[LEAPSECS] Leap Sec vs Y2K

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Sun Dec 12 20:11:00 EST 2010

On Dec 12, 2010, at 2:53 PM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> The question is: Are the minor inconvenience astronomers will

> suffer, by having to subscribe to a DUT distribution service, a

> bigger issue than the money and lives leap seconds will cost.

I'd say a more basic question is that if the proponents of the ITU proposal actually believe in such economic and safety risks, why have they not circulated a single white paper making such a case? And if astronomers' concerns (albeit perhaps mosquitos to elephants) can be assuaged by a DUT distribution service, why go out of your way to strip the current such service out of the UTC standard without even speculating on its replacement? And if the real goal is to use UTC as a Trojan Horse (or maybe "Nelson's Bridge") to decommission TAI, perhaps this might itself be a public talking point?

> If Geophysicist announced leap seconds with at least 10 years

> firm notice, 90% of the problems they cause would be eliminated

> by the normal software update cycle.

As you say, there are more than one possible way to redefine UTC - and in fact, what you describe would be perfectly conforming to the current standard.


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