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Significant Digits For Friday, June 16, 2017

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

2 cruisers

Los Angeles police say several teenagers in the department’s cadet program recently took two police cruisers by bypassing security software using the credentials of a sergeant they knew was on vacation. [BuzzFeed]

10 percent

In March, 10 percent of U.S. electricity came from wind (8 percent) or solar (2 percent) sources. [Quartz]

30 hours

The jury in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial deliberated for 30 hours before announcing that members were deadlocked. The judge ordered them to continue deliberating. [CBS News]

50.3 percent

The top 5 percent of Americans who spend the most on health care account for $752 billion, or 50.3 percent, of all health care expenditures in the country. [The Atlantic]


Indenting lines is an essential grammatical component of programming. Some people indent using the tab key, and others indent using consecutive spaces. It’s all user preference, but as with many banal things, your preference is an essential cultural signifier in certain circles. A survey by Stack Overflow, which I imagine sees a lot of this crap, found that the median developer who prefers spaces made just over $59,140 and the median developer who preferred tabs made $43,750. [Stack Overflow]

$37.7 million

Amount Canadian telecoms made in cell phone unlocking fees in 2016. The Canadian government has decided to ban the fees. Man, it’s pretty crazy that government elegantly working for the consumer seems so peculiar. [CBC]

If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.