The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Unix & Linux could pull a HAL 9000 on June 30th ‘Leap Second”

The reference is to HAL 9000, the fictional onboard computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which loses its mind after it is programmed to lie.

The International Telecommunications Union, otherwise known as the ‘Time Lords’ (Wired) will be meeting later this year to determine whether to continue with the Leap Second.  There have been 26 Leap Seconds since 1970. The pic shows some Japanese watching the Leap Second being added July 1st, 2012.

The problem lies that while adding the second is easy, Unix based systems believe a day is comprised of 86,400 seconds. A day is unchangeable, so what to do with that second? How can Linux live with the lie of one day being 86,401 seconds?

The next Leap Second is scheduled for Jun 30th, 2015.

This has caused problems for several that we know about with the largest being Quantas when their worldwide network running on Linux crashed.

Ow well, back to my mundane day job. I trust the Time Lords will take care of this.

Written by Colin Henderson

January 12, 2015 at 09:15

Posted in Uncategorized

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