So now Congress is planning to extend Daylight Saving Time by three weeks on one and and one week on the other. National Geographic has some background and commentary (HT: Smash).
Messing around with the clocks to save energy was a dumb idea when Tricky Dick tried it, and it's even dumber now.
Look: not only does it have all the problems - and lack of demonstrable benefits - now that it had during the Nixon administration, but there are new factors to consider.
For one thing, there's international business. Suddenly we're changing our clocks at different times of the year than the rest of the daylight-time-observing world. So, expect a split month of missed teleconferences.
The biggie, though, is computers. Chances are, the operating system in your computer automatically adjusts for daylight saving time. The algorithm for determining when to do this is hard-coded into the OS, or the libraries, based on the existing standard.
So, with the new changes, we have four anomalies per year: three weeks early, manually change the time; on the usual start and end dates, undo the changes made automatically; one week late, manually change the time again.
Or you could update your software. I expect the updates for Linux and BSD to be prompt and free, though installation may be a minor headache. For those stuck in the Windows world, though... can you say, "Buy the latest version of Windows"? I knew you could! Was this legislation sponsored by Microsoft?
Sometimes, updating the software is not an option. I remember a computerized energy-saving gadget for office buildings, designed back in the late 1970s. It needed to keep track of time of day and day of week, so it had a detailed clock/calendar function, all in 8080 assembly, Y2K compliant, knowing about leap years and daylight saving... it was meant to be an install-and-forget appliance, but of course the programmer (presumably now long since retired) had no way of knowing that Congress would be messing with time, years later. How many other such gadgets are out there, unobtrusively making life easier and helping reduce energy use, that will suddenly be an hour off for a month?