Miscellaneous
 Details
 Category: Miscellaneous Miscellaneous
 Published: 08 February 2012 08 February 2012
I was registering for access to the Sencha forums (www.sencha.com) today when I saw the following on the registration form:
Figure 1
That's pretty advanced math for a CAPTCHA, isn't it?
So, is the math problem this:
6 – (2 x 3)
Or is it this:
(6 – 2 ) x 3
Having a degree in Physics and more than 30 years of experience as a professional software developer, I was certain I knew what I was doing. However, I'd be lying if I told you I got this right on the first try.
All of my years of experience with math told me that the actual problem I was trying to solve was this: 6 – (2 x 3). Everything I knew from high school and college told me that without parenthesis clarifying the problem, the more complicated math happened first followed by less complicated. Even Wikipedia confirmed this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_operations.
The answer's Zero, right?
Nope, that's not the case. So, not only is the registration forum asking me to do more complicated math than simple addition, subtraction or multiplication – but it's also scoffing at normal precedence of operators and essentially forcing me to give the deliberately wrong answer which, according to them, is 12.
Comments (2)

Guest  Simon ODoherty
Should be six minus two, times three.
http://maps.google.com/maps?z=15&q=, 
Guest  Christian Tillmanns
I stubled over the same problem once. <br />What I have read is, that both results are right, because there are two rules that are accepted today. One operation after the other or point operations ("can't write a point here for multiplication" & ":")before + or . During a stupid game I had always the wrong answers until I found out, that in that part of the world, they used the other set of rules (the US in that case). I think there is even a calculator for the Notes side bar, where you can acctually choose which set of rules apply. I think that is pretty silly and when calculations become more complicated that other set of rules does not work anymore.
http://maps.google.com/maps?z=15&q=,
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