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Significant Digits For Friday, Feb. 1, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.


116 million fake accounts

In its securities filings, Facebook has provided estimates of how many fake accounts are on its service. These estimates have varied widely, from 18.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 116 million last quarter. But the estimates don’t square with the number of fake accounts the company says it has removed — over a recent 12-month stretch, that number was as many as 2.8 billion fake accounts. [The New York Times]


$106 billion

Saudi Arabia has concluded a corruption investigation that led to the detention of dozens of princes and businessmen. The country’s Royal Court says it has rounded up about $106 billion in cash, real estate and other assets. [CNBC]


96-day-long prayer service

A law in the Netherlands prohibits police from entering a place of worship during a service. An Armenian family and its supporters took advantage of the law, holding a 96-day prayer service at a church in the Hague to prevent the family’s deportation. This week, the Dutch Cabinet decided to allow the family to stay. [Reuters]


745,355 prescriptions

Over nearly 11 years, Kim Le signed off on or dispensed 745,355 prescriptions for three Walgreens stores in the Bay Area. Le, however, according to state officials, was not a licensed pharmacist. Le’s pharmacist license number in Walgreens’s records actually belonged to another pharmacist with the same name. [Los Angeles Times]


300 attempts

After just 300 attempts, a robot loaded with an MIT algorithm learned how to play a mean game of Jenga. [TechCrunch]


1,600 quasars

Dark energy, a mysterious force that is estimated to make up around 70 percent of our universe, is typically thought of as a constant. But by studying nearly 1,600 massive and remote celestial objects called quasars, a pair of astronomers found that the universe is expanding faster than expected. This suggests that dark energy might be “getting stronger as the cosmos grows older,” one of the scientists said. [Space.com]


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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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