Stob: Pirated 'Wron number yours for free
McDosh condemns Beard's 'numerical terrorism'
Stob It's been a bad week for beleaguered, bedraggled and be-loathed Softwron chief Rock McDosh. On Monday it was admitted that the 'Wron number had been let loose on the Internet; today comes the news that Dylan Beard of the Free Number Association has already made an imitation of the nefariously nicked number and plans to give it away for free.
By adding a very, very small irrational number to the 'Wron number, Beard claims he can create an alternative implementation that, while safely beyond the protection offered by Softwron's patent, will nonetheless act for all intents and purposes identically to the original in day-to-day calculations.
"This is just numerical terrorism, no other word for it," said McDosh. "It's theft, felony, blackmail, un-Americanism and adultery and, going forward," - cheer - "we intend bringing the full weight of the law down on Mr Beard."
Curiously, wordplay-loving lawyer Liam Titbits won't be acting for Softwron in this matter. He explained that an "urgent case" had come up: an explosives worker was petitioning her estranged Spanish husband for access to their son so that she could give him a huge portion of his favourite Chinese takeaway meal.
"I've no time for a lawsuit in pursuit of the hirsute right now. Dynamite Dinah might dine her mite tonight," Titbits explained. "He's one wan Huan. Dinah wants to give her little wanton one ton of wonton." We begged him to stop.
A notably drippy BBC science correspondent came onto the Today programme at 6:07am to explain that, if you think of all the numbers as being like a kind of gravel, then irrational numbers are like the little red stones mixed in it. There is no need to panic, she assured listeners, if you encounter one outside laboratory conditions, but you may like to ring the You and Yours helpline, with full confidentiality assured.
Irrational numbers are numbers like v2, e and p that, despite appalling discrimination in the past, are these days encouraged to live peacefully in the community together with so-called "rational" numbers. There are also long-term government plans to rationalise v2, a number whose natural habitat is the diagonal. Some top-yet-contradictory mathematicians claim that this will never happen before the world's supply of prime numbers runs out.