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Psst... Have a second?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by zenMachine, Jan 19, 2012.

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  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    In the short haul it's a pain in the ass, since it potentially jiggers the clocks every year. On the other hand, it gets to be a problem if left uncorrected. We need a correction system, but perhaps over a longer period.

    There isn't an easy answer.

    Tom
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I haven't been following this issue closely in recent years, so am not familiar with all the issues. But this seems more a case of botched system planning by some designers than a real fundamental problem. So now some folks are trying to change time definitions so they don't have to properly fix their systems. And they won't be around to worry about it when their proposed redefinition inevitably causes other problems.

    Because of the well known feature of leap seconds, anyone in the past four decades who was designing a system needing a continuous time scale, simply f'ed up if they selected UTC. They should have selected a continuous (no leap second) time scale from which UTC is defined -- e.g. TAI in the early years, TT more recently.

    Buck up. The tool you need existed before your systems were designed, so fix your systems. Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    2 people like this.
  4. R-P

    R-P Member

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    Change to leap-hour. By the time adjustment is needed, this whole discussion is probably obsolete.

    Whether due to using another timescale, no more humans on the planet or other reason, I dunno, but chances are quite big that I am correct in this assumption.
  5. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    One of the driving factors is a great many computer and automated systems do not have provisions for making time changes while in operation. What surprises me, is that if they don't address these provisions now, then the issue could be quite a bit nastier when the errors get really big.
  6. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    The leap second keeps things in sync. But it requires too much maintenance for too many systems. Doing away with it could save a lot of money, at least for a while (a few decades, perhaps). A leap hour was suggested years ago but was not accepted.

    There appears to be no painless solution. Either way we go, a price has to be paid. Question is: who will pay, when, and how much?
  7. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    We're looking at this problem entirely the wrong way. Just put together a team with Bruce Willis & friends to use some of the world's unused atomic arsenal to redistribute regions of crustal mass to set the earth's spin where it belongs. I gotta say, our inability to see the obvious causes a lot of unnecessary travail.
  8. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Looks like they decided to kick the can down the road and reconvene in three years to... discuss it some more. Then wash, rinse and repeat.
  9. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    I'm still trying to get us to abandon daylight savings time.

    Also, we need to do something about the way the East always gets the new day ahead of us. How are we ever going to compete if we're always behind?
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    From my perspective, a delay is a step in the right direction: don't change UTC, and make system designers who need a continuous time scale move to an existing continuous time scale, which they should have used in the first place.

    Loran Time is probably dead, but [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Atomic_Time"]TAI[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_Time"]TT[/ame], or [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS_time"]GPS time[/ame] should fit the bill for most uses. And there are more for very serious applications.

    Changing UTC to fix some system problems is like trying to solve the Y2K problem by changing the calendar to fit the faulty legacy software.
  11. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    Is the discussion really about leap seconds or about the "purpose" of time. If your machine needs some sort of uninterrupted time, then give it one and the machine problem is solved. If humans want the clock to match what the sun and stars are doing, then what we have now is the best answer.

    So making machines happy or humans happy seems to be the real issue.
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