Google Puts Its Massive Computing Power Behind the Big Issues

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Photo: Huangjiahui/Flickr, logo from Google

Using computer time donated by Google, a team of researchers figured out how to solve a Rubik's Cube in any of its 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 potential configurations in just twenty moves. To get it down to twenty, the group, which included math teachers, as well as a programmer and an engineer from Google, broke it down into 2,217,093,120 sub-problems. A modern PC had the memory to store each individual sub-problem, but it would've taken 35 years apiece to figure them out. Intel Dan, who claims to have at one point been able to solve a Rubik's Cube in two minutes every time, was not impressed by this news. "I feel like this is the type of thing I expect computers to be able to do."

Google Helps Find Simplest Solution to Rubik’s Cube [Wired]