We can easily eliminate the problem by legislating that the earth’s rotational speed be a convenient constant. Indiana has paved the way for this kind of legislation.
The implication here, is that if a clever criminal were to time their mischief with great accuracy, it would be as if it never happened!
Unfortunately the only people I know of with that kind of expertise are stock traders, and that kind of thing bores the hell outta me.
A significant portion of the world already subjects itself to daylight saving time. Would that we could forget the whole leap second exercise and in 600 years just once skip turning the clocks either ahead or back.
Leap seconds exist because international agreements depend on not being illegal in some jurisdictions. The radio time signals that were used through the 1960s became illegal in Germany when they changed their law to require broadcast of only SI seconds. Representatives from other countries pointed out that time signals must provide legal calendar days which required observing earth rotation. In order to be legal everywhere the chosen solution was to broadcast only SI seconds and to adjust the begin/end of calendar days by a leap second when necessary.
Getting international agreement to abandon leap seconds requires getting international agreement that calendar days are not determined by observing the earth rotate.
So leap seconds yield two identical timestamps that are one second apart? If they can make a movie (The Hummingbird Project) about gaining millisecond advantages on financial trades, a whole second advantage would make a great heist movie.
Not necessarily. Some systems will do that but technically a positive leap second is 23:59:60.
Yeah, landlords are gonna be charging us for a full month’s rent! UNFAIR!
Technically is not the word here. Leap seconds are technically barren, and everyone who was involved in their inception knew that. 23:59:60 is not technical, it is regulatory, it is bureaucratic, it is political.
The entire concept of measuring time is nothing if not bureaucratic.
How are the time candles you burn calibrated?
In the US, I guess it’s by the armpit of Hercules or something…
Can’t we just wait for the next regular leap second and then skip it? Adding a negative leap second seems likely to break a lot of software. I’d wager it would be worse than Y2K.
Scream if you want to go faster
I’m just saying that there has to be an easier way to test the correctness of our NTP software than having the clock nerds playing ‘chaos monkey’ with the timestream every few years.
2020 1 second shorter than it was supposed to be? I’ll take it.
I’ve been fighting this issue a lot lately at work, but it might interest some to know that the way it is determined how much rotation has been lost at particular times in the past is historical records of solar eclipses.
With a good simulation of the orbits of the Earth and Moon and the restricted viewing geography inherent in eclipses one can determine the amount of lag (or, really, antilag, since the Earth was rotating faster in the past). Without accounting for it, an eclipse prediction for Italy in 1178 BC occurs instead in Brazil.
This is a longer explanation than I expected, but like I said I’ve recently worked a lot on this issue.
I for one welcome the Time Lords. They can’t do any worse, am I right?
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