File under Geek Cool — the largest known prime number was just discovered by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (aka GIMPS)! For those who don’t know, anyone can participate in the GIMPS project by downloading a client program. The GIMPS master computers farm out to the clients the work-intensive math that’s needed to check whether or not a number is prime, and the clients use only the “idle time” of the computers (the time that computers aren’t doing anything else) in order to do the computation. It’s a cool use of distributed technology; as of the latest status report, there are over 68,000 computers participating in the hunt for primes.