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    Re: Russia and Zone Time
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Nov 13, 20:11 -0800

    F. Jones, you wrote:
    "Russia (Medvedev) may seek to reduce the 11 time zones spanning the
    empire to as few as four zones."
    
    I saw the story, too. This probably won't happen. But you'll note that China 
    operates on a single time zone without any panic in the streets. By the way, 
    "empire"?? :-)
    
    And you wrote:
    "If implemented, the changes will surely inconvenience not only the population 
    but every PC in the world will need new operating system software updates."
    
    And these o.s. will continue to be required. When the US changed the DST rules 
    last year, that also required a small update to operating systems. The plain 
    fact is that time zones are generally under the control of governments at a 
    "relatively" local level. Even in the US, the feds only sign off on 
    state-mandated changes to the rules. If, for example, Michigan decided it 
    wanted to be back under Central Time, they would have to get approval from 
    Washington, but it's mostly a "rubber stamp" and it would be difficult for 
    Washington to oppose them if they really wanted to make the change. 
    
    And you wrote:
    "Changes on this order should be handled by an international board
    since the scope may be very great."
    
    The cost to me and you if Russia should change its time zone system is very 
    close to zero and probably has more to do with the backwash of economic costs 
    to the Russian economy than anything else. And those economic costs might 
    turn out to be enhancements in efficiency that would help the global economy. 
    So maybe we should support them instead of opposing them (?).
    
    And you wrote:
    "Some small islands have abruptly changed boundaries to jump from one zone to 
    another for sometimes absurd reasons so such decisions may be common enough."
    
    And when Kiribati declared itself to be in a time zone that shifted them to 
    the other side of the International Date Line, there was no cost to most of 
    the world, and one big positive outcome was that it got everyone thinking 
    much more carefully about what the IDL actually means (a lot less than people 
    suppose!).
    
    And:
    "Did not the US want to change the universal time reference recently as an 
    improvement to the GPS system?  I seem to recall a world wide opposition to 
    the move."
    
    It seems to me that the opposition was mostly to the lack of discussion, but I 
    agree that the proposed changes were no more dangerous, and probably more 
    economically useful, than the proposed changes to the Russian time zone 
    system.
    
    -FER
    
    
    
    
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