It looks like the US’s daylight savings time rules are going to change again. I’m not convinced that congress is aware of what’s involved in changing the DST rules. At the very least, it’ll require a software upgrade on every computer in the country. It won’t be as bad as Y2K, but there are going to be a lot of computer-controlled clocks that will be wrong during the first few days of the change.

Unfortunately, not all of the computer-driven clocks out there are upgradable. I have two of the nifty radio-driven “atomic clock” clocks at home, and at least one of them has no way to manually control DST. They’ve been great so far–they know the DST rules and flip back and forth on their own. Unfortunately that’s going to break when the rules change. Since no one upgrades firmware on $20 consumer devices, I’m going to be stuck with clocks that are wrong for 4 weeks out of the year. I’ll probably be able to work around it by manually changing the timezone on the clock 4 times per year, but I’m going to be thinking about the wonderful congresspeople who did this to me every time I climb the ladder to fix the wall clock hanging above my kitchen.

CNN isn’t saying when the change is supposed to take effect; I’d heard rumors that it was going to be this fall, but that seems unlikely.