Spanner, the Google database that mastered time, is now open to everyone.

"They equipped Google's data centers with a series of GPS receivers and atomic clocks. The GPS receivers, much like the one in your cell phone, grab the time from various satellites orbiting the globe, while the atomic clocks keep their own time. Then they shuttle their time readings to master servers in each data center. These masters constantly trade readings in an effort to settle on a common time."

"A margin of error still exists, but thanks to so many readings, the masters can bootstrap a far more reliable timekeeping service. 'This gives you faster-than-light coordination between two places.'"

"Google calls this timekeeping technology TrueTime, and only Google has it."
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