If you’re the sort of person who lives by the motto that every second counts, next week, you get to put your money where your mouth is. That’s because, as we first learned back in January, we’re all being gifted a leap second today.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has unveiled a new atomic clock, and boy howdy is it accurate.
You may have noticed yesterday that io9 — and the rest of the Gawker network — went down for several minutes yesterday. Other sites, including Reddit, 4Chan, LinkedIn, The Pirate Bay, Yelp, and Meetup, had lengthy outages, all at the hands of one tiny unit of time. But how did a single leap second fell these websites?
For decades, the world has relied on incredibly accurate atomic clocks to keep time; but atomic clocks are much more consistant than the rotation of the Earth, which varies in speed ever-so-slightly as it spins about its axis. Consequently, every few years, the time based on the Earth's rotation falls out of sync with…