Home Journal A brief history of Leap Seconds

A brief history of Leap Seconds

by John

A few weeks ago I gave a talk about Leap Seconds at Electromagnetic Field (EMF) – an extraordinary camping festival for hackers and makers, held in the UK every two years. I’ll be speaking a bit more about my time at EMF in an upcoming Worthing Digital talk: What we did at camp.

Worthing Digital Talks: What we did at camp

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018, 7:00 PM

Freedom Works
The Mill Building, 31-35 Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1LY Worthing, GB

13 Members Attending

WorthingDigital members John Dalziel and Elliot Taylor have both been been “camping” this summer. John has been at EMF (http://emfcamp.org/) talking about leap seconds and soaking up the rest of the event. Elliot is an organiser of WordCamp Brighton (https://2018.brighton.wordcamp.org) and will tell you what we missed if you weren’t there. John Dal…

Check out this Meetup →


Speaking of Worthing Digital – since January, I’ve been working with Mark to put on a series of monthly talks, kindly hosted by our friends at Fresh Egg, Colonnade House and Freedom Works. In October we’re getting involved in the Brighton Digital Festival to put on our most ambitious event yet: The End of Digital with applied futurist Tom Cheesewright. Tickets are FREE.

The End of Digital

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018, 7:00 PM

Worthing Dome
21-22 Marine Parade, Worthing Worthing, GB

55 Members Attending

The End of Digital “Technology is anything invented after you were born,” said the computer scientist, Alan Kay. By this measure, much of our digital world will just be ‘stuff’ for the coming generations, blending into the background, as innocuous as a wheel or a table. But as digital technology disappears from view it is changing our world, our wo…

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EMF recorded and streamed all of their talks, so if you want to know more about Leap Seconds and Universal Coordinated Time, you can watch here.

A brief history of Leap Seconds

Our ability to measure time has become so good that we’ve run into a problem. The Earth isn’t very accurate. Which is awkward. Leap Seconds are our current best effort to bridge the widening gap between Atomic Time and the actual rotation of the Earth. But the addition of a leap second causes no-end of headaches for technology systems that often prefer to ignore it. In this talk I’d like to trace the history of Leap Seconds, how we deal with them and the ongoing debate about their future.

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