Back to the future, in Seattle trash

As I have learned since becoming New To Seattle, the city fancies itself a progressive, forward-looking place, especially when it comes to trash and recycling. How far ahead of the curve? Take a close look below at the highlighted material on the screen shot I just took. It’s a page on the city’s Web site where you can find out what kind of trash is being picked up at a given address on a given day:

Assuming a month/day/year format is being used, the page was “last updated” three weeks before next Christmas.

Maybe someone is already thinking about covering for future time off.

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Back to the future, in Seattle trash — 4 Comments

  1. Oh, I don’t dispute at all the advisability of of a day/month/year format, which, of course, is the norm in Europe and most of the rest of the world. It’s just that, based on other things I have seen, I don’t think that convention is being used at SPU.

  2. I have seen other SPU pages with creation dates in which the second figure was higher than 12, suggesting that could not have been the month. But that’s why my post included the caveat, “Assuming a month/day/year/is being used.” As for suggesting that SPU is incompetent. I’m still new here. But upon arriving to Seattle, I signed up for paperless billing. The result: For some months thereafter I got no bills at all–not emails, not paper. Nothing. Finally, I called. The customer rep on the phone agreed there was a glitch but couldn’t explain how the system decided to stop billing me altogether. I chose (reluctantly) to get paper billing. But now it appears that a customer who chooses paper billing cannot go online to check the account. This is not true of any other utility I have dealt with in recent years.

    • Good point. I actually haven’t ever dealt with Seattle solid waste, as I live in Edmonds.
      I was just defending the possible use of the much more logically sound date formats that don’t make me want to facepalm.

  3. The date seen there is probably written in dd/mm/yyyy format.
    I’m a programmer, and I also do web design, and the mm/dd/yyyy format makes basically no sense.

    There is a feature called endian-ness to every written number. Endian-ness is of two varieties, big-endian and little-endian. This describes the order of the digit’s significance in written numbers.

    A big endian date starts out with the most significant digit on the left and proceeds to the least significant digit just as with regular written numbers (eg: 2012-12-31 for December 31st, 2012). Little-endian is the opposite and starts with the least significant digit (eg: 31-12-2012 for December 31st 2012). Both of these formats make sorting by date, and date arithmetic a lot easier than using the mm/dd/yyyy format, since they have a logical order, instead of mixing the order of significant digits.

    You’re just trying to make Seattle Public Utilities look incompetent, when it’s just using a date format that makes more logical and mathematical sense than the stupid, “traditional” format.

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