Google is behind mystery geek trap

Update: A mysterious mathematic message on a Silicon Valley billboard has sparked an online hunt for the author - but the mystery has been solved: it's Google

According to a software developers' blog hosted by New York's Fog Creek Software, the message - { First 10 digit prime in consecutive digits of e }.com - decodes to and a further mathematical test which has so far eluded decryption.

"This was from a huge billboard on [Highway] 101!" said one blogger. "These guys must have money!" Further investigation revealed that the server running the initial puzzle site seemed to be housed at's Mountain View, California, HQ.

Google is known for innovative recruitment methods and the high status in which it holds academic and mathematically skilled workers. People using Google to research data structures associated with search engine design get targeted job adverts from the company itself, while Wayne Rosing, Google's vice president of engineering, is on record as telling Reuters that the company has a virtually limitless appetite for hiring.

"The limit to our growth is our ability to get the best talent on the planet and get them working on the toughest computing problems around," Rosing said.

Meanwhile, the bloggers at Fog Creek Software are investigating ways to crack the next stage in the puzzle and find out more. It appears to be linked to 10-digit sequences of digits in e, the mathematical constant that is the base of the natural logarithms, which add up to 49. If you just happen to know the answer, there may be a job in Mountain View waiting for you.

Update: The mystery has now been solved. Click here to find out more.