"Permanent" DST

Aaron C. de Bruyn aaron at heyaaron.com
Wed Mar 16 14:34:03 UTC 2022

On Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 3:09 PM Joe Greco <jgreco at ns.sol.net> wrote:

> We COULD all work in UTC and un-learn the weird system of hour offsets
> and timezones.  This would be convenient for people at a distance, since
> it would be simply a matter of stating availability hours, rather than
> giving someone hours AND a timezone and making them do the math.  If I
> say that I'm available for an hour at 22:00 UTC, that works out anywhere
> on the globe.  But do you know what timezone "CDT" is?  When's "17:00 CDT"?

Seems like an issue that could be solved by some simple tech that I'm
surprised Apple and Google haven't really implemented.

My sister is a "world traveler".  I have no idea what country she'll be in
next week.  If I decide to call her, I have no idea what timezone she'll be
in...let alone what "normal sleeping hours" are for her when she's
jet-lagged after a 14 hour flight.

I just call her phone and see if she answers.

I think just about every smartphone has a rudimentary "do not disturb"
feature built in.  My Google phone automatically switches to DND when it's
on the charging stand after 10 PM and turns off when I pick it up in the

The multitude of chat apps have presence.  Online, available, free to chat,
busy, unavailable, offline, do-not-disturb.

Why doesn't that exist for phone numbers? Create a public queryable server
that shows a status for a phone number.  Set your status to some
pre-defined value or make a custom status:
  status: "doing my taxes",
  do-not-disturb: true,
  emergencies: true,
  typical_availability: {
    start: "14:00:00 GMT",
    end: "04:00:00 GMT",

I know FreePBX has presence support internally for extensions.  Come up
with a standard, integrate it with cell phones and you've solved
interrupting people because you don't know what arbitrary time numbers and
offsets they are using.

Android and iOS could have a 'master switch' on every phone.  Set your
status and all your various apps can pick up that status including voice
Android (and I'm sure iOS has it too) provides a way to say "these contacts
can override DND".

All that's left to solve is in-person stuff...which already currently sucks.

"My flight leaves at 6 AM local time and lasts 90 minutes, but I'm crossing
3 timezones heading west...so you need to pick me up at...uh....4:30 AM
your time?  Oh wait....are you currently in DST or not because we don't do
DST here, but I think you do....so you either need to pick me up at 4:30 AM
or 3:30 AM...I'm not sure....what's your time is it now?  Ok, it's 5 AM my
time and 7 AM your time, so no DST, so...uh...but next week your zone is
switching to DST but we're already on it..."


"My flight leaves at 06:00 zulu, lasts 90 minutes, so I'm landing at 7:30
zulu.  See you then."

For the record, I was always told DST was implemented because of farmers.
I'm a farmer and I hate timezones.  I just wake up when the rooster starts
crowing, and no one goes out to adjust him twice a year for DST.

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