2017 to start a bit later as "leap second" gets added to atomic clocks

The Earth's rotation is gradually slowing down. Image via Bing

The Earth Orientation Center of the International Earth Rotation Service have again decided the world needs an extra second and have picked New Year's Eve as the moment for when the extra second is added to Atomic Clocks.

A positive leap second will be introduced at the end of December 2016.
The sequence of dates of the UTC second markers will be:

2016 December 31, 23h 59m 59s
2016 December 31, 23h 59m 60s
2017 January 1, 0h 0m 0s

-via International Earth Rotation Service

Since the introduction of leap seconds in 1972, a total of 26 have been added in either June or December, with the last occurring in June 2015. This extra second is added on occasion to the atomic clocks around the world so that the official time stays locked in with the speed of the rotation of the Earth, which is actually slowing down.

However, back in 2012 the databases of some major websites such as Reddit, Foursquare, LinkedIn and others didn't take that "leap second" into account and got hit with a bug that caused them to go down for various amounts of time.

And in 2015, various bugs with Android and Twitter caused a bit of first world problems, albeit briefly. This time around though, the likes of Cisco, IBM and Red Hat have issued advisories about how to handle this year's event, and seeing as Neowin is now hosted on Amazon's Web Services, which went down for long periods of time in 2012 following a leap second, we can only hope they navigate this transition trouble-free when 2017 eventually rolls around, a second later than expected.

Source: The Register

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