A bad weekend for Internet

Last weekend was a bad weekend for the Internet. It started with a hurricane like storms that knocked out Amazon data center in Ashburn, Virginia. This causes Internet services Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest and Heroku to be unavailable for more than 6 hours. I think most of us in Singapore only notice something is amiss when we couldn’t upload our photos on Instagram or pin photos on Pinterest.

Then the next day, the Leap Second caused several major websites like Reddit, Gawker network, Foursquare etc etc to have outages. A high number of Linux servers were reported to have crashed due to the Leap Second. It was a busy weekend for IT admins.
Perhaps the Leap Second isn’t really a good idea after all. Come on. Let’s be honest. Does anyone notice any difference from that 1 second? It is too insignificant to make much difference. There were only 25 Leap Seconds since it started in 1972. Would it make much difference if our current clock is 25 seconds slower? I doubt many people would notice.
If we are going to keep doing Leap Second, then perhaps everyone should follow what Google did. The Engineers at Google deployed an interesting method to deal with the Leap Second which keep one of the world’s most visited website online. Instead of adding one second at 23:59:60 (UTC) on 30 June 2012, Google gradually add a couple of milliseconds over the course of the day till when the actual leap second happens.

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