news

Google News Initiative

This morning Google announced their Google News Initiative, which is a number of things, but has these three objectives:

  • Elevate and strengthen quality journalism  
  • Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth
  • Empower news organizations through technological innovation

Political issues affect clocks

Per this story on ycombinator, it appears that political issues can affect clocks:

The short version of the story is that grid electricity in Europe is produced by rotating the turbines 50 times a second and that's where the 50Hz AC electricity comes from. Apparently to match the demand at given instance electricity plants rotate their turbines a bit faster or a bit slower instead of switching a complete plant on and off, which results in slight deviations from the 50Hz standard but it is fine as long as it stays between the limits.

At the end of the day, as the demand increases and decreases, the average frequency would be 50Hz and engineers took advantage of that fact to create clocks that may not be accurate to the second but accurate on average. How do they do that? They count the change in the electricity and assume that 50 changes are exactly 1 second.

Unfortunately, due to political issues in the Balkans, the grid was under-supplied or over-supplied for a prolonged period and this created a deviation from the average of 50Hz and the clocks that depend on this average to be 50Hz also lost accuracy that currently amounts to 6 minutes.

This is a page from my book, “How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary”

Saturday, January 28, 2006

We told the employees last Thursday about the sale, and it generally didn't seem like a huge deal. We have fourteen full-time employees and four contractors right now, and because there isn't a big change in regime, and because I'm rarely at the office anyway, I just don't think it's a big change for most of the employees.

Because I work with the employees in the field much more, they seemed to react much more, but in the end it was all well-wishes, "let's keep in touch", and so on.