In Canada if a budget isn't passed it triggers an election. We don't have government shutdowns.
I think the US Constitution either explicitly precludes this kind of system or could be construed to preclude it.
Failure to pass a budget is an automatic no confidence vote still which I think works very well.
There's probably some really weird MITM attack possibilities here if people have automated systems fetching and using these files. Also, following the link from the article, it would seem the US government's official source is unencrypted FTP?
Also, and somewhat sad and just plain crazy: some functions of NIST are not considered essential!?! It seems to me someone in the gov. is not clearly reporting who and what functions are truly essential to the higher ups in the gov. Then again, maybe they have, but the higher ups ignore them. sigh
Nevertheless, cool post.
This seems backwards. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what the author is trying to say, and another poster could help clarify?
If UTC is based on the earth's rotation and TAI is based on cesium-atomic timekeeping, and UTC is slowing down, and TAI is "the measure of time against which UTC's watch is occasionally corrected," then how can UTC have leap seconds? Delaying for an additional second on December 31st would only make it one second even slower, exacerbating the problem.
I don't see how adding a delay to the slower clock is going to put it in sync with the faster one.
Is it instead that UTC is TAI, plus leap seconds to slow it down to keep it in sync with the rotation of the Earth?
I think not, facts are not under copyright. If you only copy facts (and avoid copying style), then you are not creating derivative work.
Furthermore, works created by federal employees in the course of their duties are not eligible for copyright in the U.S.  The U.S. does not have an equivalent of crown copyright. The U.S. government can only own copyrights transferred to them by private individuals or organizations, or state and local governments which may or may not hold copyrights on their works.
But I digress it's 80 past 45 and still haven't had breakfast :-)
TAI matches up with the atomic second, and UTC is that plus enough leap seconds to approximate UT1.
It all sucks, but this is reality. You can't fix reality. You'd have to tell the Earth to obey an atomic clock.
The question might be super naive, but I wonder how useful/workable a time-system would be that's completely decoupled from celestial body movements? Isn't Swatch Internet Time something like that?
Gonna be really interesting once humanity becomes interplanetary or even interstellar. Will we have whole different calendars and time zones for different planets and solar systems?
Time slows down as you go faster. The people leaving earth are the ones accelerating, so they're the ones who travel faster into the future- less time passes for them. If we colonise stars around us, the people going to the further stars (assume all ships leave from earth) will lose more time: Civilisation Time will be ahead of the time they measure on their regular clocks.
Maybe we could use pulsars as clocks? I think they pulse pretty regularly.
For observers outside the US, the idea of "the national government shutting down" probably seems way way more alarming that it does to most Americans. Almost all basic services in the US are handled by states and municipalities. This includes garbage collection, policing, firefighters, schools, local tax collection, road maintenance, the majority of prisons, most courts, most water and power infrastructure, building inspections and permitting, and many more.
Even airports, the site of a lot of hand-wringing during the shutdown due to the TSA (security screeners) and air-traffic controllers being federal employees, are usually (always?) municipally or state-owned. I have no idea of the legality of these municipalities or the airlines themselves stepping in to pay the ATCs or screeners, but it doesn't seem totally bonkers.
The Swedish tradition is that you cannot vote to stop a budget, you can only vote for another proposal. That is, if there is only one proposal, you only allow 'yes' or 'abstain' votes, and if there are several, you do a series of votes to eliminate the lesser proposals until only one stands, and then only allow 'yes' or 'abstain' again.
I hope that explains why I find it so strange.
Another peculiarity we use to avoid stand-offs (it has always worked up until last election) is negative parliamentarism, where the prime minister is tolerated, not elected by the parliament. What it means is that a majority of MPs have to vote "no" to not elect a prime minister, which means that a lot of parties vote "abstain" (we had such a vote yesterday where the PM was tolerated with the numbers yes: 115, no: 153, abstain: 77, absent:4). This has historically meant that minority governments have been able to flourish.
So is the current problem is because the president can veto congresses appropriations? In a functioning government this seems sensible so the executive has a symmetric check on congress, but currently it gives the president unwarranted leverage.
1) it's not a true shutdown because the military still get paid. There is a builtin rightwing fudge of what gets deemed "essential".
2) Most governments have a similar possibility of not being able to pass a budget; but, in the Westminster system, this forces fresh elections. The people get to decide on what compromise is necessary to resume business.
3) Businesses should not make their employees into creditors. Failing to make payroll is usually a sign that a business is either unethical or nearly bankrupt. This screws over people badly, e.g. https://twitter.com/shawndgoldman/status/1085733207469891585
"The NASA Postdoctoral Program contract runs out of money tomorrow. This means its fellows - some of the best and brightest space scientists in the world - will go without pay starting Friday. These folks are contractors, which means they aren't covered by the backpay bill."
(There was also some suggestion that not being paid would automatically terminate their J-1 visas, but I can't find that now)
>1) it's not a true shutdown because the military still get paid. There is a builtin rightwing fudge of what gets deemed "essential".
The military still gets paid because congress was able to agree to pay for that. It's certainly possible, for congress to be unable to agree to a DoD budget. Separating the budget process into a series of sub-budgets allows for continuity in areas where there's room for consensus.
> 2) Most governments have a similar possibility of not being able to pass a budget; but, in the Westminster system, this forces fresh elections. The people get to decide on what compromise is necessary to resume business.
Presumably, the government is shutdown until the votes are certified? And how long do the newly elected representatives have to form a budget, before a second election would be triggered? Regardless, for better or worse, the US system does not allow for snap elections, and that would be a big change, especially given the design of different term lengths for different offices.
> 3) Businesses should not make their employees into creditors.
Yes, this is pretty awful. I would be raising some hell if my employer expected me to work without paying me contemporaneously.
This can be solved by setting the budget deadline some time before the expiration of the past budget.
You have until July 1 to pass a budget for 2020; if there isn't one, we hold elections in August for your replacement, giving them several months to pull together something workable.
No. I'm not an expert in the details, but there are rules about how government services continue to operate during the period that Parliament is dissolved. The key principle, however, is that it continues to operate.
Certainly seems more practical to correct for this once in a while rather than having a variable length second.
Also, at least for computer applications, a variable lenfth second is easier to deal with than a leap second.
To keep time you do care about the position of the sun because that defines the time of day, humanity's base for the experience of time.
If you will never care about what the time is in your application, by all means, count clock cycles, otherwise: UTC is the standard for keeping time.
I'd argue that many relevant time concepts are more framed by social conventions than the sun.
Most of us are more interested in concepts like "when does work start", "lunch time", and "when the store closes", than "when does sunrise occur" these days. In a pre-industrial society, those might be closely synched, but less so today.
When does work start? Well, it starts when the hands on the clock points just so, there really isn't any more fundamental definition. But clocks are tools for measuring time, they don't define it.
If your clock slows nothing particular happens to other clocks, and time marches on unslowed. But sunset will bring night whether you notice it or not, and that's a pretty definite marker of the passage of time.
We already have time localizations, time zones, daylight savings time, and leap days all handled by layers above UTC (actually, all in the timezone layer). Leap seconds should be part of that layer, not the UTC layer.
Once we get into relativistic effects, there is more complication to the lower layers, but we (mostly) don't need to deal with that.
Now, maybe this unit of time needed for scientific purposes doesn't need to be the same one used for daily life.
Don't think the unit is the problem, it's the offset. And when it comes to that, we already have a virtualization layer which assures alignment with the sun for social purposes: time zones. No need to add another one over TAI.
Which I think is perfectly fine (if not necessary) for that layer. The human body doesn't care for extra seconds, and science doesn't either. So who do we do the "coordination" in UTC for? If - over hundreds of years - the time zone drifts off into weirdness, it can be changed politically. What more do you need?
Also, if you're a parent, it's not great for sleep training children. It just messes with everyone.
I honestly want to see them push a budget with something like "Canadian style health care plus a wall" to see if he bites.
I'm not an American, just an immigrant. Historically this isn't about caring, it's just about politics.
In this case, it is different, because Trump cares more about his "win" in this issue than about the country. Or even about winning reelection, because everything is pointing to public opinion being strongly against what he is doing right now.
However, the nation is hurting badly under the shutdown, and it is going to get worse. Even so Trump is blamed by a majority, and thus "politically" losing more, at some point the democrats will have to concede that the only way to stop the damage is to give in.
But by then, there will be no doubt in most voters' minds that Trump fundamentally doesn't care. And this makes him unelectable for a larger majority and may even pierce his senate-armor against impeachment.
Which would be the point where your 'they care more' hypothesis would become true.
So are they just wanting to hurt him politically right now?
Or at least they act as if they believe the president cares about his reelection chances. But as more and more time passes, and he loses more and more support, it will become obvious to even some of his supporters, that he will burn down the country to get his way. And at that point he may get his wall, but he loses everything else.
I care about things moving forward. And if we assume that he's not about that, then we need to start moving our gaze to those who are the actors that should be acting correctly and having things move forward. They're not doing that.
One of the huge criticisms that I have is that you can't get rid of an administration. Impeachment seems to be virtually impossible, whatever Trump does or did. And even then you get a vice president who ran on the same ticket and profited from the same criminal behavior.
In Germany, we can get rid of the chancellor within days or weeks, depending on the procedure. We also can't have split governments sabotaging everything. Every vote counts the same etc.
I wonder if the right solution here is to have some kind of body provide insurance against frivolous litigation over licensing issues for open-source projects, so that this kind of stupidity doesn't arise.
Edit: It appears I was mistaken about the legal status of VLC: it is about software patent licenses, not software copywright licenses.
How do you figure? Patent law isn't copyright law, and doesn't apply equally around the world.
>why do so many open-source projects get ridiculously anal about license issues
Because it's their code and people are using it without compensation and in ways not amenable to them? I think you'd be pretty "anal", too, if someone took your software that you worked hard on, without wanting to contribute their improvements and without any other form of compensation.
x264 basically funds VLC. Don't steal other people's code.