Tags: leap | second | added | clock | june

Leap Second to Be Added to World Clock, Potentially Screwing Up Computers

Image: Leap Second to Be Added to World Clock, Potentially Screwing Up Computers
Photo showing the passing of one seconds on a wall clock. (Derejeb/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:31 PM

A leap second will be added to the clock on June 30 to make up for a difference between the rotation of the Earth and the atomic clock.

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems announced the extra second will be added at midnight universal time, which is 8 p.m. EDT, ABC News reported.

According to Tech Times, the IERS said the Earth has slowed its rotation, making the additional second a necessity.

Additional seconds occur in June or December, according to the IERS. In the past 43 years, 25 extra seconds have been added. Clocks on standard civil time will read the additional second at “:60,” but programs not created for the extra second — like on many computers — may have problems.

Most computer systems operate based on the program Unix, a software developed in 1970, two years before the leap second was created. Synchronizing their times with the IERS’ network, the program gets confused when extra seconds are added.

Google developed safety measures after several of its own systems where affected when a leap second was added in 2005, Tech Times reported.

Additionally, Amazon Web Services released a statement saying it plans to “implement alternative solutions to avoid the ‘:60’ leap second. This means that AWS clocks will be slightly different from the standard civil time for a short period of time.”

When the most recent leap second was added in 2012, issues with websites like LinkedIn, Yelp, and Reddit occurred, Tech Times reported.

The Wall Street Journal even reported that the market is on edge as regulators, exchangers, and traders worry about issues that could arise with the addition of the leap second.

“These guys are agonizing over it,” Steve Allen, the programmer-analyst at the University of California’s Lick Observatory, told WSJ. “It is definitely a hassle.”

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A leap second will be added to the clock on June 30 to make up for a difference between the rotation of the Earth and the atomic clock.
leap, second, added, clock, june
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2015-31-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:31 PM
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