# Media Innumeracy

From here:

Not clear? Well if every frigging person in the world charged their calls to that phone number at a rate of \$1 per-minute they would have to talk for over 62,000 years non-stop.

Double check your math.

6 billion people running up a bill of \$960/day (I allowed 8 hours of sleep each) equals \$5.76 trillion dollars a day.

At that rate, I have them reaching \$218 trillian in only 37.85 days.

Godwin’s law strikes.

Sorry. That’s the one about the Nazis.

Well, first you should say whether ‘trillion’ is 10[sup]12[/sup] or 10[sup]18[/sup]. This story comes from Malaysia originally, so how do we know what number naming system was originally used? Sort of like why there are no British billionaries.

I’m quite impressed that their database had their fields defined in such a way as to hold that many digits. He should have just sent a check in for that amount and see what happens.

And face the bounced check fees? Then he would owe \$218,000,000,000,050!

And Gaudere’s Law is about grammar nazis.

Since when can you be prosecuted foe not paying a bill? That sounds like the sort of thing they did in the Third Reich!

Yeah, but who’re they talking to? Half the people have to be on the receiving. Thus, no charges incur. :-p

Good catch. 75.7 days now.

That makes it clear that it’s an American trillion. But what is it with that 0.01 ringgit at the end? If I were in charge of Telekom Malaysia, and the man paid a bill worth about 1,000 times the GDP of Malaysia, I’d just ignore that cent at the end.

(And the quote makes it clear that it’s not necessarily criminal legal proceedings – just “legal proceedings”.)

Voice mail.

I think the guy just didn’t realize how quickly thos 1-900 numbers rack up the charges and is now trying to back out of paying hies bill.

Or a conference call. A very big conference call.

FWIW, 1 billion = 1000 million in Britain nowadays. Although the media generally are aware of potential confusion, and avoid using the term.

In any case, this Malaysian report gives the original figure as RM806,400,000,000,000.01, and the exchange rate is about 3.6 to the US\$.

(Oh, and according to the Sunday Times Rich List, there’s now one GBP billionaire measured by the old counting system)

He shouldn’t have loaned his phone to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

What did it used to equal? I never heard that there were two different value for the word before.

A billion used to be 1 million x 1 million. What we (and now they) call a billion they would call “a thousand million.”

Or a “milliard”.