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September 9th, 2004


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07:31 am - great going guys
There are a few cryptic advertising banners hanging in the Harvard Square station. The banners advertise a URL, the domain of which is comprised of "the first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e" and I think that's pretty cool. I kinda figured it'd be to a website for really smart people and you'd be congratulated for being so smart and then maybe sold something just for smart people, or maybe be treated to pictures of puppies, I don't know.

The Boston Globe found out, though. A front-page story today mentions the domain goes to one owned by Google, which is hiring. Anybody smart enough to figure that problem out, they reason, might be smart enough for a shot at Google, and there's even a second puzzle they have to solve in order to get to the final "send in yer resume" site or whatever. Pretty cool, but not as cool as pictures of puppies in my opinion.

Now I won't spoil the whole thing behind that cut -- just who's behind it and why -- but the Globe tells all. It gives the 10-digit number, and more than that, also tells you how to solve the second puzzle as well as the final URL for the, uh, prize.

Way to go, guys. A company's looking to possibly reward smart people and you dilute that terribly by giving every Globe reader the express route to the goodies. As far as spoilers go, that's pretty rank. My only consolation is that it's the Globe what's reporting this. The Herald's readers still wouldn't know what to do with the 10-digit URL, except blame "the Dems", of course.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:08 am (UTC)
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i feel compelled to point out that they're not particularly looking to reward smart people with this campaign. they're looking to reward curious, motivated, geeky people. you don't have to be particularly smart to find out the first 10-digit prime in e - you pretty much just have to know what a prime is (and it helps if you know how to code a little bit, but it's certainly not necessary). the second puzzle takes a little more braininess.

still, it sucks for the globe to spoil their recruitment campaign like that. how long have the signs been up? a day?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:21 am (UTC)
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Excellent point. I was a bit unclear, I guess -- I was going for an all-encompassing smart (which includes resourcefulness and inquisitiveness and good stuff like that.) And I do admit my first reaction to seeing the banners was "Hey, I'll just google it." That's gotta count for something, eh?
[User Picture]
From:olethrosdc
Date:September 9th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC)

Second puzzle?

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The second puzzle is an ill-defined problem, and thus has no unique solution.
[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:September 9th, 2004 09:19 am (UTC)

Re: Second puzzle?

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yes, but there are lots of ill-defined problems in the real world. i think that being able to fit a curve to a set of known points in order to predict the next point in the series is a pretty useful skill.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:38 am (UTC)

I'm so dumb.

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I could probably figure it out, if I knew what the hell e was.

-TJ
[User Picture]
From:tablesaw
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC)
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Actually, the whole thing has already happened once a few months ago.

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