UTC as basis for time legislation

Steve Allen sla at ucolick.org
Mon Sep 26 14:29:52 UTC 2011

On 2011 Sep 26, at 07:18, <Paul_Koning at Dell.com> wrote:
> Because GMT is roughly UT1 while UTC is atomic clock time, and without leap seconds the two drift apart -- right?

Right, and that would create opportunity for legal tests of the
sort which have never before been explored.  Islamic countries
in particular might find the new UTC to be a problem, but the
official objections to change have been from UK, China, Canada.

> tzdata gives offsets in units of minutes (no support for fractions of a minute -- see for example the comment on Amsterdam Mean Time in the "europe" file).  So I guess we'd be good for half a century or so.  Or perhaps we'll see the introduction of leap minutes (or leap hours) to replace the former leap seconds...  Or "GMT" might end up being legally redefined as meaning UTC rather than (roughly) UT1.

tzdata and tzcode in their current form can already keep a zone
aligned with GMT/UT1 to the nearest second.  That's shown here
although the cumbersomeness of the current representation might
trigger desire to streamline the rules.
Steve Allen               <sla at ucolick.org>              WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory      Natural Sciences II, Room 165  Lat  +36.99855
University of California  Voice: +1 831 459 3046         Lng -122.06015
Santa Cruz, CA 95064      http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/   Hgt +250 m

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