Tags: leap second | atomic clock | internet

Net Chaos Feared as 2015 Adds One Extra Second

By    |   Friday, 09 Jan 2015 10:58 AM

Some fear that the extra second in 2015 could cause chaos on the internet's infrastructure.

As the Earth is gradually slowing down, an extra second will be added to the clocks on June 30 so that the atomic time matches up with the Earth's spin, The Independent reported.

Because atomic clocks don't slow down on their own with the Earth's slowing rotation, which slows by two thousandths of a second per day, to give atomic clocks a chance to catch up, years need to be occasionally made slightly longer.

In 2012, the last time an extra second was added to the clocks, websites such as Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, the Linux operating system, and Java based programs all experienced problems.

Even though the practice of adding time to atomic clocks has been happening since 1972, the affect on computers is becoming more a problem, since more computers are synced with atomic clocks.

The adjustment gives computers the same time twice, which can cause computers to panic because if it thinks it is supposed to do an operation at that time, it could cause confusion about what it is supposed to do, potentially causing problems to the server.

Google managed to avoid the problem in 2012 by creating an update called "leap smear," which added extra time to its servers whenever they were updated and by the time the extra time was added, its servers were already caught up to the new time.

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Some fear that the extra second in 2015 could cause chaos on the internet's infrastructure.
leap second, atomic clock, internet
243
2015-58-09
Friday, 09 Jan 2015 10:58 AM
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