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Screenshot

This screenshot has been taken at 2012-10-27 8:12 UTC, close to two days after the comment in the screenshot has been posted, on a freshly reloaded page (it's not one that has stayed open long, so it is not a case of the JS failing to update the stamp dynamically). October 25th certainly isn't the day before October 27th, but the timestamp is rendered as "yesterday".

Actual comment in question

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Yes, but it is less than 48 hours ago... –  ben is uǝq backwards Oct 27 '12 at 8:24
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Yes, but that's not what "yesterday" means. If something happened 65 seconds ago, it could be said to be "a minute ago"; if it happened 110 seconds ago, it is much more "two minutes ago" than "a minute ago", even though it is technically less than 120 seconds ago. In this case the "yesterday" misleads me that something happened roughly 24 hours ago, while in fact it is almost 48 hours ago. –  lanzz Oct 27 '12 at 8:27
    
In relative terms it is though. It looks as though the UTC enforcement breaks down in the relative times. Yesterday, somewhere in the world, is always between 24 and 48 hours ago. It looks as though that is what it has been defined as here (or of course it's a bug :-)). –  ben is uǝq backwards Oct 27 '12 at 8:30
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It would be much more intuitive to define "yesterday" as "the 24-hour period centered around 24 hours ago" than "24 to 48 hours ago"; now it is like saying it's 5 o'clock when it is 5:59. You can say that yesterday is between 24 and 48 hours ago only if you can count on the actual day boundaries to match that period; in the SO case you can't, so it is better to round than to truncate. –  lanzz Oct 27 '12 at 8:33

1 Answer 1

there is definitely something wrong with the relative timestamps.

I posted a question yesterday and the tooltip for both timestamps, the one below my question and the one on the sidebar to the right, say 2013-06-12 15:00:02Z, which is about right I think. When looking at it just now (14:55 CET), the relative timestamp below my opening post says "asked 21 hours ago" and in the sidebar it says "asked today" which is just plain wrong.

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SO defines "today" as less than 24h ago and "yesterday" as 24 to 48h ago. –  CodesInChaos Nov 10 '13 at 16:39
    
thanks, that would explain what I saw. is there also a good reason behind this innovative use of the word "today"? –  Cpt. Senkfuss Nov 10 '13 at 20:42
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On an international website "today" and "yesterday" are pretty meaningless concepts thanks to timezones. I would have preferred calling it "one day ago" etc. but they chose "today" etc. –  CodesInChaos Nov 10 '13 at 20:49

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