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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Should SI Units rule supreme in the Reg space programme?

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Weary special-projects-bureau operatives at El Reg have decided the time has come to consider exclusively adopting the International System of Units (aka SI Units), and ditching the mile, pound and related measurements.

It's a royal pain in the backside working with two systems, which results in sentences such as "Baumgartner jumped from an altitude of 29,455m (96,640ft), hitting 586.92km/h (364.69mph)" and "in a pressurised 1,315kg (2,899lb) capsule".

We're fully aware that our American cousins might not take kindly to having their feet cut off, and will likely demonstrate NASA-style reluctance to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Accordingly, we're inviting your comments so we can check out the lie of the land (in hectares rather than acres, naturally) before putting the matter to a reader vote.

So, give us your thoughts. One potentially sticky issue that has already occurred to us is that matter of altitude, which in relation to aircraft and so forth is still universally given in feet. Evidently, there's cause for lively discussion here. ®

Long term readers will be aware that the Register has no ironclad set of rules governing systems of units to be used in articles - and indeed other points of language, editorial stance etc vary sometimes from bureau to bureau around the globe. Even our own in-house unit system is by no means mandatory. So readers should be aware that input aimed towards helping out our long-suffering Special Projects staff won't necessarily result in any change to coverage across all websites, sections and offices. - Ed

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