'Leap Second' Brings Down Chunk of Web

Reddit, Gawker, FourSquare, and others go down

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2012 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Who knew such a miniscule amount of time could have such a major effect? When we got an extra "leap second" Saturday—international timekeepers held atomic clocks back by one second to sync up with the Earth's rotation—it brought down a number of very high-profile websites, Wired and BuzzFeed note. Tweets, site messages, and user forums indicate that Reddit, Mozilla, Gawker, FourSquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and others had brief problems when software platforms couldn't deal.

It seems Linux and Java both had issues with the extra second, likely because they and other systems use Network Time Protocol to stay synced with atomic clocks, and NTP just couldn't handle the odd change. Some sites, like Google, were able to prepare—in fact, Wired notes, Google released a blog post on how it handles leap seconds last year, while a system administrator with Opera Software warned of the potential problems with the coming leap second last month.

  (Shutterstock)
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