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Google Math Portables News

ChromeOS Laptop-Smashing Ad Equation Solved 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the geeks-are-nothing-if-not-reliable dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google's latest marketing video for Chrome OS is interesting to watch for the laptop-smashing amateurs or the slow motion fans, but the real fun may be at 2:24 in the video where a X=G/(CHROM-3) equation is displayed on a chalkboard. Only 20 hours later, it has already been cracked by Jamendo founder Sylvain Zimmer and his team. They posted details on how they did it and won a Cr-48 netbook, which may not even be delivered because they are not in the US."
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ChromeOS Laptop-Smashing Ad Equation Solved

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  • cracked? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11, 2010 @11:20PM (#34527258)

    I think you mean solved... and, well, it's not exactly a challenge to anyone who's had highschool calc, unless I'm missing something.

    • Re:cracked? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Laxori666 (748529) on Saturday December 11, 2010 @11:22PM (#34527260) Homepage
      They had to figure out what the numbers meant.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        True. Really the biggest point was noticing that 900.91 == goo.gl. The rest follows trivially.

    • You are. And most other people are missing something as well. Their highschool calc. If they're not using it regularly, it tends to leak into oblivion. It's worse than that actually - I work in the tile/flooring industry, and you wouldn't believe the number of people who call in telling me the dimensions of their bathroom floor, and could you please tell me how many square feet that is?
      Actually, that's not entirely accurate, "please" is generally excluded. ...You see my point.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And most other people are missing something as well.

        No, apparently something else is missing since the "solution" was to convert the digits to letters and go to the matching goo.gl url.

      • Re:cracked? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Saturday December 11, 2010 @11:52PM (#34527346)
        Not all of it is high school calc. IIRC the integral of 4sin(x)/x has to be solved with Taylor series, and I only got those in the second semester of university calculus. One then has to take the limit to infinity of the resulting series, which may or may not be doable for a high school kid (not sure how hard the limit is; I'm too lazy to solve / look up the series)
        • by julesh (229690)

          Not all of it is high school calc. IIRC the integral of 4sin(x)/x has to be solved with Taylor series, and I only got those in the second semester of university calculus

          My integration is a bit rusty, but I suspect it can be integrated by an appropriate substitution chosen to allow simplification using standard trig identities. OTOH, the Taylor series approach is probably easier.

          At least here in the UK, BTW, Taylor series are part of the "further maths A level" syllabus, which is essentially equivalent to t

          • by aussie_a (778472)

            which is essentially equivalent to the last year of high school for students taking the most advanced maths courses possible.

            I don't know about UK schools, but at the school I went to such people would have numbered in the single digits.

            • by makomk (752139)

              In the few UK schools that offer it, the number of Further Maths A-level students is indeed usually in the low single digits. It works out as quite a good class size, actually.

              • by k8to (9046)

                I did this stuff my 3rd year in high school (not my last) in the united states. We called it "math seminar" and there were four of us total in the class, two 3 year students, and two four years.

                The class size was useful for ensuring everyone was following a long, but worked poorly for maintaining focus. I would have traded it easily for a group of around eight or ten.

                My fourth year in high school I simply stopped taking math. It would have been a class of two, which seemed awfully silly. I learned a gre

        • err... Or you can just google for the answer...

          The first result is Wolfram alpha.

          Where, if you put in the integral, you can pick out the answer: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=integral+of+(4+sin+x)%2Fx [wolframalpha.com]

          • by owlstead (636356)

            Hey, no cheating! Using Google to solve a Google puzzle. Shame on you!

            Seriously, it is amazing how much time we (old) folks forget how much is on internet.
            * I just looked up how long I can store stuff in the freezer on-line
            * how to get rid of bugs (and which friggin' bug is this? hell, you've got bugs that walk & eat paper?)

            Those are just things that I looked up lately. Most people even don't know that most manuals are online - I'm trowing out manuals each time I receive them after retrieving the digita

        • by e4g4 (533831)

          the integral of 4sin(x)/x has to be solved with Taylor series, and I only got those in the second semester of university calculus

          Fortunately (as is mentioned in the blog post), (working) knowledge of college level calculus is not actually required. [wolframalpha.com] You can pretty much plug and chug with wolfram alpha - it's got Mathematica baked into it.

      • by ErikZ (55491) *

        Highschool calc? I've yet to encounter a problem outside of the classroom that needed Calculus to solve.

        It's sad that people can't figure out square footage though.

        Want a fun question? Give people a cubic meter of concrete and ask them how much area that would cover. I've asked 4 people and have gotten 4 complete different approaches to it.

    • by osgeek (239988)

      RTFA

  • It looks like the board has the equation X = G/(CHROM - 3). Each of the variables is defined on the blackboard. So it's just simple calculus to get the numerical values. The url just came from the numerical answer, where the numerator references goo.gl, and the denominator gave the shortened url in letters represented as pairs of numbers (a=1 b=2...) The bit about Chromium and Uranium was interesting, as it gave meaning to what X meant, but it wasn't important to finding the prize.
  • by jkmartin (816458) on Saturday December 11, 2010 @11:39PM (#34527302)
    To: alicethesurfer@gmail.com
    From: alf@nbc.com

    I found your cat. It was delicious.
  • by PatPending (953482) on Saturday December 11, 2010 @11:45PM (#34527320)
    Speaking of a lost cat: Missing Missy [27bslash6.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    25 computers were harmed !!!

    Think of the computers !

  • After seeing this video, I'm finally convinced that Chrome OS has absolutely nothing to do with the cause of desktop Linux adoption, except in a technical sense. Another blow to those endless advocates.
  • by PatPending (953482) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @12:59AM (#34527488)

    Surely other "high-tech" companies shouLd hide puzzles in their AdS--let us Have some Daily fun Out There--it's a clever and inexpensive way tO get tech-savvy people to pay Really close attention to ads, and Garner free publicity.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what the promo is saying is that if I break or lose my ChomeOS laptop, Google will automatically replace it for me?

    That sounds like a sweet deal.

  • When I solved it, I got 42.
    • When I solved it, I got 42.

      Actually you didn't solve it. You forgot to convert to ASCII, for which 42 = * . So the real answer is *, which as we all know is a wildcard for "everything". So maybe you did solve it. Creepy...
  • They posted details on how they did it and won a Cr-48 netbook, which may not even be delivered because they are not in the US"

    This reminds me how free-trade lobbyists claim that the US is losing jobs because we are "not educated enough" as allegedly demonstrated by our programmers not winning international contests.

    However, they fail to mention that the prizes are worth far more under third-world salaries. Thus, a third-world programmer has a much bigger incentive. A laptop may be equivalent to 2-days' wa

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I tend to think we are undereducated, why else would they be selling 300$ netbooks with dinky storage, laughable ram and a gimped keyboard to us?

      cause were stupid, that's why

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The 'cloud' is dumb. The only point is to take away your ownership of anything so it makes it cheaper for a company to sell you something. They don't have to produce any cd's or dvd's or packaging, they just send you your copy which ofcourse you can't make into a hardcopy that you can save somewhere.

    How will anything ever be saved from here on out? No one owns anything they just have a license to use bits....40 years from now what if I want to listen to one of my iTunes songs? Won't be possible...and it's p

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The 'cloud' is dumb. The only point is to take away your ownership of anything so it makes it cheaper for a company to sell you something. They don't have to produce any cd's or dvd's or packaging, they just send you your copy which ofcourse you can't make into a hardcopy that you can save somewhere.

      How will anything ever be saved from here on out? No one owns anything they just have a license to use bits....40 years from now what if I want to listen to one of my iTunes songs? Won't be possible...and it's pretty likely that it won't exist anywhere because it only existed with digital copies with super drm....

      I don't know which iTunes songs you're buying but all of the ones I'm purchasing don't have DRM.

      Perhaps you should look into that.

  • How long, exactly, did it take Google to re-invent the X-terminal? Good thing they aren't hiring old-farts like me, or they'd fire me for laughing at their history-repeating ignorance.
    • by jkmartin (816458) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @03:39AM (#34527782)
      No no no, it's the X-terminal with WIRELESS!
    • by julesh (229690)

      How long, exactly, did it take Google to re-invent the X-terminal?

      An X terminal requires a central X server to run your apps on. AIUI, on a chrome OS device, the apps are downloaded and run locally (as they are essentially javascript on web pages). It's a pretty fundamental difference.

    • It's closer to NeWS than X11. It runs code for defining the UI locally, rather than on the server, and only does the back-end processing on the server (not sure if it still does, but the Google spreadsheet used to evaluate formulae on the client too, meaning that everything was treated as a double because that's the only type of number JavaScript understands).

  • I faintly remember from school that "winning" means actually getting ownership and physical access to it, so according to Google's thin print he can't and didn't "win" anything, and probably won't in the future ("would you perhaps a like free Google account instead?").

    I don't really get why he'd actually want that netbook in the first place, I am betting its EULA says "you are allowed to use it only within the USA border and only if you have an American passport".

  • Wolfram|Alpha (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Sunday December 12, 2010 @04:12AM (#34527836) Homepage

    Here's what the whole thing looks like in Wolfram Alpha all at once: (9*10^4+3^4+10)/100/((2^8-10+4*6!+17^4+11!/5+integ(3x^5,x,1,9))(2*23^6-((2^28+4)/10-(22^4+3*70-sqrt(81))))(3*17^4-(sqrt(256)+31*30^2))(17*8!+93^2-10)(12*(11^2-6)/(5*pi)integ(4sin(x)/x,x,0,inf))-3) - Wolfram|Alpha [wolframalpha.com]

    The 200 character limit in the input box is annoying, and it seems that you can't get around it by creating a URL manually. Managed to get it from 220 characters to under 200 by using valid shortened stuff like "integ" instead of "integral", and removing * and () where possible.

  • confirmed: this doesnt work on google calc, or bing/wolfram alpha
  • the form clearly says you must be in the US to get the chrome pc. they are in France. FAIL!
  • Like the ancestry.com ads that beg for a joke version where a person finds that their ancestor was not the town doctor, but perhaps a war criminal or slave trader, this Chrome ad is begging for a version where Google's offices are burned down or raided by the authorities.

    "Unfortunately this Chrome laptop stores everything on the web, so you're absolutely fucked and there is nothing you can do."

    Also it's chilling how they consider eveything between the computer's OS and Google to be "extra baggage."

  • Wait, isn't 48Cr a radioactive isotope?

  • Will the bloody thing survive a thorough blending?

  • It says in black in white that they only send laptops to people in the United States. If he's not in the US, they won't send one to him.

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

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