Monday, June 29, 2015

Gimme a sec'

A leap second will be added to the last day of June. This happens whenever the earth's rotation is out of sync with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). (UTC, btw, is defined by a recommendation from the International Telecommunications Union, among other things, which is an agency of the UN responsbile for information and communication technologies.)
" The extra second will be added as the clock strikes midnight universal time, meaning the extra second will come for people in the United States at 8 p.m. EDT. "
The extra second will come for me at 5pm. Which means an extra second in my work day. Which seems entirely unreasonable.
" When the time comes, clocks synchronized to standard civil time will show the extra second as :60, however it's possible that programs not equipped to handle the extra second could have an issue.
" Amazon Web Services said last month 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." " 
Last month? The last one was June 30, 2012 so I can see how AWS might be caught off guard.

But there's a solution. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) is responsible for inserting the leap second into Coordinated Universal Time. they put out a bulletin every six months, either to announce a leap second or to confirm there will be no leap second at the next possible date. (You can sign up here or here.)

Next time, you'll be prepared and will know what to do with all that extra time.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: If the extra second occurs on December 31st, do you get two kisses at midnights? If that ever happens, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I signed up for the bulletin and will plan to be west of here for the next leap second. Preferably, getting an extra second on a beach somewhere. You'll be the first to know if there's an extra second coming your way. I'll make a note give AWS a heads up as well.]

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