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Tips: Surviving the Daylight Saving Time “fall back”

 

Consumer ReportsTurn your clocks back one hour since Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday November 7th at 2:00am

Daylight Saving Time ends in the U.S. on Sunday November 7th at 2:00am. Thankfully, technology has lessened the usual burden of reverting all of our clocks and other gadgets that require “accurate” time to function properly. Cable service providers automatically set the time on their set-top boxes. Windows 7, Mac OS X and other operating system software have been programmed to also automatically adjust computer clocks.

But as the recent iPhone “fall back” flaw in England reminds us all: Sometimes technology fails. So, here are some tips to keep in mind during this annual “fall back” to standard time ritual:

Check the settings on your devices. Some VCRs and TVs with clocks, for instance, can automatically adjust their clocks based on time signals broadcast by local PBS stations. But those time signals can also be inaccurate or even unavailable. Check your owners manuals for information on disabling that feature and manually adjusting the time yourself.

Budget more time. If you use a DVR from your cable or satellite TV service provider and plan to record a TV program during (or after) the 2:00am switch over, program your DVR to run at least an extra hour longer. If your DVR’s clock fails to fall back, your automated recording will start—and end—an hour earlier than the program’s actual start time.

Have a back-up. Don’t rely on your smart phone’s built-in alarm clocks to wake you. So, if you have important plans—like running in the New York City Marathon—on Sunday morning, set-up an old-fashion bedside clock, preset to the standard time.

Don’t forget: Clocks are everywhere. Microwave ovens, cooking ranges, car radios, MP3 players… All of them keep time, for one reason or another. And very few of them have means of automatically falling back to standard time. Adjust them manually to the correct time to help avoid confusion during those first few disorienting days of reverting back.

And the correct time is…? Found on the web at: www.time.gov. (The time given by that site is based on the atomic clocks maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U. S. Naval Observatory.)


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