Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't turn your clocks back yet

Search trends on Google Sunday morning suggested widespread confusion about things like "when does the time change" and " time change fall 2008" -- no doubt because from 1986 until 2006, the final Sunday in October was indeed the day when clocks were supposed to "fall back" at 2 a.m.

For many Americans, the cause of confusion might be so-called "smart" appliances that were designed to make the change automatically but that proved downright dumb when it came to adapting to changes included in an energy bill passed by Congress in 2005.

Widespread publicity accompanied the law's impact last fall. But this year -- so far, at least until you read this story -- warnings about its possible implications for computers, VCRs and other appliances have been rare. So: Daylight-saving time ends NEXT weekend, the first Sunday in November, and returns the first Sunday in April, when clocks will "spring forward," and confusion will probably reign again.

There was alot of confusion going on over at ebay from the time change also.

Clocks published on eBay auction pages are one hour behind, meaning the auctions are listed as ending an hour before they actually do. This causes confusion among buyers and means sellers could miss out on the typical surge of last-minute bids.

To add to the confusion, while the clock showing an auction's ending time is an hour behind, the "time remaining" information, for example. "24 mins 18 secs", is accurate.

The same issue occurred in April when there was an extension on daylight saving but eBay reverted back to AEST a week early, meaning its clocks remained one hour behind the actual time in eastern Australia.

"Thanks eBay, your clock was out just enough for me to lose the item I was bidding on," one peeved user wrote on eBay's discussion board.

Another wrote: "I am on live help asking for my fees back as my listings are being up for an hour less than what it was paid for."

Other eBay users noted that problems with daylight saving time had been plaguing the site for years without any attempt by eBay to fix them.

eBay Australia spokesman Daniel Feiler said the auction site was aware of the issue and a fix would be implemented "in the next few days".

"The correct time would be one hour ahead of the time on eBay at the moment," he said.

"The most important thing for people shopping on eBay to do is to look at the time remaining - that is the consistent thing and that is what the vast majority of people look at when they shop on the site."

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