Dead calls for the death of the second leap | Engadget

Meta puts its weight behind the tech industry’s push to get rid of the leap second. In a post on the engineering company’s blog, Meta production engineer Oleg Obleukhov and research scientist Ahmed Biagoyi talked about how leap seconds can wreak havoc on the network, along with the solution Meta is implementing to prevent outages and any issues they might cause.

The leap second was introduced in 1972 as a way to adjust Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and compensate for the difference between International Atomic Time (TAI), which is measured in atomic hours, and the observed inaccurate solar time (UT1). Sometimes they do not match due to irregularities and slowing of the Earth’s rotation caused by various events caused by climate and geology, such as the melting and refreezing of ice caps on the highest mountains.

As noted by Obleukhov and Byagowi, the displacement caused by the leap second can cause problems across the industry. In 2012, for example, it took Reddit 40 minutes when the time change overwhelmed its servers and shut down its CPUs. A time jump added in 2017 also affected Cloudflare’s DNS service.

To prevent unwanted interruptions, Meta and other tech companies, such as Google and Amazon, use a technology called “smudge”. These companies “warp” leap seconds by slowing down or accelerating the clock over a number of hours. The Meta smears a leap second over a 17-hour period, while Google uses a 24-hour smear technology that runs from noon to noon and encourages everyone to do the same. This way, the leap second does not create any strange timestamps that can cause networking to crash.

But Meta isn’t advocating embracing her style of distortion – her new job is to give her voice to the movement calling for leap second retirement. The body responsible for determining whether to adjust UTC, the International Earth Rotation Reference Systems service, has added 27 leap seconds since 1972. Meta believes this adjustment is sufficient for the next millennium.

The company’s publication comes more than a year before the fate of the leap second is decided. In 2015, the International Telecommunication Union discussed the second step at the World Radiocommunication Conference and came to the conclusion that more studies are needed to find out the effect of its flooding. The union is expected to study the results of the studies and consider the retirement proposal for the second leap time at its next conference in 2023.

Mita said in her post:

“Leap second events have caused problems across the industry and continue to present many risks. As an industry, we encounter problems whenever a leap second is presented. Because it is such a rare event, it destroys society every time it occurs. With the increasing demand for clock accuracy across all industries The leap second now causes more harm than good, leading to disruptions and interruptions.”

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