## Archive for July, 2010

### Apple’s Fuzzy Math

July 16, 2010

I love Apple products. I have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro. I think that the iPhone 4 problems are overblown.

However, they may have just tried to pull a fast one on us with some funky math.

(CAVEAT: The Apple text says “<1 additional calls dropped per 100 calls compared to 3GS". If that means less than one additional call dropped per 100 calls DROPPED then that truly means less than 1% difference. If that number means less than one additional call dropped per 100 calls PLACED then my post below stands.)

I was watching the liveblog of the press conference on Engadget and saw Jobs flash up this slide:

They said that when you compare the number of dropped calls per 100 calls made between the 3GS and the 4, the difference is less than 1. Huh? Sounds like the difference is 1/100 or 1%, right? A trivial number?

Not necessarily. Lets break that math riddle down into a couple of scenarios where it’s easier to see the math in action. These are examples only, as I don’t have the actual dropped call data, since it’s AT&T proprietary:

3GS drops 1. Dropped calls = 1
iPhone 4 drops “less than one more than the 3GS”, say 0.9 (it’s an average). Dropped calls = 1.9

iPhone 4 rate 1.9 / 3GS rate of 1 = 1.9.
That means that the iPhone 4 drops 90% more calls than the 3GS in this example. Not a headline you’d want to report.

Try this one:

3GS drops 5. Dropped calls = 5
iPhone 4 drops “less than one more per hundred than the 3GS”, say 0.9. Dropped calls = 5.9

iPhone 4 rate 5.9 / 3GS rate of 5 = 1.18.
That means that the iPhone 4 drops 18% more calls than the 3GS in this example.

One more:

3GS drops 8. Dropped calls = 8
iPhone 4 drops “less than one more per hundred than the 3GS”, say 0.1. Dropped calls = 8.1

iPhone 4 rate 8.1 / 3GS rate of 8 = 1.0125.
That means that the iPhone 4 drops 1.25% more calls than the 3GS in this example.

Do you see where I’m going with this? They came up with a very mathematically vague way to report the additional dropped calls. It could be a case where the difference truly is only 1%, but they didn’t say 1%. They said less than 1 more out of 100. And that could be anything from 1% to %100’s of percent more than the 3GS, and still be mathematically true! How’s this for a mind-blower:

3GS drops 0.1 (or 1 out of 1000). Dropped calls = 0.1
iPhone 4 drops “less than one more per hundred than the 3GS”, say 0.8. Dropped calls = 0.9

iPhone 4 rate 0.9 / 3GS rate of 0.1 = 9.
That means that the iPhone 4 drops NINE TIMES as many more calls than the 3GS in this example.

And all of these examples fit within Apple’s “<1 out of 100" statement. Apparently, marketing IS Rocket Science…

### The American Creed: I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

July 11, 2010

I think that many traders share these ideals, and represent some of the best of us as a nation. There are also many who are not traders that live up to our heritage. Sadly, much of the populace of this country no longer does. The people in general are becoming sheep. Be a true American and live by this creed.

The American Creed: I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man
by Dean Alfange

I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.
I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”