One Extra Second In 2015 Could Break The Internet

This June, scientists will add exactly one second to the clock, a seemingly minor alteration that could wreak havoc for computers and websites across the globe.

The last time a “leap second” was added — June 2012 — sites like Reddit, Gawker, LinkedIn and Yelp experienced temporary service disruptions. According to Wired, Reddit was down for about an hour and a half — not such a big deal for what is essentially a massive online bulletin board. Unfortunately, the problem also extended to Amadeus Altea, a large airline reservation system. That reportedly disrupted flight plans for both Qantas and Virgin Australia.

The New York Daily News reports that the problem is primarily the result of many computing systems being unable to recognize “two same seconds in a row.”

Of course, Google has a solution to the problem. The search giant employs a technique called a “leap smear,” which basically means that a handful of milliseconds are gradually added to the clock before the actual leap second, so the shift is spread over a day rather than enacted at one precise moment.

This all sounds like a pain, but it’s not for nothing. The leap —> Read More Here


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