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Misunderstanding of Precision

Misunderstanding of Precision - RF CafeIf you have a degree in engineering or science, chances are were instructed on the proper method for reporting numbers in terms of precision and accuracy. The government has long been the whipping boy for examples of abuse. If you think that might have prompted corrective action, you would be wrong. Our public science organizations like NASA, NIST, NOAA, NIH, et al, do a respectable job of reporting, but the other agencies display their ignorance on a regular basis. A couple days ago, DHS (those fine folks who perform cavity searches at airports) issued a solicitation for bagpipes and assorted accessories (we have evidently $ for bagpipes but not the Blue Angels). The document mentions "a small business size standard of 500.00 employees." What do the employees that comprise the decimal point portion of the number look like? I think we can guess what will be done with this ordered item: "Black waxed bagpipe hemp." Maybe they should add a few bags of Doritos to the order for when the users inevitably get the munchies.

Posted  April 2013

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