Implications of Proposed Changes to Daylight Saving Time in the United States

This past week, I’ve contacted and spoken with several legislators on the plethora of proposed changes to use of daylight saving time around the States. I even had a call from my friend, Rich Kaplan, the new CEO over at the Microsoft Alumni Network, reminiscing over a few of these recent moves. The efforts fall under two main proposals: to move their state to perpetual daylight saving time, as is the case in Florida, Mississippi (died in committee) and New Mexico*; or, to move to permanent standard time, as proposed in Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah** and Washington. (I recently heard that the bill to adopt daylight saving time in Arizona has been held up by the House leadership, effectively dead in committee.) I’m not sure what will happen in Florida and New Mexico, given that the United Sates Code (15 U.S.C. §6(IX)(260-7)) stipulates that states shall either implement the semiannual daylight saving time changes or remain on standard time throughout the year.

Asked what I worry about this now, I recalled Winston Churchill’s quote:

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”

I appreciate that the legislators in several states have thoughtfully called for such changes to take effect in 2017 or later (2021, in Oregon). But a few, like Texas and Washington, would have the changes as early as fall of 2015. Without adequate time to react, such changes can be challenging for individuals to manage and for companies to support. Not a very united effort in the States as a whole.

That’s why Microsoft has recommended (via the tab “Microsoft Policy in Response to DST/TZ Requests” in the left nav of the page) that governments take at least one year from the time the proposals are enacted into law for the change to occur. As an example, I look to the timeline provided in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, outlining sweeping changes to daylight saving time in the United States, that allowed for nearly a year and a half before the change was implemented.

But just as important as the time needed to implement these changes, also consider the technical implications of moving to permanent daylight saving time rather than moving solely to standard time.

imageAs noted in my last post, a few states have proposed to move to year-round standard time and drop daylight saving altogether, a fairly straight forward approach. Given that many devices (PCs, phones, tablets and services) allow you to select whether or not products use a daylight saving time offset, shifting the device between daylight saving and standard time twice a year is fairly simple, and turning off the automated change is quite simple. In Windows, you may check the option for the device to “Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time” if your time zone observes daylight saving time and you want your computer’s clock to be adjusted automatically when daylight saving time changes. (In the States, that’s on March 8, 2015.)

But moving to permanent daylight saving time may not be easily implemented on devices that are no longer supported and don’t receive updated rules: this includes computers, mobile phones, embedded devices, connected systems and services. For instance, older operating systems that are out of support (such as the venerable Windows XP) no longer receive updates which include the updated set of worldwide time zones and daylight saving offsets.

More information than you’ll care to remember is available in KB 914387, How to configure daylight saving time for Microsoft Windows operating systems.


* – an added twist: New Mexico, today in the Mountain time zone, would move in the current proposed legislation to the central time zone and be known as “mountain daylight savings time.”

** – Feb 9, 2015: Latest reports indicate Senate Resolution 1 died in committee.


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RSS feed reader blues? Get your feed in Microsoft Outlook and Office 365

ICYMI, Google Reader, Google Voice App for Blackberry, Google Cloud Connect, and Snapseed Desktop are shutting down. Hilarity ensued on the Internet with the melt down on social media over the change. As Danny Sullivan noted here, “Google should have done better by Google Reader & Google users than to bury its closure in a “spring cleaning” post.”

All the talk about RSS Readers reminded me of how important it is to listen and respond (this from 2011 via TechCrunch).

But I digress.

If you’re impacted by this announcement, have no fear: there are options, many great options.

First off, Good advice from Sara Hevans (@prsarahevans) on how to backup your Google Reader account

Once you’ve backed up, you’ll need a new reader.

With all these options, you may already have an option on your desktop: you can also use Outlook in Microsoft Office to subscribe to an RSS feed as noted here.

So if you’re looking for RSS subscription and management? our own Office 365 Home Premium has that:

Quick links:

Tags: Microsoft, RSS, Outlook

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Update: No immediate plans in Russia to return to Winter Time in 2012

A few days ago I mentioned the discussion that Russia may return to Winter Time in 2012.

I now have news that legislative initiative of the State Duma Health Committee to switch Russia back to the “winter time” has been withdrawn. As such, we don’t believe there will be any near-term change to Russia’s time zone offset for what we refer to commonly as Daylight Saving Time, or any immediate move in the Federation to move their clocks again. We believe the issue will be considered by the Government and will continue to watch the issue.

Tags: Microsoft, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, RSS,DST, Russia

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Advisory: Russia’s possible return to Winter Time in 2012

Earlier this summer we received news reports that the Russian government was considering a move to Winter Time, changing their prior decree in 2011 to abolish Daylight Saving Time in the federation.  At that time, we weren’t certain the government would make this change.

Recent news confirms there is a move in government to revise the current Federal Law and allow for the transition from summer to winter time…

“Russia’s railways have halted ticket sales for trains leaving after late October amid confusion created by the authorities’ failure to decide in good time whether to put the clocks back this winter.

“… the head of the parliament’s health committee submitted a bill calling for Russia to stay in winter time all year round, paving the way for the switchback.”

If you recall the change in Russia last year (which was intended to be a permanent change) we provided most updates and guidance in our products and services in advance of the change. This year is different: the changes could be enacted into law quickly and impact our ability to provide a comprehensive set of updates and guidance.

We don’t have a complete picture of the proposed changes but should learn more after Parliamentary hearings on the issue later this week. More information will be provided externally at

Tags: Microsoft, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, RSS,DST, Russia

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Words to live by, literally: Charles McConathy on Staying Healthy

Just back from a brief staycation (it’s so lovely in Seattle this time of year) and I found an old post with a few words from the great but late Charles McConathy. Charles was one of the first people to befriend me in the CA tech industry. He founded the very successful and admired MicroNet and was one of the most helpful and konwledgeable people I’d met. 
Charles died after a battle with colon cancer in 2004. A month or so before he died, he posted the following message on what he’d learned about staying healthy, which included this summary:
“… it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Do everything you can to protect your health.”
More from the tech point of view when I get back to the office. So little to talk about and so much time.
Scratch that, reverse… 😉

Subject: [FCP-L] OT: Oprah – September 1, 2004 Segment
Date: September 7, 2004 11:27:10 AM EDT

Do any of know how to get in touch with Oprah group to see if its possible get a tape of the September 1, 2004 segment which I think was based on Healing from the Heart with Mehmet Oz M.D. or if any of you taped it could I get a copy. I have some people I need to share it. Unlike Dr. Phil, Oprah does not offer tapes. Oprah does offer transcripts but that is not the same as a real live video. This doctor showed various organs of the body and how they get diseased and most revealing was his showing what body fat looks like and that some people might have 20 or 30 pounds in their system. I saw the above segment while in the hospital. I was was very impressed.

During my illness with colon and liver cancer I have had time to read and learn more about ways to protect one’s health. Remember it is better to pay the grocer and the gym than to pay the doctor. And it is easier to avoid disease than it is to treat it. Cancer and diabetes are rampant. Do everything you can to protect your health. It is not easy to eat right but its well worth the effort – especially when you consider that a cancer patient will run up bills between $400,000 and $700,000. I thank God I have Medicare that covers much of my costs. But now there is some new bills going through to limit the amount for cancer patients. This could leave some without medial treatment.

As you study and read about health you will find a lot of confusing information in books and on the internet. But if you continue to study you will find a thread of truth that is right for you. One group says don’t use soy products and the other might say they are great. After reading and thinking I tend go with soy products since asians have used them for years and have much less cancer than we do in the USA.

Below is a list of items that I feel can improve most people’s health…

• If you have an illness Trust in God and never give up hope – take time each day for devotion
• Stress – find ways to reduce stress – very important
• Rest – try to get two hours of your nightly sleep before midnight
• Avoid sugar, coffee, soft drinks, and snack foods – read the labels
• Exercise – at a very minimum walk a mile a day
• Lose weight if needed – be careful of low carb diets like Atkins – they might work now but could have other long term issues
• If you smoke – STOP – Cancer of the lungs is serious – as seen on the Oprah segment first hand
• Take a sack lunch to work versus going for fast food
• Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day – good for Vitamin D that helps absorption of vitamins
• Keep a window open day and night for fresh air – disease does not thrive in oxygen
• Drink pure water – try to drink 64 ounces a day of pure water – without chlorine or fluoride – I drink spring water
• Be aware of the effects of mercury in your system – avoid certain fish
• Eat more raw foods – cooked food tends to kill enzymes – try to get organically grown produce when possible
• Learn about enzymes and how important they are to your health
• Use flax seed oil on salads with lemon juice – avoid iceberg lettuce – use darker leaf vegatables
• Eat more berries and fruits such bananas, apples, apricots, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and mellon
• Include almonds, sun flower seeds, and cashews in your diet
• Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
• Use sea salt vs table salt
• Eat less packaged and fried foods
• Drink freshly made vegetable juices – such as blends of carrot, apple, beet, celery, spinach, onion, and garlic
• Avoid or reduce animal fat in your diet – eat more fish or chicken vs beef or pork
• Use almond, soy, or rice milk vs cow milk – cow milk often has hormones and other issues
• Be very careful of the chemicals you use in your home or work
• Study your personal need of supplemental vitamins and minerals
• Have your blood tested – I go to a Natural Doctor that shows me my blood cells on a monitor – very revealing
• Learn to test your silva and urine using PH paper – easy to do – better to be 6 to 7 PH vs acidic – cancer likes acidic
• Depending on your age – get a colonoscopy every five years and regular check ups
• Learn about parasites and yeast and how they affect you
• Remember that a lot of diseases start in the colon and liver – learn how to cleanse your colon and liver
• Learn how to boost your immune system through foods, vitamins, minerals, and herbs

Try researching subjects on Google…its amazing what you can find.

Thanks for your help,

Charles F. McConathy


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