A Clockwork Apple: Smartphones misfire on hour change - again

Smart phone users duped into running an hour late on Sunday as automated time change occurs three weeks early.

October 6, 2013 18:04
1 minute read.
Cellular phones are displayed in a store

Cellular phones are displayed in a store 370 (R). (photo credit: Erik de Castro / Reuters)


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On Sunday, for the second time in two months, a slew of smartphones incorrectly changed the hour, thus delaying people who rely on them as alarm clocks and watches.

According to phone carriers, the glitches were the result of outdated daylight-saving time information in the software.

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DST traditionally has ended the Sunday before Yom Kippur, turning the clocks back an hour in order to create a shorter fast period.

The Knesset decided after last year’s holidays to extend DST until the first weekend in October to save energy and to give Israelis extra time to enjoy the evening sun.

In July, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar pushed through a law extending DST again, setting the clock-change date to October 27, in alignment with much of Europe.

In September, when the first glitch occurred, carriers made efforts to let people know about the potential error in advance, urging customers to turn their clocks off automatic and to set them to Athens time, which has the same time zones and DST end date.

However, few efforts were made to remind people that another glitch was in the works for this past weekend, leaving many struggling to get to work or other appointments an hour late.

For iPhone owners, a new operating system, iOS7, was released a few days after the previous glitch in order to solve the problem. Not everyone upgraded the software.

“What time is it right now in Israel? Think my iPhone has the wrong time again since I didn’t update to iOS7,” wrote a member of Secret Tel Aviv, a Facebook group for English speakers in Israel. Another complained that some of her devices showed one time, while the others showed another.

An air force officer who returned to base an hour late on Sunday morning expressed frustration with smartphones and technology in general.

“It’s annoying that this happened for a second time. The problem is that we rely on technology and people rely on us, so when technology fails us, we are exposed to the possibility of failing those who count on us,” said the officer, who asked not to be named.

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