Universal Geometric Time

Alan Zeichick struck a nerve by calling BS on the premise that Daylight Savings Time saves money. Personally, I dislike DST because during the Summer (or, at this point, non-Winter) Hawai’i is 3 hours behind the West Coast, while during the Winter we’re an hour closer and I can begin work at 7 AM, not 6. (Fun fact: It’s plenty damn dark at 5:30 in the morning in the Winter, even in Hawai’i. Not cold, but dark.)

The solution, it is clear, is Universal Geometric Time: Universal time adjusted for your exact longitude (as measured by GPS). For instance, if I were to follow what The Man says, at 8:00 AM Hawai’ian, it’s 6:00PM Universal. However, I insist that at 6:00PM Universal, it’s 7:37:06 AM (when I’m at home. If I happen to be breakfasting at Java on the Rock, watching the dolphin pod come in from their night’s hunting, that same moment would be 7:37:05).

It’s true that adjusting to Universal Geometric Time requires some getting used to. Anytime I spend more than an hour at a place, I adjust my watch and manually set my cell phone. Plus, of course, I have to be prepared to deal with people using standard time, so I have additional calculators running on my PDA. It’s all quite burdensome, but ultimately it’s a small price to pay for rationality.

There may be trouble, though. While eating in a food court in Waimea  court not long ago, I spread my gear out (since I was sitting down for a meal). I tend to eat alone more since my “friends” have proved resistant to rendezvousing at properly specified times.

I admit that the sight of me blazing the way towards the future makes for a singular sight: GPS, PDA, cell phone, watch, cables, backup batteries, etc. Anyway, I was approached by a woman who turned out to be an astronomer for Keck. Exactly the sort of person who would understand, I thought and gave a quick overview of UGT (I had to break out my laptop, on which I carry an explanatory PowerPoint).


I don’t know who this “sidereal” fellow is, but I can assure you that he has no place in Universal Geometric Time.

Wrox Blox: $4 Microcontent

Wrox has begun producing low-cost DRM-free electronic content. Their initial product offering is nicely eclectic:

Leverage LINQ in ASP.NET 3.5 Projects
by Roger Jennings
This Wrox Blox introduces you to Language Integrated Query (LINQ), a .NET 3.5 application programming interface (API) and set of extensions to the Visual Basic and C# languages.

Working with Animation in Silverlight 1.0
by Mike Meyers
This Wrox Blox teaches you how to create animations using Microsoft’s new platform for building rich Internet applications – Silverlight. This Wrox Blox introduces animation concepts and answers questions, such as when and why you want to use animation in your Web development.

iPhone and iPod touch Programming: Handling Touch Interactions and Events for Mobile Safari
by Richard Wagner
In this Wrox Blox, Richard Wagner explains touch input events and illustrates how to detect an orientation change, capture two-finger scrolling inputs, and simulate a drag-and-drop action.

Introduction to Google Gears: Creating Off-Line Applications with Pre-built Components.
by Todd Meister
This Wrox Blox provides you with the information you need to use the classes provided from Google. The core classes within Google Gears include Factory, Database, HttpRequest, LocalServer, Timer, and WorkerPool. By reading this Wrox Blox, you’ll be able to determine when to use the different classes provided by Google Gears.

Building a Photo Gallery with Adobe AIR
by Todd A. Anderson
With your favorite text editor and the Flex 3 command-line tools in tow, this Wrox Blox walks you through building a desktop application, leveraging the Flex Framework to browse and manipulate images found on your local system.