This year will be a second longer than usual: The folks who control the world’s official clocks will add a “leap second” at 11:59:59 p.m. GMT on Dec. 31 to make up for two slightly different time scales — atomic clocks and Earth’s rotation.
Will it cause a Y2K-like panic? Will the power go out? Will your computer shut down and start frothing? No.
And if you have a Mac, you won’t miss a second. Apple (AAPL) confirms to us that computers connected to its time servers — a feature switched on by default — will account for the leap second. Computers not connected to Apple’s time servers, not connected to the Internet, or set to manage their own time will get the exact right time next time they sync up.
We’ve asked Microsoft (MSFT) how Windows Vista and XP will handle the leap second and will update if they reply. (Or if you can unscramble this note, that’d help, too.)