This Thursday, Google released a video detailing some of the features of its new Chrome OS, and about two minutes and twenty seconds into it there is a shot, literally two seconds long, with a blackboard in the background.
The blackboard has an equation on it. You should know what this means. Well, actually you shouldn’t. But some smart people should. And they did.
They began by running the equations through Wolfram Alpha. “Any nerd could have done that!” you say.
We’re not done.
They wound up with X = 900.91/191605050401140404051920181525 ~= 4.7*10^-27, but according to founder Sylvain Zimmer, they were unsure where to go from there.
The first path we explored was in Physics, 1.66*10^-27 being the atomic mass constant u. Having X=2.83u didn’t make much sense: too far from 2.0x or 3.0x where the closest elements I knew are. Then my friend Joachim Rambeau tipped me off with an idea on “Chrome UX” being the name of the team that released the video. There was an X in there! With the equation X=(U/Chrome), U being the mass of Uranium (~238u depending on isotopes) and “Chrome” the mass of Cr-48 or related isotopes, we found ourselves very close to the 4.7 ballpark. I posted this as a comment in the video, without much hope of it being the definite answer…
…Anyway, while having drinks at the office at the end of the day (Yes, Jamendo is almost as cool to work at as Google) , we realized “900.91″ did actually reference the goo.gl url shortener. The division obviously meant a slash in an URL, and then we had to make sense of the 191605050401140404051920181525 to find an URL. But the excitation was growing, we knew we were on the right path this time!
Eventually, through some ciphering, they got a full URL, goo.gl/speedanddestroy, that led them to this page (in screenshot, because it no longer displays a notification of success):
Congratulations on your mighty accomplishment, Jamendo!
Man, freakin’ math, how does it work?