# BBC Maths

• The first chip, produced in 1969, contains 1,200 transistors. By 1972 that had almost doubled to 2,500

I know their tech coverage is pretty weak but I thought they could at least use a calculator

• I know their tech coverage is pretty weak

Like passengers and their luggage?:

http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/science/1945

• If your basic arithmetic skills are that bad you’re a journalist, chances are you’re not aware of your basic problem and so don't get out a calculator to check your arithmetic, meaning you won’t discover you have a problem in the first place.

• Are we nearly at the point where we need a BBC category?

• CBA to look for the article (if it's even online, might be it was print only, and besides, it would be in moon-language), but a local paper covered an incident a few years ago, where two friends accidentally discovered they share the same PIN for their credit cards

The fun bit? Poorly remembered, even more poorly translated quote:

The bank would not tell us how many PIN combinations exist, but we calculated there are only 10000

Wow. Just, wow. I need them to show their work on that because that's some hard maths right there. Too bad there's no Nobel prize for mathematics, because their proof of how there are exactly 104 possible combinations of 10 digits in a 4 digit number would surely qualify.

• What's really funny is that there are not 10000 PIN combinations for a 4 digit PIN because not all combinations are valid.

• What's really funny is that there are not 10000 PIN combinations for a 4 digit PIN because not all combinations are valid.

Shhhh. I know that, but don't tell them that. It might break their hearts, bless.

• I find watching that Click show they produce is so cute. It's honestly like Jeff in the old days, when you could watch a complete newbie fawn and be all cute as they discover new things that the rest of us have known for many years but it's all new and shiny.

As for their puzzle section, they're quoting the solving time for the average population. The fact that we can organise our thinking on any level would seem to suggest we're, on average, smarter than the 'average'.

• > The bank would not tell us how many PIN combinations exist, but we calculated there are only 10000

Which makes me wonder if they actually asked somebody at the bank about this and he went like "Nuh-huh, secret. We're not gonna tell you!". Because surely that would be TRWTF.

• Which makes me wonder if they actually asked somebody at the bank about this and he went like "Nuh-huh, secret. We're not gonna tell you!". Because surely that would be TRWTF.

They probably did, actually. Security by obscurity especially in this country does seem to be the banks' watchword.

That reminds me, actually, I had to go in branch last week to get some statements printed off (since this is a special account, it's not technically mine but I have authority to access it and normally it's done online, but I need statements) and the lovely lady printed me off the statements.

Then I noticed they were printed off from Internet Explorer and that they were using an http:// address. I can only hope the URL used was an internally-only routed one that can't be accessed by normal people because online banking - even for statements (which includes sortcode/account) over HTTP not HTTPS is surely TRWTF.

• As for their puzzle section, they're quoting the solving time for the average population. The fact that we can organise our thinking on any level would seem to suggest we're, on average, smarter than the 'average'.

Wasn't talking about BBC here, but it could apply. This specific one, however, I remember slightly, and if you can't solve it in like 2 minutes, trust me, 45 ain't gonna help either.

Which makes me wonder if they actually asked somebody at the bank about this and he went like "Nuh-huh, secret. We're not gonna tell you!". Because surely that would be TRWTF.

No idea, didn't bother to even think about ways to check that, chuckled and moved on.

• The first chip, produced in 1969, contains 1,200 transistors. By 1972 that had almost doubled to 2,500

I know their tech coverage is pretty weak but I thought they could at least use a calculator

I don't think that this is a calculator problem, as both numbers are given.

IMHO it's a basic literacy problem with almost / more than / roughly and some people thinking that "almost" always is a synonym for "roughly" when it almost always isn't.

• when it almost always isn't.

That is roughly true.

• The only thing journalists are trained in is journalism. If they're writing about any other subject, they're basically awful.

• Sad thing is, most of them are awful at journalism too.

• Trained? These people get training now?

• Well....they get "related college degrees."

• /. has the worst of the worst "tech journalists" by far, from what I have seen.
Even the daily propaganda news paper of the nearest large town in my area has more well-researched and less outdated news about such things.

• Which makes me wonder if they actually asked somebody at the bank about this and he went like "Nuh-huh, secret. We're not gonna tell you!". Because surely that would be TRWTF.

Probably went like:

• So, dear Mr. Bank Employee, could you tell us how many PIN combinations exist?
• What? BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA... oh wait, you guys are serious? You're BBC journalists and you don't know? Come on, everybody, you gotta check those guys out! curls up with laughter

• Sad thing is, most of them are awful at journalism too.

Thye aslo seem to be ubanle to use speelcheckers.

• What? BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA... oh wait, you guys are serious? You're BBC journalists and you don't know? Come on, everybody, you gotta check those guys out! curls up with laughter

I feel it is my duty to, once again, point out it wasn't BBC, it was my local newspaper. Well, when I say local I mean national level, but I think there are neighborhoods in NY that have more people living in them.

• Which makes me wonder if they actually asked somebody at the bank about this and he went like "Nuh-huh, secret. We're not gonna tell you!"

as pointed out here:

What's really funny is that there are not 10000 PIN combinations for a 4 digit PIN because not all combinations are valid.

They felt saying how many combinations are invalid would cause problems (probably along the lines of boss blaming them for giving out "valuable information").

• Here's a good one from just today:

30-50 MicroNewtons is less than the weight(?) of an iPhone. That's a useful comparison, thank you.

• 30-50 MicroNewtons is less than the weight(?) of an iPhone. That's a useful comparison, thank you.

My God...

To put it into better perspective, according to my calculations, it's about 0.005% of the weight of an iPhone, so it would take 20,000 thrusters to lift one (ignoring the thrusters' own weight).

I think you win on finding the most retarded and pointless comparison.

• http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/08/nasa-tests-impossible-microwave-thruster/

Utterly useless comparisons aside, I was a bit intrigued by this, and decided to see if this "EmDrive" was mentioned anywhere else. Turns out, Wikipedia has an article on it:

An alternative theory has been proposed in 2013 by Argentine physicist Fernando Minotti from CONICET, who explains the alleged forces on asymmetric electromagnetic resonant cavities by a particular class of scalar-tensor theory of the Brans–Dicke type.[18] Dr. Harold G. "Sonny" White, who investigates field propulsion at Eagleworks, NASA's Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory, notes that such resonant cavities may operate by creating a virtual plasma toroid that would realize net thrust using magnetohydrodynamics upon quantum vacuum fluctuations.[19] The named quantum vacuum based theories, however, can predict maximal efficiency of 3.33 nN/W, on the order of a millionth as much as EmDrive proponents claim.
That's some impressive technobabble right there.

Filed under: I'm sure it makes sense to somebody...

• The first chip, produced in 1969, contains 1,200 transistors. By 1972 that had almost doubled to 2,500

Maybe this is actually a problem caused by rounding. The first chip contained, say, 1240 transistors, and the 1972 chip contained 2470. But a policy that rounds numbers to two significant figures, deemed good enough for newspaper reporting, has made the "almost doubled" operation look broken.

• Quick, someone page cfgauss! Not that he'd explain it to you plebes. He went to school for like 374 years to earn his degree, he's not just going to give knowledge away!

... that is seriously how the link button works in Discourse? It adds a footnote that shows up in your raw text but is magically invisible in the preview? Jesus.

• That's how Markdown works. You can link inline too, but it's a lot more noisy.

• ^- who the fuck is this asshole?

• That's some Star Trek level technobabble right there! And I'm not talking TNG, I'm talking Voyager.

Stick it on a deflector and bob's your uncle!

• Utterly useless comparisons aside, I was a bit intrigued by this, and decided to see if this "EmDrive" was mentioned anywhere else.

Also, our very own Science thread:

http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/science/1945/28

• Maybe this is actually a problem caused by rounding.

Maybe you’re overanalyzing things.

• That's how Markdown works. You can link inline too, but it's a lot more noisy.

• I guess not.

• Oh come on, he was fine. He could've also added that you can use HTML anchors, or even `[text](url)`, or even `[url="url"]text[/url]`.

But he didn't.

• You can tell he didn't because the reply wasn't all caps.

• I can only hope the URL used was an internally-only routed one that can't be accessed by normal people

You didn't try it to find out for yourself?!?

• You didn't try it to find out for yourself?!?

I presumed I'd need the entire URL and IE helpfully truncates it.

• I presumed I'd need the entire URL and IE helpfully truncates it.

Oh, of course. It's been so long since I printed a page from a browser I didn't even think of that.

• The point is, I know Discourse uses Markdown, so I don't see why that ass felt the need to point out that what I was seeing was what Markdown does. I mean duh. What was the point of posting that?

• The point is, I know Discourse uses Markdown, so I don't see why that ass felt the need to point out that what I was seeing was what Markdown does. I mean duh. What was the point of posting that?

Your comment seemed to say otherwise. Duh?

• I know Discourse uses Markdown, so I don't see why that ass felt the need to point out that what I was seeing was what Markdown does.

Perhaps @Captain does not yet have the telepathic powers to read your mind and so didn't know what you know?

Filed under: just an idea...

• TBH it is probably a proof reading mistake (there are quite a few on BBC NEWS), they probably read one source that said 2000 transistors, and then they just grepped the number when they found a more accurate source.

I am surprised with all the nitpicking you guys do, you missed this classic:

• Your comment seemed to say otherwise. Duh?

I think the question was, why does markdown happen in the actual post but not in the preview.
Either preview needs to work or it's pretty much useless.

• I don't think that was the question, since he's whining about how the "footnote" is "magically invisible in the preview". Which is how it looks in the actual post, too.

• Maybe I've misinterpretted what he meant by raw text - now I see that he means in the text he put in the post window. okay that's bizarreness indeed why can't it just do a normal link, since Dicsourse, you know, allows normal links okay that's bizarreness indeed. Do they think posters more afraid of embedded HTML than random embedded bracket sets with mystery markdown syntax?

• Maybe I've misinterpretted what he meant by raw text - now I see that he means in the text he put in the post window. [okay that's bizarreness indeed][1] why can't it just do a normal link, since Dicsourse, you know, allows normal links <a href="http://www.whatthefucklink.com" title="isalink">okay that's bizarreness indeed</a>. Do they think posters more afraid of embedded HTML than random embedded bracket sets with mystery markdown syntax?