NTP's Fate Hinges On 'Father Time' - InformationWeek

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NTP's Fate Hinges On 'Father Time'
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hstenn
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hstenn,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2015 | 6:58:32 PM
It's fine to send big money directly to NTF!
Wow, thanks for the great article, sir!

I've always considered myself either the "janitor of time" or maybe NTP's babysitter.

From my point of view, we want lots of companies and individuals to "join" Network Time Foundation.  We are also very happy to receive direct donations.  As long as we get enough donations from enough sources to meet the IRS Public Support Test we're happy, and all is well.

 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/11/2015 | 11:02:50 PM
Are you ready to roll back the next Leap Second?
Harlan Stenn is the only person I know who has already laid plans to cope with the Leap Second that will need to be subtracted from the solar day on June 30, when the discrepancy  between UTC and TAI will reach 36 seconds. For that, I'm afraid we must call him Father Time, even though he doesn't much like the moniker. (Leap Seconds occur irregularly, averaging one every 18 months.)
Todder
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Todder,
User Rank: Moderator
3/12/2015 | 9:47:20 AM
Re: Are you ready to roll back the next Leap Second?
Very good article Charlie. One of the best I've read in a long time. Hopefully this stirs up some funds for Harlan and the project. I'm also surprised that academia hasn't jumped right back in on NTP.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
3/12/2015 | 11:41:52 AM
Let it fail?
Companies will pay as little as they have to for any given service. Its not greed, its just their nature. They have been used to getting NTP for free for so long, they aren't likely to start coughing up funds out of the goodness of their hearts.

Harlan's efforts sound like they have been truly heroic, and at that heroic pace for a very long time. But I think he is flat out being taken advantage of, and will continue to be until he puts his foot down. Maybe just flat out refuse to work more than 15 or 20 hours per week on it, putting the rest of his time in to his consulting business or something. I know that $7k per month looks good on paper, but I gaurantee its not nearly as much in practice.

Let it fail. That will bring the needed attention as funding. Its harsh, and in many ways against the open source spirit, but the guy has been taken advantage of long enough. When Google and Apple and others aren't even chipping in a little bit, especially taking in to account the huge consideration he gave Apple, then the whole thing is just wrong.
gmerriman112
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gmerriman112,
User Rank: Strategist
3/12/2015 | 12:33:55 PM
Typical of the way things are going
I think the problems noted here are symptomatic of a larger problem. It seems that everyone these days is focused on getting rich with the next "Yo!" app or shiny new wearable gizmo that nobody is worried about keeping the foundations on which all this new technology depends. If the industry as a whole does not come to grips with this problem soon I fear we are in for a rough time ahead.
Doug Henschen
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Doug Henschen,
User Rank: Moderator
3/12/2015 | 12:50:53 PM
Re: It's fine to send big money directly to NTF!
Keep up the good work, as best as you can as long as you can, but by all means cultivate a backup, particularly if Charlie's article helps spur more funding. This seems like it's too imporant to rest on your shoulders alone. What if you get hit by a truck? Too bad you can't set up a little tarrif for accessing NTP!
Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Moderator
3/12/2015 | 1:58:58 PM
Truly Disturbing
This is the most unsettling thing I've read since a report many years ago that said all international Internet traffic was being routed through a garage in Virginia. Truly amazing how vulnerable the entire infrastructure is in spite of the fact that it is now the  single most important vehicle for both business and defense.

So nobody wants to pay for an infrastructure service that is crucial to the Pentagon, the stock market, major search providers, ISP's and satellite communications? I say you send Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft and a few others - don't forget our friends at Verizon and Time Warner who oppose net neutrality - a letter written on a Smith Corona typewriter saying that the servers will be going down for one second at 12:00:00 a.m. next Monday, to save energy costs. Then see if they come up with some funding.

"We don't contribute to open source projects" - that's a classic. Google spends more on sushi and GS on annual bonuses than they are willing to spend on a service that their entire revenue streams depend on. As if the Internet were a natural resource like air and water and they are just entitled to it. It's unbelievable what we put up with from these companies. They should fund a pension for Mr. Stenn and his family in addition to ponying up a few million $ to keep the service stable and secure.
EJW
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EJW,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2015 | 4:59:11 PM
No Free Lunch
I have just read Charles Babcocks excellent article about NTP.org and Harlan Stenn.

I wasn't aware of the situation: it is utterly shameful that the likes of Apple, Google and others have allowed this to occur while freeloading on the software that allows them to make millions.

And it is not just the IT industry:

"...the NTP time stamp is one of the few ways equities firms have of proving to regulators they were in compliance of making a trade..."

So where are the contributions from Wall Street?

There is no free lunch!

Sooner or later everything must be paid for by someone; from NTP to PBS and even whole economies (just ask the Greeks).

I just made my contribution.

Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/12/2015 | 5:56:51 PM
Yes, some contribute, some don't
Good comment from EJW, an IT manager in the Calif. State University system, and Tony J, thanks. I would like to note that Google is a contributor to the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative, now supporting Stenn. The CII includes Amazon, IBM, others and supports Werner Koch's Gnu PG in Germany & other projects as well. But there aren't enough $$ to go around. Stenn's non-profit is at www.nwtime.org. Checks can be sent to Network Time Foundation, PO Box 918, Talent, OR. 97540.
I_just_wanna_say_
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I_just_wanna_say_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2015 | 11:12:21 PM
Re: Let it fail?
Or alternatively, Apple, who just announced the Apple Watch, could set up a small endowment to support the project in perpetuity and use that as a marketing hook.  Just think, the Apple Watch, a product that seems completely pointless to most people could suddenly become a badge of geeky insider knowledge ---

OK I'm naive.
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