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September 6, 2004


Most of the billboards around the UT campus feature alcohol and/or scantily-clad women. But one austere black-on-white billboard on Guadelupe has intrigued me as I drive past it on my way home from work:

{first 10-digit prime found in the consecutive digits of e}\left\{ \array{\arrayopts{\colalign{center}} \text{first 10-digit prime found} \\ \text{in the consecutive digits of } e }\right\}.com

If you find the aforementioned prime (I, personally, was surprised at how far out in the decimal expansion of ee one has to go to find it), and visit the corresponding website, you are greeted with a second puzzle


and you’re told to visit a second website, using “Bobsyouruncle” as a Username and the value of f(5)f(5) as a password.

When you get there, you’re greeted with an offer to submit your resumé … to Google.

One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we’re looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.

As you can imagine, we get many, many resumes every day, so we developed this little process to increase the signal to noise ratio. … You’ll find links to more information about our efforts below, but before you get immersed in machine learning and genetic algorithms, please send your resume to us at …

Now that’s a sexy advertising campaign.

Posted by distler at September 6, 2004 1:04 AM

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Re: Billboard

The funny thing is that the first thing you are going to do is to look in google for “first ten digit prime in…”. So they can track how many people research the first puzzle. And more interesting, they even could deviate your attention towards a bunch of uninformative websites!

Posted by: alejandro rivero on September 6, 2004 5:11 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Billboard

True, this could happen, but it didn’t work that way for me. I saw a posting about the original billboard on Google’s blog a while back and used Google to find every single answer that I needed to get to the resulting resumé submission page. That’s right — I cheated 100%. I didn’t submit my resumé, though.

Posted by: Scott Johnson on September 7, 2004 3:49 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Billboard

that’s very cool. and it would work well becuase upon seeing that sequence of numbers I would throw the circuit breaker at my house so that no information could be exchanged. and i’m not an engineer. good stuff.

Posted by: jason on September 9, 2004 6:08 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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