Below is a post I wrote in 2009 but for some reason never made it to this blog. But I had better post it now because, as I found out via Tony Wirth, Samoa is moving across the international date line, 24 hours into the future. That should make Hawaii the last place on Earth to end the day, making conference deadlines an hour earlier.
So are the Samoans losing a hour to submit their papers or are they gaining twenty-three?
Update 12/28/11: Western Samoa is skipping this Friday to make the switch. American Samoa is not making the switch and will be the last place on Earth to end the day, an hour after Hawaii.
The deadline for ICALP 2009 was February 10th at 12:30 PM in Greece where the conference will be held. Did you sleep late and miss it? Why not have the deadline in late afternoon so people can keep working on their papers?
But in fact the deadline was Tuesday. At least while it was Tuesday anywhere in the world. So ICALP waits until the small country of Samoa approaches midnight before making its papers due. So the Greeks get all morning Wednesday. The New Zealanders have all day Wednesday until 11:30 PM. With Daylight Savings Time, the Kiwis are a full day ahead of the Samoans.
Nothing against the fine citizens of Samoa but it is not a hotbed of theoretical computer science. So it still seems strange to list the submission deadline as "February 10, 2009, (23:30 GMT-11)" in a time zone from which they will likely get no submissions instead of just giving the deadline as February 11, 2009 (10:30 GMT).
Not all conferences follow the Samoan rule. Complexity deadline is midnight Eastern on Friday. At EC we used Midnight GMT on Monday and we received a few complaints from people in the US. I just didn't want to have to be up at 4:30 AM Chicago time making sure the submission server wasn't crashing.
The NSF has a policy of submission of 5 PM in the submitter's time zone. So perhaps conferences could have a deadline of midnight in the place the submitter lives. This would give those Samoans the extra time they so richly deserve.