30 Sep '12, 4am
New blog post: Goodbye 1711
The older generation will most likely remember the phone number 1711. It’s the number to call if you need to check the time. The 1711 speaking clock service in Singapore will end on 1 October 2012 after 36 years of service. The service was introduced in 1976 as a free time announcement service. Due to rising costs, a 10 cent fee was being charged for each call from January 2003. The demand for the service declined with the widespread of smartphone and Internet. Although it was widely used in the past, the 1711 service is not the official national authority on time. The National Metrology Centre keeps track of the official time using an ensemble of atomic clocks. I still remember using 1711 to sync my watch during my school days. It was useful back in those days when we don’t have internet. Nowadays, our smartphone automatically connects to the internet and sync the time. T...