Those of us who are looking forward to 2017 will have just a little longer to wait this year, due to the fact that the earth’s rotation is slowing over time. In fact, the extra second we need to ring in the New Year is not a new development, the same thing having taken place 26 times since 1972.
The gravitational pull of both the sun and the moon may not matter too much to Monaco residents, but for the world of the internet and hi-tech transactions, one extra second can cause major problems.
“Satellite navigation systems, telecommunications networks and financial markets are sensitive. The addition of a second on June 30, 2012, caused a problem of synchronisation on the web, especially for servers and merchant sites," according to France Info.
The United Nations is due to discuss the ongoing problem, but typically, not any time soon. We’ll have to wait until 2023 for a debate on the topic. In the meantime, if readers have a problem with payments and other transactions in the immediate aftermath of New Year’s Eve, maybe the extra second will be to blame.
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FRENCH NEWS: (updated 12:14) France was hit on the day of its national celebrations, a day that celebrates freedom, President Francois Hollande has said...
Speaking to the nation early on Friday morning, the President said that while there must be absolute vigilance in the face of the Islamist threat, France will increase its involvement in fighting in Iraq and Turkey.
The driver of the truck was a 31 year-old Franco-Tunisian, according to police. He is reported to have shouted "allahu akbar" as he jumped from the cab of the truck firing a small-calibre pistol. He was a Nice resident and has been named as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old delivery driver. He was reported to be a French passport holder who lived in the Riviera city and was regularly in trouble with the law. If he was acting alone, this underlines the challenges facing the security services in trying to stop such attacks.
Condolences for the victims have flooded in from across the globe. One of the first leaders to do so was Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. American president Obama said his thoughts were with America's "most faithful ally."
On a visit to Nice, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for absolute vigilance in the face of the "extreme violence" of the terrorists. "There were many children among the victims," said Eric Ciotti, member of the French parliamewnt for the Alpes-Maritimes. Local hospitals have issued a request for blood donations.