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Leap Smear, Leap Second – How ever you do it, here it comes!

October 21, 2016

The planet doesn’t seem to care about how fast or slowly we think it should rotate. Perhaps it is a good reminder that we aren’t really in charge of all that much and have to accommodate ourselves to the way the world really turns…

Once again we are facing a leap second. This year we implement it on New Year’s Eve!

Here are two references that might be of interest:

  1. A piece by Bloomberg from 2015 that provides some good background and entertaining observations.
  2. Guidance on best practices from the US Department of Homeland Security

And for those of you that care about reliable and trustable timestamps, even in the face of leap seconds involving different leap smears, check out the work our friends at the Network Time Foundation are doing to get the General Timestamp API (GTSAPI) up and running. They are a 501(c)3, just like us and could really use your help. If you are passionate about time, please consider joining the Network Time Consortium.