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Comment: Re:The Alleged Decoded Message (Score 2) 158

by kune (#42311831) Attached to: WW2 Pigeon Code Decrypted By Canadian?
This reading of the message is unlikely to be correct. There are following reasons:
  • The message about the panzers is useless without knowing the actual direction the panzers drive to. The same is true for Jerry's whereabouts.
  • It is highly unlikely that the codebook used would use the first letters of the messages. Codes were not always strong, but this would border on pure incompetence.
  • If the codes are actually consisting of the first letters of message words, one would expect the letter frequencies of the message to be comparable to the English language. But this is not the case. There are too many Xs, Qs and Js.
  • The actual codebook using the acronyms have not been cited, referenced or a picture provided.
  • Five-letter groups are standard for the time. There is no reason to believe that there is a single six-letter PABLIZ group in the message. In the picture published by GCHQ the group is clearly PABUZ and not PABLIZ.
  • AOAKN is repeated at the front and at the end of the message. It is more likely that this is an indicator group and doesn't have any meaning.

At this point in time there is not much one can say for sure about the message: The message encryption requires a substitution because the letter frequency is significantly different form English. It is not a pure transposition. A codebook is possible, but I wouldn't exclude substitution ciphers right now. AOAKN is very likely a indicator group.

Education

In Praise of Procrastination 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the finally-getting-around-to-posting-this dept.
Ponca City writes "Every year, millions of Americans pay needless penalties because they don't file their taxes on time, forgo huge amounts of money in matching 401(k) contributions because they never get around to signing up for a retirement plan, and risk blindness from glaucoma because they don't use their eyedrops regularly. James Surowiecki writes that procrastination is a basic human impulse, a peculiar irrationality stemming from our relationship to time — in particular, from a tendency that economists call 'hyperbolic discounting,' the ability to make rational choices when they're thinking about the future, but, as a future event gets closer, short-term considerations overwhelm their long-term goals. Game theorist Thomas Schelling proposes that we think of ourselves a collection of competing selves, jostling, contending, and bargaining for control, where one represents your short-term interests (having fun, putting off work, and so on), while another represents your long-term goals. Philosopher Mark Kingwell puts it in existential terms: 'Procrastination most often arises from a sense that there is too much to do, and hence no single aspect of the to-do worth doing. Underneath this rather antic form of action-as-inaction is the much more unsettling question whether anything is worth doing at all.'"
Communications

Europe Simulates Total Cyber War 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the matthew-broderick-won dept.
Tutter writes with this quote from the BBC: "The first-ever cross-European simulation of an all out cyber attack was planned to test how well nations cope as the attacks slow connections. The simulation steadily reduced access to critical services to gauge how nations react. The exercise also tested how nations work together to avoid a complete shut-down of international links. Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for the digital agenda, said the exercise was designed to test preparedness and was an 'important first step towards working together to combat potential online threats to essential infrastructure.' The exercise is intended to help expose short-comings in existing procedures for combating attacks. As the attacks escalated, cyber security centers had to find ever more ways to route traffic through to key services and sites. The exercise also tested if communication channels, set up to help spread the word about attacks, were robust in the face of a developing threat and if the information shared over them was relevant."
Facebook

Google Challenges Facebook Over User Address Books 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the where's-my-say dept.
jcombel writes "When you sign in to Facebook, you had the option of importing your email contacts, to 'friend' them all on the social network. Importing the other way — easily copying your Facebook contacts to Gmail — required jumping through considerable copy/paste hoops or third-party scripts. Google said enough is enough, and they're no longer helping sites that don't allow two-way contact merging. The stated intention is standing their ground to persuade other sites into allowing users to have control of where their data goes — but will this just lead to more sites putting up 'data walls?'"
Media

1928 Time Traveler Caught On Film? 685

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-hate-time-travel-stories dept.
Many of you have submitted a story about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who claims to have found a person using a cellphone in the "unused footage" section of the DVD The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin movie filmed in 1928. To me the bigger mystery is how someone who appears to be the offspring of Ram-Man and The Penguin got into a movie in the first place, especially if they were talking to a little metal box on set. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
KDE

KDE SC 4.7 May Use OpenGL 3 For Compositing 187

Posted by timothy
from the that's-software-compilation-to-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "KDE SC 4.5 is about to be released and KDE SC 4.6 is being discussed. However, Martin Graesslin has revealed some details about what they are planning for KDE 4.7. According to Martin's blog post, they are looking at OpenGL 3.0 to provide the compositing effects in KDE SC 4.7. OpenGL 3.0 provides support for frame buffer objects, hardware instancing, vertex array objects, and sRGB framebuffers."
Businesses

Digital Distribution Numbers Speak To Health of PC Game Industry 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-demand-a-recount dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from PC Authority: "Over the years many voices have declared PC gaming dead. We have seen developers abandon the platform for consoles, citing piracy as the cause. Game stores have slowly relegated PC games from prime shelf position to one tucked away in the back corner — even Microsoft dumped AAA PC game developers from the company. It seems, though, that the demise of the PC as a games platform has been exaggerated, because until very recently sales data ignored digital distribution, with the latest data released by US company NPD revealing that 48% of PC unit sales in the US in 2009 were digital. That translates to 21.3 million games downloaded in the US. Interestingly, although 48% of games were sold online, it only worked out as 36% of the revenue. This highlights the fact that it isn't just convenience that has PC gamers shopping online; it is also that games are generally cheaper than in stores."
Image

New Hungarian Government OMGs All Gov Sites 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-forgot-the-ponies dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The new Hungarian government chose to replace the home pages with a 'disclaimer' page on several governmental websites such as ministries or the Foreign Office. The title and the main message is 'OMG,' which is followed by an explanation that the inherited websites 'lack any kind of uniform structure' and this is 'unworthy of Hungary.' Today is the takeover day in most ministries for the new administration."
Image

Using Augmented Reality To Treat Cockroach Phobia 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the virtually-fixed dept.
RichDiesal writes "In this blog post, I describe a new use for augmented reality — treating people for cockroach phobia. A recent paper in the academic journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking discusses a system where people suffering from cockroach phobia sit at a desk with a virtual reality headset. The headset has a camera on the front so that patients see the desk they're sitting at — but covered in cockroaches. In the study, researchers managed to elicit a fear response to virtual cockroaches similar to what would be experienced with real cockroaches. Sounds like a little slice of hell to me."
Games

More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-on-valve-spill-the-beans dept.
SheeEttin writes "Back in November 2008, Phoronix reported that Linux libraries appeared in the Left 4 Dead demo, and then in March, Valve announced that Steam and the Source engine were coming to Mac OS X. Now, Phoronix reports that launcher scripts included with the (closed beta) Mac version of Steam include explicit support for launching a Linux version."
Bug

Ubuntu LTS Experiences X.org Memory Leak 320

Posted by timothy
from the like-it-when-windows-crashed-more dept.
MonsterTrimble writes "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 is experiencing a major memory leak due to patches for X.org. 'An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as it is left on, until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable. ... In order to make the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS deadline, the developers are looking at just reverting three of the patches, which brings the GLX version back to 1.2. Ubuntu developers are now desperate for people willing to test out this updated X.Org Server package so they can determine by this Friday whether to ship it with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or doing an early SRU (Stable Release Update). Right now this X.Org Server that's being tested is living in the ubuntu-x-swat PPA.'"
Space

Nearby Star Forecast To Skirt Solar System 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the we're-doomed dept.
PipianJ writes "A recent preprint posted on arXiv by Vadim Bobylev presents some startling new numbers about a future close pass of one of our stellar neighbors. Based on studies of the Hipparcos catalog, Bobylev suggests that the nearby orange dwarf Gliese 710 has an 86% chance of skirting the outer bounds of the Solar System and the hypothesized Oort Cloud in the next 1.5 million years. As the Oort Cloud is thought to be the source of many long-period comets, the gravitational effects of Gliese's passing could send a shower of comets into the inner Solar System, threatening Earth. This news about Gliese 710 isn't exactly new, but it's one of the first times the probability of this near-miss has been quantified."
Encryption

OpenSSH 5.4 Released 127

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-secret dept.
HipToday writes "As posted on the OpenBSD Journal, OpenSSH 5.4 has been released: 'Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new "netcat mode," many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on www.openssh.com.'"
Books

Puzzle In xkcd Book Finally Cracked 90

Posted by kdawson
from the be-there-or-be-somewhere-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After a little over five months of pondering, xkcd fans have cracked a puzzle hidden inside Randall Munroe's recent book xkcd: volume 0. Here is the start of the thread on the xkcd forums; and here is the post revealing the final message (a latitude and longitude plus a date and time)."

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles

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