You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
It’s been a terrible week for the media business. All told, some 1,000 people in the industry across the country lost their jobs. That includes BuzzFeed announcing that it’d lay off 15 percent of its staff, HuffPost’s parent company Verizon announcing that it’d lay off 7 percent of its media division, and newspaper giant Gannett laying off dozens. [CNN Business]
For the first Valentine’s Day in 153 years, there will be no Sweethearts candies, those little chalky heart-shaped delights with short but sweet (lol) messages on them. Necco, the candy’s maker, went bankrupt and its factories are closing. I MISS U. [ABC News]
100 times faster
A new 3D printing technique, developed by University of Michigan engineers, uses a vat of resin, UV lights and blue LED lights to print up to 100 times faster than current machines. Maybe they can replace that resin with some sugar and print up some Sweethearts. [IEEE Spectrum]
50 to 47; 52 to 44
Two competing bills that would’ve ended the government shutdown were both rejected in the Senate yesterday. One, President Trump’s plan including a $5.7 billion wall, failed 50-47. The other, the Democrats’ plan for two weeks of government funding with no funding for the wall, failed 52-44. Both would have needed 60 votes. [The New York Times]
10 games in a row
An artificial intelligence system developed by Google’s DeepMind — the same outfit that produced superhuman Go player AlphaGo and super-superhuman chess player AlphaZero — beat human pros at the video game “Starcraft II.” The system, called (you guessed it) AlphaStar, won 10 games in a row before a human was finally able to win a single game for our species. Hey DeepMind, hire some of those laid-off writers to name your things for you. [The Verge]
The White House is reportedly drafting a declaration of national emergency for President Trump to potentially deliver and has identified $7 billion in funds for Trump’s “signature” border wall, in an apparent effort to possibly bypass Congress. According to CNN, those funds include: “$681 million from Treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds.”
Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.
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