all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

02 July, 2012

Not Out by Much

Phil Jacob, of The Daily Telegraph, in “Global chaos as a moment in time kills the interwebs”, writes:
All it took was a single second to bring down websites all over the world.
Sites such as Reddit, Gawker, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Yelp crashed after a “leap second” was added to the universal clock in order to keep up with the Earth’s rotation.
Slight fluctuations on the Earth’s axis meant that some days ended up being longer than others meaning that in a few hundred years time we’d be eating lunch at midnight if the problem went unaddressed.  […]
The last leap seconds happened in 2008, 2005 and 1998.
Assuming that Jacob means that our clocks will be marking midnight when it’s around midday, by the sun, he’s a little wide of the mark.  Even if the world’s clocks were slipping behind at a rate of exactly one second every year, it would still take a lot more than “a few hundred years” for those seconds to add up to half a day’s worth: it would take forty thousand.*
Note also that Jacobs (or his subeditor) uses “chaos”, not to mean “complete and utter disorder and confusion” but, as so many journalists do these days, apparently, signifying “a slight amount of disorder, with a little confusion and inconvenience”; and “global”, in this instance, seems to mean “within Australian aerodromes and parts of the USA”.

* assuming that twelve hours contain 43,200 seconds.

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