## Some math fails and some math wins

Posted by mathfail
on August 23, 2010
Yahoo question math fail

Oh google…

Comcast fail

Lost i-pod WIN

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On the Google one, I can get the rounding error but not the mysterious replacement of 2s with 5s?

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I put into Google:

200000000000002-200000000000001

and got

200 000 000 000 002 – 200 000 000 000 001 = 1

That Yahoo question just makes me pity those people.

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http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=2000000000000000000002-2000000000000000000001 works to give 0 instead of 1. You just need enough 0s.

The Yahoo one is fine, in the sense that order of operations is arbitrary, but not fine in the sense that someone could be a math grad student and not have learned that. Also the “i’ve been researching for two days” makes it a lot more pitiable.

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The first one is not a fail, it’s a genuine question; the answer really is 14 unless you put brackets around the 2+3 bit. Then it’s 20. That had me confused for ages as well until I learnt what BODMAS meant.

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and the commonsense fail goes to Al : P

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Order of operations dictates that multiplication is done first, brackets or not – the correct answer is 14.

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