So, what it's come down to is that purpose of the statistics courses I took
back in  the eighteenth century, or whenever it was, was to help me
understand advertising claims.  

Mind you, being six sigmas from the mean is not always a good thing. <g>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leif Svalgaard []
> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 12:04 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: microsoft 99.9999
> From: Joe Pluta <>
> > Has anybody thought to do the math?  99.9999% uptime means 
> a total of
> THIRTY SECONDS of unscheduled downtime per year (actually, 31 
> and change).
> The 99.9999% has a special marketing significance. It is a 
> failure rate of 1
> in 1,000,000,
> which is better than 3.4 in 1,000,000. what is this 
> mysterious 3.4? It is the
> six sigma
> level. Search on Google for "six sigma".So if you are at the 
> 99.9999% level
> you are
> better than six sigma (the ultimate mark of quality).  So 
> there is great
> incentive to
> claim to be better than six sigma, whether you are or not.
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