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Facebook opens registration for 2013 Hacker Cup

Hackers, start your keyboards: Facebook has officially opened registration for its third annual Hacker Cup, set to begin at the end of this month.

The worldwide programming competition kicks off with an online qualification round from 25-27 January, when hackers compete against each other "for fame, fortune, glory and a shot at the title of world champion," the Hacker Cup Facebook page said.

By entering your first and last name (auto-completed for all Facebook users), a home address, and telephone number, as well as reviewing and accepting the listed terms and conditions, anyone can join the game.

Those who have registered for previous years' competitions are automatically added to the 2013 round but Facebook encourages users to make sure all personal information is up-to-date.

Registration is open until 27 January, when the third day of online qualifications is over. Beginning 2 February, round one of the online elimination begins, continuing on 9 February and 16 February; 22-23 March marks the on-site finals at Facebook's Menlo Park, California headquarters.

"Hacking is core to how we build at Facebook. Whether we're building a prototype for a major product like Timeline at Hackathon, creating a smarter search algorithm, or tearing down walls at our new headquarters, we're always hacking to find better ways to solve problems," the Hacker Cup page said.

Those participating in the Hacker Cup will be judged on accuracy and speed while racing to solve algorithmic problems to advance through five rounds of programming challenges.

The event began in January 2011 with almost 12,000 competitors from around the globe. The top 25 finalists included hackers from Russia, Poland, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the US.

For a sneak peek at what to expect from this year's Hacker Cup, check out some of the problems the 2011 competitors had to work through.