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We’ve been in Daylight Saving Time all summer, so now it’s time to autumn back. Isn’t that the saying? Spring Forward, Autumn back? Huh. Either way, Daylight Saving Time, an annoyance to many in the world of IT, is nearly at an end.

Aside from the fact that it attempts to address a problem that no longer exists, my main issue with Daylight Saving Time is this: Spring Forward and Fall Back aren’t really relevant in a Southern state with two seasons: summer and not summer. We need a nemonic that’s much more applicable to our own seasonal situation. Maybe “Early Summer Forward, Late Summer Back?” That could probably use some more work… I’ll try to have something before it’s time to Early Summer forward again in twenty ten.

If any of our listeners mysteriously gained an hour last weekend, no matter how short lived, chances are you were checking out a digital clock that was produced prior to 2005, which is when the new dates for the United States Daylight Saving Time were announced. So who’s actually in control of Daylight Saving Time, or DST, as it is commonly known?

Well, in 1883, the U.S. railroads were the first to adopt time zones, so that national railroad schedules could be published. Until that point, most localities had been setting their own time. It took nearly 35 years for a Federal Law to be passed mandating that DST be observed nationwide. Apparently, we don’t like the government’s hands in our pockets, regardless of whether they’re after our watch or our wallet, because it only took only a single year for that piece of legislation to be repealed, thus leaving the observance of DST to the discretion of the local politicians.

DST Ownership was given to the only federal regulatory agency in existence at that time, the Interstate Commerce Commission. For the next 50 yeasrs, World War II was the only period in which the nation could pull it together on a unified start and end date for Daylight Saving Time.

In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates of DST, but left it up to the individual states as to whether or not to observe DST at all.

In 1972, things got even murkier with an amendment that allowed states with two time zones to make separate selections in each. Thus, Indiana has can have up to four different times on the populace’s wrists at any given moment.

Things stayed pretty much the same until 2005, when congress decided to muck with the start and end dates of DST again, this time in the name of saving energy. Those changes took effect in 2007, making life difficult for millions of date and time keeping devices manufactured prior to 2005. Since no one had changed the standard in fifty some odd years, manufacturers felt safe in hard coding the dates into the devices across the nation.

Problems with the new DST dates also cropped up in many operating systems. But, unlike embedded devices, those were easily repaired with software patches that happened automagically for most users. I’d be curious to see if anyone has studied the cost in IT time and labor and mapped it agaist the supposed energy savings that this was designed to bring about.

In any case, it boils down to this: You’ve got an entire extra hour this weekend in which to geek out.

Of course, if you’re streaming from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, or the Virgin Islands, none of this is applicable to you.

The official time to change your time is 2:00 AM this Sunday Morning. Hit www.time.gov to synch up with the atomic clock and to get more information about why we do the things we do, temporally speaking.

We’re just a couple days away from the kickoff of Oni-Con, Houston’s anime festival slash convention, taking place on the West side of Houston at the Houston Marriott Westchase on Briar Park Drive.

One of the cooler and somewhat more accessible parts of any competent con, is the cosplay contest. This is where con goers dress up as their favorite anime character, then get anything from a single pose to a short skit to show off their hard work. Oni-con’s upping their cosplay game by holding the Hallows Eve Cosplay contest, taking place the night of the 31st.

In addition to this, a slew of special guests, vendors, games, and goodies will all populate the hotel through the 1st. Hit www.oni-con.com for details, directions and registration info.

That’s it for this break from pleading for pledges, and that’s that for BarretTime.

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