Don’t forget to leave home at least a few minutes early on June 30th 2015, as it all kind of problems are expected to come up along your way because this will be an out of the ordinary day. Scientists are making it a full second longer so as to keep up with the Earth’s movement and that is bound to cause a great load of problems to internet-based companies.
The extra second on June 30th will be added as decided by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems (IERS), who deem this measure necessary so that the atomic clock be in full alignment with the current rotation pattern of the Earth.
The second will be added at 00:00 AM as reflected by the universal time, which means that in America it will come in at 08:00 PM EDT. The graphic expression of the leap second will be the addition of “:60” to the normal time and this is the main reason for all the panic.
Because “:60” is an abnormal value for the expression of time, none of the clock programs include it. Therefore, the extra second will cause all types of programs to be a whole second early than they are supposed to.
As Dr. Suelette Dreyfus, a head researcher in the field of computer technology and informatics perfectly explained, this leap second will not affect you in any way whatsoever if you are not using computer programs in your endeavors, like, building pools, as she says.
However, “If you’re doing complex trades second by second in currencies or commodities, it might actually be an issue”, she says putting things into perspective.
This is the 26th time that the IERS decides to add a second to the clock, the first being in 1972. Convention dictates that the leap second be added either in June or in December.
The last time this happened was back in June 2012 and as Dr. Dreyfus pointed out, it was truly an issue for very many people. Airlines were obligated to manually check-in their passengers, as their systems were down for quite some time.
A multitude of websites and apps like LinkedIn and Yelp were also down because of this problem, to the sheer annoyance of their users and to the utter despair of their makers.
This year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) formally announced their plan to use “alternative solutions” so as to be ready to face the upcoming problems that June 30th will bring about. They expect their clocks to differ from the standard civil time for “a short period of time”.
It remains to be seen what kind of problems the 2015 leap second will trigger both for internet-based companies and the non-technical population. But save the day, just to be on the safe side and heed the experts’ warning and plan for an abundance of delays to come your way on June 30th 2015.
Image Source: gpsworld.com