Google hides laptop giveaway in marketing video

Google hides laptop giveaway in marketing video


What can only be referred to as ‘impromptu genius’ has earned Jamendo founder Sylvain Zimmer the prize Cr-48 laptop in a contest that wasn’t even advertised.

While watching the video for the new Cr-48;  “How to remain calm despite what’s about to happen to your Chrome notebook,” Zimmer says he noticed a long mathematical equation on a chalkboard at the 2:23 mark in the video.

To many people, this probably didn’t jump out much more than the backgrounds of Dexter’s Lab cartoons. But Zimmer decided to give it a shot.

I’m a writer because I can’t do math. There’s no way I can describe the level of thinking that went into this better than this excerpt from Zimmer’s own account of the process:

All we got was X = 90091/191605050401140404051920181525 ~= 4.7*10^-27 and we were not even sure of this one number because of barely readable numbers in the original video…

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 element 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…

…we realized “900.91″ did actually reference the 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.

I tried to convert the 30 numbers into 4 characters, like all URLs. Didn’t have much luck, I was trying to prepend “00″ at the beginning to have 32 characters, but couldn’t make sense of the resulting sequence “00191605 05040114 04040519 20181525″.

That was when I noticed there were far too many zeroes in that sequence, even without the ones I added. So I tried different splits, and ended up with “19 16 05 05 04 01 14 04 04 05 19 20 18 15 25.″

I translated it to letters and got “s p e e d a n d d e s t r o y”. Obviously, at this point my fingers were very shaky, but I managed to type in my browser and got to a form telling me that I was the “first to figure out our MENSA-certified puzzle” and would receive a Cr-48. WIN ! 😉

I don’t know about you, but I’m going out to buy some books on physics before Google releases another ad.