HSBC pinpoints branches with sub-atomic accuracy
Bank's 'find your nearest tentacle' accurate to 17 decimal places
Those of you who are sticklers for accuracy will doubtless applaud banking monolith HSBC and its splendid "Find your nearest branch" service.
To find out exactly how far you'll have to walk to avail yourself of an HSBC tentacle, just point your browser here, stick in your postcode and hit the "More info" button under one of the results.
Here's the precise distance between Vulture Central's London HQ and the bank's Gerrard Street branch:
According to very impressed reader Peter Flint, who sent in the tip, 17 decimal places represents atomic-scale accuracy. This means we now know just how far it is to our handiest HSBC to within a few electrons, which is extremely useful.
Since it's Friday, and you idle bunch of loafers are sat staring at the clock in anticipation of the first pint of the weekend, we'll leave it to you to work it out in femtometres. ®
As a retired naval officer, I abhor this appalling lack of standards in today's press, and so does my wife. The linguini has served us perfectly well as a unit of length for...
Well, actually, that's another problem. The Register's system of units leaves time as a derived unit, being linguini per percentage of the maximum speed of a sheep in a vacuum, with one linguini per percentage of the maximum speed of a sheep in a vacuum equal to roughly 4.66 microseconds.
As discoverer of this flaw, I christen this unit of time the Cowell, being the same time it takes the fearless reality TV judge to reduce an aspiring starlet to tears.
So, as I was saying, the linguini has served us perfectly well as a unit of length for at least 700 gigaCowells now, and if time-honoured traditions cannot be maintained then what is the world coming to, I ask you?
And another thing. The Register's online standards converter rounds all values to four decimal places. Not only does this make any attempt to convert 0.10956224649966496 miles into linguine so imprecise as to be meaningless, but is guilty of the school-boy error of spurious accuracy - quoting more digits of a calculation than are justified. The correct way of handling this situation, by quoting a fixed number of significant figures, as any fule kno, has been understood for over 600 teraCowells and yet The so-Called Register continues to spread such lunacy, not only making the error but in fact proclaiming it in the notes to the calculation. What is happening to society when a bank is the guardian of accuracy? Oh, the humanity!
Admiral D H Lawrence (ret'd)
In a white-wine sauce with shallots and champignons, a fried egg on top and spam.
According to Heisenberg's Law of Banking Practice if you you know HSBC's position with such accuracy it means that you can never know how much they're ripping you off.
Accuracy != precision
Their numbers are certainly very _precise_, but probably not as _accurate_ as El Reg claims. Particularly as they don't actually know where I am with sufficient accuracy, even if they did know the location of their branches to the nearest gnat's quark.
Mine's the anorak.