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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."
gotta love intelligent people
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.
[edited by: walkman at 9:03 pm (utc) on Jul 4, 2011]
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
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.
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 pokerYeah, they forget everything once someone plays such a trick and cry 'mommy!' ;)
I am fascinated by the concept of numbers that arn't numbers
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.
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"
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?
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.