Re: [LEAPSECS] Schreiver AFB warns about leapsec

From: Tom Van Baak <>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:35:54 -0800

> The same paradigm suggests a new definition of UTC,
> strengthening its link to UT1 down to 0.09s, and
> switching from leap seconds to leap tenths of a
> second. This aims at making leap intervals a rule
> and not an exception. Tens of a second are as easy
> (or as difficult) to implement as leap seconds,
> their instantaneous impact is 10 times lower and
> since only automated systems are really affected,
> the increased frequency of their occurrence is not
> an issue.

Keeping to metric system conventions and following
the humor of the above suggestion perhaps then leap
milliseconds is the solution. Then the instantaneous
impact is only 1/1000th as much. By extrapolation
one can consider microsecond leaps as well. At this
level UTC becomes indistinguishable from UT1 and
so the astronomers on the list will be happy. ;-)

Another advantage with many more, but much smaller
leap 'seconds, is that we'd finally experience negative
leaps instead of just positive. With leap milliseconds
occurring at the rate of more than one a day, software
engineers would finally run out of excuses not to fully
test their timekeeping code...

While you're at it let's change when leaps occur; not
just at 23:59:59 but any time of day; carefully chosen
so as not to repeat. Then the pseudo-random spread
spectrum nature of this implementation will take care
of Rob's world-wide business hours concern!

Received on Tue Dec 20 2005 - 08:42:27 PST

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