back to article Churlish HSBC drops atomic-scale accuracy

International banking monolith HSBC has rather churlishly reprogrammed its magnificent "Find your nearest branch" service so that customers are no longer given the distance to their closest tentacle to within a couple of quarks. Last week, we discovered that Vulture Central and HSBC's Gerrard Street branch were separated by …


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  1. Greg J Preece
    A horrendous margin for error! Surely they could have kept it to one decimal place?
  2. dotdavid

    Are you sure...

    ...they didn't just move the branch a bit?
    1. archengel46


      ... The Reg's office has moved by 0.89043775350033502 mile closer to the branch.
  3. crowley
    Thumb Down


    Gee - I hope they distribute that 'fix' across all their systems so the interest on my ISA also gets rounded up like that...
  4. Clare (web specialist)

    Biased reporting

    I for one object to the antagonistic reporting of Microsoft products by 'The Register'. For example the phrase 'a fraught crisis meeting at the highest levels of the company, conducted behind closed doors as panicked execs pondered Powerpoint doomsday presentations', makes it look like the only people who use Powerpoint are idiots.
    1. Mike Smith

      No, depressingly realistic reporting

      Tsk, tsk. 'Tis well known that if it ain't done with PowerPoint (i.e. verbal communication, simple written English with the syl-abl-es all hy-phen-ated, short slogans backed with a length of rubber hose, etc), execs won't understand it. Comes from the lobotomy they all have to have to get their MBAs.
    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward If your mind needs a Powerpoint for you to grasp an idea you have been to too many meetings!
    3. Ian Stephenson Silver badge

      "makes it look like the only people who use Powerpoint are idiots"

      Your point being?
      1. Clare (web specialist)
        Thumb Down


        Not everybody who uses PowerPoint is a HSBC bank executive. As the only effective way of presenting important project management information it’s use is pretty much unavoidable by some of us. Those of us who pretty much have to use PowerPoint in our daily working lives object to the implication that we are idiots, easily confused and panicked.
        1. Mike Smith


          I have a feeling you're hell on earth to work for. Can't imagine why.
          1. Clare (web specialist)
            Thumb Down

            @Lester Nextphil Mike

            @Lester Haines This comment just validates the point I was making. @Mike Smith The feedback from my team is always positive. @nexphil I’m not going to dignify that remark with a response
            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              If the feedback from your team is *always* positive, then you can take that as a practical certainty that you really are hell to work for and nobody dares say.

              Nobody is perfect, so the only reason a manager can be consistently told they're perfect is if the team is scared to say otherwise.

              If it's mostly positive, then that's good.

              Incidentally, Powerpoint is only capable of communicating a summary, and it's usually quite bad at that as people don't remember much of the presentation. At best you'll get the summary slide across, at worsat you've lost the audience before you get there.

              So the best case is the summary of the summary. Maybe that's how a CEO can authorise a multi-million payout without knowing why?

              Anon in case you are my boss.

              1. Mike Smith

                @AC 19:46

                "If the feedback from your team is *always* positive, then you can take that as a practical certainty that you really are hell to work for and nobody dares say."

                Damn, you beat me to it.

                And @Clare (web specialist), before you start posturing again, take a deep breath and just remember that the Reg readers include a fair number of folks who have forgotten more about a given technology than you (or I) have yet learned. Thinking you know more than everyone else is a classic sign of aggressive weakness.

                Rule one of holes: when you're in one, stop digging. Have a pint and chill :-)

        2. Neil Greatorex

          "As the only effective way of presenting important project management information"



          Umm, bet you had ITC lessons at sKool & passed.

          I'm over 50, I did A level CS (late 70's) the only times, since then, that I've ever seen Powerpoint used (in anger?) is by clueless sales droids (AKA road twats ^H^H^H^H^H warriors [heh])

          My colleague, Alan, who is a "proper" civil engineering Project Manager, you know >£250M projects & multi year time lines, would rather you spit in his ear than use Powerpoint or, FFS, Microsoft Project :-) I s'pose project managing a web page is entirely Powerpoint land...

          PS To the "road warrior" last week that said, essentially, that "Because I earn a multiple of your salary I'm better" go shaft yourself you smug, useless, parasitic twat!

          OK I'm off, beer o'clock

    4. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Biased reporting

      You're right. Only 87.37894901925647398 per cent of people who use Powerpoint are idiots.

      1. Zippy the Pinhead


        You rounded up didn't you! lol

    5. nexsphil

      web specialist

      Heh heh heh "web specialist" *ahem* that is all.
  5. Whitter

    How far from me to me?

    If you put in the postcode of one of there banks, the "closest bank" is still 1 mile away..!
    1. Neil Greatorex

      "there banks"

      There be banks...

  6. Velv Silver badge
    Coat Nice to note that they have increased the number of branches within a 10 mile radius (as a decimal accuracy of 10.000000 miles is the same as 10 miles)? Still an awful lot of branches within 10 miles, even for London. Starbucks don't have that level of coverage.
  7. Ian Emery Silver badge
    The same dodgy math they use to convert your foreign purchases into Sterling these days (£392 in $$ = £411)
  8. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

    You've changed the post code?

    WC2H 7LT to W1D 6HB
    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: You've changed the post code?

      We move randomly. It's a quantum stealth phenomenon designed to keep us cloaked from Microsoft PR people.

      1. Alister Silver badge


        Judging by the input over Powerpoint up-thread, you need to rethink that strategy...

        Perhaps you could put a "no-track" prefix on your office address?

  9. Emyr
    FAIL They've made it a lot less useful.
  10. Daniel 23

    Pedant alert

    If the true distance is approximately 0.1 miles then 1 mile is not only imprecise it is also inaccurate. A rounded value of 0 miles is much more accurate even though it has the same precision as 1 mile. On the other hand 0.1 miles is both more accurate and more precise than either 0 miles or 1 mile. The precision implies by quoting 0.10956224649966498 miles certainly exceeds the precision of the measuring device used and is therefore inappropriate. However, they may be nothing wrong with the accuracy of that figure. Mine's the anorak with the train timetable, notebook and pen in one pocket and a camera in the other.
    1. Alister Silver badge

      Given your apparent love of precision in small scales, are you a Hornby train-spotter?

  11. Steve Mann


    "Less than 1 Mile"
  12. rg20

    Postcodes different?

    But the postcodes you typed in dont seem to match?
  13. laird cummings

    Targetting data...

    They're trying to confuse the competition, so the outbreak of the next banking war doesn't leave them with so many smoking craters in place of branch offices. Hard lines for the neighbors, though...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's a femtolinguine?

    1. Alister Silver badge



      The standard unit of length shall be the EU standard (Florentine) linguine (unboiled at sea level), defined as 1lg, representing 14cm, 0.02784 perches, 0.462 Japanese shyaku or 0.0007568 Ancient Greek stadium ptolemys

      A femtolinguine, is therefore, 1 x 10−15th or or 0.000000000000001 of a linguine, or to put it another way, bloody small!

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