Chronometry, has become a centuries-old race to develop better and more accurate ways of answering the question, What time is it? Continue reading
Did you know? Leap seconds are adjustments made to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) so that the UTC time standard, which is measured by atomic clocks and used for international timekeeping, can be synchronized with astronomical time to within 0.9 seconds.
The Earth’s rate of rotation around its axis is irregular, while atomic clocks are engineered to tick at the same speed for eons. The addition of leap seconds ensures astronomical time and UTC (otherwise known as Greenwich Mean Time) remain in accord.
The standard allows leap seconds to be applied at the end of any month, but so far all have been implemented on June 30 or December 31. Since their adoption in 1972, 25 leap seconds have been inserted, the last of which took place on June 30, 2012 at 23:59:60 UTC. The next one is scheduled for June 30, 2015 at the same time.
What’s in a Second?
The average day has 86,400 seconds, but atomic clocks do not define one second as 1/86,400 of the time it takes the Earth to travel around its axis. In atomic terms, one second is 9,192, 631,770 cycles of the standard Cesium-133 transition.
It’s an intricate calculation that’s incredibly precise, whereas the Earth’s rotation is slowing down over time, making the days irregular in length. An Earth day averages 0.002 seconds longer than the time tabulated by the atomic clocks. The result is a discrepancy of about one second every year and a half. Leap seconds ensure this discrepancy does not get too vast over time.
In theory, at least, leap seconds can be positive (with one second added) or negative (one second omitted), depending on the status of astronomical time results. All leap seconds have been positive so far, and the current pace of the Earth’s rotation makes it unlikely that a negative one will ever come into effect.
The Future of Leap Seconds
Some scientists want to abolish leap seconds, which would effectively redefine the way time is measured, but a consensus has yet to be reached on the subject. In 2012, attendees at the World Radiocommunication Assembly in Geneva scheduled a new vote on the matter for 2015.
Arguments against leap seconds include the following:
- They are an anomaly, making them a cause for concern with safety-oriented real-time systems, such as air-traffic control programs that use satellite navigation.
- Leap seconds are potential disruptions in computer systems that are closely synchronized with UTC.
2012’s leap second played havoc with LinkedIn, Reddit, Yelp, and other sites and applications. The Qantas Airlines computer system even went down for hours, forcing staff to check in passengers manually.
Coding for these apps and systems are based on UNIX, which appeared in 1970, before leap seconds came into effect. When the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which maintains global time, signals to these computers that a certain minute has 61 seconds, Unix-based software systems become unstable.
Google developed a solution after the leap second of 2005 caused system issues. It slowly adds a couple of milliseconds to the clocks on its servers throughout the day of an impending leap second, which bypasses the security settings without triggering disaster.
Google’s fix has not been universally applied, and opponents of the leap second remain insistent that any time calibration benefits are overshadowed by the technological crises they cause. They point out that even if a leap second were applied every year, astronomical time would only be 16 minutes behind atomic schedule by 3015.
The Klockit team is happy to announce the much-anticipated Spring Clock Contest is here! Starting March 2, submit your latest clock project(s) for a chance to win one of three $100 Klockit gift certificates.
Thank you to those who submitted feedback from previous clock contests. Your feedback helped us create a better clock contest experience for all this time around. We hope you’ll enjoy the three newly revamped submission categories and judging criteria!
How to Enter:
Our Spring 2015 clock contest is open to everyone. Please follow these steps to enter the clock contest:
(1) Create a clock using at least one Klockit product
(2) Submit your clock for entry via:
- Facebook (personal message / post to our page)
- Twitter (direct message / mention us in a tweet), or
- Email (email@example.com)
NOTE: Your entry must include which category you are submitting in to, at least one photo of your clock, and the story behind your project. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on March 31, 2015.
Your clock contest submission(s) may fall into one of the three categories shown below. Please feel free to submit multiple entries into one category, or the same entry into multiple categories:
(1) Best Use of Parts: Judged on picture(s) provided and story of Klockit parts used in your project.
(2) Gift of Time: Judged on picture(s) provided and story of satisfaction and joy of giving the clock as gift.
(3) Most Creative Clock: Judged on picture(s) provided and story of what makes the clock original.
Three (3) Best-of-Show winners will be chosen; one from each category mentioned above. The winners will receive one (1) $100 Klockit gift certificate. Entries will be judged based on a scale of 1 to 5. A panel of judges made up of Klockit staff will rate the finalists. The averages of the ratings determine the winners.
Winners will be announced and contacted the first week of April 2015. When the winners are decided, they will be announced here on the Klockit blog and on the Klockit Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest Pages.
Klockit’s Clock Contest
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW OR REGULATION. PARTICIPANTS MUST BE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
This promotion is open to legal U.S. residents including residents of Puerto Rico (excluding U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, other United States territories and Hawaii) and legal residents of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec), who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. You understand that you are providing your information to Primex, Inc. and not to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
1. CONTEST DESCRIPTION:
The Klockit’s Spring 2015 Clock Contest (the “Contest”) entry period begins on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. Central Standard Time (“CST”) and ends on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. CST (the “Entry Period”). Entry in the Contest does not constitute entry into any other promotion, contest or sweepstakes. The Contest will award three (3) winners one (1) $100 Klockit gift certificate for each category. Winners will be judged based on their photo and story submission in three (3) categories: Best Use of Parts, Gift of Time, and Most Creative Clock. The Contest will be judged by the staff at Klockit. By participating in the Contest, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Primex, Inc., N3211 Country Road H, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 (the “Sponsor” and “Judges”), whose decisions shall be final and legally binding in all respects.
This promotion is open to legal U.S. residents, including residents of Puerto Rico (excluding U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, other United States territories) and legal residents of Canada, at the time of entry and who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsor, Administrator, Judges, promotion prize suppliers, and each of their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, licensees, distributors, dealers, sales representatives, retailers, printers, individuals engaged in the development, production or distribution of materials, their advertising and promotion agencies, and any and all other companies associated with the promotion agents (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and each of their immediate family members (as defined by the IRS) and/or people living in the same household are not eligible to participate. All eligibility is subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. All entries submitted are the property of the Sponsor.
3. HOW TO ENTER:
In order to participate you must:
- Create a clock using at least one Klockit product
- Submit your clock for entry via Facebook, Twitter, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NOTE: Your entry must include which category you are submitting to (see below), at least one (1) photo, and they story behind your clock project. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
There are three (3) categories you may submit your entry into: Best Use of Parts, Gift of Time, and Most Creative Clock – descriptions below:
- Best Use of Parts: Judged on picture and story of Klockit parts used in your project.
- Gift of Time: Judged on picture and story of satisfaction and joy of giving clock as gift.
- Most Creative Clock: Judged on picture and story of what makes the clock original.
Multiple entries per person allowed over the Contest Entry Period; may enter in multiple categories, but will not be declared winner in more than one (1) category. No entry may be obscene, pornographic, violent, offensive in any manner, or in any other way not suitable to be published. If an entry falls into this category their corresponding entry will become void.
Entries that do not meet the post specifications, or description specifications, or otherwise do not comply with the Official Rules herein may be disqualified. Any attempted form of entry other than as described herein is void. Sponsor will determine in its sole discretion, what constitutes a valid entry. All materials and boards submitted become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned or acknowledged.
Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify the Contest if it determines that for any reason the Contest cannot be run as originally planned or if fraud or technical failures destroy the integrity of the Contest as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, and to award the prize based on eligible entries received prior to the cancellation.
Entry Notes: Entries made on another’s behalf by any other individuals or any other entity, including but not limited to commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will be declared invalid and disqualified for this Contest. Tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest is prohibited and any entries deemed by Sponsor, in its sole discretion, to have been submitted in this manner will be void. In the event a dispute regarding the identity of the individual who actually submitted an entry cannot be resolved to Sponsor’s satisfaction, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible. By entering, all participants and/or entrants release the Sponsor and Judges from and against all claims, expenses and damages arising in connection with each entrant’s participation and/or entry in the Contest and/or his/her receipt or use of the prize awarded in this Contest. By entering the Contest, entrants confirm that posts submitted from other sources do not violate the intellectual property rights of third parties. Entries found to be violating the intellectual property rights of third parties may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Sponsor is not responsible for problems downloading or uploading of any Contest-related information or any other technical malfunctions of electronic equipment, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer hardware or software failures, phone lines, failure of any electronic mail entry to be received by Sponsor.
Only the prizes listed below will be awarded in this Contest. Odds of winning a prize depend on the total number of eligible entries received.
$100 Klockit gift certificate for the Best-of-Show clocks in each of these categories: Best Use of Parts, Gift of Time, and Most Creative Clock.
All other incidental expenses not mentioned herein are the responsibility of the Winner. All taxes on prizes are the Winner’s sole responsibility. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. Sponsor reserves the right to make equivalent substitutions as necessary, due to circumstances not under its control.
WINNER NOTIFICATION: Conduct of the Contest is under the supervision of the Sponsor. Potential prizewinners will be notified by email using the contact information provided at the time of entry. Sponsor shall have no liability for any potential prizewinner notification that is lost, intercepted or not received by any potential prizewinner for any reason. If, despite reasonable efforts, any potential prizewinner does not respond within (48) hours of the first notification attempt, or if the prize notification or prize is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential prizewinner, such potential prizewinner will forfeit his or her prize and an alternate winner may be selected. If any potential prizewinner is found to be ineligible, or if he or she has not complied with these Official Rules or declines a prize for any reason prior to award, such potential prizewinner will be disqualified and an alternate prizewinner may be selected.
6. PUBLICITY RELEASE:
Acceptance of any prize constitutes prizewinner’s permission to use prizewinner’s entry materials, photograph, name, likeness, voice, biographical information (and those of any other individual appearing in the photo), statements and complete address (collectively, the “Attributes”), for advertising and/or publicity purposes worldwide and in all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, without further compensation or authorization, (except where prohibited by law), and releases the Promotion Entities from all claims arising out of the use of such Attributes.
Prizewinners grant the Sponsor and their agents a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to record, copy, publish, use, edit, exhibit, distribute, perform, merchandise, license, sublicense, adapt and/or modify all materials submitted in connection with the entry in any way, in any and all media, without limitation and without any compensation to the entrant. Prizewinners assign all intellectual property rights, including copyright, and waive all moral rights, in and to the entry, in favor of the Sponsor.
Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest, to be acting in violation of these Official Rules.
9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY:
Sponsor, Judges, Pinterest and the Promotion Entities are not responsible for, and entrant hereby releases Sponsor, Judges, Pinterest, and the Promotion Entities from any claims arising from: (i) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (ii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iii) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (iv) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries; (v) any injury or damage to persons or property, including but not limited to entrant’s computer, hardware or software, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest and (vi) use of any prize.
Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Promotion, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) unless otherwise prohibited, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.
11. WINNERS LIST:
To obtain the name of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Klockit, c/o Marketing Department, N3211 County Rd. H, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. All such requests must be received by April 15, 2015.