11 August 2008

Google ads disappoint again...

Google ad, via gmail: "Quantum Corporate Funding - Quantumfunding.com - Factoring For Contractors Direct Contractor Funding Source".

I was hoping it would be about quantum computers to do integer factoring, say using Shor's algorithm, but something seemed a bit off about the text; it had "quantum" and "factoring" in it, but also words like "funding" and "contractor".

"Factoring" in this context is apparently a banking service that involves selling your accounts receivable (i. e. money people owe your business) in exchange for a (slightly smaller) amount of cash, which you get now. Wikipedia has more. I'm not quite sure why it has that name.

But it wouldn't have surprised me to see somebody saying that they have invented a quantum computer large enough to do non-trivial factorization via a Google advertisement. I'm not saying they'd be right, but I've seen other mathematics/physics crackpottery delivered through that channel.


Blake Stacey said...

That's one of the joys of modern life: sometimes the woo comes to you.

Anonymous said...

@I'm not quite sure why it has that name.; the meaning of factor as in debt regulator is far older than the mathematical expression. From the Online Etymology Dictionary: factor (n.) Look up factor at Dictionary.com
1432, "agent, deputy," from M.Fr. facteur "agent, representative," from L. factor "doer or maker," from facere "to do" (see factitious). Sense of "circumstance producing a result" is from 1816; the v. use in mathematics is attested from 1837

BTW nowadays a French post man is called a facteur