A computer glitch has raised the ire of many tired Queenslanders, waking them from their sleep an hour too early. Yesterday, thousands of the state’s mobile phone users were affected by an error which automatically switched their phones’ time to daylight savings time.
Late on Tuesday night, users of the Optus and Virgin Networks experienced a technical difficulty which resulted in many tired eyes and a bemused citizenry. The roads were unusually quiet and many workers arrived at their offices an hour in advance of their starting time. “I couldn’t believe it. Even when I woke up I was thinking it does seem a little bit darker,” 612 ABC Brisbane reporter Terri Begley told the ABC. “I thought it was raining last night so maybe … but anyway I got to work. On the bus, my wife texted me saying ‘it’s only 6:20am’. I’m like, ‘no it’s not’ because on my phone it said 7:20am. I asked someone on the bus and they said ‘yeah, it’s 6:20am’.”
All across the city of Brisbane, people were coining on to the fact that something strange had occurred. Before too long, Optus was apologising for the incident and even pledging a free coffee to those city-based workers who’d arrived at work too early. Optus spokeswoman Claire Wong defended the company’s track record, minimising the potential PR damage. “It was selected customers in Queensland,” she told the ABC.”We’ve managed to resolve the issue now, so everyone should be back to normal Queensland time.”
But other, more critical commentators have noted that this case evidences our over-reliance on simple technologies. Stilgherrian, a technological critic and writer, spoke to the ABC about the downside of using new technologies: “This is a great curse of the modern network age.We are increasingly dependent on other people’s technology being set up right for our own technology to work.”
In the long term, it’s not easy to remain optimistic about the future of our great civilisations, entirely dependent on those new technologies that rule the day. But in the short term, we predict a surge in the sale of alarm clocks in the great City of Brisbane…
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