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Siri thinks Daylight Saving Time starts 4 days early

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

TUAW reader Dave Miller sent in this little oddity. If you ask Siri when daylight savings time (or "daylight saving time" if you want to be precise) begins, it gives you the wrong answer.

(To those of you rushing to Apple's defense to mention that Siri is in "beta" let me save you the trouble: Yes, I know Siri is in beta. I also know that Apple is using Siri as a major selling point of the iPhone 4S, and is running commercials showing its flawless use.)

March 7th, 2012 is a Wednesday, and DST actually begins on March 11th, 2012 at 2 a.m. local time (except for Arizona and Hawaii).

TUAW writer Chris Rawson adds: "It's clearly not location dependent, because it says the same thing down here in [New Zealand], even suggesting I set my clock forward one hour. Wrong on both counts; Daylight Saving Time ends in NZ on April 1, and we set our clocks back an hour due to the whole alternate hemisphere/seasons thing." Of course, that's not too surprising given that Siri is very USA-centric right now.

There are two ways to get the correct information from Siri. The first is to ask Wolfram|Alpha. The problem is that Siri is extremely fussy about how you pronounce "Wolfram" (try "WolfRum" said very quickly so it doesn't think it is two words). Doing so pulled up the information for DST, albeit for Pacific Time, USA.

The second (and preferable) alternative is ask Siri to do a web search:

which will give you much more helpful information, and easily viewable on your iPhone:

I doubt that Siri is in charge of actually changing the clock on your iPhone, so I don't expect that the iPhone will "spring forward" on March 7th. That said, Apple has a history of problems with the iPhone/iOS and issues related to time zone changes. While I wish that the answer would be "Let's stop futzing with the clocks twice a year," I don't suspect that is going to happen. Until then, when it comes to your iPhone and time changes, be sure to set a backup alarm!

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