Saturday, July 10, 2004

Playing with Google

I have been over to Google labs and enjoyed playing with their beta engines, of which Google Personalized has helped me find more theme related sites than some of the other engines.

Google has been running a series of puzzles to recruit new people to its labs. This past week, a billboard on Highway 101 in Silicon Valley proclaimed

"{ First 10 digit prime in consecutive digits of e }.com"

Roose tried to solved this puzzle at Fog Creek Software

and after writing a little python script to calculate the answer got to:

Check out that site and see what it says. So what is f(5)? f(4) is the number you just found, and f(1), f(2), f(3) are all 10 consecutive digits of e. Their indexes are 1, 5, 23, 99 within e, or maybe 0, 4, 22, 98 depending on how you count.

So what comes after that? Roos looked up here:

There is an entry with 401 as the next number, but it is quite obscure. Not something you would come up with unless you knew about this site (which most people probably don't). Trying e[401..411] as the password did not work, as well as some others.

Others found out the page could be traced back to Google (using Google!). After following all clues you get to a Google Labs recruitment page put up by Googler Doug Edwards:

"Nice work. Well done. Mazel tov. You've made it to Google Labs and we're glad you're here.

That billboard was a big one, so Google must be going well.

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