Joho the Blog » paywalls

February 20, 2013

How many birds are killed by cats? How many people subscribe to the Boston Globe online?

How many birds do domestic cats in the United States kill every year? You win if your answer is within an order of magnitude in either direction. However, you don’t actually win anything.

The answer comes from the journal Nature Communications as reported here

To reveal the answer, select the black box. (This assumes you don’t have black set as your selection color.)

“We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually.”

And now for extra credit, within an order of magnitude, how many people subscribe to the online version of the Boston Globe? Hint: It costs $3.99/week. Hint: Greater Boston’s population is about 4M. Hint: This quarter, online subscriptions rose 8%. (The answer comes from an article at BizOnline.)

28,000

By the way, I occasionally like to acknowledge that the “order of magnitude puzzle” was invented by my famous friend Paul English.

9 Comments »

April 2, 2012

Times cuts down on free access

Why? Does the Times have research that shows that when someone is denied access to her eleventh NYT article, she’s going to cave in and buy a subscription for $195/year? Because my informal market research — I sat myself in an airless room, asked myself some questions, and rewarded myself with m&m’s — indicates that I will just get more annoyed at the NYTimes, and regret its insistence on losing its place in our culture.

PS: No, I don’t know how to save the newspaper industry.

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