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posted by hubie on Sunday November 20, @03:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the yotta-see-these-hellagood-prefixes dept.

Earth now weighs six ronnagrams:

Say hello to ronnagrams and quettametres: International scientists gathered in France voted on Friday for new metric prefixes to express the world's largest and smallest measurements, prompted by an ever-growing amount of data.

It marks the first time in more than three decades that new prefixes have been added to the International System of Units (SI), the agreed global standard for the metric system.

Joining the ranks of well-known prefixes like kilo and milli are ronna and quetta for the largest numbers -- and ronto and quecto for the smallest.

The change was voted on by scientists and government representatives from across the world attending the 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures, which governs the SI and meets roughly every four years at Versailles Palace, west of Paris.

[...] Brown said he had the idea for the update when he saw media reports using unsanctioned prefixes for data storage such as brontobytes and hellabytes. Google in particular has been using hella for bytes since 2010.

[...] The new prefixes should "future proof the system" and satisfy the world's need for higher numbers -- at least for the next 20 to 25 years, he added.


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday November 20, @03:10AM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday November 20, @03:10AM (#1280587) Journal

    I can't wait for my quettaflops mini-computer with a ronnabyte of universal memory (no cap, fr fr).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Quantities_of_bytes [wikipedia.org]

    The binary prefixes will be handled by different organizations. I expect robi- and maybe quibi- (R.I.P. [soylentnews.org]).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix#IEC_prefixes [wikipedia.org]

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:02AM (#1280620)

      That'll be standard issue with your new Confederation starter pack. Now stand to attention for the CAPTAIN, maggot!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @04:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @04:50PM (#1280690)

      I figure you would be excited because now you can better express your favorite traveling speed.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by ChrisMaple on Sunday November 20, @05:24AM (3 children)

    by ChrisMaple (6964) on Sunday November 20, @05:24AM (#1280601)

    What are their pronouns?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:27AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:27AM (#1280624)

      For you? Micro / Obese.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:33AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:33AM (#1280625)

        When will the units be all officially be translated to Esperanto?

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @07:38AM (#1280628)

          Open source retards are already working on it.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by pTamok on Sunday November 20, @10:31AM (8 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Sunday November 20, @10:31AM (#1280647)

    Giving names to large numbers seems like a pre-pubescent child sort of thing. I'd far prefer that publications used scientific notation, which would also clear up the ambiguity in meaning of the words billion and trillion. It's not as though it is difficult.

    Million = 1x106, or if you can't generate superscripts 1E6 - which means 1 followed by 6 zeros;
    Billion = 1x109 (1E9 - 1 followed by 9 zeros) ;
    Trillion = 1x1012 (1E12) ;
    ronna- is a prefix meaning 1x1027 (1E27) ; and
    quetta- is a prefix meaning 1x1030 (1E30)

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Sunday November 20, @10:39AM (4 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 20, @10:39AM (#1280648) Journal

      Quantities are not only written, but also spoken. And scientific notation isn't exactly great for speaking.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by pTamok on Sunday November 20, @11:39AM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Sunday November 20, @11:39AM (#1280653)

        Speak to people? What is this eldritch abomination?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @05:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @05:24PM (#1280692)

          You mean you've missed on all the fun of VOIP, Asterisk, LinPhone and OpenBTS?

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by ElizabethGreene on Sunday November 20, @06:08PM

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Sunday November 20, @06:08PM (#1280698)

        I agree that "times ten to the 23rd" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but I have occasionally said "big E twenty-three" instead. It's not particularly cumbersome.

      • (Score: 2) by agr on Monday November 21, @03:54PM

        by agr (7134) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 21, @03:54PM (#1280819)

        "Quantities are not only written, but also spoken. And scientific notation isn't exactly great for speaking."

        I like using the ICAO phonetic alphabet word for E, namely "echo" to vocalize the standard computer format, so 1.6E-19 would be read as "One point six echo minus nineteen."

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @12:26PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @12:26PM (#1280657)

      You intellectuals are the source of all our problems. -Chairman Mao

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