You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
2 oil tankers
Yesterday, a Norwegian-owned ship registered in the Marshall Islands chartered by a Taiwanese company bound for Taiwan from the United Arab Emirates, and a Panamanian-flagged ship with an all-Filipino crew bound for Singapore from Saudi Arabia — both of which were apparently carrying Japanese cargo — were disabled by explosions in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. said the oil tankers were attacked, and blamed Iran, though Iran has denied involvement. [The New York Times]
22 million tons of CO2
A study by researchers at MIT and the Technical University of Munich has pegged the environmental impact of the bitcoin network — thanks to the computers generating the cryptocurrency and processing transactions — at 22 to 22.9 million tons of CO2 per year. That’s roughly equal to the city of Las Vegas’s emissions. Or the country of Sri Lanka’s. [Associated Press]
100 to 1
When it comes to deepfakes — “computer-generated fake videos that could undermine candidates and mislead voters during the 2020 presidential campaign” — the creators dramatically outnumber the detectors. “The number of people working on the video-synthesis side, as opposed to the detector side, is 100 to 1,” Hany Farid, a computer science professor at Berkeley, told the Washington Post. [The Washington Post]
As a result of a federal investigation into corruption in men’s college basketball, the NCAA announced that it expects that at least six Division I programs will receive notices of allegations for so-called Level I violations, the most serious category of infractions. The schools were not identified, though they will likely receive these notices by the end of the summer. [ESPN]
50 state of the state speeches
Just as the president delivers an annual state of the union address, so too do governors deliver annual state of the state speeches. My colleagues analyzed the texts of 50 such speeches from 2019, with an eye toward the state of the states of the states, and what the differences in focus between Democratic and Republican governors were. They found, for example, that “the three most dominant issues were education, health care and the economy — although Democratic and Republican governors didn’t always approach them in the same way.” [FiveThirtyEight]
45 minutes’ notice
After nearly two years in her current position, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, one of the last remaining original members of President Trump’s staff, will step down at the end of the month, Trump tweeted yesterday. She is departing on good terms with Trump, the White House spokesman Judd Deere told Politico. Such good terms, in fact, that the White House’s press team received 45 minutes’ notice of her departure. [Politico]
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