1335: "Now"

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:42 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Did anyone notice the javascript?

Spoiler:


Me Too!

But I was going to Wait For It (can't believe this thread hasn't devolved into questions of where molpies are currently sleeping)
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:44 pm UTC

syberspot wrote:But does it update for daylight savings time? And, does it skip daylight savings time on years that are multiples of 100 but not 400?


Well, to achieve that you'd need not just programming but a leap of faith. :oops:
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Greguardo » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:44 pm UTC

Definitely interested in an app and/or physical clock like this
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:39 pm UTC

How would you handle daylight savings differences between countries on a map like this? Will America and UK become closer on the map between March 9th (America daylight saving) and March 30th (UK day light saving)?

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:This clock has nothing to do with the observer's time. It will be broken in less than two weeks due to DST. It assumes everything at the same longitude is at the same time. That's out the window during DST.

As I understand it, the map is just a map of where places are, albeit with an unusual projection (Great Circle Equal Distance based on the South Pole, so that the angle is equal to the longitude and the radial distance is proportional to distance along that meridian?), so it shows the mean solar time in any given place; conversely the place names show civil time in those places, meaning that the place names might not line up with the corresponding places on the map.

Anyway, the "rude to call" and "business hours" rather assume that all countries have the same habits. A really useful version would take into account siestas, long lunches etc. For example, at 10pm CET, restaurants in Madrid are just starting to open whilst in Amsterdam they're starting to close. It's probably fine to call Spain at 1am, and it's probably ok to call an Islamic country at dawn but rude to call during midday prayers. From what I've seen, working hours in New York start at 8am ET, whilst on the West coast it's more like 10am PT. And in Japan people appear to work from about 8am JST until 6pm PT. Apologies if these guesses offend anyone - as I say, it would be really useful to have a calculator for this stuff.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Kristopher » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:10 pm UTC

gene123 wrote:I'd buy a physical version of this implemented as a 24-hour analog clock with the outer band rotating and the inner being stationary (or vice versa). Very useful thing to hang in the office and combine novelty and utility.

Could be a DIY project but the hard part is finding/converting a regular 12-hour analog clock to a 24-hour one.


A simple cardboard wheel version would sell just fine on Amazon.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby FrobozzWizard » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:13 pm UTC

A relevant Yogi Berra line:

"What time is it?"
"You mean now?"

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby sfiller » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:25 pm UTC

DST refers to Daylight Saving Time
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Primis » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:29 pm UTC

How would you handle daylight savings differences between countries on a map like this? Will America and UK become closer on the map between March 9th (America daylight saving) and March 30th (UK day light saving)?

I really like the idea of having different continents "move" when they're on DST. it makes more sense than DST in it's own right. to quote a Native American Cheif. "Only our government could believe you make a blanket longer by taking a foot off the top and sweing it to the botton"
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby toddmedema » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:36 pm UTC

Reminds me of the mobile app I recently launched - the World View Clock

Does something similar, only using photographs of locations around the world

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:40 pm UTC

Primis wrote: to quote a Native American Cheif. "Only our government could believe you make a blanket longer by taking a foot off the top and sweing it to the botton"


Clearly that Chief never studied set-theoretic geometry :twisted:
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby suso » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby boradis » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:21 pm UTC

keithl wrote:I wonder if the animated image will be replaced (moving the country labels) when Daylight So-Called-Saving Time starts or ends in various places.


Wouldn't this have to have an entirely separate set of images with some landmasses shifted and distorted for DST?

Anyway, I hope he's got a work-around for this since I bookmarked it and would like for it to be useful year-round. As someone with friends and family ranging from the East Coast out to Hawaii, this is a niftier-than-average way of checking when it's OK to call.

Speaking of Hawaii, while it's only one small state it would be nice if it was displayed and labeled. For one thing it's pretty much alone in its time zone, with the exception of the uninhabited coral atoll and wildlife refuge Kiritimati.

For another, there's a lot of astronomical science done at the Mauna Kea Observatories on the Big Island and the Mauna Loa Observatory on Maui.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby metai » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:34 pm UTC

I did fiddle a liddle and made it HTML5 (very crudely, the work of just a few minutes, it could be a lot cleaner). This forum seems to regard direct links to JSFiddle to be spam, so ...

jsfiddle.net/qFZS6
Last edited by metai on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:14 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby keithl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:22 pm UTC

The labels could be moved algoritmically, independently of the spinning map, correcting for DST. China is one time zone. And many people, like computer geeks and post-career Hollywood types, don't get up until noon anyway.

Read Cory Doctorow's novel "Eastern Standard Tribe" for a different take on time zones. The world's major cities are at least partly active 24x7, and we communicate globally, so in the near future we will electronically join tribes of colleagues, friends, and lovers in whatever timezone they choose to congregate, and shift our sleep/wake cycles to match theirs, regardless of what the sun happens to be doing overhead.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:24 pm UTC

What's with this thread already? The map is just a map. It's not distorted to match the time zones, is it? That's why some labels don't line up with the countries on the map. Adjusting for daylight saving would therefore only move the labels, as I think keithl who originally raised the issue recognized. Also, people are talking as though daylight saving is the only thing that makes time zone boundaries depart from the idealized lines of longitude, when most or all of US live in zones with jagged edges. Am I the one going mad here or will someone back me up?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:45 pm UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:How would you handle daylight savings differences between countries on a map like this? Will America and UK become closer on the map between March 9th (America daylight saving) and March 30th (UK day light saving)?


No, the effect of DST is cancelled out by improvements in Toyota Prius' EPA gas mileage.[1].
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:51 pm UTC

Randall should be able to alter the labels to adjust for DST, thus possibly demonstrating the 1-hour difference, if he does plan to show DST.

I mean, even without DST, countries still screw up our maps anyways.

Take China, although China should have 4-6 timezones, it only uses one, Beijing time. Randall has the Chinese label firmly in place and the rest of China floats along.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby exhnozoaa » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:10 pm UTC

For anyone interested in downloading the whole set (unless there are any hidden surprises or changes for DST...):

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
for hour in $(seq -w 00 23); do
   for minute in 00 15 30 45; do
      wget "http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/now/"$hour"h"$minute"m.png"
   done
done

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby FKlama » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:16 pm UTC

Wrote a small python script that uses the pictures of the comic to display the time.
Chaches the pictures locally to reduce load on the server and allow offline use.
I have it set on a hotkey for xmonad, so that pressing Meta-D shows the picture appropriate for the current time.

I wanted to post a github link in case someone else finds this useful, but the spam filter prevented this. So I must obfuscate the URL a but, just replace the {dot}.
github{dot}com/FKlama/xkcd-now.py

It seems I can now add a link:
GitHub Link

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:22 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:This clock has nothing to do with the observer's time. It will be broken in less than two weeks due to DST. It assumes everything at the same longitude is at the same time. That's out the window during DST.

FTFY
orthogon wrote:Am I the one going mad here or will someone back me up?

Djehutynakht wrote:Randall should be able to alter the labels to adjust for DST, thus possibly demonstrating the 1-hour difference, if he does plan to show DST.

I mean, even without DST, countries still screw up our maps anyways.

Take China, although China should have 4-6 timezones, it only uses one, Beijing time. Randall has the Chinese label firmly in place and the rest of China floats along.

I think Spain is a better example, it's mostly West of the 0-meridian (which is just East of Valencia) and none of its territory is further than 7,5° East of the 0-meridian, although a large part of Galicia is more than 7,5° West of the 0-meridian. Yet Spain observes the UTC+1 time zone with UTC+2 during DST (observed simultaneously with most of Europe). Essentially it would make more sense for Spain to observe UTC-1 than UTC+1.

TL;DR: Madrid is West of London but observes UTC+1 or UTC+2 depending on DST.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby kentwalker » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:31 pm UTC

Great Comic!

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby jbanister » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:28 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Anyway, the "rude to call" and "business hours" rather assume that all countries have the same habits. A really useful version would take into account siestas, long lunches etc. For example, at 10pm CET, restaurants in Madrid are just starting to open whilst in Amsterdam they're starting to close. It's probably fine to call Spain at 1am, and it's probably ok to call an Islamic country at dawn but rude to call during midday prayers. From what I've seen, working hours in New York start at 8am ET, whilst on the West coast it's more like 10am PT. And in Japan people appear to work from about 8am JST until 6pm PT. Apologies if these guesses offend anyone - as I say, it would be really useful to have a calculator for this stuff.


In the marine industry on the West coast, and especially in Alaska, business hours are frequently 7 - 3:30. It would be nice to see the grey bands change based on the country beneath my cursor, but that would take a lot more images. When I think of "rude to call" during business hours, I try to avoid the first 15 minutes after arrival in the morning and after arrival back from lunch, but I have no clue as to what percentage of the population both like the slower transitions and don't already have a system to defer interruptions.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby CryHavoc » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:48 am UTC

A beautiful, elegant piece of work.

So why not nitpick:

A pity the date line wasn't included.

And I'm sure the fault is my ignorance of this map projection, but I don't understand why there is such a huge gap between Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia when they are in fact only about 50 miles apart (well, really only 2 miles if you count the Diomede Islands).

And though I recognize it would have taken a lot more effort and resource to accomplish, not to mention gutting the implied snark aimed at all us Northern-Hemisphere-centric thinkers, it would have been brilliant if the viewer had the option to toggle between the north and south poles as the center of the map.

But again, nice!

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby CryHavoc » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:05 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Randall should be able to alter the labels to adjust for DST, thus possibly demonstrating the 1-hour difference, if he does plan to show DST.


DST observance is, pardon the pun, all over the map and often varies wildly even inside national borders. And changes frequently, year to year, often with little or no warning. Just yesterday Turkey announced a change to their DST observance.

And the shift happens at different times... the USA and Mexico and the European Union all do on different dates. Reflecting it in graphical form would be a big, maybe impossible challenge.

These two youtube videos help explain the madness: youtube dot com/watch?v=84aWtseb2-4 and youtube dot com/watch?v=5wpm-gesOY.

OnTimeZone dot com kind of shows the problem graphically for just North America.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:46 am UTC

orthogon wrote: and it's probably ok to call an Islamic country at dawn but rude to call during midday prayers.


Although this all depends. Not all Muslims pray, and your business associate may just like sleeping in.

This may refer to "general" international business custom, although obviously there are changes to local custom wherever you go (the Middle Eastern weekend is different from the Western one, for example).

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby bytesmythe » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:51 am UTC

I took a few minutes and made a real-time version that updates once a minute. (Note: I'm not a professional javascript programmer, so I apologize for any lousiness in the code.)
There is a variable called "testmode" you can set to true and it will rotate one degree per second.

Apparently you can't post links directly to jsfiddle: jsfiddle.net/tk9J7/

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Mr Q » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:23 am UTC

serrin85 wrote:Brisbane has been outed from the other east coast cities of Australia (I'm sure central and Western Australia don't appreciate being ignored but who cares, they're tiny (population-wise) and suck)


Perth's on there and unless we've moved, Perth is in Western Australia. In fact, it's one of six cities (Perth, Brisbane, Singapore, Moscow, Chicago and Denver) with an explicit mention

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby megana » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:58 am UTC

I'm not sure if it's sad or cool that my home (Hawaii) isn't on here. I live in a magical land where time is not!

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby metai » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:28 am UTC

bytesmythe wrote:I took a few minutes and made a real-time version that updates once a minute. (Note: I'm not a professional javascript programmer, so I apologize for any lousiness in the code.)

Pretty sure your version is spinning in the wrong direction. :)

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby ps.02 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:33 am UTC

megana wrote:I'm not sure if it's sad or cool that my home (Hawaii) isn't on here. I live in a magical land where time is not!

Guess that's just what happens when you're that small and in the middle of an ocean on a hand-drawn map. I don't see Kiribati or Rapa Nui either (are even big ones like Fiji on there? it's hard for me to tell for sure without "cheating" and looking at a real map), or Mauritius, or the Canary or Faulkland Islands. Though, as usual, he didn't forget Sulawesi. (He loves Sulawesi.)

Not all timezones get mentioned either, for obvious reasons. I mean there are hundreds of timezones, though the vast majority are just variations of daylight saving rules, which Randall is clearly ignoring altogether. Even disregarding daylight saving rules, he didn't think Nepal or Venezuela important enough to note. And those are more populous than Hawaii, yes?

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby ps.02 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:46 am UTC

Also, I kinda love the implied hubris in the title text. He adds a qualifier "assuming the earth continues spinning" but not "assuming xkcd.com doesn't break or go down".

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby FKlama » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:29 am UTC

CryHavoc wrote:And I'm sure the fault is my ignorance of this map projection, but I don't understand why there is such a huge gap between Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia when they are in fact only about 50 miles apart (well, really only 2 miles if you count the Diomede Islands).


That seemingly huge gap is indeed due to the projection.
It is unusual in that south is the center of the circle, and north is the outer edge. So longitude is immensely distorted.
The further north something is on that projection, the larger even small gaps seem to get.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Flumble » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:24 am UTC

FKlama wrote:
CryHavoc wrote:And I'm sure the fault is my ignorance of this map projection, but I don't understand why there is such a huge gap between Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia when they are in fact only about 50 miles apart (well, really only 2 miles if you count the Diomede Islands).


That seemingly huge gap is indeed due to the projection.
It is unusual in that south is the center of the circle, and north is the outer edge. So longitude is immensely distorted.
The further north something is on that projection, the larger even small gaps seem to get.

FKlama's right though: on a real map the continents are about 1º apart, whereas Randall has drawn them about 30º apart.
I hope he did it because he wanted the north less distorted, not because he's lazy or he doesn't know maps.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby ThemePark » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:37 pm UTC

NeatNit wrote:
stib wrote:IANAWD but wouldn't this be easier / better with html5? The inner image could be rotated continuously and precisely, and you could even have several layers to deal with daylight savings. Or is there something bad about canvas elements?

I think it's just more reliable this way. Many smartphone and other browsers *coughnintendocough* don't really support HTML5 to a great extent. In these cases the comic might look completely wrong, were it made with HTML5. Using a simple image and JavaScript to refresh it when needed, guarantees compatibility with all graphical browsers. Even if JavaScript doesn't work, an image would still appear and the page would simply have to be refreshed manually if so desired.

For the record, IANAWDE.


Actually, as sosu has shown, making it an animation would've been a LOT easier for Randall, and it would've made it viewable in EVERY single browser on every single device, except text browsers of course.
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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby orthogon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:26 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
FKlama wrote:
CryHavoc wrote:And I'm sure the fault is my ignorance of this map projection, but I don't understand why there is such a huge gap between Alaska and the eastern tip of Russia when they are in fact only about 50 miles apart (well, really only 2 miles if you count the Diomede Islands).


That seemingly huge gap is indeed due to the projection.
It is unusual in that south is the center of the circle, and north is the outer edge. So longitude is immensely distorted.
The further north something is on that projection, the larger even small gaps seem to get.

FKlama's right though: on a real map the continents are about 1º apart, whereas Randall has drawn them about 30º apart.
I hope he did it because he wanted the north less distorted, not because he's lazy or he doesn't know maps.

So maybe I'm wrong, and there is some distortion to the map to reflect the time zones? It looks like eastern Russia is on +1200 and Alaska on -0900, which would fit with a 30º gap. But I can't see that effect elsewhere, e.g. in Europe.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby twilliams1755 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

Is it safe to say a wall clock would be a popular item in store.xkcd.com? I'd buy one (if it was under $40)

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby bers » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:41 pm UTC

imgs-xkcd-com-comics-now-png (link below the comic) is a 301 redirect (moved permanently). I cannot imagine a better example to illustrate that this should be a 302 redirect (moved temporarily).Is this the best way to communicate to the author? Will he read it here?

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby Whizbang » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:53 pm UTC

Seriously, we need to go back to sundials. This DST/timezone mess is getting out of hand. Can't you Europeans do something about it? Us 'mer'cans will probably keep the current system out of sheer stupid sutbbornness, but I think better of you European folks for coming up with measurement systems. In this day and age of computers and apps, it should be no problem to deduct the correct number of minutes when someone in England tells someone in California what time it is. Watches should come with GPS functionality that adjusts for your position.

I mean, when we finally start colonizing space, what's going to happen unless we have some sort of coherent, scalable system in place?

Figuring out what time it is? Ain't nobody got time for dat!


**Edit**

Also, what time is it at the south pole?

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Re: 1335: "Now"

Postby orthogon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:21 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Seriously, we need to go back to sundials. This DST/timezone mess is getting out of hand. Can't you Europeans do something about it? Us 'mer'cans will probably keep the current system out of sheer stupid sutbbornness, but I think better of you European folks for coming up with measurement systems. In this day and age of computers and apps, it should be no problem to deduct the correct number of minutes when someone in England tells someone in California what time it is. Watches should come with GPS functionality that adjusts for your position.

Just to be sure I've understood before we (Europe) start work on it: does your solution to having too many time zones involve having an infinite number of time zones?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.


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