WW 664: One Milliard Users

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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@Leo, @thurrott,

Many non-English languages still use the full billion and not the cheap, discount US short scale billion.

The Germans have set aside half a billion euros for supporting business during the crisis, that is 500 miliard or 500 US discount billon Euros.

We speak of Milliardäre, when we refer to people like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos.

The potential confusion of a word having such significantly different meanings seems to me the reasoning of the basis of systems like SI.

Growing up in the UK, we had the SI long scale billion.

Why is there even a discount billion in the first place?

Because of mathematicians and bankers and politicians :wink: (And possibly because of John Conway maybe best known in computing for his “game of life” automaton.)


At one point I was going to make my own game using these crazy large numbers (as done in, say, Adventure Capitalist or other similar games) and learned the Conway-Wechsler Extension from here (a valuable resource if you like [big] numbers)
http://www.mrob.com/pub/math/largenum.html

I did write the code, by the way, and it can even handle numbers greater than 1 millinillion (10^3003), and can handle outputting or inputting them. It was a fun challenge… I commend it to anyone as a learning exercise.

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I think it might have been the writings of Jules Verne that introduced me to the milliard. I have no idea if the big numbers he threw about in his books had a scientific basis or were the Victorian equivalent of Star Trek technobabble, but they sure impressed me.

I always love watching the fun interaction between Leo, Paul and Mary Jo…always making crack up! :blush:

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