Just after we in the US changed our clocks back an hour from daylight saving time to standard time I ran across an interesting tid-bit regarding time. This may have impacts across many information systems.
UTC TIME STEP
This is being done to keep time in sync with the slowing earth's rotation and the standard time measures in use in atomic clocks. There have been several leap seconds introduced since 1972.
My original source for this information is the November 2005 Scientific American article by Wendy Grossman. The impacts on information systems can come from GPS clocks not recognizing the leap second and sending out flawed or inaccurate data with can affect many time based functions including security features. According to the article there is talk within the INTERNATIONAL EARTH ROTATION AND REFERENCE SYSTEMS SERVICE (IERS) (a United Nations organization) of decoupling standard time measurement from the earth's rotation and adhering strictly to atomic decay.
NTP systems appear to be able to handle leap seconds: http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/leap.html
Scientific American article here.
Happy travels through time ...
Dan at madjic dot net
Oct 31st 2005
1 decade ago