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Significant Digits For Monday, May 15, 2017

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


A 22-year-old ingeniously stopped an international cybersecurity disaster by spending $10.69, registering a website and triggering a kill switch. [MalwareTech, The Washington Post]

97 percent

Percentage of drug cases where defendants cooperate and plead guilty, a figure that was the same both before and after former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told prosecutors not to report the volume of drugs involved in a case if it would require a mandatory minimum sentence. While prosecutors thought this would hurt their ability to get drug defendants to play ball, the stats don’t bear that out. Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions has overturned that policy, and now federal prosecutors are told to prosecute drug offenses to the strictest possible sentence. [NBC News]

1,795 percent

The song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” plays a rather central role in the hit “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and has struck streaming gold, with a 1,795 percent increase in Spotify streams a week after the film’s U.S. release. [The Hollywood Reporter]

25,000 pounds

A handwritten copy of a brief bit of Harry Potter prequel fiction written by J.K. Rowling herself was stolen in a burglary in Britain. The buyer paid 25,000 pounds for it at a charity auction in 2008. Rowling has urged fans not to buy it if offered. [The Telegraph]

195,245 public data sets

Number of data sets available on three months ago. Last week, that figure was down to less than 156,000. [The Washington Post]

$14.7 million

We have the first bomb of the blockbuster season: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” pulled just $14.7 million this past weekend. The film cost $175 million to make. [AP News]

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

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.