Re: [LEAPSECS] Report of Leap Second Problem with GPS Data

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 09:23:15 -0700

>> "This goes counter to my claims so it is of no importance".


> This time, there were no reports of death with the leap second,
> therefore they can't be too bad... :-)

I invite derision with my flights of rhetoric. But this is an
internet forum and a little leeway may be warranted. We all have our
day jobs with more pragmatic requirements. For whatever reason, UTC
is of importance to each of us - both the immediate day-to-day issues
as well as the long term philosophical issues.

Reports of significant misbehavior triggered by the leap second are
to be expected. Honestly, I am surprised that there have been so few
so far - but perhaps two weeks is about the right time for data to be
gathered and turned into a report. I won't belabor the notion that
the solutions to any problems revealed in these reports might indeed
be expected to be a little more subtle than "never issue another leap

But let's imagine we were to identify a consensus vision for the path
forward. (Seems a bit unlikely at the moment :-) So all the
interested parties would be in agreement on the changes to be made to
UTC (and/or TAI and/or whatever else) - and in agreement that any
changes were needed at all. Again - just for the sake of argument.

There would still need to be an implementation plan. That plan would
need to analyze risks (and benefits) and costs. It would need to
reveal a schedule, likely in stages over many years. If you believe
there are significant risks associated with the complex system
involved with the issuance of leap seconds, are significant risks not
to be expected with making changes to that system?

We're all concerned about risks. Unplanned changes to deployed
systems are among the most dangerous.

Received on Sat Jan 14 2006 - 08:23:31 PST

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