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the situation is worse than you thought

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by RichD, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. RichD

    RichD Guest

    Yesterday, I was on a college shuttle bus. The driver
    was telling a passenger about the alumni donors, that
    you have to give a billion $ to get your name on a
    monument; "Do you know how much is a billion?
    It's about a hundred million"

    Are bus drivers allowed to vote? This explains much.
  2. No, it is not, and it never was. The UK billion was a million million,
    i.e. a US trillion. 1000 million, the equivalent of the US billion, was
    the milliard. However, US-style usage is becoming more prevalent in the
    UK, just as many people today say "radio" and no longer "wireless".

    In other languages, terms similar to the old UK usage are the only ones
    in use, e.g. German has Milliarde for 1000 million and Billion for one
    million million.
  3. karl

    karl Guest

    Am 30.04.2013 09:27, schrieb quasi:
    That is new to me.

    I thought, in Europe a billion is 10^(12), i.e. 1000*1000 millions.

  4. In general, if you have to look it up yourself, don't post.
    Right. 10^15 being a billiard.
  5. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest


    since 1974 it's been 10^9 (and before that 10^12)
  6. Martin Brown

    Martin Brown Guest

    Utter rubbish - that is something daft we tell stupid Americans.

    Milliard was the old English word for modern billion.

    A UK billion was a long time ago a million millions but it was fully
    redefined by Harold Wilson's government in a 1974 parliamentary answer
    to match the US (aka international) definition. US dictionaries do not
    seem to have kept pace with this "recent" development.

    In fact both forms of billion existed in the UK up until the mid 60's
    but from 1951 onwards the US definition was becoming prevalent in the
    small circle of people that actually needed to use such large numbers.
  7. US yes, international no. Many languages, such as German, have the
    equivalent of the old milliard with the equivalent of a billion being a
    thousand milliards etc.
  8. If you want to feel sad, read some of the comments on this:

    I hope most of them are 'plants' by some amoral marketing firm. I'd
    hate to think that many people are so innumerate.

    All they need to do is to solve a couple of "technical problems".
    Kettles and toasters from something the size of a hockey puck. 8-(
  9. Fun... they have stainless steel ice cubes too. ('cause ice doesn't
    cool very well) They need someone who has done some thermodynamics.

    George H.
  10. Forget it. Busses there are really hard to drive. The steering
    wheel is totally on the wrong side and the other drivers tend
    to come right at you, honking their horns and forcing you up
    onto the sidewalk.
  11. This did not come from marketing.

    "Look up Ohm's law. Anything that works off 240v will need more than the
    minuscule amps that this will be able to produce. On the other hand, convert
    this to a USB plug (5v) and you have something useful."
  12. No, but.. one poster said "Lol 130 of this 155 Comments are paid
    people , found on paid twitter accounts. LAME !"

    This would be great for camping – blowing up your air mattress,
    lights, radio, toaster etc good marketing potential!

    I’ll buy one as soon as it hits the market!!! Awesome idea!!!

    what’s the phrase? “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”
    Geeez, these would be a GODSEND to us apartment dwellers who want to
    go solar, but can’t install panels due to idiotic landlords.

    LOVE the idea of this product!! would like to be notified of
    production and availability!!

    When will this be available to buy and where?

    When will this be in stores?
    Where can I buy this?

    Where can I place the order? The design looks really nice and if it
    works well I would say another hole in the market is about to be
    filled !

    Wonderful concept. Please include me in your first e-mailshot as soon
    as it’s commercially available. (I hope the ‘powers that be’ don’t
    sabotage this excellent invention of yours.)

    I thought fantastic, to use clean energy and benefit many people and
    especially our planet! luck and creative ideas that may well

    I can’t wait…..please let me know when I can buy a bunch of these…how
    much do you think they will cost?..and will they be available with a
    u.s. style socket?…
  13. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    Wrong. The UK billion used to be a million million - 10^12, not the US 10^9.
    Obviously you didn't.
  14. benj

    benj Guest

    Obviously management was right!

    My favorite story was "How Xerox beat the Japanese at their own game!"
    Some years back Xerox facing heavy competition from Japan and copiers
    that actually worked. So they got out their wallet and developed the
    model 8000 to try to fight back! But the Xerox CEO gets the big money for
    a reason (read his book to see this story). Model 8000 just didn't do it.
    Then he had a STROKE OF GENIUS! Change it to the model 10,000! Of course
    manuals were already printed and it cost a million (stockholder) bucks to
    reprint them all, but Hey! It beat Japan at their own game! It's clearly
    THIS kind of corporate leadership that keeps America on top!

    I can only wonder what they'd have come up with if they gave that million
    buck to engineers and said "design the best copier you can".
  15. rickman

    rickman Guest

    What do you tell smart Americans? Or are there none?

    I remember reading a short story in Reader's Digest a long time ago
    about a guy who was visiting the UK and was in a pub. He was just
    talking, but because we are two countries divided by a common language,
    his statements came out rather wrong and he ended up getting the honor
    of "The Biggest Liar" as in tall tales. One of them was because he
    referred to something as a Billion and of course they thought he was
    saying a million million.
  16. rickman

    rickman Guest

    Now if we could only get the world to agree on numerical usage of the
    period and comma.
  17. Artemus

    Artemus Guest

    The same thing was done with the hand held microphones of CB
    (and probably other) radios in the 70's. A metal plate was added to
    increase the "heft" and assumed quality of the mike.
  18. Fred Abse

    Fred Abse Guest

    "A certain skill at billiards is the mark of a gentleman, but to play too
    well is the sign of a misspent youth."
    Lucien Fairchild
  19. It probably also prevented the coiled cord from springing the mic out of its
    holder when you put it down.
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