Feeds

’Wron number caught in Fermat-defying romp

Innocent integer ensnared by Wiles’ wiles

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Stob US software and litigation giant Softwron Inc is today vigorously denying a rumour that its newly patented integer, the so-called ’Wron number, has been caught flouting numerical law.

Hirsute expensively-suited granite-jawed granite-named Mr Rock McDosh, founder and CEO of Softwron, appeared before the world’s press to defend the integrity of the company’s recently acquired intellectual property.

Mr McDosh was unable to address accusations directly, owing to a blanket gagging injunction taken out by one of the other parties allegedly involved. He was therefore obliged to make something of a Prince Charlie of himself, to the simple pleasure of all present:

"We categorically state that no number protected by Softwron patent has been involved in any rumoured inappropriate behaviour; and in any case we do not accept that such behaviour is inappropriate, if it could be stated what it was. Nonetheless, if going forward it were generally known what it was, our number would still not be involved in whatever it is. Which it isn’t."

That’s clear then. Happily, The Reg is published on the Internet, outside the jurisdiction of any court except that of Almighty God Himself and the beak at Croydon. We can dish the dirt. The rumour, which started in the Usenet newsgroup sci.math.research but rapidly spread to rec.pets.cats.anecdotes, states that the ’Wron number and two other ‘large’ integers together ganged up on an unwilling smaller (but technically oversize) integer and forced it to indulged in a Fermatic practices with them.

Put in lame layman’s terms, Fermat’s law states that, if the sum of two integers each raised to a given integer power is equal to a third integer raised to the same power, then the maximum power that may legally be used is 2.

The following press agency equation, recorded by an amateur using homemade equipment, purports to show the guilty parties at it like knives. The identities of most of the integers involved have been crudely concealed with simple alphabetical letters, although if you look carefully you can just make out that the ‘victim’ is 3.

x³ + y³ = z³


Legal seagull Lawrence P Po™a®© (pronounced ‘potmarc’) comments: "This kind of incident is highly embarrassing for Softwron right now, but I don’t think it will ever go to court. What you have to remember is that the US Government never ratified Fermat’s Law, which it views as being anti free trade."

Top mathematician Andrew Wiles proved Fermat’s Last Theorem in a famous 1995 paper that can be found here. We would attempt a witticism, but mere English language comedy is as dust once you have read the study of Hecke rings in chapter 2. This kept us giggling happily down the pub last Friday for hours, until the landlord called time and hustled us out into the evening drizzle. ®

© Copyright 2003 Verity Stobb

Five Stob stories on Number Patentability (read them in sequence)
Numbers to be patentable
Patented numbers ‘a good idea’
First integer patented
Softwron shows off its new technology
’Wron number caught in Fermat-defying romp

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.