Google bid what for Nortel patents!

New Book Reviews!

 Google bid what for Nortel patents!
Written by Mike James
Saturday, 02 July 2011

Google mystified  other participants in an auction for  patents last week by their choice of bids. They weren't the round regular numbers that are normally expected. Google lost the auction - but was that a deliberate ploy?

No this is not a financial story - what would such a thing be doing on I Programmer? Consider for a moment a bid that Google placed in the auction for Nortel Network's wireless patents:

\$1,902,160,540

was one of the first.

Recognize it?

OK well a little later they bid:

\$2,614,972,128

Recognize it?

Even if you don't recognize the above two numbers you must realize that there is something strange going on. Why bid such irregular sums?

When the bidding got to \$3 billion they produced a number that surely everyone recognizes:

\$3.14159 billion.

The first number \$1,902,160,540 is Brun's constant. This is the limiting value of the ratios of twin primes (twin primes are primes that differ by two). Not exactly an everyday constant but...

The second \$2,614,972,128 is the Meissel–Mertens constant. This is the difference between the sum of the reciprocal of the primes up to n and ln(ln(n)). Again, not a very familiar number but it's well documented.

In the rest of the auction Google also bet the distance between the earth and the sun and a few other odd values.

So was Google serious or just bored or providing a hint to anyone paying attention.

Google lost the auction, by they way, and a group of six companies - Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony - finally paid \$4.5 billion. Some commentators are saying that this will cause Google some problems in the future as the six companies attempt to recover their purchase price by pursuing patent lawsuits.

We will just have to wait and see what happens to discover if Google should have picked some other mathematical constants during the auction.

Meissel–Mertens constant

Brun's constant

via Reuters

 Style Transfer Applied To Cooking - The Case Of The French Sukiyaki14/05/2017We have seen AI used for style transfer in the world of painting and photography, but what about cooking? What would a classic dish in one cuisine look like, or rather taste like, in another?  + Full Story Windows Source Now In A GIT Repository26/05/2017Microsoft is well on the road to transferring the Windows codebase to a single Git repo hosted on Visual Studio Team Services. This has involved scaling Git to extremely large projects and teams with& [ ... ] + Full Story More News

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 July 2011 )