Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Friday, March 22, 2019

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

100s of millions of Facebook users

The passwords of hundreds of millions of Facebook users were stored in readable plain text and searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees, in some cases for years. In a statement, Facebook acknowledged that the problem existed for “some users” — specifically, “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.” [KrebsOnSecurity]

4,367 hits

Ichiro Suzuki, 45, retired after yesterday’s Seattle Mariners game in Tokyo. His combined 4,367 hits in Major League Baseball and in Japan are a world professional record. [ESPN]

94 years, 172 days

Jimmy Carter has become the oldest living former president in American history at 94 years, 172 days young, passing George H. W. Bush. Another measure of his longevity: It’s been more than 20 years since he penned his book, “The Virtues of Aging.” [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

11,000 complaints

There are 210,524 licensed cab drivers and 18,163 taxis in Hong Kong, patronized by nearly 1 million people a day. And in 2018, cab drivers there were hit with a record 11,000 complaints — which seems low to me, all things considered — including bad driving, bad routes and overcharging. The number of complaints have more than doubled in the past 15 years. Some of the trend may be due to increased congestion, with more stationary time leading to higher fares. [South China Morning Post]

6 days

Just six days after the attacks on two mosques that killed 50 people, New Zealand’s prime minister announced that the country had banned military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles. The country will oversee a buyback program for the guns, and owners who don’t get rid of theirs will be subject to fines. [The Washington Post]

Aged 5 seconds

The potation enthusiasts at Pabst Blue Ribbon wanted to make a whiskey, and specifically one that wasn’t aged, to honor its founder, who apparently wouldn’t have had access to the requisite barrels. But that caused a problem with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, who would have required that such a spirit be marketed as moonshine. So PBR decided to age its whiskey after all — for “literally” five seconds, as controlled by a specially controlled whiskey/barrel flow setup. [Esquire]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

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

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.