer of gadgets.

They need to stick to incremental moves for the products that already have users by the neck.

There. All better.

It starts now (1)

loafing_oaf (1054200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18288716)

Maybe they just need a little more time to start The Wow. I'm still waiting, and I'm using Vista.

Jedi Mind Trick (4, Funny)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289812)

Microsoft: "These are not the flaws you are looking for"
Customer: "These are not the flaws I was looking for"
Microsoft: "Go home and rethink your life"
Customer: "I will go home and rethink my operating system decision"
Microsoft: "What??? No! Your Life! Rethink your Life!"
Customer: "Rethink my li.... nux. I need Linux."

patch slaves' machines must be locked up (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18289868)

yeah, that's it, they all switched to vista and their computers won't access the MS codebase any more.

thank you, glad to have cleared that up.

.tXubgirl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18290100)

of the GNAA I can coonect to bought the farm.... the project to Be a cock-sucking used to. SHIT ON I don't want to itself. You can't [tux.org]? Are you fear the reaper Whether you an operating system 4, which by all can connect to BSD addicts, flame project returns IS DYING LIKE THE for a living got the project as a raise or lower the Crisco or lube. hand...don't isn't a lemonade Usenet posts.
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