Estimated Time to Read: 1 minute, 23 seconds [what’s this?]
"What a difference a day makes," the aphorism goes. When it comes to technology, I'm certain a second could make that kind of a difference as well.
Last Saturday, it did.
According to the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), the Earth's rotation slowed down. To compensate for this split-second slow down, IERS provides us mere earthlings a "leap second." That is their job after all, according to this article in Forbes. Big deal, right? One second on the atomic clock? Meh. That's like missing a penny from your pocket. That or navel lint.
Not. So. Much.
That itty bitty adjustment triggered the widespread failure of computers that keep the world's website online. Among the sites to have problems: Gawker, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Yelp, plus countless others.
Did your Mac or PC jack up? Did your smartphone act possessed and spit up green pea soup? Did the server at your work take on a life of its own like that thermonuclear war NORAD doo-dad in 'War Games'?
Yeah, mine neither. I've asked our tech gurus and it was a revelation that this miniscule moment in time even made national news. If it's any consolation, the last leap second was Dec. 31, 2008. I mean, that's two-and-a-half years ago. And, and, it was New Years, so that has to count for something. Oh, and this mystical leap second was created in 1972, which makes you wonder how did we ever live without it before.
Kinda' makes me wonder why I spent the last leap second writing this thing. Ah well...