Saturday, April 30, 2005

Ahh... the Weekend.

Well, I’ve been working pretty long hours this week. So, I’m relieved that the weekend has begun. Tonight, I went to the Buddha Lounge in Mountain View. It’s a recently opened lounge that replaced some pool hall downtown. It wasn’t too bad there. I thought it was pretty chill inside. Nothing too fancy or special about it, but I had a good time. The bartender made some decent drinks, so I heard; I only had a few beers.

Here’s a puzzle or problem that I ran into recently. Since I’m a moron, I requested the help of a friend, The Marquis, to help me fully understand why it works out the way it does. Lucky for me, I'm excellent at feigning intelligence and managed to avoid looking like a complete moron. Alright, here it is.

On eBay, if you fail to sell an item, you are provided with a Second Chance to do so. Now, say you have the following sales record (S = Sold, N = Not Sold, S2 = Sold on Second Chance, N2 = Not Sold on Second Chance).

S N N2 S N S2 S S N S2

Your sales failure rate is 4 for 10. Now, what if you considered any second chance as part of the same sales attempt? If you did so, you’d have the following sales record:

S (N N2) S (N S2) S S (N S2)

This would mean that your sales failure rate is now 1 for 7.

Now, in general, take any sequence of eBay sales results. Using counting method 1, say your sales failure rate is A for B. And, say that for the same sequence of eBay sales results, your sales failure rate is X for Y using counting method 2.

Why is it that, in general, (A – X) is always equal to (B – Y)?

Something to think about, I suppose. Anyway, off to attack that Party Poker bonus!

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