Archive for August, 2010

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Articles in the technology press say that researchers have solved the age-old question of the minimum number of moves needed to unscramble a Rubik’s Cube.

The answer?

21 or less.

Which sounds an awful lot like the answer to Douglas Adams’ science fiction series “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” in which the answer to life, the universe and everything is . . . 42.


One thing we’re curious about is HOW the researchers came up with the answer. According to a BBC interview with one of the researchers, “. . . the team had planned to process the batches on a supercomputer. ‘Then Google stepped forward and offered to run the computation,’ he said. ‘We still don’t know what machinery they used.’

And in both its US and UK editions, Wired said that Google does not respond to hardware questions.

Cloud? Cluster? Grid?

What do you think?

Some information about the team’s thinking process can be found here.