Codebreaker

Leap second wrecks the world!

John Moe Jul 2, 2012

You may have noticed the widespread panic shrieking and rioting and despair this weekend and wondered, “Hmm, why are people going bonkers with chaos”. Turns out it was the Leap Second out wrecking the world. In addition to leap years, we have the occasional Leap Second to catch our calendar up with the Earth’s journey around the sun. I don’t know. Science. Anyway, there was one on July 1 and things got wacky.
The Daily Telegraph reports on the anarchy:

 

Yelp, StumbleUpon, Mozilla and Gawker were also among the sites that suffered because of faults with the underpinnings of the web, including the Java application platform and the Linux operating system. Both of these use the internet’s Network Time Protocol (NTP) to keep in sync and hadn’t been prepared in advance.

 

Was there any way to avoid all this? Yep, and Google found it:

Google, however, had been adding milliseconds in advance to each second throughout Saturday and was unaffected.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.