Saturday, May 29, 2010

Can you solve this puppy?

PreviewThere is no solution. It's a recruiting ad for Rovi Corporation, and it appeared on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains early this year. It drove many commuters nuts, and led to some interesting discussions on the web. Try Googling the equation itself, and you will see what I mean.

But it certainly says something about the population here. Where else would an unsolvable equation generate such curiosity?

It's not the first time we've seen something like this. In fact, Google themselves used a similar technique some time ago, posing math problems on billboards that led to websites with more math problems, eventually leading to an invitation from Google to send them one's CV. [Note to U.S. readers: I'm using 'CV' until I can figure out how to properly render the word 'resume' with its diacritics! For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it means Curriculum Vitae, Latin for, well, 'resume'!]

P.S.  I did it! I used yet another fancy-schmancy workaround. How does it look? résumé Cool, huh? [If you don't get the reference to workaround, look here.]

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