"I had a rare Twitter username, @N. Yep, just one letter. I’ve been offered as much as $50,000 for it. People have tried to steal it. Password reset instructions are a regular sight in my email inbox. As of today, I no longer control @N. I was extorted into giving it up."
—Naoki Heroshima explains how his accounts were hacked in order to force him to give up his single-letter Twitter handle
. [more inside]
posted by me3dia
on Jan 30, 2014 -
Tumblr's $1.1 Billion price-tag instinctively seems very high to most of us, but without context, numbers this huge are often literally
unfathomable to the masses. To help readers gain perspective on the huge numbers commonly tossed around by the media, researcher Glen Chiacchieri has created Dictionary of Numbers
, a Google Chrome extension that automatically adds context to huge numbers printed in the web pages that you read. [more inside]
posted by schmod
on May 20, 2013 -
is a website containing short videos (approx. 5-10 min.) about numbers and stuff. Mathematicians and physicists play around with the tools of their trade and explain things in simple, clear language. Learn things you didn't know you were interested in! Find out why 493-7775
is a pretty cool phone number! What's the significance of 42
, anyway? What the heck is a vampire number
? Why does Pac-Man have only 255
Suitable for viewing by everyone from intelligent and curious middle-schoolers to math-impaired adults. Browse their YouTube channel here
posted by BitterOldPunk
on Dec 29, 2012 -
The world record for Flash Anzan
was broken this year at the 2012 All Japan Soroban [abacus] Championship. Competitors in Flash Anzan sum up 15 3-digit numbers that are displayed in turn within a set time. The record is now 1.70 seconds, which means that each number is displayed for just over 0.1s. Here is a video of a "slow" 1.85 seconds
seconds where the numbers are barely readable. [more inside]
posted by milkb0at
on Nov 2, 2012 -
What is the smallest prime?
"It seems that the number two should be the obvious answer, and today it is, but it was not always so. There were times when and mathematicians for whom the numbers one and three were acceptable answers. To find the first prime, we must also know what the first positive integer is. Surprisingly, with the definitions used at various times throughout history, one was often not the first positive integer (some started with two, and a few with three). In this article, we survey the history of the primality of one, from the ancient Greeks to modern times. We will discuss some of the reasons definitions changed, and provide several examples. We will also discuss the last significant mathematicians to list the number one as prime."
posted by escabeche
on Sep 18, 2012 -
- Every working day, we post a number and offer a selection of that number’s properties.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jan 11, 2012 -
"Michel de Montaigne, whose essays transformed Western consciousness and literature, was not capable of solving basic arithmetic problems. And most other people would not be able to do so either, if not for the invention of decimal notation by an unknown mathematician in India 1500 years ago.
" The Greatest Mathematical Discovery?
) a paper written for the US Dept. of Energy makes this assertion based in part on the work of Georges Ifrah. [via
] [more inside]
posted by jessamyn
on Aug 26, 2010 -
Veronique de Rugy, NRO contributor and George Mason fellow, says her research
indicates that stimulus funding was disproportionately directed towards Democratic congressional districts. Nate Silver begs
to disagree. De Rugy responds here
; Silver responds here
. Others say that this is a model "for the quick, effective peer-review that the internet facilitates." Perhaps this is a new model
for peer review?
posted by lalex
on Apr 3, 2010 -
Late Thursday Flash Fun: Dropsum V2
is like a mix of sudoku and tetris and some other kind of block game. Much mindless fun to be had...
posted by schyler523
on Jul 30, 2009 -
is an Internet resource that brings genuine
random numbers, generated
by a process fundamentally governed by the inherent uncertainty in the quantum mechanical laws of nature, directly to your computer in a variety of forms. HotBits
are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected
by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer. (Warning: random sounds.)
posted by parudox
on Feb 9, 2009 -
The day after a senator from Illinois, is elected president, the Pick 3 lottery in Illinois comes up 666
. It's happened before
, notably in Pennsylvania (12 times, including one time as part of a scam
and once earlier this year, in Maryland
. Some are jokingly (I hope) calling him the antichrist
as a result. Others, namely numbers geeks like me, are spending their lunch hours looking up the history of lotteries drawing triple numbers and sharing it with MetaFilter.
posted by sjuhawk31
on Nov 6, 2008 -
On May 13, security advisories published by Debian
revealed that, for over a year, their OpenSSL libraries have had a major flaw in their CSPRNG
, which is used by key generation
functions in many widely-used applications, which caused the "random" numbers produced to be extremely predictable. [lolcat summary] [more inside]
posted by finite
on May 16, 2008 -
The Prime Game
is not really much of a game, but it is
a neat & little-known fact about the decimal representation of prime numbers.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jul 10, 2007 -