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Blog Editor’s Note: Time and timing are becoming increasingly important. Per the article below, anything that upsets that is increasingly bad.

Synchronizing locally, relatively, is good, nay necessary. But what we really need is for everyone to be able to sync to the same time. To do otherwise is suboptimal since, eventually, everything impacts/ works with everything else. Having the same timing reference at the right level of nanoseconds (50ns to start?) will provide the infrastructure needed to foster even greater innovation and productivity.

And that timing reference, of course, should be UTC (Or some version of it. I am not a time lord and won’t get into all the subtleties).

Two years ago we published a Resilient National Timing Architecture talking about how to get everyone on the same sheet of music, or in this case the same clock. While it has been two years and time moves on (pun intended), we are confident the basic concept remains valid. Provide multiple, diverse sources of time to all as a way of protecting the apps and utilities we have, and enabling greater productivity and development going forward.

Come to ATIS’ “Time and Money” on the 17th of January at the New York Stock Exchange to hear more. Or check back here afterward and we will post a copy of the presentation. 


The Leap Second Has Jumped the Shark

An international time standards group concludes that fine-tuning clocks to account for Earth’s rotation is more trouble than it’s worth.

Stephen Shankland headshot

Stephen Shankland

Leap seconds, used for a half century to synchronize atomic clocks with the Earth’s rotation, are being phased out. That’s a boon for tech giants that are worried about the adjustment’s technical risks.

Timekeeping authorities from around the world voted Friday at a meeting of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, or BIPM, to stop using the temporal tweak.

“The … introduction of leap seconds creates discontinuities that risk causing serious malfunctions in critical digital infrastructure,” including satellite navigation systems, telecommunications and energy transmission, BIPM said of its reasoning for the move.

The change will take effect no later than 2035, though it’s possible the group could phase it in sooner. The new policy is designed to last at least a century.