20080927, 13:01  #815 
"Lucan"
Dec 2006
England
6,451 Posts 
Another analogy
The "expected" ratio of successive exponents is
conjectured to be ~1.47. The probability of having to wait that long is 1/e So there is a 50% probability of finding another Mersenne prime before the exponent has inceased by a ratio of ~1.3 (exact value is a not difficult exercise left to the reader) Since M40, GIMPS has enjoyed a run of 6 "heads" in a row. I think that puts an accurate complexion on RDS' "very very very very lucky streak" comment. David 
20080927, 17:51  #816 
Aug 2005
2^{4} Posts 
Press writers mathematical prowess.
Anyone notice the Associated Press and Fox News changed the number of digits in the 45th known Mersenne prime to 13,000,000 from 12,978,189 digits. They also called it the "46th known Mersenne prime" and wrote 2P1 instead of (2^P)1 . Also, United Press International has the headline "46th Prime Number".
I believe Mr. Silverman may be failing the world at his crusade on mathematical preciseness. Oh well, keep it up and maybe math education will improve some time in the future. 
20080927, 18:01  #817  
"Brian"
Jul 2007
The Netherlands
5·653 Posts 
Quote:


20080927, 18:05  #818 
Bemusing Prompter
"Danny"
Dec 2002
California
7×331 Posts 
It took some time, but we finally got mentioned by the AP!
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j...LCJdwD93F5DT01 
20080927, 19:18  #819  
"Lucan"
Dec 2006
England
6,451 Posts 
Quote:
with the sole intention of using an unbiassed coin Last fiddled with by davieddy on 20080927 at 19:18 

20080927, 21:59  #820 
"Phil"
Sep 2002
Tracktown, U.S.A.
2^{2}·3^{2}·31 Posts 
Our local paper, The RegisterGuard of Eugene, Oregon picked up the L.A. Times article on A.P:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT although the summary in the print version of the paper was condensed a bit from this version. 
20080927, 23:11  #821  
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA
2^{2}·3·599 Posts 
Quote:
Check out the next article, too: a new distributed computing project ... but only for laptops that have builtin accelerometers. Take a guess before you look! http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...0925174638 Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 20080927 at 23:18 

20080927, 23:24  #822  
Dec 2003
Hopefully Near M48
2×3×293 Posts 
Front page of yahoo.com
Quote:
Last fiddled with by jinydu on 20080927 at 23:36 

20080927, 23:29  #823  
Dec 2003
Hopefully Near M48
2×3×293 Posts 
and msn.com
Quote:
Last fiddled with by jinydu on 20080927 at 23:34 

20080928, 00:14  #824 
May 2008
2105_{8} Posts 
"2P1"
They likely copy&pasted it from some text that used ^{super script} and lost the formatting. That doesn't excuse the mistake, though. You ever wonder just how often the news is wrong about things you aren't familiar with (so wouldn't know it is wrong), because you see how often they are wrong on things that you do know something about? 
20080928, 01:22  #825 
Aug 2002
11110_{2} Posts 
Foxnews.com
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,429201,00.html (AP regurgitation, with apologies to Ernst) 
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