Curiosity: Should We Poke The Cube?

We had tried writing this in a slightly different tone, but that did not appeal to many. So here is another attempt.

Understanding the relative scale of things is always important. When it is about time, it is critical. There is a new game in town. Well some of us are old timers there already. But the world is catching up. And it is named right as well – ‘Curiosity – what’s inside the cube’ – “In fact, half a million players so far have registered to help destroy the 64 billion tiny blocks that compose that one gigantic cube, all working in tandem toward a singular goal: discovering the secret that Curiosity‘s creator says awaits one lucky player inside. That’s right: After millions of man-hours of work, only one player will ever see the center of the cube.” (Source: Wired).

As you prepare to destroy your thousands of blocks – here is something for you to think about.

We had spotted some interesting (actually disturbing) stats on Angry Birds before – the summary is this –

“If everyone playing Angry Bird starts working on putting together some knowledge about the world, they can create a complete wikipedia in 30 days. Yes, thats right. The COMPLETE WIKIPEDIA in 30 days.”

Please stop, and think about that for a minute. The ENTIRE WIKIPEDIA, in 30 days! (Here is the rough logic we used: The total number of hours consumed by Angry Birds players world-wide is roughly 200 million minutes a DAY, which translates into 1.2 billion hours a year. To compare, all person-hours spent creating and updating Wikipedia totals about 100 million hours over the entire life span of Wikipedia (Neiman Journalism Lab).)

The bigger point, of course, is that these ‘millions of minutes’ add up pretty fast. Yes, you are doing it when you are waiting in a queue. But a minute is a minute.

And now, back to poking the cube. Let us do some back of the envelope math:

Half a million folks have downloaded it so far (it is yet to hit mainstream) – with a reasonable assumption (of the kind that VCs do not like) – that this game becomes even one-tenth as popular as Angry Birds – we are talking about a total of 100 million downloads (Angry Bird crossed the 1 billion download mark ages ago). Huge numbers!

Let us also assume an involvement that is 50 percent of Angry Birds (10 minutes per user per day on an average) – that would be 5 minutes – and a daily active user base of 10 million (one in ten downloads assumed as active daily) – we are upto an estimated 50 million minutes a day – so the 100 million hours required for creating wikipedia – that would be 120 days!

Should we poke the cube?

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Money Spent On 2012 Elections = 1 Year Unemployment Benefits For 100,000 Americans

Well, we know about a couple of billion dollars were spent on this election by the two candidates put together. Using actual numbers, the total comes to 1.605 billion USDs (Source). We also know that the average American collected 295 USDs in weekly unemployment benefits in 2010 (Source). Back of the envelope math shows that with the amount spent on this elections, the government could have funded the unemployment benefits for ONE YEAR, for about 104641 Americans.

No big revelation here, of course – just an understanding of the relative scale of things. 100,000 is not a small number!

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Mobile-Connected Devices To Exceed Earth’s Population

We spotted this today:

“By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.3 billion).”

Statistics Source: Cisco

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Apple’s Market Cap Now More Than Microsoft Plus Google

We had spotted some Apple stats before, we spotted this today:

“First on AI: Apple’s stock soared to new heights on Thursday, pushing the company’s market capitalization to $456 billion, a number that is greater than the values of rivals Google and Microsoft combined.

As of Thursday morning, Microsoft’s market cap was around $256.7 billion, while Google was valued at around $198.9 billion. With Apple’s stock up more than 3 percent in morning trading, the company surpassed the combined totals of both Google and Microsoft.”

Statistics Source: Apple Insider

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‘Facebook Timeline Is Basically A CarFax For People’

Well, it is obvious, maybe. But here is the point: Facebook Timeline is like a carfax for people – if you have had an accident (e.g., a breakup) facebook wants to make it difficult to cover it up. The other vehicle might record it, for example.

Strange, since people chose to use their name, and not an alias for identity. Even cars were smarter, they use a VIN and not a name.

The world is happy, though. Just look at some facebook stats.

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‘Apple makes more iPhones than humans make babies’

We have spotted multiple stats on Apple iPhone sales and some interesting stats on Apple sales overall. We spotted this today:

“The company smashed most expectations yesterday when it announced its iPhone sales for the last three months of 2011 totaled over 37 million units, a figure that exceeds the number of babies born on planet earth–using the global average daily birth rate –during a comparable period (about 98 days).”

Statistics Source: CNET

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Blackberry Maker RIM Now Worth Less Than Apple’s App Store

We spotted this today:

“Harder to believe is that the App Store is probably worth more than Blackberry. All of Blackberry. Just the App Store. Nothing else. Not the iPhone or iPod. Not Mac. Just the App Store.
Per analysis from Trefis, iTunes and App Store each contribute approximately 2% to Apple’s market cap. For those doing the math at home, that means App Store contributes $7.08 billion to Apple’s market cap.
And, yes, $7.08 billion is more than $7.04 billion.”

Statistics Source: brianshall

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2.6 Trillion: U.S Healthcare Spend Equals GDP of France

We spotted this today:

“even though the U.S. outspends every other country on healthcare ($2.6 trillion a year; the equivalent of France’s entire GDP), we’re nowhere near the healthiest country. ”

Statistics Source: Freakanomics

Bonus stat:

“[I]t turns out that the combined profits of the country’s five largest for-profit health insurance companies — United, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana and Cigna — were $11.7 billion, only 0.5 percent of total health care spending. Even confiscating every penny of those profits would add up to less than half of the cost-saving threshold.”

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Wealth of Older Americans Now 47 Times That of Young Adults

The wealth gap is the widest ever – we spotted this today:

“The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt.

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.”

Statistics Source: Yahoo Finance

We had earlier spotted student loan stats. We’ll now be talking trillions!

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Every Day, A 10 Million-Page Book Is Written in Tweets

We have written about Twitter statistics before. We spotted this today:

“For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.”

Statistics Source: Reuters

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