A reader writes "Distributed computing seems once more to be succesful. The combined effort of many pc's joining Primenet in search for a new Mersenne prime may have found there fifth result. Among them many belonging to /. readers. There is an unconfirmed claim for Mersenne prime #39 of over 3,500,000 digits, for which a considerable amount of money has been awarded. SETI looks for ET's messages, but found none sofar. Mersenne primes are used to tell ET about us. A previous found Mersenne number was used to show the advance of science on our planet in a message send into outer space. "
The Primenet list has confirmed that while they still need to totally test it out (which should be done by the 24th), they believe that the number found today is the 39th positive.