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Nortel Patent Auction: Was Google Bored Or Confident By Bidding PI
engine

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 3:23 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nortel Patent Auction: Was Google Bored Or Confident By Bidding PI [reuters.com]
At the auction for Nortel Networks' wireless patents this week, Google's bids were mystifying, such as $1,902,160,540 and $2,614,972,128.

Math whizzes might recognize these numbers as Brun's constant and Meissel-Mertens constant, but it puzzled many of the people involved in the auction, according to three people with direct knowledge of the situation on Friday.

"Google was bidding with numbers that were not even numbers," one of the sources said. "It became clear that they were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun. One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi," the source said, adding the bid was $3.14159 billion.

"Either they were supremely confident or they were bored."



Earlier story
Nortel Patents Snapped Up By Apple, Microsoft and Others [webmasterworld.com]

 

txbakers

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 5:00 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

gotta love intelligent people

Vamm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 6:35 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd say bored

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 8:08 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

A small business employing such "advanced" intellect, would be out of business in no time at all.
Lehman, anyone? (too big to fail, etc . . .)

.

explorador

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 8:49 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

ha ha G is so intelligent they can't get their so many (failed) projects up, not so funny now huh?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 8:51 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

gotta love intelligent people

Yeah, MSFT, Erickson, Intel, Samsung, Apple, RIM etc employ idiots. Only Google people are good at math. Stop drinking the koolaid, look at stats (don't bother trying to find Google in there):
[bloomberg.com...]
The computer maker won 36 percent more U.S. patents last year than the next closest company, South Koreaís Samsung Electronics Co., with 3,611, according to IFI Patent Intelligence of Wilmington, Delaware. IBMís total was 69 percent more than No. 3 Microsoft Corp., with 2,906.

Other companies on IFIís top 10 list were Canon Inc., with 2,206 patents; Panasonic Corp., 1,829; Toshiba Corp., 1,696; Sony Corp., 1,680; Intel Corp., 1,537; Seiko Epson Corp., 1,330; and Hewlett-Packard Co., 1,273.

Never underestimate what this does to Android, some were even suggesting that Google gave up on it. The battle has just started and with these and other patents Android could very well become very expensive to use.

Google is a $30 billion a year company, of which around $8 Billion is pure profit. And they have over $30 Billion in reserves, so they are not a small company. R & D and patents are what keeps a company ahead of others.

edit: changed source to Bloomberg.

[edited by: walkman at 9:03 pm (utc) on Jul 4, 2011]

wheel

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 8:57 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

A small business employing such "advanced" intellect, would be out of business in no time at all.

Yeah, this simply looks unprofessional. They're playing games with stockholders money now. Since when was it wise to play giggles with 2 million dollars of other people's money?

Seb7

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 10:19 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe their hoping that when people search these constants they get lots of news results all about google.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 10:56 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ha, they're playing mind games with us. Revealing some cogs of their algorithm without the context, thinking it would mean nothing to us. My copy writing is presented to them at a formula close to PI. They're just throwing it back at us (there is a very savvy group in the Netherlands). Even if we understand the algorithm they have a penalty in place to whack us back down when we succeed in sliding down the black hole, flashing lights and alarms probably ring at the plex. This bid was just a way of saying to some in the SEO community -- you now know that we know that you know -- but you still aren't going to rank #1.

Or maybe they were just bored ;)

Andem

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 1:25 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've never replied to a forum thread like this, ever... but

+1 explorador

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 1:33 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

They've been very arrogant with the webmaster community in many other ways, this is just another instance of it.

johnnie

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 5:01 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Trollololol

Sgt_Kickaxe

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 7:58 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google made news with weird bidding but if they had won it would have been great press to win by bidding pi too.

It comes off as arrogant however, imo, and needing some humble pie.

Vamm

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 8:16 am on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I suppose they don't care about what we think is arrogant or not. If I had PI billion dollars, I thought I'd bid E billion and would not care.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 12:02 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google knew the bidding would top 4 billion, so they were just having fun by bidding goofy numbers till the price got too high. The only reason they were even bidding is to make sure they drove the price up.

If you have a limit of 3.5 billion that you're willing to spend, what's the harm in bidding Pi? It's not like they bid Tau afterward.

Maurice



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 2:06 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am fascinated by the concept of numbers that arn't numbers - though anyone who doesn't think PI is a number probably should be working at Macdonalds and not getting involved in grownup work.

Dont forget that in these actions people hire game theory experts to assist with the bidding. Google bidding PI could be an attempt to Meta Game the system, by throwing the opponents a curve ball - akin to playing against type in poker

wheel

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 2:26 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google bidding PI could be an attempt to Meta Game the system, by throwing the opponents a curve ball - akin to playing against type in poker

Except nobody's thrown off their game, they just look at Google like they're an idiot.

Kind of like if I was to play poker and try to get smart with my bidding. I don't know what I'm doing, so everyone would just look at me like I'm stupid and keep playing poker.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 2:30 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google knew the bidding would top 4 billion, so they were just having fun by bidding goofy numbers till the price got too high. The only reason they were even bidding is to make sure they drove the price up.

Possible but the fact that several companies split it doesn't make that much difference in reality. Apple has some $60 Billion in reserves and Microsoft almost $50 Billion. But then it didn't cost Google anything once they knew they'd lose. G and MS have a habit of making each other pay more

Dont forget that in these actions people hire game theory experts to assist with the bidding. Google bidding PI could be an attempt to Meta Game the system, by throwing the opponents a curve ball - akin to playing against type in poker
Yeah, they forget everything once someone plays such a trick and cry 'mommy!' ;)
All the sides involved are pros at this

Demaestro

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 3:41 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe it is the geek in me but... Am I really the only one mildly amused by this?

I understand the points being made here but seriously, do they get to have no fun at all? The projected price was estimated to go over 4 billions (which the winning bid was) therefor bidding strange amounts under the estimated value poses little risk and if they did get it for PI then it would be a good price to pay considering what it went for.

Why so serious? Sounds like they were just having some fun.

wheel

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 3:50 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wrong place, wrong time. It's inappropriate behavior.

You want to play those games when you're hiring employees, that's one thing. Playing games with millions of dollars of stockholders' money is another matter entirely.

SevenCubed

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 4:15 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am fascinated by the concept of numbers that arn't numbers


Ya, you and me both! I think this thread is playful enough that if I posted my understanding of numbers it wouldn't get off-topic...

For me PI is a seed, specifically the seed of randomness. And that seed originated out of 7 divided by 7 divided by 7 which is 0.142857142857142857142857142857142857...which is greater than PI even though PI has no end. 0.142857 is the apple (of the eye), PI evolved out of 0.142857.

I often-times struggle with basic math beyond the tables I learned in elementary school. For me numbers mean nothing on their own. But on a greater scale they tell a story that is remarkable when woven together in patterns. That's the only use I have for numbers, they are patterns. Words are only numbers become different shapes. Even the Holy Bible is written in number form at the foundation but translated into words by man (by inspiration). Within it of course there is even the book of numbers -- oh the stories it explains!

There is a remarkable fellow in the UK, his name is Daniel Tammet, if you want to get an idea of the complexity of the human brain and how it can relate to the binary base of all that is check him out [en.wikipedia.org...]

Some of us just have a very radical different perspective on reality than the average bear -- we live "in the beginning" rather than the end where most people choose to be. Within that beginning there is a library that is not understood by present day humanity but through evolution will become more apparent.

My behaviour in this life is how I tend to the garden that I am born into in the next incarnation.

Demaestro

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 4:37 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

You want to play those games when you're hiring employees, that's one thing. Playing games with millions of dollars of stockholders' money is another matter entirely.


But there was no risk, it wasn't like if they got Nortel for 3.14 billion it would have been a bad thing. So why get all grumpy over it? I don't see a backlash of investors dumping Google stock over playful bidding.

Many assertions that it wasn't a smart thing to do, no explanation of why other than poetic notions that "playing with other people's money is not a game"

That is why it was amusing, they did something that had big implications but zero risk. Not a show stopper, just fun.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 4:39 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Many assertions that it wasn't a smart thing to do, no explanation of why other than poetic notions that "playing with other people's money is not a game"

the assertation is that it made them look stupid. Doing it while tinkering with millions of dollars simply compounds the issue.

Maybe stupid's not the right word. Mockery is probably a better one. They try and look all academic, they simply look like they're mocking the system.

buckworks

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 5:26 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeesh! I'm getting a strong feeling that few people in this thread have done much bidding in auctions.

Bidders are free to bid whatever they want, period.

Bids are not constrained to only nice round numbers! If you want to bid a number that has esoteric significance of some sort, you can do that.

The only thing that matters is whether someone else with deeper pockets and stronger desire will top your bid.

londrum

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 5:34 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

it must be nice to have so much money that you can add an extra 0.14159 billion as a joke

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 5:38 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bidders are free to bid whatever they want, period.

And I can wear a speedo at the beach too. Does that seem like a good idea to anyone?

Google showed everyone how smart and intellectual they are. Wonderful, but it's getting a bit old. Like me wearing a speedo to the beach. Cute 25 years ago. Now, not so much.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 7:08 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

And I can wear a speedo at the beach too. Does that seem like a good idea to anyone?


Depends on your body type.. My question would be:

Would anyone waste their time complaining that you wore it since it doesn't affect them in the least bit?

If someone did stop to take time out of their day to complain about such a mundane thing what would you think of that person?

I would tell them to get a sense of humour and to not take everything so seriously. Why would someone care if you wear a speedo? Why do you care if Google bids strange dollar amounts?

nomis5

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 7:12 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

In Europe speedos are coming back into fashion - so I'm told! I'm getting mine out again.

wheel

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Msg#: 4334815 posted 7:15 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Trust me, if I was wearing a speedo, you'd be complaining.

And who said I cared? It's an internet marketing discussion forum and the topic was raised. I commented, I didn't make a federal case out of it.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4334815 posted 7:47 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

the assertation is that it made them look stupid. Doing it while tinkering with millions of dollars simply compounds the issue.


It did? I thought the real joke was everyone was taking their time getting to the 4 billion mark. Google probably thought "well if you guys aren't going to take this seriously, neither will we". The bidding should have jumped to a serious number from the very start.

Maybe stupid's not the right word. Mockery is probably a better one. They try and look all academic, they simply look like they're mocking the system.


That is just Google's thing. They play with numbers and change their logo frequently to something geeky. That's their PR thing they like to do. Obviously the intellectual web community finds it old hat but John Doe might find it impressive and is in awe of Google for it.

This is all a moot point though. Google knew Pi wouldn't win, and if it had, they would have been overjoyed to win with such a small amount. if anything, they were only there to make sure the number got to 4 billion.

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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