What time is it really? It seems like a simple question, but governments around the world spend a lot of money on it.
Until recently I lived in Boulder, Colorado, where I would occasionally bike past NIST – the organization responsible for working out the exact time. Atomic clocks, I learned, are way more complicated than you’d think, and important for all sorts of things.
You probably know you can synchronize your computer time with NIST, but do you know how accurate your clock is? Let’s look at a site that can help, and then look at a few more sites that show you what time it is around the world – and what you should be doing with your time.
TimeIs: Find Out How Accurate Your Clock Is
If you want to know the exact time, Time.is can help by telling you whether your computer’s clock is accurate.
As you can see, I wrote this article a week ago; more importantly, you can see that time.is is an attractive site that shows you the exact time as well as the time in a number of major world cities. Scroll down and you’ll find even more features: a time zone difference chart, the option to turn on sounds, even the ability to customize the look of the site. Even better is the amazingly geeky timezone news.
If you’re serious about time, you could always head directly to NIST’s service at Time.gov. But if you want features and more information, TimeIs should be your go-to site for testing your device’s time.
Hex Clock: Geeky Clock Turns Time Into Color
Want something a little less practical? Hex Clock shows you the current time as a hexadecimal code, setting the background to the color it represents.
It’s a great way to have a passive sense of the time, though by nature the colors chosen will always be pretty dark. If you’d prefer something lighter, there’s a a flash-based alternative linked to on the site.
TeamTime.Zone: Current Time Where Your Slack Team Is
Slack makes group communication easier, as countless organizations are discovering. But no communications tool can complete erase the annoyance that is time zones: if you’ve got a global team, someone’s always asleep. TeamTime.Zone is a site that shows you what time it is where your team members live.
It’s just a quick visualization, but it can be helpful if you’re wondering where someone is. Your Slack administrator will need to enable it.
Spending Time: Great Quotes About Time
Understanding your relationship with time can help you get more out of it, so you need to ask yourself: what are you doing with your time? Spending Time is a simple site that shows you the reflections of people asked just this question.
There are some thought-provoking things here, so head over and hit refresh a few times if you’re into self-improvement. There’s even a link to the Twitter profile of everyone quoted, so you can continue the conversation if you want.
Internet in Real Time: See How Fast The Internet Creates
A few seconds doesn’t seem like much, but the sheer volume of data created in that time on the modern web is mind blowing. Internet In Real Time brings this point home, but showing you just how quickly the Internet works in 2015.
Scroll through and you’ll see rapidly-increasing stats that show you just how much is happening on the web while you read the page. It’s a remarkable little interactive site that just might blow your mind, and maybe make you think just a little more about what time is.
What Is Time Anyway?
Time is the only resource that’s completely non-renewable: until a certain DeLorean or police box shows up, that is. It’s important to keep track of your time and make sure you’re using it well. I hope these few tools and site make that easier for you, but I want to learn about more.
So, dear reader: what cool time apps have you discovered? Let me know in the comments below.