Unix Lovers to Party Like It’s 1234567890

Unix weenies everywhere will be partying like it’s 1234567890 this Friday.

That’s because, at precisely 3:31:30 p.m. Pacific time on February 13, 2009, the 10-digit "epoch time" clock used by most Unix computers will display all ten decimal digits in sequence. (That’s 6:31:30 Eastern, or 23:31:30 UTC.)

Unlike time systems intended for humans, Unix time simply counts the number of seconds since midnight UTC on January 1, 1970. It’s a convenient way for computers to measure elapsed time, provided the start date wasn’t before 1970. On Friday, the number of seconds will hit 1,234,567,890. Celebrations are planned in San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles and about 10 other locations worldwide, so don’t be surprised if it takes the guys in IT a little longer to respond to your calls tomorrow afternoon, or if the Gadget Lab crew is hard to find.

We couldn’t find any watches that display Unix time, but the above desk clock from ThinkGeek, will do the trick. It will also display the time in binary, octal, hexadecimal or Roman formats. Mark your calendars: It’s only 11 and a half years until XX:XX:XX X/XX/XX day.

1234567890day.com [via Laughing Squid]

Link: Unix Lovers to Party Like It’s 1234567890

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Unix Lovers to Party Like It’s 1234567890

Tiny exoplanet.

Sometimes words or phrases are so fetching that I just can’t get them out of my head without finding a way to use them myself. I felt that way about “tiny exoplanet,” a phrase being bandied about by the Wired Science crew today, so I wrote a song about it.

No music yet. That will have to wait until I get home and can mess around on the ukulele. One thing is for sure — it will have 3 chords, since that’s all I know. I’ll try very hard not to rip off Singing Science Records‘ “Why Does the Sun Shine?” too much.

aka “Tiny Exoplanet”

There’s a tiny exoplanet
circling round a star
it doesn’t have a fancy name
and it’s very very far

there’s a tiny exoplanet
though it’s very hard to see
it’s four hundred light years off
and it’s not on my TV

the only way we know it’s there
is by looking at stars’ light
when a planet circles one
the star becomes less bright

it’s one of many exoplanets
about three hundred that we know
but most are gassy giants
big and heavy and slow

this is a tiny exoplanet
made of lava rocks
the ground is hot and melty
so wear your shoes and socks

it’s very hot and very fast
with an orbit 20 hours long
a tiny, rocky exoplanet
spinning around its sun

this little lonely exoplanet
is a bit like you and me
all it wants is to be loved
and for us to let it be

there’s a tiny exoplanet
circling round a star
it doesn’t have a fancy name
and it’s very very far

Tiny exoplanet.