Monday, June 29, 2015

MC2 Post 2030 The Question of the Leap Second

Astronomy, News

Tomorrow, the world is getting one extra second – what are you gonna do with yours?

Tomorrow, something extraordinary will happen, even though you might not notice it: right before 8 p.m. Eastern time, we will be adding an extra second – a leap second. Aside for being an interesting quirk, this is another reminder that our time isn’t exactly synced with solar time, and every once in a while, we need to make some adjustments.



Google found a clever way to prevent tomorrow's leap second from crashing its computers

Google's SMEAR Second Fix

However, Google claims to have found the answer and has created a custom solution for leap seconds that will protect key technologies, like its Compute Engine.

“Instead of repeating a second, we ‘smear’ away the extra second. During a 20-hour ‘smear window’ centered on the leap second, we slightly slow all our servers’ system clocks,” explained Google in a blog post.

“At the end of the smear window, the entire leap second has been added, and we are back in sync with civil time.”

Google claims it created the defence tech based on its experience mitigating a 2005 leap second and expects it to protect all cloud system running on the Compute Engine.

"Most software isn't written to explicitly handle leap seconds, including most of ours. During the 2005 leap second, we noticed various problems like this with our internal systems," explained the blog post.



The Fix, is only a Good Fix    If It Works...




What Key financial services  ARE GOING TO DO...

Key financial services have been less confident about their systems ability to deal with leap seconds and have announced plans to temporarily shut down their systems during the June 30 event.

A NASDAQ spokeswoman confirmed to Business Insider that it will be shutting down after-hours trading a half hour early to deal with the leap second.

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced it will delay its commodity trading markets' opening to mitigate potential harm, in a public statement.

The CME Group similarly announced plans to hold trade talks during the leap second event to avoid any issues, in a separate statement.

“ICE is confident that this will not cause any issues on our systems; however, we cannot guarantee

the same for all systems used by our participants, market data vendors, and other third-parties,” read the statement.

“As a result, ICE has made the decision to delay all market state transitions which would normally occur between June 30th 23.00 GMT and July 1st 00.01 GMT.”





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