An amazing (1 in 84 billion) iPhone coincidence

What happened today is about 1 chance in 84 Billion.  Here is what happened.

I was using the URL shortening service http:\\  This service takes a long URL and shortens it into something manageable.  The utility of the service is that you get a short URL which can be used on venues such as Twitter, where every character counts.

In fact, I was going to tweet about a new product, Contact Capture for the iPhone.  The latest iPhone is the 3GS.   I typed in the long URL, as shown in the picture below.


Next, I pressed the [TR.IM] button and got the following:


If you haven’t picked it up, the iPhone is the 3Gs, the trimmed URL is “x3Gs”

Now for the fuzzy (very fuzzy math)

There are approximately 96 usable ASCII characters.  ASCII is the characters on your keyboard plus a few more  (A-Z, a-z and 0-9, etc) .  There are about 96 usable ones that the TR.IM service can use.

With 4 unique characters in the URL, that means there are 96 * 96 * 96 *96 combinations or 84,934,656 combinations.

This itself is interesting, but the fact that the URL was for an iPhone 3Gs we have to look at this question:  Of all trimmed URL’s, what percentage are for iPhone related content?  I am going to be  conservative and sale 1 in 1000.

So 84 million multiplied by 1000 is one in 84 billion.

The bottom line is that this was a coincidence, it made me smile and I thought I would share it.

Here are the links I made today:

Contact Capture for the iPhone:

Contact Capture for the Blackberry:

If the Blackberry link included something like a Blackberry model number, I would be heading out to buy a lottery ticket…no such luck.

This all made me think about Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers.  One of the concepts I gathered was, basically, when opportunity knocks, you need to take advantage of it.  Sometimes an opportunity is one in 84 billion.

Vision of a mobile future; embrace your mobile computer

Don’t get caught up in the naming of things with words, it gets confusing.  Words change the very nature of how we think about something.  It is “this”, therefore it is “that”.  Now, a tree is a tree and a rock is a rock, unless you are in some altered state on consciousness, but we won’t go there. I’m focused on the newcomer words that are still in flux.   Too often it is herd mentality that gives  new things their name.

Today I stared on my iPhone, Blackberry, GPhone and Palm pre on my desk and ask myself  “what are these?”

mobile-phones1Cell Phones, Mobile Devices or Mobile Computers?

My company, Broadlook is developing software for mobile devices and I needed to have all of them.  I’m also a gadget freak, so I enjoy having all of them. Perhaps the collection of them, together, was odd and put me into a bit of a trance.

“What are these?”, I asked myself again.
Continue reading Vision of a mobile future; embrace your mobile computer