It’s about time

“A generation ago, computing usually took place in a single mainframe or personal computer. Now it is routinely spread across thousands of independent processors in machines that can be separated by a few feet or entire continents.

Chip designers have long struggled to maintain the precise timing needed to order mathematical operations inside individual computing chips. And synchronizing these vast ensembles of them has become the limiting factor in the speed and processing power of what Google describes as “planetary-scale” computers.”

Read the whole interesting article at www.nytimes.com.

It’s About Time

Synchronous electric clocks count the oscillations of the mains current to keep time: After 50 or 60 cycles (depending on where you are in the world), one second has elapsed. This works wonderfully as long as the average mains frequency is constant, or—in practice—adjusted to compensate for errors. Things get a little tricky when 113 GWh of energy somehow go missing and all microwave clocks on an entire continent go slow…” — www.metafilter.com.

It’s an interesting article, IMO. Be sure to read the comments and to check out this Wiki item: wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_clock#Accuracy.