signal-to-noise ratio: [from analog electronics] n. Used by hackers
in a generalization of its technical meaning. `Signal' refers to
useful information conveyed by some communications medium, and
`noise' to anything else on that medium. Hence a low ratio implies
that it is not worth paying attention to the medium in question.
Figures for such metaphorical ratios are never given. The term is
most often applied to USENET newsgroups during flame wars.
Compare bandwidth. See also coefficient of X, lost in
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