Yet Another Odd Technical Problem

by NJB // // Broomfield, CO

© 2023 Nantucket E-Books LLC

CC-BY-SA 4.0

Here in the United States, Daylight Savings Time has returned. I was up late working on the site when my laptop’s clock updated, and I checked to see if my new phone’s clock had changed as well. It had not.

As I reported in a previous blog post, I had to ditch my minimalist, no-Google phone due to software problems, and buy a cheap flip phone from the AT&T store.

I thought the incorrect time was odd, because usually the phone updates for DST automatically. I checked on it after I woke up later that morning, and my phone was still an hour behind.

I checked the phone’s settings. Sure enough, it was set to auto-sync, so it should have been picking up the correct time from the servers. It was here I discovered the problem: when in auto-sync, my phone had set the time zone to Mountain, which is correct, but it had set the city to Phoenix. You see, Phoenix is on Mountain Time, but Arizona doesn’t use Daylight Savings Time.

Worse still, there was no way to change the city when in auto-sync mode. I would have to change the phone to manual time-set mode to a Mountain Time city other than Phoenix.

This whole affair served as a prelude to my troubles figuring out the correct time for my RSS feed. When I tried setting the dates for the RSS <pubDate> attribute, it always returned a day of the week one day ahead of what it should have been. The problem was that the server is using Universal Time, measured from Greenwich, England, while I date my blog posts from my local time, seven hours behind GMT.

There was a very helpful blog post about setting your dates in JavaScript to use your local time zone, but the links to it in my browser’s history tab have all been replaced with a link to an ad for a sports-betting app. Basically, if you want to make your date string use local time, use this formay: yyyy-mm-ddT00:00, and make sure there’s no “Z” at the end.

I’m tired, and I’m very, very done with time zones and DST.

  • Benjamin

    I’m very, very done with time zones and DST.

    Ha, now try living internationally and/or having relatives on a different continent from you. ;)

    Unfortunately, this stuff has to be dealt with somehow, and timezones are, though I'm reluctant to admit it, the best solution I can think of. I've considered the possibility of just having the whole world use the same time (since time is, after all, very arbitrary) but while that would simplify some things it would complicate others.

    Daylight Savings, though, is atrocious and stupid.