My "Gigahertz-per-second" Mea Culpa
Posted by: Peter Burrows on June 09, 2005
Brain cramps happen, and sometimes a price must be paid. Let me explain.
I realized upon leaving work yesterday that I had inadvertently added the words “per second” to describe the speed of a PowerPC processor as 1.67 “gigahertz-per-second”, in a story on Apple that we posted last night on BusinessWeek Online. Just a stupid, unexplainable mistake—one that I’ve never made before in my fifteen years as a technology reporter. Making matters worse, later in the same sentence we wrote the abbreviation as gHz, rather than the proper GHz. I’d hoped nobody would notice—but knew that I’d never be so lucky.
Alas, I was right. So far, a dozen or so BW Online readers have e-mailed to inform me of my error--some to politely educate me on why I was wrong (thanks to all of you!), others to flame me for being "ignorant" and "stupid", and one that suggested my error was yet more evidence of the shoddy state of journalism these days.
Now, I'm not going to cop to any connection to Jayson Blair or Newsweek's "Koran-down-the-toilet" problem, but I do hereby issue my apology. I realize such mistakes will call my credibility into question for some readers--particularly, it seems, with those who think I'm irresponsibily perpetuating the Megahertz Myth by even pointing out the gigahertz gap between PowerBooks and Wintel laptops.
So that's it. I've made my mea culpa. Now cut me some slack!