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Da Vinci Code Message Revealed 96

Ironsides writes "The message embedded in the Da Vinci Code ruling earlier this week has been cracked. The message reads 'Smithy Code Jackie Fisher who are you Dreadnought' and is a reference to an event from about 100 years ago. The encryption scheme itself was based on the Fibonacci number Sequence which is the same one used in the novel."
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Da Vinci Code Message Revealed

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  • again, again! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 )
    I think that this has been a nice bit of fun... I'm wondering if maybe we could start to get interesting little bits like this in all of our judgements and maybe even legislation... we could make that the full time job of the chancellor of the dutcy of lancaster. Also it at least made people aware of a very important man who is all too often forgot, but did some mighty fine work.
    • by VanillaBabies ( 829417 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @06:49AM (#15231293)
      Not sure about you, but i already need a crack team of lawyers and interpreters to know what most legislation and court rulings mean. Lets keep the codes to a minimum.
    • Yeah, but it'd suck if the judge had to bump your sentance to 57 years just to get his code to work out right.
    • Re:again, again! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NoTheory ( 580275 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @09:59AM (#15231677)
      Actually, judges in the US insert all sorts of stuff into their rulings depending on how bored/pissed off they are at a particular case, lawyer, etc.

      Exhibit 1 [wsj.com].

      Other examples include rulings written entirely in rhyming couplets, and more. Apparently Law Schools test their n00b students' ability to research cases by asking they dig up such arcane trivia.

      IANAL but I know a number of law students.
    • Why are we hearing so much about this freaking novel? Is it the greatest novel written in the past 20 years or something? It feels like every week, I'm hearing something about "the Da Vinci Code," whether it's about the movie, or the book, or someone studying the history behind it, or saying it's real, or it's fake, or blah blah blah.

      I'm just tired of seeing the phrase "Da Vinci Code." It's like the media is obsessed with advertising this book for the author--perhaps because of the premise involving Jesu
      • ... and this is the best "astroturf" campaign I've seen so far -- maybe because it (the book, supposedly the moive) is really not that bad!

        On the other hand, I moved on to read "Digital Fortress" and on the first couple dozen pages I realized "Hey, I can understand why a historian or a theologist might be all pissed at Da Vinci Code"! For starters, by definition you can not "brute force" all key length cyphers in almost constant time ("6 minutes to 3 hours"). I'd be much less distracted from the plot if th
        • ** spoilers **

          The Da Vinci Code was a nice read. But after reading Angels & Demons, and Digital Fortress, I determined he uses this basic formula:

          A good-looking, but slightly dorky middle-aged professor meets a good-looking, slightly aloof, smart woman (crypto-analyst, scientist) struggling in a man's world, because of a murder committed by a secret society (Vatican, NSA, Knight's Templar) in order to hide a secret that could unravel the fabric of society as we know it. The professor and the woman sav
  • And then... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Sunday April 30, 2006 @06:02AM (#15231219) Homepage Journal
    The encryption scheme itself was based on the Fibonacci number Sequence which is the same one used in the novel
    At which point Dan Brown announced his intention to sue the judge for copyright infringement.

    "I'm the only one allowed to endlessly recycle the plot of 'The DaVinci Code' into other works", said Brown.
    • Warning: not really plot spoilers but discussion of plots to various Dan Brown books.

      Have to agree with you on that one. I read "Angles and Demons" prior to reading "The Da Vinci Code". Good reads but the overall plot between the two of aging professor and beautiful young woman solve thousand year old plot/mystery/conspiracy/code while never sleeping and performing at levels of Olympic athletes to be way to similar. Then I read "Digital Fortress" which I thought would be different only to find that the o
    • Oh, must've been thinking RHINESTONES instead of runes and stones...

      Now... imagine Liberache with a time machine...
  • "An event"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by stjobe ( 78285 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @06:03AM (#15231220) Homepage
    From TFA:
    The judge admires Admiral Jackie Fisher, who developed battleship HMS Dreadnought, which launched in February 1906, 100 years before the case began.

    In a statement, Mr Justice Smith said: "The message reveals a significant, but now overlooked event that occurred virtually 100 years to the day of the start of the trial."
    • An event indeed. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gorath99 ( 746654 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @07:12AM (#15231327)
      "John Arbuthnot Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher, RN (January 25, 1841 - July 10, 1920), commonly known as "Jackie" Fisher, was a British admiral known for his efforts at naval reform. He had a huge influence on the Royal Navy in a career spanning more than 60 years, starting in a navy of wooden sailing ships armed with muzzle-loading cannon and ending in one of battlecruisers, submarines and the first aircraft carriers. The argumentative, energetic, reform-minded Fisher is often considered the second most important figure of British naval history, after Lord Nelson."

      "The sixth HMS Dreadnought of the British Royal Navy was the first battleship to have a uniform main battery, rather than having a secondary battery of smaller guns. She was also the first large warship to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest warship of her size. So advanced was Dreadnought that her name became a generic term for modern battleships, whilst the ships she made obsolete were known as "pre-dreadnoughts". Her introduction helped spark off a major naval arms race as navies around the world rushed to match her, particularly the Germans in the build up to the First World War."

      Taken from wikipedia.
  • Uh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by CCFreak2K ( 930973 )
    Maybe I'm just ignorant, but the article is about someone's own Da Vinci-like code, not THE DaVinci code, as the title/summary suggests.

    Another fine Slashdot entry?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe I'm just ignorant, but the article is about someone's own Da Vinci-like code, not THE DaVinci code, as the title/summary suggests.

      No, the summary is right. This judge is said to have connections to the Priory of Sion. The code message which he passed on was handed down through the generations from Leonardo da Vinci.

      Leonardo foresaw many military advancements, including the tank [wikipedia.org] and the helicopter, [rotaryaction.com] so it is not really surprising that he foresaw the Dreadnought as well. But the Knights Templar urged
  • The message read (Score:1, Informative)

    by rollonet ( 882269 )
    All Your Base Are Belong To Us I kid I kid. There is a very interesting article on Wikipedia about the Smithy Code right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithy_code [wikipedia.org] The code was a little underwhelming though :(
    • Re:The message read (Score:1, Informative)

      by rollonet ( 882269 )
      Righto. All the formatting went wack. What I meant to say was:/

      All Your Base Are Belong To Us

      I kid I kid.
      There is a very interesting article on Wikipedia about the Smithy Code right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithy_code [wikipedia.org]
      The code was a little underwhelming though imo:(

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Appologies about the messy code - I had to get around the spam filter's whitespace detection. Here's a bit of C# code to decode the string...

      using System;
      using System.Text;

      namespace SmithyCode
      class Program

      static char[] _alphabet = { 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F', 'G', 'H', 'I', 'J', 'K', 'L', 'M', 'N', 'O', 'P', 'Q', 'R', 'S', 'T', 'U', 'V', 'W', 'X', 'Y', 'Z' };
      static int[] _fibonacci = {1

  • It's all about that Golden Ratio!
  • by j.a.mcguire ( 551738 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @06:10AM (#15231239)
    das dratsab srehpargotpyrc og emoh!
  • The text as originally decrypted, with the judge's supposedly intentional typographical error, reads in part "Jackie Fister who are you".

    I am not making this up.
  • The title sure got me interested but the story only made me yawn.... Was'nt it supposed to be about the da vinci code, why was it talkin about some judge with too much of time on his hands.
  • ummm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    IANAL but doesn't a judge ruling on the da vinci code case, finding for the da vinci code author, and showing he is a closet fan of the book by putting his own da vinci code in his ruling give grounds for the plaintiff for a retrial?
    • Re:ummm... (Score:2, Interesting)

      give grounds for the plaintiff for a retrial?

      I don't think so. Perhaps it just proves that he read at least one of the books involved- which is a good thing. The whole case was about the first book's ideas (a book which was not about fiction but new interpretations of the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalen, ie NON-FICTION) being used as the basis for a FICTIONAL story. The whole basis for the case was a bit fishy.

      In any case, sales of the first book have skyrocketed and the author of the firs

      • In other words, both parties came out ahead! No need for a retrial because both parties are happy.
        While the publicity was good news for sales of HBHG, the boost is nowhere near enough to cover the legal costs which Baigent and Leigh have to pay.
    • He used components from BOTH novels in constructing his code, not just one.
      See http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/artandlife/1404AP_Br itain_Da_Vinci_Code.html [nwsource.com]

      Plus the case is in Britain, so I doubt they'd entertain such PC nonsense as basis for a retrial.

    • Re:ummm... (Score:4, Informative)

      by SachiCALaw ( 856692 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @10:19AM (#15231740)
      I am a lawyer, and to put it succinctly, no, being a fan of the book would not be grounds for reversal. Judges cannot have financial interests in cases, and should not have personal entanglements with parties, but reading a party's book is not such a personal entanglement that would be ground for reversal.
  • by zaguar ( 881743 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @07:24AM (#15231345)
    The article failed to mention how he solved it. It was a Polyalphabetic Cipher [wikipedia.org] with the key being the Fibonnaci sequence. For those who want to crack it, the sequence of numbers for the key is 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 etc, in recursive form: T(n+1)=T(n)+T(n-1)
  • anyone have a program that allows you to input a phrase and then have it generate the code to decript it from teh bible?

  • by frank249 ( 100528 ) on Sunday April 30, 2006 @10:39AM (#15231819)
    One of the facts that the linked article failed to mention is that it was Ben Hoyle, a reporter for the Times, that cracked the code. His personal account of how he did it is here [timesonline.co.uk]. He admits that he had a couple broad hints from the judge and the help of Ray Keene, The Times Chess Correspondent.

    As for Jackie Fisher, I like Al Stewart's song Old Admirals [martylloyd.com] that is based on his life. While he did some great things, he should not have been recalled as First Lord of the Admiralty. He opposed Churchill's plan for Gallipoli. Although the operation went forward, it was Fisher's refusal to fully support the operation with enough ships and shells that lead to its failure and the death of thousands of Anzacs.

  • Anything that draws attention to Jackie Fisher and HMS Dreadnought is a good thing!

    Not Slashdotty enough for you?!

    Have you any idea how closely fire control [dreadnoughtproject.org] (even in 1914) resembled our current world of networked computers?

  • This contest was so year 2000... Reminds me of companies with lack of substance, lots of money and overrated employees, and a 1,2,3 business plan. Time will tell if history is repeating itself.

  • If I understand correctly, the authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail," actually intended that book to be a historical perspective presenting the concept that the holy grail is the bloodline of Jesus. IE, they intended the work to present what they believe to be an actual historical event.

    If that's the case, then I'm copyrighting the American Revolution, in my new book, "McGraw Hill: Reflections on American History."
  • Reminds me of Idaho's Napoleon Dynamite bill...be cute on your own time, Curly. I'm offended, as a citizen, in needing to remind you government is not a joke.

    From a guy you have to address as "your honor" and to whom mouthing off is against the law, this caprice is extremely unprofessional.

    A charming lawyer is called a politician. I like a hard line between my politicians and my judges, thanks.
  • by Pike ( 52876 )

    someone would take a crack at this [jdueck.net].

    it's been more than two years and no one has solved it yet.

    • The horrible character set doesn't help: those characters are visually offensive. Why would you use them when there are only 41 distinct base symbols? The possibility that the cipher could have anything to do with their UCS positions is a turn-off.

      I expect experimenting with all the extra semantics (super/subscripting, and whatever sequences are used to signal alphabet changes) would be tedious. However, I also suspect that a serious cryptographer would have solved it by now: it looks like spaces are un-

      • "However, I also suspect that a serious cryptographer would have solved it by now:

        Darn right they would have. Dude, it's a code, and you're upset that it doesn't look pretty??

        Kryptos-4 is not much "fun" imo, as in, something you could crack in a week of spare time. And RSA?!? There's no 'solving' going on there, just a sifting through millions of possible keys... What's fun about that.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.