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Slashdot: CBC Stops Airing Official Time Signal


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    Long-time Slashdot reader sandbagger shares a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): CBC and Radio-Canada have announced they'll no longer carry the National Research Council (NRC) time signal. Monday marked the last time it was broadcast, ending the longest running segment on CBC Radio. In a statement, spokesperson Emma Iannetta described the signal as a "wonderful partnership," but confirmed it's being dropped. Given the range of CBC platforms from traditional over-the-air radio, to satellite and the internet, the long dash undergoes a range of delays by the time it's heard, leading to accuracy concerns from the NRC, she wrote. Iannetta added that nowadays most people use their phones to get the time, though many CBC listeners have a "fondness" for the signal.

    For many, the relationship with the time signal goes far beyond fondness. It's allowed sailors to set their instruments for navigation, kept railway companies running on time and helped Canadians stay punctual. In a 2019 interview with Day 6 on the occasion of the signal's 80th birthday, Laurence Wall, one of its current voices, reflected on its origin and importance. His memories include taxi drivers recognizing his voice from daily announcements and hearing from a young man living in Hong Kong who would stay up past midnight just to hear the time signal because it reminded him of home. Beyond emotional connections, the signal has a practical history too. Wall said when it started out, timekeeping was relatively primitive, with watches and clocks that needed to be regularly set in order to stay accurate.


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