[LEAPSECS] POSIX and C (Was: Re: ISO Influence)

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Wed Dec 22 13:46:56 EST 2010

In message <20101222181206.GH3267 at ucolick.org>, Steve Allen writes:

>On Wed 2010-12-22T09:51:15 -0800, Steve Allen hath writ:

>=> processes which will kill or destroy things if their clocks are

>unhappy with a difference between broadcast time and civil time


>Can anyone give specific examples of the last?

I don't think you understand Steve.

Broadcast time *IS* civil time, it is broadcast as a service to civilians.

Take Germanys DCF77 as example:

DCF77 is the official legal time of Germany[1]. If you want to
prove in court what time something happened, you have better be
prepared to link it to DCF77 signals.

If you change the broadcasts to disseminate something that does
not correspond to civil time, the thing that will get killed
and destroyed is your civil liberties:

Under the Bush-inspired "terror-laws", there is no 15 year[2] penalty
associated with tampering with "technical stuff that we need to run
the country" as one civil servant summarized the law.

Good luck convincing the germans that DCF77 should differ from civil
time by some seconds, for the convenience of astronomers who do not
use DCF77.


[1] DCF77 does not transmit UTC, it transmits German summer or
winter time, as indicated by one of the bits. It does not transmit
the numeric difference between broadcast time and UTC nor for that
matter DUT1.

[2] Possibly 20, this is from memory.

Poul-Henning Kamp | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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