4 Comments

Summary:

It was a rough weekend for the internet. While Friday’s problems with Amazon Web Services and other sites could be chalked up to some wicked thunderstorms, several sites went down Saturday for periods of time thanks to problems with the “leap second.”

clocks

It was a rough weekend for the internet. While Friday’s problems with Amazon Web Services and other sites could be chalked up to some wicked thunderstorms, several sites went down Saturday for periods of time thanks to problems with the “leap second.”

About every 18 months, according to timeanddate.com, the wizards who run the world’s atomic clocks pause those clocks for a second in order to keep those clocks in sync with the speed of the rotation of the earth, which declines ever-so-slightly over the years. Most times the major computer systems that rely on precise timing handle this extra second with aplomb, but several major websites — Reddit, Gawker Media, and Foursquare, according to BuzzFeed — crashed Saturday afternoon after the leap second was added at 11:59:59 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time.

Various reports and tweets blamed problems with Java, Hadoop and the Apache Cassandra database for the outages. Most sites were restored fairly quickly, but that didn’t stop the snark from flowing.

 

 

For more background on this issue, as well as one way to tackle the problem, check out a blog post from Google last year on how it deals with leap seconds.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Java! Of course it’s Java again, this piece of garbage. Whoever invented this crap should better be serving a life sentence already.

  2. please note that while this mostly impacted java programs, it was caused by a linux kernel bug and not by any of the products mentioned in the article.

  3. The world’s rotation is slowing? Do you happen to know when it’ll stop dead and not rotate any more (like how many thousands of years from now)?

  4. Rahul Singh Monday, July 2, 2012

    Reblogged this on Digital Strategist.

Comments have been disabled for this post