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On Wed, Jun 08, 2011 at 07:37:41PM +0200, Everett L Williams II wrote:
> Zero does not have a sign in any mathematics of which I am aware. 

In Calculus 101, about three days into the course, we show our
students this:
$$  \lim_{x→0-} |x|/x = -1; \lim_{x→0+} |x|/x = +1. $$

But that is besides the point.  Floating point is a complicated
subject and not even Calculus 101 is of much use in trying to
understand it.  I've posted a link to David Goldberg's article
“What every computer scientist should know about floating point
arithmetic”.  Not only computer scientists should know what's in
it.  It's a good way to overcome prejudices caused by ignorance.