Is Your Computer Daylight-Saving-Ready?

In today's tick-tock world, being off by just a few minutes can mean missing an important meeting or watching the train leave without you, CBS News correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports.

But what if whatever you use to tell time, is suddenly off by a whole hour? That's what some people are worrying will happen Sunday morning when we spring forward three weeks earlier than usual.

"It's an annoyance and it's an inconvenience," says Jonathon Giffin, a Georgia Tech professor.

Giffin says in this computer-dominated society, there are plenty of places this problem could strike if systems are not properly reprogrammed in time — everything from hotel wake-up calls to cell phone billing.

"Now we have systems that automatically update clocks for you, and if those systems are not properly patches, they'll update the time incorrectly," Giffin says.

How did we get here? Well, Congress changed the way daylight-saving time works with a little provision in a massive energy bill in 2005. The idea is that more daylight in the evening will mean less use of electricity. But some experts are skeptical it will have much of an effect, and it could cause problems for consumers.

Circuit City's Todd Cooper says some products can be changed manually, but you'll need some technological know-how to change the clock on some sophisticated gadgets.

"For personal PC users, it can be a major issue if they are using time-sensitive programs they need to update," Cooper says.

Cable companies should be on top of the situation. You don't have to do anything to make sure your favorite show is on a certain time and you want to record it, Cooper adds.

For those who are worried about this new headache, there's at least one thing that's easy to start with: For manual clocks, all you have to do is turn the dial.
  • Melissa McNamara

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