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05/18/2004 Archived Entry: "Googol vs. Google"
Posted by CKL @ 11:22 AM PST

From a Baltimore Sun interview with Peri Fleisher ("Who?" you say? Read on):

[Q:] But you believe Google has an obligation to compensate you and your family for using the name coined by your great uncle, correct?

[A:] Legally, that's an open question we're exploring. But ethically, courteously, yes. I see some hypocrisy there. They have ignored us. Other than changing a couple of letters on the name, they are capitalizing on it. This is a business. These guys are going to make billions of dollars. It's not a cute little thing.

[Q:] As you know, Google now plans to make an initial public offering and expects to raise $2.7 billion. Does that fact make you more determined to be compensated?

[A:] You don't need to give us anything. Just let us participate as insiders on the IPO. I don't think it's a lot to ask.

Riiight. Ignoring the fact that the Google IPO will use an auction and therefore have no "insiders," there's no precedent for ownership of a mathematical concept or name. I mean, that would just be silly.

As Jan Freeman of the Boston Globe says:

Fleisher needs to get a grip. Her great-uncle couldn't have "identified" the number he called googol, which "existed" (as 10 to the 100th power) before his 1938 coinage, and in any case Kasner credited his 9-year-old nephew with suggesting the word... the 1930s [was] a good decade for Barney Google: The comic strip was flourishing, and Barney also appeared in animated cartoons and comic books. Did the mathematician's helper unwittingly pluck those "nonsense" syllables from the funny papers?

Replies: 5 comments

Please can you give me a gmail invitation. I have looked all over for one and I can't find one.

Posted by trevor @ 05/20/2004 03:18 PM PST

I would greatly appreciate an gmail invite

Posted by danny @ 05/23/2004 11:35 AM PST

Hi Dan,

Do you have extra gmail invitaions? Can I get one from you?


Posted by Alan Yu @ 05/25/2004 11:25 PM PST

please send me a gmail invitation if you can. I will be forever grateful... Many thanks in advanced

Posted by andrew @ 05/28/2004 05:06 AM PST

Posted by @ 00/00/ 00:00 PST

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