Skip to main content
Menu
Significant Digits For Friday, March 27, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this as an email newsletter, please subscribe.

Fewer than 5 percent

Percentage of AWOL members of the military who received a court-martial for desertion at the height of the Iraq war. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and “misbehavior before the enemy.” [New York Magazine]


14 percent

Lobbyists are required to file disclosure reports with the federal government. One thing they’re supposed to report is former positions held within the government. A Government Accountability Office study found that 14 percent of reports didn’t disclose one or more formerly held positions. [GAO, via Brian Fung]


15 paid days off

Tech giant Microsoft is requiring many of its contractors and vendors to provide 15 paid days off to their employees who do work for Microsoft. It is unclear if this applies to Clippy, who has been on administrative leave for more than a decade. [The Upshot]


17 working drones

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a fleet of 17 unmanned aircraft but only two people capable of flying them. [The Verge]

60 percent to 70 percent

When “The Daily Show” adopted a new system from a company called SnapStream that makes it easier to put together montages of TV clips from cable news and other networks, it reportedly reduced editing workloads by 60 percent to 70 percent. [Splitsider]

$250 per kilowatt-hour

That’s how far the cost of vehicle batteries must fall for electric cars to compete with gasoline-powered cars in the U.S., according to a new study. [The Carbon Brief]


400 percent

Increase in spending on alcohol advertisements between 1971 and 2011. Alcohol consumption trends have remained largely unchanged. [AdWeek]

60,000 feet

Mark Zuckerberg announced a successful test flight of an unmanned aircraft designed to expand Internet access on the ground. According to the billionaire Facebook founder, the final design will be “able to stay at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet for months at a time.” Perhaps Facebook can lend the FBI a hand? [Facebook]

Wait, scratch that — that sounds like a terrible collaboration.


$40 million

American Apparel founder Dov Charney was fired from his position as CEO last year after being accused of sexual harassment and misuse of funds. He is now seeking $40 million in damages from the V-Neck T-Shirt empire. It’s unclear if he wants the $40 million to be delivered in bills derived from 100 percent fine-gauge, preshrunk combed cotton with a lightweight yet extra soft hand feel and printed in a sweatshop-free environment, yet I can only assume. [Bloomberg Business]


If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.

And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

Comments