Dear Journalist type person,
There's something we must discuss. You see, you've been making a very basic mistake in many of your articles when it comes to writing about the Internet, and specifically Internet speeds. Let's take a look at a small quote:
...unless you have an internet connection of impossible speeds. (Mine is nominally 10MB, by the way, which in practice means maximum download speeds of 1.4 megabytes per second).(source: Rock-Paper-Shotgun).
Can you spot the problem here? Internet speeds are measured in megabits per second. The symbol for 'bits' is a lower-case 'b', so an Internet connection that's 10 Megabits per second could be written as "10 Mbps". I guess if you're feeling lazy you could leave off the "ps", and end up with "10 Mb" (although it's a really sloppy thing to do), but NEVER "10 MB" - that means something else entirely.
Modern PCs use bytes that contain 8 bits. The correct symbol for a byte is an upper-case 'B'. so "10 MB" means "ten mega-bytes", not mega-bits, which is probably what you meant when you were describing the speed of your Internet connection.
If your eyes glazed over, or perheps you felt light-headed reading that, here are a few take-home points to make it easier for you:
- Connection speeds are measured in megabits-per-second. The correct unit symbol for this is "Mbps".
- Files are measured in Megabytes.
- A Byte has 8 bits. So to turn your connection speed into something useful, divide the number by 8 and make the unit symbol "MBps".