Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gb or GB? 10 or 2 base units?

This one has been burning the face off of copyeditors for years. GB stands for gigabyte, which as any computer user will tell you, one can never have enough of. Depending on the context it is being used in, gigabyte can mean a number of things. If you’re talking digital data storage which is measured in bytes, a gigabyte is 1, 000, 000, 000, bytes. That’s 729 3.5” floppy disks worth of data. The term is also used as a standard of measurement for RAM size and Depending on who you talk to, a gigabyte may also be the name applied to 1, 073,741,824 bytes. Go figure.

The term Gigabit is also a quantitative measurement for digital data—one gigabit is equivalent to 128 megabytes—but more commonly, it is used in reference to the transfer of information over the a Local Area Network (LAN). Gigabit internet is based on the Ethernet Frame format protocol, providing a scorching fast data transfer rate of one billion bits per second.


D - a # naming convention that allows either 2 or 10 to be inserted into the name would allow this.
1) a 10-base Giga - 1,000,000,000
2) a 2-base giga - 1,073,741,824


Examples of logarithmic units include common units of information and entropy, such as the bit [log 2] and the byte 8[log 2] = [log 256], also the nat [log e] and the ban [log 10]; units of relative signal strength magnitude such as the decibel 0.1[log 10] and bel [log 10], neper [log e], and other logarithmic-scale units such as the Richter scale point [log 10] or (more generally) the corresponding order-of-magnitude unit sometimes referred to as a factor of ten or decade (here meaning [log 10], not 10 years).


D - bit and bytes, and nats and bans are all ripe for a rational naming convention that hints at the unit type it measures.


The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a specified or implied reference level. A ratio in decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of two power quantities.[1] A decibel is one tenth of a bel, a seldom-used unit.

The definitions of the decibel and bel use base 10 logarithms. The neper, an alternative logarithmic ratio unit sometimes used, uses the natural logarithm (base e).[3]

A change in power ratio by a factor of 10 is a 10 dB change. A change in power ratio by a factor of two is approximately a 3 dB change.


For example, 8 hours at 85 dB causes as much damage as 4 hours at 88 dB, 2 hours at 91 dB, or just 15 minutes at 100 dB.


D - IMHO, switching to a 1 sound-unit = double power of sound seems sensible. From a safety point of view, this makes for easier measurements.


Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake.

In all cases, the magnitude is a base-10 logarithmic scale obtained by calculating the logarithm of the amplitude of waves measured by a seismograph. An earthquake that measures 5.0 on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times larger and corresponds to an energy release of √1000 ≈ 31.6 times greater than one that measures 4.0

1 comment:

Dino Snider said...

An alternative sound power system that doubles every unit would allow the use of double vs triple digits to measure typical ear damage threats. It is cleaner and neater for our purposes. Human senses seem to function based on doubling.