One Second Game Changer: The Effects Of Adding A Second To The Internet

It has been announced that by June this year, scientists will be adding one second to the clock. This seems to be a very minimal change but for the world of computers and the internet, this could create great chaos.

Looking Back

Last 2012, a leap second was added. This does not seem a big deal for people not into technology. But websites such as the Gawker, Reddit, Yelp and LinkedIn were affected by this sudden interruption. The sites were down for a couple of hours. It was bad for business for these websites. The problem was also felt by Amadeus Alta, an online airline reservation system. Flights were rescheduled, bookings were cancelled and moved. Passengers were stranded, meetings were cancelled. It created a rippled effect.

Why does this problem occur? According to the New York Daily Times, computing systems are not able to recognize “two same seconds in a row”.

What is the proposed solution?

Every problem has always a solution. Google is already ready when this occurs. It will employ the so called “leap smear” technique. In leap smear, milliseconds are progressively added. This technique is employed so that the change is spread on several seconds rather that impacting on one moment.

Why add another second?

Why go through the hassle of adding another second to the clock? Scientists actually have a very important reason why another second is being added. This is to account for the planet’s slow rotation according to the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Effect of Earth’s Slow Rotation

Planet earth is not rotating at a constant speed. It slows down and then speeds up and then slows down again. There are several factors attributing to this change in speed. In a research by scholars, earthquakes happening in earth speeds up the rotation of earth. These events shorten days. Natural alteration of the elevation of various places on earth would cause the planet to rotate slowly. If the clock were not adjusted, you will experience sunset at 8 o’clock in the morning. Since 1972, scientists have added seconds to our clock 25 times so as to combat this problem one will experience with time.