Monday, June 27, 2011

Intentional Time Disruptions: Messing With The Power Grids

This national news item appeared in our local paper the other day; here it is on-line: Power grid change could make clocks run fast and mess up stop lights starting next month .

A U.S. Navy spokesperson happily says:

A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers - and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast.
'A lot of people are going to have things break and they're not going to know why,' said Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two official timekeeping agencies in the federal government.

Acknowledging the national disruptions that will follow, another spokesperson comments:

Is anyone using the grid to keep track of time?' McClelland said. 'Let's see if anyone complains if we eliminate it.'
No one is quite sure what will be affected.
They admit they're not sure what effect this will have, how deep the effects will be, or even if it's going to do any good or not. Different parts of the country will experience different degrees of time disruptions, ranging from 20 minutes loss in the east, to about 8 minutes in the southwest.

Why do I think there's a lot more under this story than what appears?

Interesting and possible connection; this story that I blogged about from January of this year about the FAA's warning of disruptions to GPS "issues" in the southeast. FAA-Warns of ongoing GPS issues in southeastern US de to Defense Dept "tests" which coincided with the bird die-offs in December of 2010 and into the new year. Speaking of bird die-offs, we haven't heard much about those for awhile...

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