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Daylight saving bug in Java eclipses Sun

Déjà vu

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Sun has warned of a bug in its Java software platforms stemming from problems involving an update module designed to address the earlier start of Daylight Saving Time in the US this year.

As part of the Energy Policy Act in August 2005, Congress moved the start of Daylight Saving Time to the second Sunday in March, roughly three weeks earlier than that set previously. Computers need to be re-configured to recognise the new start date otherwise any application relying on time stamping - including scheduling software, calendar applications and back-up routines - will no longer run on time.

The issue has created a Y2k-lite software update fire drill, as US sysadmins scramble to apply update tools. "This is no Y2K, but when you are facing numerous machines and a long list of other pressing IT issues, the Daylight Saving Time problem can be onerous," explained Nick Cavalancia, of desktop management software firm ScriptLogic, whose Desktop Authority product helps deal with the problem.

With only one working day to spare, Sun announced on Thursday that the "fixed" versions of Java suffer from an even worse bug in their time zone handling than users would have faced if they'd not applied the time correction update at all. As a result users need to run the updating tool again but with different parameters, as explained in an advisory here. ®

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