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Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:39 pm
by Primitive Screwhead
the_red_ecks wrote:Clatto Verata Necktie!


Yea, yea I said your damn words!

...................

Congrats leob!

You win :

Image

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:14 pm
by Adam Black
:lol: :lol: :lol:

I want one of those, but Santa keeps bringing me ponies.

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:59 pm
by PiLS
I've cracked the code. Suffice to say that the, *erm* "message" really don't have much to do with the comic. But our beloved dark overlord already told us that, right?
I must say that the "base" idea is none too clever (well, 10-yo-wise it's still quite good. I bet you spent some time on it) but what I would call "the obscuration technique" is nice. Makes it difficult to decipher using a simple permutation algorithm, even with character frequency in mind (though I must say that such an algorithm can save quite a bit of time. It got me to the heart of the problem within minutes, including the time needed to assign random letters to characters*). Also, it helps that I've seen other such codes before. Including in a widely available Geeky book. I bet you were reading up on cryptography quite a bit as a kid ;-)
I won't spoil the fun for the others, so I'm not giving _any_ pointers (well, I already said too much really). The "message" is disappointing too. I want my money back (oh, wait...)
*permutation is helpful by its relative uselessness. Compels you to engage brain.

One more thought. Or two.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:42 pm
by PiLS
The major drwback of "simple" codes like this one is, no matter what amount of work you put into it, anyone with interest, a brain, basic programming skills, possibly some huge words and sentences database, and a lot of time in their hands will _always_ find pointers (partly readable words for example) which give leads. Once you've got something that -even remotely- makes sense, the code is virtually broken. I've myself been working on a code with "plausible deniability" built-in. The requirements are:
-1- being entirely machine-readable (7-bit ASCII is what I had in mind, but any standard set of characters woud do, really),
-2- not being obvious to human readers, no matter what language they are familiar with (well, d'uh)
and, the 2 most important ones:
-3- not relying on a pre-shared key of any kind and
-4- given sufficient (but inadequate) data-massaging, giving out at least one sensible alternative output for every coded messsage, to fool the professionnal data-massagers (that's the "plausible deniability" part for you).

The most annoying problem I encountered before giving up was that each and every tentative solutions I found severely limited the possible input. Rule 4 is a bitch, really.
Fancy a try? Possible rewards for succeeding range from "unearthy wealth and fame" to "you've just been shot by the CIA, try again".
Good luck I just don't have the time anymore.

BTW, just in case you wondered...

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:02 pm
by PiLS
In case some of you went for my lil' "I wanna be shot down by a CIA agent" challenge, rule -2- from my first post means than phonetics (or slang, for that matter, though this last one should be made obvious by rule -3-) definitely won't cut the mustard. Just sayin'.

On second thought, disregard that post... I wouldn't want to put you on the track. Or off-track. Who knows. The Man might be watching us after all. Maybe this whole forum (along with the whole KeenSpot thing) is just an elaborate setup to catch genius cryptographers before they bloom. What do I know. Maybe Adam Black was enrolled in The Force shortly before 10. "Never too cautious", that was my dear uncle's motto (he died a virgin, too).

Ooops that whole thing might look off-topic to the untrained eye... unless you can break the underlying code, that is (first and last paragraph excluded. Good luck with that. The answer is _not_ 42, just so that you know ;-) ). Took a while to design, so you might as well dignify it with a try. Hint: it's based on mathematical series and careful word picking (might be why it sounds crazy). It's related to Locus in some twisted way.

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:16 am
by Adam Black
PiLS wrote:I've cracked the code. Suffice to say that the, *erm* "message" really don't have much to do with the comic. But our beloved dark overlord already told us that, right?


It was something I put in the comic to make my wife smile, actually.

PiLS wrote:I must say that the "base" idea is none too clever (well, 10-yo-wise it's still quite good. I bet you spent some time on it) but what I would call "the obscuration technique" is nice.


Honestly, I didn't spend a whole lot of time on it. I just needed something quick and readable that my younger brother couldn't decipher. :wink:

I could've spent more time working on it, but I had bicycles to ride and girls to chase.


PiLS wrote:I bet you were reading up on cryptography quite a bit as a kid ;-)


Actually, no. I read an old story by Poe where a guy deciphers a code he finds by using letter frequencies. That and an old childrens' book about how to pretend you were a spy were my only references.

That "how to be a spy" book was great. It showed you how to hide secret messages and spy on people and all sorts of fun stuff that would get you in trouble if you got caught. Ah, the '70s. :lol:

PiLS wrote:The "message" is disappointing too. I want my money back (oh, wait...)


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Here you go! $$$$$

Cut and paste that to your wallet. Keep the change. :wink:

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:05 am
by DocMerlin
I think the Ovaltine solution is the winner.

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:07 pm
by leob
Hi PiLS - it's a fun code and I enjoyed working on it - didn't need any programming, just some observation and deduction. Kudos to Adam for putting it up.

Adam - I got the package, many thanks. Your artwork is splendiferous as always

Regards

Leo

Re: I've cracked the code!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:12 pm
by Adam Black
Right on! I'm glad it all got there in one piece.

And thanks for the donation, man! You didn't have to do that. :D