Interesting thought isn’t it, as I’m not referring to the early Steven King version of the Langoliers where some strange creatures nip unknowingly at our heels eating away the past. This story is set more in the present day and where else but a courtroom too. As judge recently issued a take-down notice for the database which all the computers on the internet depend upon for understanding what time zone they are in as well as what the “difference” is between them as they shift to accommodate the various “daylight saving” schemes around the world.
As think about this, you’re trying to schedule a meeting across time zones, or airlines are attempting to manage flights and so on. Here the implications of which were serious, yet the database was maintained as a part time enterprise by the National Institute of Health. Yea go figure how did NIH end up with this rather then someone like NIST?
While most [computer] systems “cache” this information meaning they store it locally on their hard drives. It must however be updated upon change and there still must be only one source to arbitrate caching conflicts between systems or the result could be disastrous.
Yet the judge’s gavel went down and the database was brought off line all because an Astrology Software provider claimed that the “data” in the database was proprietary and they owned the copyright. Again this was an example of the system going to far as no one should “own” time nor the historical referencing of it. Too many simple things which are of great importance are being abused by an overly hungry legal system which assuredly will result in a decline if not pseudo abolishment of innovation.
On the good news side of the equation, it now appear that even with its legal warts, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) our friends who manage IP addresses and Domain Names for the internet will be taking over the care and feeding of this while quiet, yet very important database.
This however leaves me to ask, how many other important things are out there sitting on computers under someone’s desk humming away unknowingly to the rest of us? Also where will all this intellectual property nonsense end as the “Occupy Wall Street” folks need to pick up stakes and head to the Supreme Court steps or the Capital Building in Washington DC and do some real good for the economic climate of this country by putting an end to this nonsense of patent and copyright abuse. As for the rest of the world (namely Asia), they laugh at us all the while selling knock off iPhone’s and we wonder why no one wants to do business in the United States…