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ChromeOS Laptop-Smashing Ad Equation Solved

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the geeks-are-nothing-if-not-reliable dept.

Google 164

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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164 comments

cracked? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (3, Informative)

Laxori666 (748529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527260)

They had to figure out what the numbers meant.

Re:cracked? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527282)

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

Re:cracked? (0, Troll)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527348)

Actually quite basic math there too. Why did solving this come with an award? I can point to several thousand problems in various books on my shelves that are orders of magnitude more difficult than that entire problem, all of which are commonly assigned as nothing more than homework problems. Hell, I just did it in Wolfram Alpha in 5 mins. The only really tricky part was the URL bit but EVERYONE does that these days so it's assumption #1. Old puzzle methodology is old. Come on Google, be original. And to the winnars, enjoy the Chromebook.

Re:cracked? (-1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527384)

Actually quite basic math there too. Why did solving this come with an award?

Well, the "award" is a Google netbook. Which is hardly a prize. The hardware is barely worth the effort it takes to maintain.

Re:cracked? (3, Funny)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527504)

I don't know why exactly but I really really want one myself. I registered for the pilot program, but at this point I think I just need to get in touch with one of the Google people and offer a hand job. I really have hit gadget rock bottom... is there a 12 step program or something?

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527644)

I don't know why exactly but I really really want one myself.

That's because you're a fag. Did you type slashdot.org instead of /b/ by mistake maybe?

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527798)

Yeah, mod me with -1, fucker. You know it's true though. Fuck you, asshole mod. This is what I get for making a factual and relevant comment.

Fuck Slashdot, and fuck asshole mods who don't have a fucking clue. Visit /b/ sometime and you'll understand, faggot.

Re:cracked? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527820)

This is what I get for making a factual and relevant comment.

No, it's what you get for thinking somebody's sexuality is (1) relevant to the conversation and (2) can be guessed based on what kind of portable computing device they like.

Or maybe it's for implying that /b/tards are gay. Not sure which.

Re:cracked? (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527874)

While troll is not the correct mod in my opinion (for direct insults I would rather do flamebait), you phrased it wrong. If you wanted to be able to talk about gays AND /b/ AND get modded up, here's how I would have done it using GP as the subject:

Oh man, sometimes to get what you want that's what it takes. I know some amount of people in /b/ that would go gay to get into a company like Google, and we can be anonymous about it so nobody would associate your name with willing to give a handjob for it. There are like minded people there where you can rub it all out.

Re:cracked? (2)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527904)

Social engineers need not apply.

Re:cracked? (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527436)

If it was that easy then you would have done it first....

Re:cracked? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527528)

Why did solving this come with an award?

Because publicity. There's no point in requiring a significant contributions to the sciences for a giveaway.

Though I was hoping for something a bit more interesting when I clicked the link, I don't see the point in criticising Google for lack of originality here. It may be a familiar setup by this point, but it's still a cool thing to do. It's just a small bonus, it's not like we're entitled to have everything they do be completely awesome.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34528320)

"Because publicity."

Yes?

Re:cracked? (3, Insightful)

severoon (536737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527756)

Actually quite basic math there too. Why did solving this come with an award? I can point to several thousand problems in various books on my shelves that are orders of magnitude more difficult than that entire problem, all of which are commonly assigned as nothing more than homework problems. Hell, I just did it in Wolfram Alpha in 5 mins. The only really tricky part was the URL bit but EVERYONE does that these days so it's assumption #1. Old puzzle methodology is old. Come on Google, be original.

...says the one who didn't win...

Re:cracked? (4, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527762)

Did you think to go do the effort to solve the problem before realising what the consequences of doing so may be? The fact that someone bothered to go to the effort when seeing it on the ad is "worth" just as much, if not more than the actual ability to solve it.

It shows that they're a person who is willing/eager to work on problems "just because" (they have an active mind) rather than being forced to by an employer or similar.

Re:cracked? (0)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527846)

Those problems I mentioned, I do those just for fun sometimes too. Can take 6+ hours to days for a problem, no way to validate your answer is correct outside of asking other people to review it. That just makes me a math major, and I've done my share of these puzzles too. So there are much more engaging problems available, none of which comes with an award unless it happens to be one of those few famous unsolved ones. I still don't get it.

Re:cracked? (3, Insightful)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528006)

OK let me spell it out for you. The guy watched the ad and paid attention. Enough to actually go through and work out the easter egg. Google wants to encourage people to watch, and pay attention to their ads.

Re:cracked? (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527832)

Why did solving this come with an award?

To generate PR, obviously. Why else do you think we're even talking about it? It probably amounts to some pretty dirt-cheap advertising.

Re:cracked? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528144)

Yeah it isn't like placing that few seconds in the video or giving away a single netbook for figuring it out is gonna cost Google squat, and it seems to be getting press, so hey? it looks like it did its job. So does anybody know what the actual specs of the thing are? All I've found is it is 12 inches and has flash. I'm assuming it is some sort of ARM CPU, yes? Anybody know which one? How fast? Because this thing MIGHT be fun to hack around on, key word might.

I've played with some of the low end Android tablets and frankly there gets a certain point where the specs get so low as to make the thing pretty much unusable. Try the $99 special they have at Walgreen's and you'll see what I mean. The thing is slower than molasses in January and even surfing the web on it is about as fun as a root canal. Since the video shows him hitting the web pretty quick I'm gonna assume it isn't as bad as that, but since they are going for the low end from what I've read it'll still be probably pretty anemic.

Anyway I'm sure the FLOSS guys will hack the hell out of it if it is at all possible and then we'll see what it can do. If the Linux guys can get a small and light Linux distro on this thing with VNC support I may have to go pick one of these suckers up. Being able to watch my videos and access my apps on my desktop via VNC on this would be pretty sweet if it is cheap enough.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527270)

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see how to solve that at all.

All I see is that "G" means Google, CHROM-3 is the l33t way of writing Chrome (Chrom3) disguised as a substraction and X is the usual generic algebra value for the other side of the equation.

Re:cracked? (5, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527326)

If I have to guess, what they first did is solve for the various letters; in the video, each letter is given an equation, which resolves down to a number. Then they plug those into the equation at the bottom, resulting in X = 900.91/191605050401140404051920181525. Someone then had a flash of insight, noticed the 900.91 is similar to goo.gl, and thought that it could be a URL. But, just typing that in by itself would yield nothing. They had to get the random string of numbers to mean something. So they split it into 2 digits per character, 19 16 05 05.... and made the realization that those corresponded to a position of a letter in the alphabet. 19 is S, 16 is P, 5 is E, and so on. The final URL becomes: goo.gl/speedanddestroy. It's not impossible, it just takes some careful thought and attention to detail. I would have probably made it to the 900.91/number here stage if I had seen this beforehand, but the 900.91 is goo.gl insight probably would have eluded me, let alone dividing the numbers up like that.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527382)

Thank you

Re:cracked? (4, Interesting)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527430)

This has become the de-facto standard for e-puzzles these days. Step 1 - provide puzzle that results in very large number of some kind. Step 2 - have some kind of splitting and/or decoding step that's somewhat obvious that will convert the result to text. Step 3 - set up url, award prize of some kind to first N visitors. It's old and worn down, I would've expected better.

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527444)

This has become the de-facto standard for e-puzzles these days. Step 1 - provide puzzle that results in very large number of some kind. Step 2 - have some kind of splitting and/or decoding step that's somewhat obvious that will convert the result to text. Step 3 - set up url, award prize of some kind to first N visitors. It's old and worn down, I would've expected better.

I hope you realize your post comes off as incredibly jealous and butthurt.

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527482)

> I hope you realize your post comes off as incredibly jealous and butthurt.

I hope you realize your post comes off as ignorant with a tinge of undeserved superiority complex.

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527564)

ITT: faggots without netbooks

Re:cracked? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527700)

I realize you like dicks up you ass all the time.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527466)

Try this puzzle instead.
http://toyingwithtradecraft.org/

theres an initial teaser followed by a "real" puzzle- which is fairly well defined and almost given away, but still interesting.

Re:cracked? (2, Interesting)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527534)

It's old and worn down, I would've expected better.

IOW: you didn't win, so you deride the contest rather than congratulate the winner.

Re:cracked? (0)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527540)

Read the comments again. I congratulated the winner. I still reserve the judgement that the contest was trivial. This is simple observation.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527806)

Read the comments again. I congratulated the winner.

Uhh...

"This has become the de-facto standard for e-puzzles these days."
No congrats there

"Step 1 - provide puzzle that results in very large number of some kind."
None here either

"Step 2 - have some kind of splitting and/or decoding step that's somewhat obvious that will convert the result to text."
Nor any congrats there

"Step 3 - set up url, award prize of some kind to first N visitors. It's old and worn down, I would've expected better."
Nope, still no congrats (Thou credit for not saying 'profit'!)

So reading again and again does not change the fact you did not congratulate the winner, and if anything attempted to put down what they did (and what you obviously couldn't and didn't do) as well as try to insult Google for providing a puzzle you couldn't figure out

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527814)

Can't say I see the word "congratulate" or any conjugation of it. As a matter of fact, you didn't even use "winner".

Re:cracked? (1)

L473ncy (987793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527864)

If they encoded the resulting equation with base64 would that have made it a bit more challenging? I doubt many people would make it past that step, even I would find a message encoded in base64 meaningless.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527694)

Yeah, that must be it. Not getting excited about YAMP (Yet Another Marketing Puzzle) can't possibly be caused by the lameness of the puzzle. It's GOOGLE after all. Google doesn't DO lame. You solve crossword puzzles to participate in the raffles, don't you? Oh wait, you don't, because you can't show off your leet high school math skills in crossword puzzles...

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527586)

So were you also bummed out as a kid when you figured out the "Drink More Ovaltine" cipher? Well, hopefully you didn't go out and try to shoot someone's eye out with your Red Rider bb gun.

Re:cracked? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527682)

Despite the many who will criticize and berate you for stating the obvious, I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading the article. It seems like even an aspiring geek would have figured this one out in a matter of minutes. Sure, it's harder than your average "skill-testing question", but hardly something to brag about. I mean, a lot of us decode (or create) far more intricate cyphers every day. Realistically, Google wanted it to be solved quickly, as it is a very inexpensive publicity stunt. Of course, the prize being a single $199 Google netbook, the bragging rights are quite minimal. It's not like Distributed.net was going to be involved...

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527336)

Google the world "algebra" and take a closer look at the equations on the blackboard.

Re:cracked? (2)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527278)

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:cracked? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527308)

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? (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527356)

That's just geekiness. l337sp34k and all that jazz.

Re:cracked? (4, Interesting)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#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)

Re:cracked? (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527840)

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 the last year of high school for students taking the most advanced maths courses possible.

Re:cracked? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527936)

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.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527980)

Same over here. There were about 100 students in my year in 6th form, and only 3 of us did Further Maths. Taking it was probably a mistake, I barely scraped a pass (despite getting an A for the regular mates course) and it took a lot of time that should have been spent studying for my other A levels.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34528112)

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.

I don't think there's an appropriate substitution, at least with high-school maths. OTOH, there's a way to do it that's even easier than using Taylor series: sin(x)/x is a sinc function, for which the Fourier transform is just the rectangle function - so to get the integral of the sinc function over the entire domain, you just take the value of the rectangle function at zero. I didn't really understand Fourier transforms until third-year, though.

Actually, I think the thing that would have stumped me in this problem solving sequence is the conversion from pure abstract maths (working out the value of C.H.R.O.M) to representing it as a truncated series of base-ten digits. It's probably natural for a computer scientist, who's used to the idea of casting between floating-point and integer representation, but I don't think I would have got it.

Re:cracked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34528334)

I'd start from: integral(sinc(x*pi), -inf, inf) = 1.
(not really high school stuff, but who hasn't played enough with interpolation to know that?)

Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527262)

I've read that summary three times now and I still cannot figure out what the fuck it is talking about. Except it's probably some kind of advertising for something called a Jamendo, whatever the hell that is.

Truly a new low for Slashdot "journalism".

Re:Er, what? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527272)

Try watching the video.

Re:Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527284)

Perhaps you should try reading the article.

Re:Er, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527324)

A decent summary is too much to ask.

Re:Er, what? (0)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527316)

I've read that summary three times now and I still cannot figure out what the fuck it is talking about. Except it's probably some kind of advertising for something called a Jamendo, whatever the hell that is.

Truly a new low for Slashdot "journalism".

"I demand to be spoon-fed."

Re:Er, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527342)

I've read that summary three times now and I still cannot figure out what the fuck it is talking about. Except it's probably some kind of advertising for something called a Jamendo, whatever the hell that is.

Truly a new low for Slashdot "journalism".

"I demand to be spoon-fed."

That, or perhaps spooned [urbandictionary.com] .

Structual integrity (0)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527286)

It's fun to watch the lappy get trashed in creative ways, but especially with the tea/toaster/kitchen sink I think the machine really showed itself to be a bit flimsy. I'm all for cheap and light, but I don't want it to feel cheap. That kind of sheet plastic has a weird feel and look to it, and speaking strictly in terms of aesthetics, it's hard to catch on when the product looks and feels cheap. One of Apple's hallmarks has been being able to create a light product that still feels very structurally sound and rigid in your hand.

Re:Structual integrity (2)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527334)

Considering the Cr-48 is just a device Google is giving out for free to get user feedback, I don't think the structural integrity of the machine matters much. Google may sell them later on as developer machines but I hope nobody buys one to test whether it survives the kitchen sink falling on it.

Re:Structual integrity (5, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527354)

First look at the CR-48:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/213168/google_cr48_first_look_at_the_first_chrome_os_laptop.html?tk=rel_news [pcworld.com]

Working on the CR-48 can feel like walking a tightrope without a net (pardon the pun). If you're not connected to the Internet on this laptop, you're dead in the water. I wrote this article in Google Docs on the CR-48 during my commute. I should have been fine, because I had a Verizon Mi-Fi card for connectivity (our CR-48 arrived without a SIM card, so I couldn't test out the built-in 3G connection). But halfway through my commute, Chrome reported that it couldn't reach Google Docs. On any other laptop, this would be no problem. I'd copy my existing text into Word and continue working there. But on the CR-48, my options were severely limited. I pasted my changes into an Evernote note instead and hoped that I wouldn't lose my connection to that service.

That's the problem with the cloud. Any problems on your end, at google, or anywhere in between, or if you forget to pay your cellular bill, you're not getting that proposal out to clients, you're not getting your tax returns in on time, you're not getting your paper in on time, etc.

Re:Structual integrity (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527398)

Where's the -1 misinformed rating. People see "cloud" and they think OMG! Internet connection required! When in fact it's more of a background synchronization process. Android phones are very similar. I can destroy mine right now and I'll lose basically nothing. I buy a new phone, log into my Google account, and nearly everything is automatically restored. Pictures, apps, bookmarks, passwords, email, calendar, contacts, messages, background, et cetera. All this on a device that had 'cloud' features tacked on -- not built-in as a core concept.

Re:Structual integrity (2)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527416)

Where's the -1 misinformed rating. People see "cloud" and they think OMG! Internet connection required! When in fact it's more of a background synchronization process.

So what you're saying is that in this case synchronization can occur without a connection.

Re:Structual integrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527462)

No. Synchronization is transparent. It doesn't get in the way of getting work done. If a web app for future ChromeOS halts over connectivity issues, then (a) that app was programmed poorly, or (b) the user requested an uncompletable action (e.g. pushing a file to a remote address).

ChromeOS frankly isn't release worthy without full offline support in all its main apps, and Google knows it. They've been working on this issue for years, and the final step (offline actions, i.e. editing) is only right around the corner.

Re:Structual integrity (4, Insightful)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527420)

You're describing how the "cloud" should work. Unfortunately for Google, a lot of the core apps for cOS don't have an offline mode. Until web apps get to the level of only using your connection to sync with local storage, we're still in the "cloud == internet connection" stages.

Re:Structual integrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527478)

Cool. Let me know when ChromeOS is released to public then, will you? You do know it's in testing phase yes?

BTW, Docs at least has supported limited offline interaction for quite a while. It just doesn't allow any meaningful actions yet (viewing, editing, renaming).

Re:Structual integrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527544)

To take an example from the GP, Android was (is) poor for game development until the later 2.3 Gingerbread release [rbgrn.net] . Offline mode isn't a technologically blocking issue -- neither were games really -- but it will see eventual focus. Fortunately for you, most of the support work is already done [blogspot.com] . Google probably didn't want to do the boring app legwork until the fundamental issues are ironed out.

Re:Structual integrity (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527844)

You're describing how the "cloud" should work. Unfortunately for Google, a lot of the core apps for cOS don't have an offline mode.

It's been a while since I worked with Google Apps (because I think the file management UI is shit), but when I tried it all the apps I tried were perfectly able to work offline once I had downloaded Google Gears. I assume Chrome OS comes with Gears preinstalled...

Re:Structual integrity (4, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527928)

There is no google gears anymore. It's all in HTML5 now.

Re:Structual integrity (1)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527410)

Any problems on your end, at google, or anywhere in between, or if you forget to pay your cellular bill, you're not getting that proposal out to clients, you're not getting your tax returns in on time, you're not getting your paper in on time, etc.

I agree that the Google Apps definitely all need 100% working "offline mode" to make the CR-48 useful for the few periods when you don't have internet (and if you spend more than a small amount of time offline then cOS is definitely not for you). I don't have a device but I'd assume when you lose connection, Google Docs reacts about the same way as it does on any other OS/browser. The textbox remains editable and you can keep typing into it (unless the textbox suddenly becomes read-only or something crazy...). I realise it's not safe to keep working on something if you don't know when/if you can save it though, which is why offline mode is badly needed. I suppose the issue with the article's writer was that he didn't have the document open, then realised without internet access he couldn't open it. But the same issue would occur with any OS/browser that didn't have internet access.

Re:Structual integrity (2)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527424)

Though on any other OS, you would have an offline word processor available.

Re:Structual integrity (0)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527816)

If you're not connected to the Internet on this laptop, you're dead in the water

I also noticed that without an Internet connection, I can't seem to view any web pages!
Someone really needs to fix this flaw in the internet program.

Requiring internet access to use the internet is just plain stupid! Now excuse me while I go write up an article about it for PC world... /sarcasm

Seriously, when one of the first and primary requirements of this machine is an always on internet connection, why is it a downside or news worthy when they discover that fact is true?

Re:Structual integrity (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527956)

Well, it seems the point is that "always-on" isn't as reliable as you might think it is. In this case the author of the commentary expected to have continuous service, and ended up not having it.

I do agree that a netbook really isn't suited for travelling businessmen in general. However, when you consider being ultra-light, long battery life, and fully automatic backups and data sharing they would be the most to benefit if it actually worked.

Re:Structual integrity (0)

dissy (172727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528348)

Well, it seems the point is that "always-on" isn't as reliable as you might think it is. In this case the author of the commentary expected to have continuous service, and ended up not having it.

Now that would be a valid complaint. As most of us here know, always-on isn't 'always', and ChromeOS needs to be able to handle outages. There appears to be plenty of room for improvement still in that area, and I imagine that is exactly the type of thing Google would want to hear about as part of the current testing process.

Now I don't know what this reviewer told Google directly, but in his review to the public he clearly is stating a different problem, namely that requiring internet access is a downside to the device.

I read that akin to stating that a problem with cell phones is that they do not have a wire connecting them to the phone company, simply because in his experience it lost signal.
In that example, yes it should be improved to try and not lose signal, but not having a wire should not be the stated problem.

I assumed on a technical site such as slashdot this would be an obvious difference, but clearly others and at least one moderator agree that an internet appliance has a problem for requiring the internet, and that a normal PC is a better solution because it can have an offline word processor, despite the fact a regular PC does not help with any of the other problems ChromeOS was designed to address.

A good next step for Google to take would be a more complex and smart 'offline cache', one that can sync in the background like ChromeOS does now, but also will cache locally everything in your Google apps storage.
Obviously having a PC destroyed and replaced like in the commercial will be a rare occurrence for most of us, but jumping from machine to machine and having access to the same 'desktop' and data so to speak will be a very nice feature.
If available local storage is used to stay in sync in a smarter way, it should still be possible to edit documents you are working on, and even open a document you haven't yet touched today all while offline, yet synced to the cloud as so you can get to the data from any other computer signed in on your account. It could probably write to both at the same time even when online.

I however still think all of those implementation details can be fixed, all without having to address the 'problem' that the device needs an internet connection.

Re:Structual integrity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527834)

And what about Gears?

solution (1)

roaringone (1202998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527290)

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.

I solved it too! (5, Funny)

jkmartin (816458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527302)

To: alicethesurfer@gmail.com
From: alf@nbc.com

I found your cat. It was delicious.

Re:I solved it too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527776)

HA!

Missing Missy (2, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527320)

Speaking of a lost cat: Missing Missy [27bslash6.com]

Not so difficult (1)

ray-solomon (835248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527404)

If I had known about the contest, I would have easily solved it in 5-10 min. Any competent high school graduate could do the same.

25 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527422)

25 computers were harmed !!!

Think of the computers !

Year of Linux desktop (1)

peterindistantland (1487953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527476)

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.

Let's have more of this in ads (2)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Let's have more of this in ads (1)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527588)

For some reason I just can't shake the idea you think Slashdot would be prime for this....

Re:Let's have more of this in ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527662)

They are either so easy that anyone can do them or so hard that only a select few could do them. Also The novelty would wear of quick considering there are also already tons of riddles on the internet that you could already be doing...o you want free stuff well I want to sleep so gtfo.

Free Replacements as-needed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527512)

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.

I dunno (1)

Crash McBang (551190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527520)

When I solved it, I got 42.

Re:I dunno (-1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527714)

Epic. I was going to post that, but you beat me to it.

Contest Incentives (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527552)

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' wages in the US, but a month's-worth overseas. Thus, contest rankings are a poor metric of national skill.

Re:Contest Incentives (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527628)

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

Re:Contest Incentives (1)

haderytn (1232484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527666)

So tempting....

Re:Contest Incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527726)

So tempting...

i nos how u feel 300$ is cheap lol omg i gots to get one

Anonymous Coward (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527558)

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....

You can keep your cloud, I like to be able to own something I paid for...

How to use the Cloud:

Buy a device that can access it
Pay a monthly subscription for a connection
Pay a monthly subscription for storage

They just turned a single transaction for a set price into monthly charges forever....thats the cloud

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527606)

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.

Stunned... No, I'm not. I lied. (2)

bitbucketeer (892710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527590)

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.

Re:Stunned... No, I'm not. I lied. (4, Funny)

jkmartin (816458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527782)

No no no, it's the X-terminal with WIRELESS!

Re:Stunned... No, I'm not. I lied. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527842)

I assume you mean Xnest or something. :)

Anyhow, there is a huge difference between something being in 'the cloud' and something being 'on the server'. The server may crash. Or someone might spill coffee in it. Or drop an ice cream into it. or something.

The point of an OS authenticating you against the cloud instead of single servers is that you'll have your data no matter what.

(Except if you break the AUP/ToS, or Google somehow manages to lose your data.. which doesn't happen often, but .. heh .. )

Re:Stunned... No, I'm not. I lied. (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527848)

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.

Re:Stunned... No, I'm not. I lied. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527900)

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.

Wrong at several counts.

First, the X terminal is (or rather, runs) the X server. But that's the nitpicking part. The more important part is that while having an X terminal connecting to a certain central server may have been a quite common setup, it's far from a requirement. Indeed, the only X terminal I've ever worked on did not connect to a central server, but allowed me to connect to any of a set of ca. 100 workstations throughout the institute, and in addition allowed me to give an explicit hostname, which enabled me to log in to a Linux computer which was located there, but not properly integrated into the pool. The only ways the X terminal would have become unusable would be if either the terminal itself were broken, the network was down, or all the workstations I were allowed to log in were down.

Also, with web apps, only part of the apps runs on the local computer (although I'll grant that it's still a difference to X terminals, where almost nothing runs on the local computer). But apart from performance, this doesn't make a big difference from the user's point of view: If the network is down, you cannot work using either web apps or X terminals.

If this is "winning" I want my million dollars too (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527828)

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 (4, Interesting)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527836)

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.

Re:Wolfram|Alpha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527876)

"Wolfram|Alpha needs more time to respond to your query..."

Re:Wolfram|Alpha (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528184)

Click "Go on computing"

You get the question
http://www3.wolframalpha.com/Calculate/MSP/MSP110419dbee2916i2669300001475f9963d9ebb46?MSPStoreType=image/gif&s=38&w=468&h=156 [wolframalpha.com]
and result:
http://www3.wolframalpha.com/Calculate/MSP/MSP110919dbee2916i26693000026ffbg47b13125if?MSPStoreType=image/gif&s=38&w=403&h=37 [wolframalpha.com]

Which is bloody impressive.

90091/191605......
Which we know from the story maps to
goo.gl/spe....

SME here, all my docs are Google Docs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34528214)

Honestly, I wonder how far back in the stone age a lot of posters here are. I've got a stupid, cheap, no-guarantees (like, say, no SLA), low-end consumer ADSL connection here for my SME... And I've got a hard time remembering when was the last time I couldn't reach the Internet. All my taxes + invoices + project tracking and whatnots are *all* done using Google Docs. No more versioning issues (still stuck in the "doc created with Word version 'x' won't open unless the people you send it too also have Word version 'x' ?), I worry way less about backups (sure, once in a while I still download the docs and burn them to archive), I can *TRIVIALLY* share any of them with colleagues.

The only reason not to work with Google Docs is if you're doing top-secret research / development containing way too sensitive data (and, no, neither your SME's work nor most of your Fortune 500's work ain't top secret enough to warrant worrying about storing at Google and having competitors/gvt gain access to it).

I can see a few valid concerns, but living in 2010 and saying "but you need an Internet connection" or "but it won't work when I don't have Internet access" is really retarded. You may be living in the stone age but most of the world ain't. There's freaking ADSL and freaking (free) WiFi connection covering, what, 90% of the people having Internet access 99.9% of the time.

So the "but you need Internet access" argument is really, really, utmostly retarded.

No sh!t Sherlock, you also need Internet access to mod this flamebait ;)

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