"A lot of people are going to have things break and they're not going to know why,"
The clock is the sheep story, my angle may be too severe but admitted! Varing or changed electrical grid frequency . That is how the Israeli virus destroyed the nuclear equipment, by changing frequencies while things were running. Interesting run the grid with less peak power angle, as well as a whiff of earth and or grid harmonic effects (teluric currents) resulting in different frequency harmonics in different areas.
If your concerned the AP included government contacts that will give you the time of day. (LOL)
PysOrg: Power grid change may disrupt clocks
June 24, 2011 By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer
A yearlong experiment with the nation's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers - and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast.
"A lot of people are going to have things break and they're not going to know why," said Demetrios Matsakis, head of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two official timekeeping agencies in the federal government...
The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing an experiment would allow more frequency variation than it does now without corrections, according to a company presentation obtained by The Associated Press.
Officials say they want to try this to make the power supply more reliable, save money and reduce what may be needless efforts. The test is tentatively set to start in mid-July, but that could change.
Tweaking the power grid's frequency is expensive and takes a lot of effort, said Joe McClelland, head of electric reliability for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
"Is anyone using the grid to keep track of time?" McClelland said. "Let's see if anyone complains if we eliminate it."
No one is quite sure what will be affected...
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. runs the nation's interlocking web of transmission lines and power plants. A June 14 company presentation spelled out the potential effects of the change: East Coast clocks may run as much as 20 minutes fast over a year, but West Coast clocks are only likely to be off by 8 minutes. In Texas, it's only an expected speedup of 2 minutes.
Some parts of the grid, like in the East, tend to run faster than others. Errors add up. If the grid averages just over 60 cycles a second, clocks that rely on the grid will gain 14 seconds per day, according to the company's presentation.
Spokeswoman Kimberly Mielcarek said the company is still discussing the test and gauging reactions to its proposal, and may delay the experiment a bit.
Mielcarek said in an email that the change is about making the grid more reliable and that correcting the frequency for time deviations can cause other unnecessary problems for the grid. She wrote that any problems from the test are only possibilities.
...But Tom O'Brian, who heads the time and frequency division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, expects widespread effects.
He said there are alternatives if people have problems from the test: The federal government provides the official time by telephone and on the Internet.
Official U.S. government time: http://time.gov or call 202-762-1401
North American Electric Reliability Corporation: http://www.nerc.com/
©2011 The Associated Press.