With the help of 1,000 computers and Yahoo-backed cloud computing technology, a Yahoo engineer has set an interesting world record. Tsz Wo (Nicholas) Sze determined that, when the mathematical constant pi is in binary, the two quadrillionth bit is 0.
Not sure what to make of this achievement? Well, in a sense, neither is anybody else. Even a post on the Yodel Anecdotal blog admitted, "The circumference of the visible universe can be calculated using a mere 39 or 40 decimal places . . . ." So don't look for textbooks to be rewritten left and right.
Still, the accomplishment is an impressive one in terms of the brain- and computing power required, and it reflects well on Yahoo that an employee working with Hadoop tech pulled this off.
Also, the Yodel Anecdotal post explained, "Learning how to use such computing power, especially across distributed systems involving many computers, allows engineers to develop techniques for speeding up other calculations and algorithms. Faster data crunching translates into more exciting, relevant and fun Internet experiences for Yahoo! users."
Congrats all around, then, and let's hope this development has that forecast exciting/relevant/fun effect.