Leap Second news

Earth speeding up; "appalling shitshow" may result.

Leap seconds exist because the Earth takes (very roughly) about a millisecond more than 24 * 60 * 60 seconds to rotate each day; when we have accumulated enough extra milliseconds, a leap second is inserted into UTC to keep it in sync with the Earth. At the moment the Earth is rotating faster than in recent decades: these shorter days, with a lower length-of-day, means the milliseconds accumulate more slowly, and we get fewer leap seconds. [...]

Michael Deckers said in his LEAPSECS message that we haven't seen a rate difference as low as zero since 1961! This implies that unless something wild happens, we are very unlikely to have a leap second in the next few years. [...]

The absence of leap seconds has the advantage that leap second bugs don't get tickled, but it has the disadvantage that timekeeping code might rot and new bugs or regressions can be introduced without anyone noticing. Even worse is the risk of the length of day getting shorter which could in theory mean we might need a negative leap second. There has never been a negative leap second, and if there is one, everyone who deals with NTP or kernel timekeeping code expects that it will be an appalling shitshow.

Clearly the best, most proactive solution here is to arrange for something very, very large to hit the Earth while traveling West.

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Oh, Speed.

I just think it's a shame that nobody has remastered the video for Alpha Team's Go Speed Go from HD source material yet.

Dear Internet, please get on that.

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Current Music: as noted

The return of Bobby Tables, LLC


He now says he didn't realise that Companies House was actually vulnerable to the extremely simple technique he used, known as "cross-site scripting", which allows an attacker to run code from one website on another.

The original name of the company was ""><SCRIPT SRC=HTTPS://MJT.XSS.HT> LTD". By beginning the name with a quotation mark and chevron, any site which failed to properly handle the HTML code would have mistakenly thought the company name was blank, and then loaded and executed a script from the site XSS Hunter, which helps developers find cross-site scripting errors.

Similar names have been registered in the past, such as "; DROP TABLE "COMPANIES";-- LTD", a wry attempt to carry out an attack known as SQL injection, inspired by a famous XKCD webcomic, but this was the first such name to have prompted a response. Companies House has retroactively removed the original name from its data feeds, and all documentation referring to its original moniker now reads simply "Company name available on request". [...]

He did not realise it would be an issue, he said, because characters including > and " are explicitly allowed as company names, which suggested that the agency had put security measures in place to prevent such attacks.

A Companies House spokesperson [lied]: "A company was registered using characters that could have presented a security risk to a small number of our customers, if published on unprotected external websites."

I love that they called it a "chevron".

Chevron 1 was, apparently, not encoded.


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Pizza Rat is back


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After Big Thanksgiving Dinners, Plan Small Christmas Funerals, Health Experts Warn

'Nowhere For You to Go If You Have a Car Wreck'

"It's going to happen. You're going to say hi at Thanksgiving, it's so nice to see you, and you're either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas," the MSMA president said. [...]

Hospital capacity to accept new patients is crumbling, Dobbs said. He cited a conversation last week with a physician who had decided to send a Mississippi patient to a hospital in Pensacola, Fla., after failing to get them in a bed anywhere in Mississippi.

That doctor, Dobbs said, settled on Pensacola after also trying and failing to find beds for the patient in the Alabama cities of Birmingham and Mobile. He urged Mississippians to exercise caution, not just when it comes to avoiding the virus, but more generally.

"Be careful, because there's nowhere for you to go if you have a car wreck," the state health officer said. "Unfortunately, we're not having a collective appreciation for how serious this is. Please protect yourself, protect your family, and please protect the vulnerable. Because it's going to be a rough few weeks." [....]

Despite a surge that could soon overwhelm hospitals statewide, Gov. Reeves has not signaled plans to reinstate a statewide mask mandate.

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Ego President, 6+

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NYT just gave the Corona Virus a "controversial" op-ed to share its perspective

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1918 Pandemic cosplay


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Public Pressure And Lawsuits Kept USPS From Handing Trump The Election

This seems to be a "Y2K" situation, where people will say, "See? That was all just a bunch of hype," discounting the enormous effort that "nothing" took.

DeJoy's initial ulterior motives appear to have been thwarted, but he will remain the postmaster general for the foreseeable future.

Alarmed by all this, the court required the post office to provide daily data and updates on how quickly ballots were being delivered in the week leading up to Election Day. It was that level of oversight, Duraiswamy believes, that forced the USPS to follow through on its "extraordinary measures" with the intensity needed.

"It's not just a matter of, do you put the right words on a piece of paper and send out the memo? It's, do you have the commitment and oversight that translates those nice words into action?" Duraiswamy said. "It's safe to say the litigation pressure made a real and meaningful difference in pushing them to get through as many ballots as possible." [...]

One group of people who did right by voters, many agreed, were postal workers.

"Everything we hear is that the individual postal workers have been working hard and working overtime, doing everything they could to follow their instructions and do everything they could to deliver ballots on time," Zieve said.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we Hack the Parklet

We have upgraded our parklet for these plague times -- the new walls not only keep you away from the dread spittle of your friends and enemies, but the wind-breaking aspect also makes it significantly warmer out there, which is important since you can't go inside...

And tomorrow, Sunday, we're doing another Cyberdelia! Kidhack, Tripp and Netik bring the Hackers beats, and we're setting up head-to-head Wipeout games out in the parklet, projected on the front wall.

No skate ramps this time, and unfortunately the olympic-sized swimming pool on the roof is closed for repairs. But we have pizza!

Also, I'm happy to report that our masks are back in stock! We have cleared up our shipping backlog, so if you order now... you'll get them pretty soon. They're pretty sweet masks. You should get some.

Please wear your masks. And cancel Thanksgiving. It's not getting better out there.


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