Downtime for a global service? Tell me when in UTC!

If a service with an allegedly global audience, say one run by Yahoo or by Google has some scheduled downtime, they always give the time when it will be back, or the time when it went down, in PST. Now I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t give a flying fig about when the downtime began on the other side of the entire planet. What I do care about is what that means to me as a user. I want to know when it went down for my timezone, and when it’s going to be back. It’s not as if there aren’t services which do exactly this and it’s not as if it’s beyond the scope of global behemoth-like IT businesses to do this themselves, but it what it gives everyone outside of the US is short shrift and two fingers up.

Making a blog post about your downtime isn’t enough. Giving out useful information is. As it is, thanks a lot, for not helping anyone out except yourselves.

It’s good to know I’m not the only moaner who finds this annoying

Atom from any RSS feed via Google Reader

Got a site which only provides an RSS feed? Do you wish you could have an Atom feed of it, but don’t have mad XSLT skillz or somewhere you can host your own PHP conversion script? Fear not, because under the hood, Google Reader is all about the Atom, baby.

For example: I have a account, is gracious enough to provide me with an RSS feed for my account, Google Reader converts that internally into Atom. Voila. That URL is eminently hackable, just use followed by the URL of your own feed.

What’s nice to note is that in this case it actually retains the tags, using the category element. Lovely.

Much respect goes to Robert Sayre, who spotted this.