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Jamendo geeks solve the hidden Chrome OS equation (and win a Cr-48 netbook)

(Reposted from our CTO Sylvain Zimmer‘s blog, which crashed under heavy traffic)

How crazy is this !! ;-)

By now if you’re as RSS-addicted as me you’ve probably seen the excellent “How to remain calm” Chrome OS video. Like the previous potato-powered Chrome ad, excellent job from the marketing guys at Google!

However this time with my fellow geeks at Jamendo we noticed an equation hidden at 2:23 in the video. We then proceeded to lose several hours of productivity running it through Wolfram Alpha…

The Chrome Equation

All we got was X = 900.91/191605050401140404051920181525 ~= 4.7*10^-27 and we were not even sure of this one number because of barely readable numbers in the original video. At this point we were quite sure that there was something to find (and hopefully to win) but still had to find a way to give a meaning to this number.

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.

So we left this for a few hours and got back to work. Funny coincidence? The current work at Jamendo is actually building a Jamendo Pro player on cheap Android tablets ;-) So we didn’t quite leave the Google world…

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!

Unfortunately, at this point I had to leave and go catch a TGV back to Paris. I’m actually still on the TGV as I’m writing this, thanks to Android tethering ;-) Anyway, I tried to convert the 30 numbers into 4 characters, like all goo.gl 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″.

There, any geek would have known what to do! 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 goo.gl/speedanddestroy 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 ! ;-)

Here is a screenshot of that page:

I think I was indeed the first because now the goo.gl link just says “The form you are trying to access has either expired or reached its maximum registration limit.”. Well, that’s pretty cool if you ask me ;-) (Funny details, while submitting the form, I crossed the Luxembourg/France border, the tethering went off and I started sweating they were going to check the IP address but I was still able to submit the form from France)

Big credits must go to the to the tech team at Jamendo: our genius lead developer Vincent who showed us the video first, our incredible Android hacker Mauro who helped me a lot with the actual equation, my fellow Jamendo Co-Founder Laurent and my own personal Physics expert Joachim Rambeau.

Anyway, congrats to Google for being such nerds. The video itself is really funny, embedding an easter egg is even cooler, and, well, most people I know including myself couldn’t go back to anything else than Chromium/V8 anymore.

I’m obviously quite happy to have won the Cr-48 notebook, I also hope Google may start giving a little more attention to Jamendo! If you pardon the plug, we’re the biggest Creative Commons music repository, and we’ve never succeeded inking a deal with YouTube about these hundred of thousands of CC music tracks (be it AudioSwap integration, proper CC attribution, revenue sharing, …). Let’s hope that will happen in the future!

PS: Hey Google, could we also have one of the destroyed notebooks to include in our gallery ? ;-)

PS2: The form says that I should live in the U.S. to receive the notebook but sorry that’s not the case obviously! I left the address of a U.S. relative but I can’t imagine it being a real issue just for one laptop. I’ll keep everybody updated as I get contacted by Google.

Jamendo’s Founder & CTO Sylvain Zimmer, December 10th 2010


138 Responses to “Jamendo geeks solve the hidden Chrome OS equation (and win a Cr-48 netbook)”

  1. jorda0mega Says:

    Simply awesome! you’ve made my day with this story.

  2. Chrome Easter Egg « Greg's Devblog Says:

    [...] Sauf qu’en fait, au milieu de la vidéo on voit sur un tableau une équation à la con, et du coup des personnes de chez Jamendo se sont amusées à la résoudre… Je vais vous laisser lire la suite sur leur blog, mais pour faire simple, on obtient une [...]

  3. Kevin Deldycke Says:

    Good work Sylvain ! Your team really deserve this notebook ! :)

    And about Jamendo integration with YouTube, I couldn’t agree more ! :)

  4. Manu Says:

    This is so awesome, well done, both you and google. Remember: there’s always a bigger nerd.

  5. Wolfgang Says:

    This is just fantastic! Congrats on this one – finding and solving it! :)

  6. memo Says:

    Wow, wonderful job and very good luck to get a cr48!

  7. Resuelven el acertijo en el video de Google sobre Chrome Notebook Says:

    [...] Visto en el blog de Sylvain Zimmer. [...]

  8. sylvinus Says:

    Bonus, the source of the equation we used into Wolfram Alpha :)

    ((9*10^4+3^4+10)/100) / (
    (2^8) – 10 + (4*(6!))+17^4+(11!/5)+(integrate 3x^5 dx from x=1 to x=9 )




    (12*(11^2-6)/(5*Pi))*(integrate (4*sin x)/x dx from x=0 to infinity)

  9. michael j Says:

    Nice one.

  10. Mr-Mark Says:

    A blog entry about advanced physics, yet fails in common grammar. *LOSE NOT LOOSE.

  11. Frederick Says:


    Just wondering, do you also have an address in the US to ship the notebook to (since you were on the train in France)? Or did you have it shipped to someone else?

  12. sylvinus Says:

    Thanks Mr-Mark, fixed it. Sorry I’m not english native, and that brings me to the question of Frederick, yes I asked to ship it to a relative in the U.S. We’ll see what happens… Would be bad publicity after so much genius from them to refuse sending it… I don’t think it will happen :)

  13. Frederick Says:

    I must have skipped over your second post scriptum. Never mind my question then. :)

  14. Jamie Says:

    I saw this on http://chrome.blogspot.com/

  15. X = G / (C*H*R*O*M - 3) - Мой Google Chrome Says:

    [...] При переходе по ссылке счастливчик получает возможность заказать себе ноутбук с Chrome OS. Но на данный момент эта «пасхалка» уже обнародована и победили парни из команды Jamendo. [...]

  16. Cr-48 暴力美学视频中暗藏彩蛋,以被“数学党”成功破解 Says:

    [...] 点击这里看成功破解该彩蛋的人是如何一步一步想的,最重要的是学习他的思维,因为他也遇到了多次失败才成功破解出来。哥们,你真NB。 [...]

  17. Geeks solve the hidden Chrome OS equation (and win a Cr-48 netbook) | Sole Genius Says:

    [...] by socialcouch to programming [link] [41 comments] reddit: the voice of the internet — news before it happens @ [...]

  18. zapego Says:


  19. Jonas Says:

    It’s US only because the laptops are Verizon-only for their mobile networking support, IIRC.

  20. wow Says:

    nice, and it only took you a physicist and a mathematician to solve it.

  21. samvimes Says:

    Jamendo is a genius..

  22. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for mentioning they were geeks. I wouldn’t have been able to deduce that from the title, or even the rest of the article.

  23. Eric Says:

    He had a cousin in Houston that agreed to have it shipped to his house. There’s more discussion over on HN.

  24. Keven Says:

    The U.S. restriction almost certainly has nothing to do with shipping costs, and everything to do with RF device licensing. I was involved in a device roll-out where the company sent promo devices out before receiving RF approval in the destination country. The whole thing turned into a mess of fines and a 6 month delay in launching for one particular country.

    The moral of the story is don’t fuck with the FCC (or whatever the equivalent is in your particular country).

  25. Daniel Says:

    I’d be pretty upset if I went through all that only to find it was US only.

  26. Steve Dowe Says:

    You clearly deserve it, congratulations!

    A great story. Well done! :-)

  27. sylvinus Says:

    The Chrome team has blogged about this story:

  28. David Says:

    华语使用者来此观光,并向楼主和Google 市场人员表示敬意!


    a wonderful legend, good job!

  29. sumanth Says:

    congrats guys..u deserve it…:)

  30. suggestion Says:

    I think you need more winky faces.

  31. BigFatGeek Says:

    Simply put – you rock.

  32. sylvinus Says:

    removed some winky faces, now that the excitation is a bit lower it indeed felt a bit over the top :)

  33. andri Says:

    you sir..
    a truly geek :)

  34. pistor Says:

    Just curious: Why did they have the puzzle certified by MENSA?

  35. Moses Says:

    It is just WOW…

  36. sylvinus Says:

    pistor: I’m waiting for them to contact me but I’m not actually sure if the MENSA certification is a joke or is real… I’ll ask them!

  37. pelin Says:

    First of all it’s a great story.
    I am sure that, a lot of people can solve these equations but realizing 900.91 as goo.gl url shortener is really too difficult!

    In your post, you said that “we realized 900.91 did actually reference the goo.gl url shortener.”

    You said “we”, not me.

    Who is the actual, real genus? Share this secret boy or girl with us!

    On the other hand, how many times did you enter this form? :D

  38. xuavi Says:

    Congratulations bro! Really good job!

    But I am so sorry Sylvain Zimmer, I have told to Google that you are not living in U.S. so that they will send Cr-48 to me not you. Don’t wait it. :D

    (The form says that you should live in the United States and have a US mailing address! )

    Thank’s for Christmas Gif! :)

  39. Миша Says:

    нихрена не понял… да и хуй с ними!

  40. iamlukas Says:


  41. NewOne Says:

    Congratulations bro!!

  42. 午夜客 Says:


  43. AndrewNoNumbers Says:

    Wow, that’s incredible for both Google and Jamendo (I’ve actually used your service before). I watched the video too and don’t even remember seeing the chalkboard, and even if I had seen it I might not have figured out the entire puzzle. Congratulations!

  44. 葱头 Says:


  45. hello Says:


  46. batt Says:

    I truly savored this posting, might I replicate a part to a fresh site that I’m establishing?

  47. jack Says:


  48. 摸奶摸屄 Says:


  49. Osama Says:

    Hey congratulations, this is awesome!

  50. introom Says:


  51. Mading Says:

    An impressive series of excellent insights. Congratulations!


  52. nice Says:

    nice job

  53. qianlifeng Says:


  54. 轩辕十四 Says:


  55. 顶哥 Says:



  56. Vampal Dresses Says:

    Oh My god!!!

    I can’t believe it is true! genius!

  57. Ryan Says:


  58. redgouqi Says:


  59. yesureadmin Says:


  60. Fisher York Yu Says:


  61. MacTeP Says:

    Amazing… Congratulations, you clearly deserve it

  62. Ernest Says:

    Good job!!

  63. Mamilldo Says:

    Nice job and a good story!

  64. blogger Says:

    Great work. Congratulations! I hope they send it to you.

  65. evansdiy Says:


  66. Freeware Says:

    Was it announced anywhere by Google that there is a puzzle in the video? If no, then I think that 99.99% people who saw the video were thinking that it was some random combination of numbers on the blackboard :)

  67. Carolyne Says:

    Another poster says: “Remember: there’s always a bigger nerd.”

    Yeah, totally. When I read some of the deductions those guys made, I was totally left with the conclusion, “In the context of a ‘my e-d*ck is bigger than yours’ contest, irrespective of the fact that I am a woman and therefore don’t even have a literal e-d*ck myself, I have been *SO* *pwned* by these guys.”

    And for the record, colleagues at a major tech company have referred to me as the geekiest woman they’ve ever known.

  68. Carolyne Says:

    With regards to something just being some random crap on the blackboard… dude… when watching tech videos, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS read those blackboards/whiteboards. No telling what tech scoop you might find because someone didn’t bother to erase their board before filming and whoever did the filming didn’t notice it either. It’s happened repeatedly.

  69. dani Says:

    best geek story fun filled adventure mistery story I’ve read this year. congrats for getting it solved

  70. Jungle Says:


  71. styx Says:

    nicely done ;>

  72. تقي الدين Says:

    عمل رائع حقا
    Well done nerd. ;)

  73. Justin Says:

    Actually, I think we have a larger CC music repository:


    30,000 hours and counting….

  74. Cloudmill Says:

    Nice job!

  75. Lobotom Says:

    Bravo les gars….c’est vrai la vidéo est géniale

  76. StarrWulfe Says:

    nice! Now I gotta go thru ALL Google’s promo stuff and see if there’s more goodies hidden in there somewhere!

  77. Corey McMahon Says:

    Nice work guys!

    That was quite convoluted… Kudos on your team’s dedication and ingenuity!

  78. Anonymous Says:


  79. maie Says:


  80. 牛X啊 Says:


  81. Adam Says:


  82. Hari Mukkala Says:

    Wow… Great stuff.

  83. DoctorsDad Says:

    And how do you guys use all this awesome mental power in you day jobs? -sharing music tracks! Sheesh – what is the world coming to!

  84. Gaurav Mishra Says:

    I just watched the movie ‘A beautiful mind ‘ yesterday
    This seems real! sensing okay :D

  85. Sophia zhou Says:


  86. flappy Says:

    yeah it’s funny that you won’t get your laptop and even if you would (by breaking the law) you cannot use it. :-P so that’s what happens when genius meets government and business, have a nice day. :-]

  87. Yours truly Says:

    Great work man .
    Anyway how do we get toknow of competition like this

    I would love to compete against you in the next such event

  88. Poppy Says:


  89. rob Says:

    Huge respect for finding and solving it. I can’t help thinking there must have been other Google videos where noone even noticed there was a puzzle. I guess I should be watching those Google vids more carefully in the future.

  90. 枯の灵 Says:



  91. Matthi Says:

    In future, everybody will look in google-videos for a secret message…

  92. Pablos Says:

    Awesome guys! =)

  93. Jack Says:

    good job!干得。。。漂亮

  94. hmy3000 Says:


  95. NoamKoKo Says:

    You deserve it! :D
    Geeks RULEZ!!11one

  96. fanfan Says:


  97. amine Says:

    Very good team, i’m wondering to work with you in some day :)

  98. Wesley Cavieres Says:

    Eres un genio….

  99. Eric Semaan Says:

    “Instead, we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We’re starting with the US and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications.”

    Indirectly, they are using you to test their hardware :)

  100. ayantheworld Says:

    omfg… totally ridiculously incredible.

    for figuring that out, they should’ve also thrown in a few 1,000 shs of GOOG.

    you guys are insane. saying “good work” doesn’t do you justice.

    if you ever write a book on how to think, i’ll be the first in line to buy it.


  101. Aditya Says:

    Geekiest thing I have seen till now..But it was way too awesome!!

  102. Michael Barsoum Says:

    I am only 13 years old and I hope to be as smart as you.

  103. Aditya Says:

    Really awesome,Congratzzz…

  104. Arūnas Says:

    Šauni komanda nudirbusi šaunų darbą :)
    Aš irgi norėčiau vieno sugadinto notebook’o

  105. Razvan Says:

    Google should hire you guys :)

  106. Daniel Goldman Says:

    Congrats you smarty, you!

    Actually, my main thanks is for turning me onto Jemendo. I have been listening nonstop since I first read your post yesterday. AND I do have professional needs that require licensed music! So double score for me. To me, you winning this laptop has given me a reward at least equally as great: music to listen to, and an affordable source for licensed music.Congrats and thanks!

  107. cognitivebias Says:

    Bravo à toi Sylvain et à ceux qui t’ont aidé.
    Je vous croyez brillants à Jamendo mais là vous êtes éblouissants.
    Une fois de plus, c’est la classe INTERNATIONALE.

    Tu entres dans l’histoire et tu te paies le luxe de prendre plusieurs portes …
    Mais qu’est-ce qui fait marcher Sylvain ?

  108. RZ Says:

    Good Job!

  109. 甘肃天水 Says:


  110. 9am-5pm.com Says:




  111. lily Says:


  112. chefgeorges Says:

    et pendant ce temps là, on attend…
    on attend juste qu’on s’occupe de nous, sur http://www.jamendo.com...
    mais apparemment tout le monde est hyper-occupé…
    je comprends…

  113. Christian Louboutin Says:

    gucci outlet

  114. Chipachikus Says:

    Congratulation guys, you really earned the laptop.

  115. John Novosel Says:

    I don’t know how you guys can sleep at night. Does this number mean anything to you? 191658240013351581180798819621

  116. John Novosel Says:

    I don’t know how you guys can sleep at night. Does this number mean anything to you? 191658240013351581180798819621 ?

  117. John Novosel Says:

    I don’t know how you guys can sleep at night. You have the wrong value for “C”. Check out this page ==> http://sites.google.com/site/notspeedanddestroy/

  118. cognitivebias Says:

    Don’t trust John, he can’t distinguish between a – (minus) and a * (times).

  119. Brian Says:

    I fail to see the advanced physics in the solution to this problem as an earlier user cited (only calculus). But congratulations. I would have never thought to solve anything in a video like that.

  120. Dr Talented Says:

    you are really awesome man just keep going and feed your brain in good things and i hope some big companies hire your hopefully !

  121. Derek Says:

    Wow, i watched that video too but don’t know that was a real equation and can get a free laptop…
    You are so cool…

  122. Archie Says:

    Amazing, well done! That’s sure some show of geniality :) Both you and Google!

  123. Utkarsh Joshi Says:

    Wow! great stuff.
    it proves that treasure hunting is a lifestyle! :)

  124. Dustin Says:

    Nice Trac tabs btw ;)

  125. diyliu Says:


  126. cheap laptop battery Says:

    That’s sure some show of geniality :) Both you and Google!

  127. Joe Anderson Says:

    It seems that this may be inaccurate


  128. Joe Anderson Says:

    Basically, that the whole story may have been made up?

  129. şifalı otlar Says:

    Nice one.

  130. ingilizce türkçe cümle çeviri Says:

    you are really awesome man just keep going and feed your brain in good things and i hope some big companies hire your hopefully

  131. kadınlar kulübü Says:

    Really awesome,Congratzzz…

  132. 领头狼 Says:


  133. 太阳子 Says:


  134. Afshin Mehrabani Says:

    Hello all,
    Very good and awesome problem :)

  135. Deepal RMP INFOTEC Says:

    Great Work. So finally laptop arrived ??.. Howz the look. We are waiting here eagerly to get the laptop to our hands too..

  136. Restposten Says:

    Great work. Congratulations! I hope they send it to you.

  137. Sonderposten Says:

    Congratulation guys, you really earned the laptop.

  138. Weevil Says:

    That would be the coolest things ever happened if I’m in your place right at that moment!!..hahaha.. and its looks like kind of a tremendous arithmetic’s problem.. =-= Well, You’re AWESOME, MAN!!

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