30 March 2006

Sport time

The time in Australia has been changed to suit a sport event in Melbourne. Is sport the only important industry in Australia? Who was told about this change and how many people and organisations found out about it the hard way?
Those who get the time from international clocks on computers were not advised that summer time had not changed to standard time at the normal date but that "sport time" had been introduced.
This arbitrary time must have had negative consequences for:

  • the IT industry where computers did not adjust to "sport time"
  • users of PDAs whose world clocks did not know about it
  • those who do not watch TV
  • internet users
  • those who work via the internet
  • those who don't subscribe to newspapers
  • printed calendar users
The consequences for residents included:
  • late for work
  • late for appointments
  • surprise about early occurances such as mail deliveries, garbage
  • missing out on shopping
  • failure to make crucial deals when markets are open
  • communication failure in business and among friends
This confusion may have lasted for several days depending on the degree to which people are oriented to virtual rather than face-to-face realities. Checking at Greenwich Mean Time provided the "wrong" time in Australia with a note below it about the "late introduction of Standard Time this year". Unfortunately the computers of the world did not read the note.
Could it be that the decision makers about basic parameters such as time do not take computers into account? Couldn't the sporting timetable have been moved forward by one hour to avoid disrupting the whole country and its international links?

image extract from Salvador Dali

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