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The Problem with Time & Timezones - Computerphile

58141 ratings | 1938211 views
A web app that works out how many seconds ago something happened. How hard can coding that be? Tom Scott explains how time twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing. It's not to be trifled with! A Universe of Triangles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdyvizaygyY LZ Compression in Text: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goOa3DGezUA Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MijmeoH9LT4 More from Tom Scott: http://www.youtube.com/user/enyay and https://twitter.com/tomscott http://www.facebook.com/computerphile https://twitter.com/computer_phile This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley. Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. See the full list of Brady's video projects at: http://bit.ly/bradychannels
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Text Comments (1775)
Philp menown (6 days ago)
And Thailand is in the year 2562
PrettyBlueThings (6 days ago)
My absolute favourite Computerphile video. Sorry professor Brailsford!
sagar lama (18 days ago)
Here from Nepal
pls sub to me (1 month ago)
6:49 me this whole video
decided (1 month ago)
I got a lot of anxiety from this
Karl Jørgensen (1 month ago)
An excellent rant! - Love it. Been there. Done that. Haven't been the same since
Random PC-User (1 month ago)
Best rant ever.
Mayuki-San (1 month ago)
"AND THEN, You get a call from the astrophysicist who says 'by the way, we just had a leap second.' And at this point, you just kind of go 'What.'"
Hammy Boi11 (1 month ago)
Im a programmer and i have never encountered this, am i lucky?
Benn Woodbridge 12 (1 month ago)
man that sounds like a horrible programming task.... let me just use this as a controlled assessment.
Doğal Platform (2 months ago)
Hopeless Content (2 months ago)
Wait why don’t you just put a dial that says what hour/second it is that the user sets him/herself
Samir Kharel (2 months ago)
Hey!I am from Nepal..I got surprised and happy to listen the name of my country in your video!!!Thankyou.
TEQ Snukka (2 months ago)
i've seen this video a dozen of times and i just dont get tired of hearing it.. :D
vnika55 (2 months ago)
what an absolute madlad :D love the video
Keldor314 (3 months ago)
Just think how difficult all this time stuff would have been to work out before computers!
Robert Vandenberg (3 months ago)
2:39 is exactly what I am doing now.
Ruslan Masinjila (3 months ago)
Looks like he was traumatized by time zones.
Ace (3 months ago)
i have never cared much for time zones, i have never been in a situation in my life where different time zones has affected me aside from talking to someone on the other side of the world and figuring out when is the best time to contact that person, but this video was presented so well, that it was both informative and entertaining... you just earned a new sub!
ugm ugm (3 months ago)
so 2012 has been miscalculated.....
Ikkaru Risan (3 months ago)
I really have to pause the video to groan...
Victor C. (3 months ago)
Well this video was... impactful.
PicoriPi (3 months ago)
And then you get a call from Japan.
Adrian Jayanata (3 months ago)
6:39 this is a broken man
tjosephwarner (3 months ago)
i relate to this video on a spiritual level
TiR3Dnow (3 months ago)
Got it. I'll just use an API. Their headache, not mine. 😄
Waseem saleem (3 months ago)
i need to ask some that is i was doing my work in GMT+5 while uploading that folder then timeZone of that folder automatically change to the current timezone but the time zone of the file will remain the same . can you please guide me why it happened ?
eirik94kvistad (4 months ago)
- Hey we should make a library to deal with timezone wankery *2 months into development: 7:12
Prabase KC (4 months ago)
Actually Nepal time is + 5 and 3/4
Frankie Mach (4 months ago)
This video gave me anxiety for a hypothetical program that I'll never make
Micr0xchip 0xVerflow (4 months ago)
We shall change to a timeless dimension... Problem solved!!!!
luckymustard (4 months ago)
I say let's get rid of timezones.
Gangsta Shankz (4 months ago)
this made me laugh
hova (4 months ago)
Haha was getting ready to deal with timezones in my app. This video is perfect timing I must say. Will surely keep this in mind 👌
PokiHedgehog (4 months ago)
Nepal's Standard Time is +5;45, not +5;15
I learnt that it is called Grenitch. :)
Bryan McCaffrey (5 months ago)
6:49 is the best part of the rant lol
Liz Angel (5 months ago)
This is now my favorite video on the internet!
Ray Chang (5 months ago)
My god, is he speaking from personal experience???
DAIKOИ (5 months ago)
man has a midlife crisis on time zones (2013 found footage) (2018)
Zamiur (5 months ago)
10/10 would rant again after 2 years
Aaron Mason (5 months ago)
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey... stuff.
Alessandro Farris (5 months ago)
"Hey, we've just had a leap second" Honestly, this was the first time I heard of leap _seconds_ and... I just lost it there. It was really funny.
Thomas Stevens (5 months ago)
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey...
Meowium99 (5 months ago)
All I heard is Tom ranting.
Cappinator (5 months ago)
You forgot about French Republican calendar.
Ben Jeck (5 months ago)
This is better than every Marvel movie!
Jean-Mathieu Potvin (5 months ago)
That video was so funny. I really enjoyed the end haha.
Tookerys (5 months ago)
he sounds so mad at the leap second part
OOUER (5 months ago)
Seems Simple enough...
andy fletcher (5 months ago)
and then you get a call from an Islamic scholar who asks you to represent everything according to the Islamic calender, with different months, different days in a month and a different year length! Just to make things worse, sometimes the start of the month cannot be kmown in advance because someone has to see the Moon and it might be cloudy that day.
DFiNE (6 months ago)
This is the most true thing ive ever heard! Timezones makes my blood boil, every damn time!
apreasher (6 months ago)
I'll just use unix time , nice and simple in one long int.
Lord Queezle (6 months ago)
I recently had the wonderful pleasure of writing program for a school assignment, where my code worked. I didn't know why, but I got the results I wanted/needed. I submitted it and got full points. I still have no idea why my code works...
Nord Kitten (6 months ago)
I have a feeling he has been down the path of madness given how he talks
TeMeRolEee (6 months ago)
At 6:45 I was starting to slowly go away from the pc so I might survive the anger :D
Xnoob Speakable (6 months ago)
Unix timestamp... let me just keep that in mind ...
DuckForTheDuck (6 months ago)
Well it seems a lot easier to internationally abandon timezones all together and have one universal time, so in both Britain and Australia it is 6 o'clock PM at the same time, but in Britain 6 o'clock PM is dinner time and in Australia 6 o'clock PM is morning or whatever time it is then in Australia.
Topher TheTenth (6 months ago)
I can't believe it really is all this difficult. It could be so simple. What changes is the way local time is translated into UCT, and ONLY THAT is fed into any program, and the output of the program is in UCT, and some local algorithm translates that back into local time. The program itself never needs to be rewritten for local time. When there is a leap second, that should be incorporated into UCT so if your computer's core (i.e. not the translation to/from local time) is synched to UCT the leap second will be included.
Graveskull (6 months ago)
jfb-1337 (6 months ago)
Don't forget that Sweden once had a February 30
aCrazyDrummer (6 months ago)
For my job at one point, I had a serious debate with someone as to whether it would physically be possible for a baby to be born, get airlifted to another timezone before the hour is up so that the day changes, and then die. We had to figure this out because of not only timezones, but precision ambiguity between different types of dates being compared. I totally get the anger you are feeling.
Anr Daemon (6 months ago)
Can't like it more than once. :sadpanda:
Karolina M (6 months ago)
*the insanity increases*
CarthagoMike (6 months ago)
I am sure that said programmer will once again have his hands in his hair after Morocco decided to skip wintertime just a few days before it would come into effect.
FGV Cosmic (6 months ago)
Unix time yay!
Shivendra Sharma (6 months ago)
Fear the spaghetti wrath of the Timezone!
Jay Son (6 months ago)
I will solve this problem.. Ready... Stop doing math.
SomeGuy (6 months ago)
Been there, done that, love open source....
aahelo (6 months ago)
And then! You get the call from a mad scientist, telling you his time machine just took the whole Earth into the future, and now the sun is has gotten brighter and daylight saving has been redefined.
hjalfi (6 months ago)
I am currently writing timezone code. EVERY WORD OF THIS IS TRUE.
Lucas van Hout (6 months ago)
This is why you program games without anything that has to do with time.
Laura Heuberger (6 months ago)
Sounds like a cool job to me.
Damian (6 months ago)
This video is sad and terrifying
mickyj0101 (6 months ago)
I am glad I'm not a programmer. I don't think I could deal with this.
Intensity intensifies
Jacob Johnson (6 months ago)
Swatch Internet Time?
Anime Banz (6 months ago)
It's the moon causing these leap seconds.
L (7 months ago)
yessss ! He said Nepal :)
entZEROspawn (7 months ago)
Best argument for a universal Earth time to be made. So what that you have to be op at 11 to be at work at 12 in one country to make it work, it would simplify it all, so new years eve would be the same time all around the earth, some would just have it in the morning others would have it at 12.
maxcelcat (7 months ago)
My favourite timezone story was the Netherlands in the 1920's. They were something like GMT + 19 minutes 12.23 seconds. Yes, party of a second! There is actually no way to represent this timezone in any of the current schemes.
ayew (7 months ago)
fun fact! the initialism for Universal Coordinated Time is UTC. Which would make it Universal Time Coordinated. No clue why.
Jimmy Tremblay (7 months ago)
Honestly, speak normally and you sound Australian to me. As a Canadian I find the UK/British and the Aussie accent very simmilar. No offence guys I'm sure we sound messed up to your guys, with all our "eh's" and sorrys
Pyro (7 months ago)
Why is the video title translated? how can I turn it off?
Amateur Flyer (7 months ago)
Sounds like this programmer is incompetent and lacking decent analysis! Time zones are a real pain in the ass but the solution is really quite simple
Tiago Serodre (7 months ago)
Many Brazilian iPhones woke their owners one hour earlier yesterday because the start of daylight savings time was changed this year. Came across this video by coincidence and couldn't help but commenting.
Chicken (7 months ago)
"And the programmer will say: *wot?*"
mefsh (7 months ago)
Oh god no.
Frank Hooper (7 months ago)
And don't forget that in Sweden in 1712 there were 30 days in February rather than 29 as in the rest of the world.
C3_KiLE (7 months ago)
The thumbnail looks like tom has to choose between killing his really great brother or his childhood friend
Konichiwa! (7 months ago)
What is time even
Johan Björck (7 months ago)
Makes sense to me *he he*
honk honk (7 months ago)
i have no idea what he is talking about anymore
Chris Villareal (7 months ago)
Hahhahahah!! This is the most hilarious tech video a watched ever!
Enrique T (7 months ago)
Time zones are stupid I say set it and forget it . No time zone there's only 1 time
Wagyourtail (7 months ago)
and then you just code your pogram to just call google's api instead of doing it itself because its easier EDIT: i said this half way throught the video
T Orrent (7 months ago)
I never get tired of watching this video, it's a classic piece of comedy. And Tom Scott is adorable.
Rubens Toledo (8 months ago)
it happend in my life. I had to deal with holliday dates that changes depending on the year, such as Carnival and Easter, to calculate days to charge an interest rate that didn't count on hollidays. (a strange thing). It was sooo confusing! At the end I just took a code for the hollodays from some else because I got really stressed with that time calculation mass. hehehe
David Romig (8 months ago)
I’ve had to deal a large system in multiple parts where it was difficult to tell whether the date/time you had was in UTC or local time zone and whether it was auto-handling daylight savings or not in each part and THAT alone was a nightmare. I didn’t want to think about just how far the rabbit hole could go.
Raymond Jacobs (8 months ago)
gah been there done that

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