On Dec 30, 2006, at 17:41, Jim Palfreyman wrote:
The earlier concept of rubber seconds gives me the creeps and I'm glad I wasn't old enough to know about it then!
I rather like the idea, though perhaps not quite the same kind of rubber as was used. I'd like to see an elastic "civil second" to which SI nanoseconds are added or removed. Perhaps this could be done annually: at the beginning of 2008, the length of the civil second for the year 2009 would be set, with the goal of approaching DUT=0 at the end of 2009. This would mean no nasty "unusualities", and match the common intuition that a second is a fixed fraction of a day. If NTP were to serve up this sort of time, I think one's computer timekeeping would be quite stable. And of course this will work forever, long after everyone else is fretting over how to insert a leap-hour every other week, or whatever. Software should serve human needs, not the other way around. Anyone needing fixed seconds should use TAI. Actually I was going to suggest that everyone observe local apparent time, and include location instead of time-zone, but I think that would make communication annoying. -- Ashley Yakeley