editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Four weeks of argument over a second

Today (November 2nd) the International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunication Conference meets in Geneva. It will run until the 27th and, apparently, during much of that time, there will be bitter arguments about the leap second. As we discussed in Just a Second https://www.eejournal.com/archives/articles/20150924-justasecond/ a few weeks ago, now that we measure the second using atomic frequencies, it is clear that the earth doesn’t rotate evenly, so, at relatively unpredictable times, a leap second is declared. This requires the administrators of a range of systems to tell the system to add the extra second. The first time a leap second was declared, there were serious problems. Supporters of the leap second claim that the problem is well understood and manageable, but opponents argue that now we don’t rely on the sun and stars for navigation, and use artificial satellites and the internet to share time signals, there is no need to take any risks. The arguments are summarised in IEEE Spectrum.  http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/networks/leap-second-heads-into-fierce-debate

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 20, 2019
The optical communications world will be centered in Dublin next week for ECOC Exhibition 2019. This is one of “the” events in the fiber optics world. ECOC features over 6,000 attendees and 330 exhibitor from around the globe. The industry will focus on networking...
Sep 20, 2019
Earlier this year, on July 20, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon. I wrote about it'€”well, mostly about the Apollo Guidance Computer'€”that day in my post The First... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Communit...