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(BBC-US)   Special version of Monopoly to celebrate WWII codebreaker Alan Turing's life. Let X=X   (bbc.com) divider line 83
    More: Hero, Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, WWII, birthplaces  
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7263 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Sep 2012 at 10:14 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-10 08:32:10 AM  
Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.
 
2012-09-10 08:52:33 AM  

Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.


Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.
 
2012-09-10 08:57:47 AM  

xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.


So it wasn't a suicide from the British government forcing him to go through chemical castration (as an alternative to prison) for being a gay person?
 
2012-09-10 09:03:56 AM  

Cythraul: xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.

So it wasn't a suicide from the British government forcing him to go through chemical castration (as an alternative to prison) for being a gay person?


Fascinating and sad, I didn't realize any of this. Seems like it will forever be unanswered.

Alan Turing From Wikipedia
 
2012-09-10 09:07:17 AM  

Barfmaker: Cythraul: xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.

So it wasn't a suicide from the British government forcing him to go through chemical castration (as an alternative to prison) for being a gay person?

Fascinating and sad, I didn't realize any of this. Seems like it will forever be unanswered.

Alan Turing From Wikipedia


Yeah, an official inquest ruled that it was a suicide. Others have suggested that it was an accident. But I find it hard to believe a man of his intellect would be so careless with his experiments that used potassium cyanide. Unless they were unaware of the risks of inhalation while using such chemicals back then.

Either way, the man was a hero, and they treated him very poorly. He should have been pardoned years ago, if he hasn't been already.
 
2012-09-10 10:01:28 AM  

Cythraul: Yeah, an official inquest ruled that it was a suicide. Others have suggested that it was an accident. But I find it hard to believe a man of his intellect would be so careless with his experiments that used potassium cyanide. Unless they were unaware of the risks of inhalation while using such chemicals back then.

Either way, the man was a hero, and they treated him very poorly. He should have been pardoned years ago, if he hasn't been already.


He identified chemicals by taste, and wired experiments into light sockets, which would subsequently give him nasty shocks. His chemical experiments were haphazard to say the least. I can believe that he'd suffer an accidental death. The guy took months to fix his bicycle, where a mechanic would have fixed it in minutes. Of course it took him that long because he was analyzing the math involved in the variable states of the bike's wheel and chain. He wore a gas mask during WWII to prevent his allergies from acting up. He was eccentric. His experimental methods may be a result of that eccentricity.

But yes, to get back to your original point, he should have been pardoned years ago. He still hasn't been.
 
2012-09-10 10:18:40 AM  

xenophon10k: Cythraul: Yeah, an official inquest ruled that it was a suicide. Others have suggested that it was an accident. But I find it hard to believe a man of his intellect would be so careless with his experiments that used potassium cyanide. Unless they were unaware of the risks of inhalation while using such chemicals back then.

Either way, the man was a hero, and they treated him very poorly. He should have been pardoned years ago, if he hasn't been already.

He identified chemicals by taste, and wired experiments into light sockets, which would subsequently give him nasty shocks. His chemical experiments were haphazard to say the least. I can believe that he'd suffer an accidental death. The guy took months to fix his bicycle, where a mechanic would have fixed it in minutes. Of course it took him that long because he was analyzing the math involved in the variable states of the bike's wheel and chain. He wore a gas mask during WWII to prevent his allergies from acting up. He was eccentric. His experimental methods may be a result of that eccentricity.

But yes, to get back to your original point, he should have been pardoned years ago. He still hasn't been.


I agree that he should be pardoned, but if I remember correctly, British authorities refuse to do so because he knowingly broke what was at the time a valid law.

/stupid justification for a stupid decision
 
2012-09-10 10:19:42 AM  

xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.


Running inside an apple, apparently.

I wonder if they'll have a property called "handjob in Hyde Park"?
 
2012-09-10 10:21:04 AM  
Damnit, just submitted with a much better title

Anyway, to paraphrase it, Difficulty : You have to have built 4 colossus machines on Bletchley park before going directly to jail, you may not pass go, you may not pay a 19 year old boy £200 in order to win the game.
 
2012-09-10 10:21:06 AM  

haws83: I agree that he should be pardoned, but if I remember correctly, British authorities refuse to do so because he knowingly broke what was at the time a valid law.

/stupid justification for a stupid decision


Call me crazy, but I think it probably has more to do with lingering feelings of bigotry and homophobia rather than a strict, literal sense of justice and law. And probably has a healthy dose of government-hates-to-admit-that-it-was-wrong for good measure.
 
2012-09-10 10:25:26 AM  
Sing-cerely doubt there's such a thing as a posthumous knighthood. But if there is, HM EIIR might grant him one. Might even = the pardon he never got.
Good on Gurgle for donating 1000 sets of commemorative Monopoly to Bletchley Park. Seem to recall that's where the Radio Society of Gt Britain is situating its historical site? Now where's that leaflet again, besides creatively filed???
Most excellent tale. Conga-cats subby, you done good!
 
2012-09-10 10:29:16 AM  
It's been done:

farm1.static.flickr.com

//Hotlinks!
 
2012-09-10 10:30:36 AM  

ModernLuddite: It's been done:

[farm1.static.flickr.com image 500x450]

//Hotlinks!


Hawt!
 
2012-09-10 10:31:10 AM  
YouTube has many videos on Bletchley Park and Alan Turing available. Why the British Government commemorates the life and wartime contributions of Turing but refuses to pardon him is a question that needs to be answered.
 
2012-09-10 10:31:11 AM  
Alan Turing got a raw deal from the British Government.

Here is a real good Radiolab short on the subject if you are inclined.
 
2012-09-10 10:31:48 AM  
Someone as great as Alan Turing deserves a better game than a reskinned Monopoly. Maybe make an actual code breaking game.
 
2012-09-10 10:32:33 AM  

Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.


No. In fact, they've reaffirmed the sentence, saying that homosexual acts were a crime when he committed them and he was fully cognizant of this fact.
 
2012-09-10 10:34:03 AM  
So if you draw the "Gay" card, you go directly to jail?
 
2012-09-10 10:35:49 AM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: So if you draw the "Gay" card, you go directly to jail?


No. That's actually one of the beneficial cards in the game. You get to go to sexy man-'rape' prison.
 
2012-09-10 10:40:27 AM  

6655321: YouTube has many videos on Bletchley Park and Alan Turing available. Why the British Government commemorates the life and wartime contributions of Turing but refuses to pardon him is a question that needs to be answered.


Deterrent for zombie gays
 
2012-09-10 10:43:26 AM  
I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.
 
2012-09-10 10:45:24 AM  
I call dibs on the poison apple token!
 
2012-09-10 10:46:55 AM  
So you do some awesome stuff, get screwed by the "banker" and the game ends early?

Sounds shiatty
 
2012-09-10 10:50:28 AM  

Valiente: xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.

Running inside an apple, apparently.


The apple was never tested for cyanide. The distribution of potassium cyanide in his system was consistent with inhalation rather than ingestion. Inhalation of potassium cyanide is a much slower death than ingestion.

Also, Turing was in the habit of taking an apple with him when he went to bed. He rarely finished it before falling asleep. That they found an unfinished apple on his nightstand is not at all unusual, and it can't be said to have played any role in his death.
 
2012-09-10 10:50:37 AM  
baptistplanet.files.wordpress.com

/oblig
//yes, I know
 
2012-09-10 10:51:58 AM  
Turing?

It would make more sense to have a version of Monopoly to celebrate Werner Nahm.
 
2012-09-10 10:57:09 AM  
Let X=X.

Approves:
cdn.synthtopia.com 
/hot
 
2012-09-10 10:59:06 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Let X=X.

Approves:
[cdn.synthtopia.com image 300x267] 
/hot


I just want to say thanks. So...thanks
 
2012-09-10 11:03:07 AM  

Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.


As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.

Oh, and Turing didn't break the Enigma, a pole name Marian Rejewski did back in 1933 when Turing was still an undergrad at King's College. Turing's work merely built upon the theoretical and practical framework that Rejewski invented. Turing (and the rest of Bletchley) were banging their collective heads against the wall vis a vis Engima until the Poles showed them how to break it.

Now, he is the theoretical father of the modern computer, but sometimes I think his work at Bletchley, while important, is often overstated to the point where it becomes "Turing broke Enigma".
 
2012-09-10 11:12:02 AM  

Cythraul: Either way, the man was a hero, and they treated him very poorly. He should have been pardoned years ago, if he hasn't been already.


He was not pardoned. The argument of the UK was that his actions were illegal at the time that he committed them. I suspect that they are also trying to avoid having to pardon the others who underwent the castration. It would be a legal nightmare.

That guy killed more nazis than Audie Murphey. He deserved better.
 
2012-09-10 11:14:42 AM  
Actually that's the Laurie Anderson version.
 
2012-09-10 11:15:04 AM  

xenophon10k: Valiente: xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.

Running inside an apple, apparently.

The apple was never tested for cyanide. The distribution of potassium cyanide in his system was consistent with inhalation rather than ingestion. Inhalation of potassium cyanide is a much slower death than ingestion.

Also, Turing was in the habit of taking an apple with him when he went to bed. He rarely finished it before falling asleep. That they found an unfinished apple on his nightstand is not at all unusual, and it can't be said to have played any role in his death.


You're ruining my joke, dude.

It has been alleged that the apple was poisoned on the basis that Turing was known to be careless with the cyanide, and, as has been mentioned, might top himself out of sheer distraction. The Commie-obsessed spooks of the time might have concluded that bumping off a distracted homosexual genius with a head full of unbuilt computers and Enigma variations might have been in the national interest of the Empire, and would mean one less shirt-lifter on Earth.

If you find this implausible, I would suggest you read some history on how those in the "intelligence community" think.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11378601

For people who could pull off Operation Mincemeat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat), putting cyanide into an apple of a guy who had been fooling around with cyanide earlier in the day would have been a piece of cake.

/the man who never was
 
2012-09-10 11:19:14 AM  
pre-ordered.
 
2012-09-10 11:24:57 AM  

ModernLuddite: It's been done:

[farm1.static.flickr.com image 500x450]

//Hotlinks!


Can I be the Fark-Me-Boot?
 
2012-09-10 11:26:05 AM  
Interesting, in that apple seeds do contain trace amounts of cyanide (although I think it's in the form of Prussic acid [which is hydrogen cyanide, not potassium cyanide] - however, even if the seed hull is broken the amount contained is easily detoxed by the body)

Also, Britain needs to cowboy up and pardon him.
 
2012-09-10 11:27:00 AM  

HailRobonia: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

No. In fact, they've reaffirmed the sentence, saying that homosexual acts were a crime when he committed them and he was fully cognizant of this fact.


So Galileo shouldn't have been pardoned by the Catholic church because he knew heresey was a crime when he committed it?

It only took the church 300+ years to admit their mistake; how long with it take Parliament?
 
2012-09-10 11:33:37 AM  
"Go directly to gaol, poof!! Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 pounds!!"

/amidoinitrite?
 
2012-09-10 11:40:57 AM  
OH, and another thing: After mid-1943, responsibility for breaking the German U-bootwaffe Enigma shifted over to the Americans, because the British couldn't build a reliable high speed 4 rotor bombe, and the Americans could and did in large numbers.
 
2012-09-10 11:41:43 AM  
I'd order the tape of it, but I'm afraid it might be too long.

/obscure
 
2012-09-10 11:41:54 AM  

ComicBookGuy: "Go directly to gaol, poof!! Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 pounds!!"

/amidoinitrite?


Almost. The singular of "poofters" is sometimes "poove".

/took a B.Arts in Python Studies and Mid-Century Idioms at the University of Western Oz.
 
2012-09-10 11:44:09 AM  

Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.


Are you kidding? That's the only reason why he gets any recognition now.
 
2012-09-10 11:47:22 AM  

Valiente: xenophon10k: Valiente: xenophon10k: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Murdering him? He died from accidentally inhaling potassium cyanide vapor from a shoddy gold electroplating experiment he was running.

Running inside an apple, apparently.

The apple was never tested for cyanide. The distribution of potassium cyanide in his system was consistent with inhalation rather than ingestion. Inhalation of potassium cyanide is a much slower death than ingestion.

Also, Turing was in the habit of taking an apple with him when he went to bed. He rarely finished it before falling asleep. That they found an unfinished apple on his nightstand is not at all unusual, and it can't be said to have played any role in his death.

You're ruining my joke, dude.


Oops. My bad.
 
2012-09-10 11:49:16 AM  
I'm confused. Isn't this the guy whose burial shroud looks like jesus?
 
2012-09-10 11:49:27 AM  
It's a sky-blue sky.
 
2012-09-10 11:56:27 AM  
Great. Now I want to read Cryptonomicon again.

/"What's the plural of abacus?"
 
2012-09-10 12:05:18 PM  

ThighsofGlory: Cythraul: Has the British Government finally pardoned him for his 'illegal' status of being a homosexual? I know they've apologized for murdering him, so at least there's that.

Are you kidding? That's the only reason why he gets any recognition now.


You mean aside from theoretically conceptualizing the modern computer. And providing an explanation for why zebras have stripes. Yeah, but other than that, it's all about the British Government ;)
 
2012-09-10 12:06:32 PM  

dittybopper: Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.

As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.


Care to elaborate?

/genuine question
 
2012-09-10 12:36:46 PM  

WMittensRomney: You mean aside from theoretically conceptualizing the modern computer. And providing an explanation for why zebras have stripes. Yeah, but other than that, it's all about the British Government ;)


Or to be more succinct, he was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century.
 
2012-09-10 12:39:06 PM  

DaddyRat: Tyrone Slothrop: Let X=X.

Approves:
[cdn.synthtopia.com image 300x267] 
/hot

I just want to say thanks. So...thanks


This must be the place.
 
2012-09-10 12:40:27 PM  
Marian Rejewski, Zyglaski and Rozycki were the ones who broke Enigma. They did it by hand, and Rejewski did some groundbreaking research into group theory while doing it. Zyglaski came up with a novel way to quickly determine the Enigma's daily settings using perforated sheets. They were the ones who came up with the "bomba", which eventually became the "bombe" at Bletchley. It is unfortunate that a lot of their work was destroyed when they had to flee Poland, but they were able to kickstart Bletchley's codebreaking efforts. Rejewski was able to deduce the rotor wiring just through the use of mathematics, which was a huge step in the cryptanalytic attack on Enigma.

Not to detract from Turing's fame or genius, but he wasn't the guy who defeated Enigma. He certainly made it easier and was the father of the computer.
 
2012-09-10 12:42:30 PM  

seye: dittybopper: Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.

As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.

Care to elaborate?

/genuine question


I found it entertaining but burdened by Stephenson's writing style. I realize that he's revered in the geek crowd, but he takes 20 pages what would take a mortal author 2 pages to write, and slops on the technobabble so thick at times that you need a rocket propelled chainsaw to wade through it.
 
2012-09-10 12:53:12 PM  

seye: dittybopper: Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.

As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.

Care to elaborate?

/genuine question


Yeah, a "SIGINT-weenie" is someone who is in the business of intercepting and processing signals intelligence or "SIGINT" for short. Usually that entails monitoring coded or enciphered radio transmissions, be they voice or data (including my former specialty, Morse code).
 
2012-09-10 12:55:13 PM  

CthulhuCalling: I found it entertaining but burdened by Stephenson's writing style. I realize that he's revered in the geek crowd, but he takes 20 pages what would take a mortal author 2 pages to write, and slops on the technobabble so thick at times that you need a rocket propelled chainsaw to wade through it.


And some of it is just that: Babble that doesn't make sense.

I'm a habitual re-reader, and I've read the Craptomicon precisely *ONCE*.
 
2012-09-10 01:08:13 PM  

dittybopper: CthulhuCalling: I found it entertaining but burdened by Stephenson's writing style. I realize that he's revered in the geek crowd, but he takes 20 pages what would take a mortal author 2 pages to write, and slops on the technobabble so thick at times that you need a rocket propelled chainsaw to wade through it.

And some of it is just that: Babble that doesn't make sense.

I'm a habitual re-reader, and I've read the Craptomicon precisely *ONCE*.


Yep. I'm almost two decades into IT. I do penetration testing, I'm familiar with basic crypto and cryptanalysis, and I've written several papers on Enigma in college. A lot of Stephenson's work left me saying WTF, over? But I will give him points for enthusiastically diving into the story.
 
2012-09-10 01:15:21 PM  

ModernLuddite: It's been done:

[farm1.static.flickr.com image 500x450]

//Hotlinks!


How did they not call that "Manopoly?"
 
2012-09-10 01:21:04 PM  
Hey pal!

You know,
I was on the Internet this morning

and someone looked at my picture,
and said

oh no

another Laurie Anderson clone
 
2012-09-10 01:28:21 PM  

Cythraul: haws83: I agree that he should be pardoned, but if I remember correctly, British authorities refuse to do so because he knowingly broke what was at the time a valid law.

/stupid justification for a stupid decision

Call me crazy, but I think it probably has more to do with lingering feelings of bigotry and homophobia rather than a strict, literal sense of justice and law. And probably has a healthy dose of government-hates-to-admit-that-it-was-wrong for good measure.


Probably more of the latter than the former.

Did they ever pardon Oscar Wilde?
 
2012-09-10 01:31:27 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Did they ever pardon Oscar Wilde?


There is only one thing worse than pardoning Oscar Wilde, and that is *NOT* pardoning Oscar Wilde.

/I wish I hadn't said that.
 
2012-09-10 01:32:39 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Cythraul: haws83: I agree that he should be pardoned, but if I remember correctly, British authorities refuse to do so because he knowingly broke what was at the time a valid law.

/stupid justification for a stupid decision

Call me crazy, but I think it probably has more to do with lingering feelings of bigotry and homophobia rather than a strict, literal sense of justice and law. And probably has a healthy dose of government-hates-to-admit-that-it-was-wrong for good measure.

Probably more of the latter than the former.

Did they ever pardon Oscar Wilde?


You're probably right, since they may be afraid it'll open the flood gates to justified lawsuits from others who may still be living who were subjected to punishment under this law.

As far as Oscar Wilde, I have no idea.
 
2012-09-10 01:43:56 PM  

xenophon10k: He identified chemicals by taste, and wired experiments into light sockets, which would subsequently give him nasty shocks. His chemical experiments were haphazard to say the least. I can believe that he'd suffer an accidental death. The guy took months to fix his bicycle, where a mechanic would have fixed it in minutes. Of course it took him that long because he was analyzing the math involved in the variable states of the bike's wheel and chain. He wore a gas mask during WWII to prevent his allergies from acting up. He was eccentric. His experimental methods may be a result of that eccentricity.



Obviously only he knows the answer, but I too can believe it was an accident.  Geniuses do things in strange ways.
 
2012-09-10 02:00:12 PM  

Cythraul: Smelly Pirate Hooker: So if you draw the "Gay" card, you go directly to jail?

No. That's actually one of the beneficial cards in the game. You get to go to sexy man-'rape' prison.


Give Turing credit, he's the one who discovered the fellatio-myopia link.

"We can only see a short distance while giving head."
 
2012-09-10 02:03:38 PM  

CthulhuCalling: Yep. I'm almost two decades into IT. I do penetration testing, I'm familiar with basic crypto and cryptanalysis, and I've written several papers on Enigma in college. A lot of Stephenson's work left me saying WTF, over? But I will give him points for enthusiastically diving into the story.


I'm over 2 decades in IT now. Prior to that, I spent 8 hours a day with headphones on, intercepting the Morse communications of dang furriners. I've been interested in the subject of signals intelligence since I first read "The Codebreakers" by David Kahn when I was a kid back in the 1970's. Kahn has a way with words that Stephenson doesn't. Plus, it's actual real history, not made-up crap that rhymes with history. I'm also a bit of a student of the history of SIGINT as it relates to the Battle of the Atlantic, especially the war against the U-bootewaffe.

On top of that, I try to figure out low-tech methods to stymie high-tech monitoring. Ask me how a handful of dice can prevent the NSA from ever breaking your messages.
 
2012-09-10 02:34:30 PM  
What the hell is the point of pardoning him? He was rightfully convicted under a law all western countries had some form of at the time and of which most people approved. If we pardon Turing, where does it end? Just leave him be and remember him.
 
2012-09-10 02:35:34 PM  

dittybopper: CthulhuCalling: Yep. I'm almost two decades into IT. I do penetration testing, I'm familiar with basic crypto and cryptanalysis, and I've written several papers on Enigma in college. A lot of Stephenson's work left me saying WTF, over? But I will give him points for enthusiastically diving into the story.

I'm over 2 decades in IT now. Prior to that, I spent 8 hours a day with headphones on, intercepting the Morse communications of dang furriners. I've been interested in the subject of signals intelligence since I first read "The Codebreakers" by David Kahn when I was a kid back in the 1970's. Kahn has a way with words that Stephenson doesn't. Plus, it's actual real history, not made-up crap that rhymes with history. I'm also a bit of a student of the history of SIGINT as it relates to the Battle of the Atlantic, especially the war against the U-bootewaffe.

On top of that, I try to figure out low-tech methods to stymie high-tech monitoring. Ask me how a handful of dice can prevent the NSA from ever breaking your messages.


OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.
 
2012-09-10 02:43:37 PM  

TXEric: OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.


No reason to. I *PREFER* to spread the knowledge.

There is only one type of encryption that, when used properly, is unbreakable both in theory and in practice: The one time pad.
 
2012-09-10 03:12:50 PM  
Love to stick around, but I feel like I'm in a burning building and I gotta go.

/Isn't it just like a woman?
 
2012-09-10 03:15:16 PM  

dittybopper: TXEric: OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.

No reason to. I *PREFER* to spread the knowledge.

There is only one type of encryption that, when used properly, is unbreakable both in theory and in practice: The one time pad.


Crap, I hit "Add Comment" too early. See the wikipedia article on the theory of why otp's are secure.

Anyhoo, the real problem is that while one time pads are secure, you have to generate the pads in a truly random way, and one that minimizes the exposure that using a computer. For a detailed look at why computers are *NOT* a good thing when you need ultimate security, see this paper on Cuban Agent Communications.

So how do you generate cryptologically secure otp's without using a computer? You roll some 10-sided dice. A handful of them, when rolled, will give you a random code group. You keep rolling the dice over and over, and you note them down using either a pen and paper, or a manual typewriter. Blank two-part forms are really handy for this, because you've got to have a copy of the key, and so does your correspondent. You can also get carbon paper, though that's getting harder to find, and you have to make sure you destroy the carbons.

Let's say you wanted to send the message "Send lawyers guns and money." to your correspondent. You'd both have a mnemonic phrase to use to generate a straddling checkerboard to convert the letters into numbers. In my profile, my checkerboard uses the mnemonic "A sin to er(r)". We then convert the letters into numbers:

s e n d l a w y e r s g u n s a n d m o n e y .
2 8 4 12180 54568 9 2 14524 2 0 4 12197 4 8 5658


Note how the most common letters only have a single number, and how any number that starts with a 2 or a 5 is double digit.

We then make those numbers into 5 number groups (or whatever), and add using non-carrying addition from our "one time pad"*


28412 18054 56892 14524 20412 19748 5658
88254 83402 02029 48286 92288 75235 74209
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
06666 91456 58811 52700 12690 84973 20789


Generally, we'd want to let the person know what page we are using, so we'd put the page at the beginning, the end, both, or at some predesignated spot in the message. We'll just put it at the beginning in this case:


05231 06666 91456 58811 52700 12690 84973 20789


Decryption is just the opposite: You subtract (mentally adding a tens digit if necessary), like this:

06666 91456
88254 83402
----- -----
28412 18054 etc.


Note how you can't take 8 from 0, so you mentally make it a 10, and subtract the 8 from 10, leaving 2. Likewise, you can't subtract 8 from 6, so you add 10 to the 6 giving 16, and you subtract 8 from that, giving 8. After you've stripped off the one time pad encipherment, you look up the numbers in your straddling checkerboard, remembering that any 2 or 5 is followed by a second digit.

This can be implemented without any technology whatsoever, and if you follow the simple rules of one time pad use it is completely secure.

*The example in my profile is published, and it's been used before, so it's not technically a "one time pad", but I use it to show the mechanics of how it's done.
 
2012-09-10 03:15:36 PM  

CthulhuCalling: Yep. I'm almost two decades into IT. I do penetration testing, I'm familiar with basic crypto and cryptanalysis, and I've written several papers on Enigma in college. A lot of Stephenson's work left me saying WTF, over? But I will give him points for enthusiastically diving into the story.


Glad I didn't know enough to question things and just enjoyed the narrative then. If it is a subject I know a lot about I can't suspend my disbelief enough to get into the story.
 
2012-09-10 03:17:07 PM  

dittybopper: TXEric: OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.

No reason to. I *PREFER* to spread the knowledge.

There is only one type of encryption that, when used properly, is unbreakable both in theory and in practice: The one time pad.


Well, that was indeed interesting!

However, I think I may have ruptured my brain getting through that article.

/ I was told there would be no math.
 
2012-09-10 03:17:30 PM  

dittybopper: TXEric: OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.

No reason to. I *PREFER* to spread the knowledge.

There is only one type of encryption that, when used properly, is unbreakable both in theory and in practice: The one time pad.


I remember after Cryptonomicon came out, someone had broken Schnier's Pontifex encryption system that was described in the book. If you have the time, Stanford has a really good Crypto class that is free online. I got about halfway through it before I realized my math background was not strong enough, but early on the teacher proves why OTP are cryptographically secure.
 
2012-09-10 03:17:50 PM  
I prefer to use a manual typewriter, btw, when generating my one time pads, because it is much neater and quicker and smaller than writing them out longhand:

i55.tinypic.com
 
2012-09-10 03:23:12 PM  
Oops, any number that starts with a 1 and a 5 will have a second digit.

/Not really paying attention today.
 
2012-09-10 03:27:05 PM  
And I though the Queen's pussy was haunted.
 
2012-09-10 04:13:26 PM  

dittybopper: Gyrfalcon: Did they ever pardon Oscar Wilde?

There is only one thing worse than pardoning Oscar Wilde, and that is *NOT* pardoning Oscar Wilde.


Whatever happened to "boo!"?
 
2012-09-10 05:14:37 PM  

dittybopper: This can be implemented without any technology whatsoever, and if you follow the simple rules of one time pad use it is completely secure.



I snipped most of that, but so what's the final step.  What do you give the recipient?  Does the recipient need to know anything beforehand (like your checkerboard)?
 
2012-09-10 06:35:05 PM  

Valiente: /took a B.Arts in Python Studies and Mid-Century Idioms at the University of Western Oz.


Did you take any classes in Haegelian philosophy or logical positivism?
 
2012-09-10 08:22:20 PM  

downstairs: dittybopper: This can be implemented without any technology whatsoever, and if you follow the simple rules of one time pad use it is completely secure.


I snipped most of that, but so what's the final step.  What do you give the recipient?  Does the recipient need to know anything beforehand (like your checkerboard)?


The recepient needs to know the straddling scheme, but that is easy to remember. They also need a copy of the pad. Once you use a page to encrypt, you destroy it. Your correspondent also must destroy the page after he used it to decrypt the message. Both of you need to keep the pads secure. The security only has to be good enough for you to know if it's compromised or not: a compromised pad that is never used is no use to those trying to intercept.
 
2012-09-10 10:09:21 PM  

dittybopper: dittybopper: TXEric: OK... you got me curious, DB - I'm interested in the "handful of dice" thing...

/EIP if you prefer to keep it on the QT.

No reason to. I *PREFER* to spread the knowledge.

There is only one type of encryption that, when used properly, is unbreakable both in theory and in practice: The one time pad.

Crap, I hit "Add Comment" too early. See the wikipedia article on the theory of why otp's are secure.

Anyhoo, the real problem is that while one time pads are secure, you have to generate the pads in a truly random way, and one that minimizes the exposure that using a computer. For a detailed look at why computers are *NOT* a good thing when you need ultimate security, see this paper on Cuban Agent Communications.

So how do you generate cryptologically secure otp's without using a computer? You roll some 10-sided dice. A handful of them, when rolled, will give you a random code group. You keep rolling the dice over and over, and you note them down using either a pen and paper, or a manual typewriter. Blank two-part forms are really handy for this, because you've got to have a copy of the key, and so does your correspondent. You can also get carbon paper, though that's getting harder to find, and you have to make sure you destroy the carbons.

Let's say you wanted to send the message "Send lawyers guns and money." to your correspondent. You'd both have a mnemonic phrase to use to generate a straddling checkerboard to convert the letters into numbers. In my profile, my checkerboard uses the mnemonic "A sin to er(r)". We then convert the letters into numbers:

s e n d l a w y e r s g u n s a n d m o n e y .
2 8 4 12180 54568 9 2 14524 2 0 4 12197 4 8 5658

Note how the most common letters only have a single number, and how any number that starts with a 2 or a 5 is double digit.

We then make those numbers into 5 number groups (or whatever), and add using non-carrying addition from our "one time pad"*


28412 18054 56892 14524 20412 1974 ...


Rule 34?
 
2012-09-10 11:22:59 PM  

Valiente: And I though the Queen's pussy was haunted.


25.media.tumblr.com

"I'm no expert on the supernatural. But my understanding of hauntings is that the age of the structure is immaterial; and that they're most likely to occur at the scene of a terrible tragedy."
 
2012-09-11 01:12:30 AM  
www.topnews.in
 
2012-09-11 01:42:04 AM  
sorry, but i'll take leo marks over him any day
 
mjl
2012-09-11 03:58:08 AM  

dittybopper: Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.

As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.

Oh, and Turing didn't break the Enigma, a pole name Marian Rejewski did back in 1933 when Turing was still an undergrad at King's College. Turing's work merely built upon the theoretical and practical framework that Rejewski invented. Turing (and the rest of Bletchley) were banging their collective heads against the wall vis a vis Engima until the Poles showed them how to break it.

Now, he is the theoretical father of the modern computer, but sometimes I think his work at Bletchley, while important, is often overstated to the point where it becomes "Turing broke Enigma".


Yes and no... the Poles were the first to break Enigma, however the Poles technique stopped working in May 1940 when the Germans improved their encryption scheme. Turing got the Allies back into Enigma and developed the framework for the 'Bombe' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombe) which put breaking Enigma on an industrial basis.
 
2012-09-11 07:24:50 AM  

mjl: dittybopper: Gestalt: I'm reading through the Cryptonomicon right now, so this seems sort of like one of those moments where someone says "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp." :)

/really good read too.

As an ex-SIGINT weenie, no it isn't.

Oh, and Turing didn't break the Enigma, a pole name Marian Rejewski did back in 1933 when Turing was still an undergrad at King's College. Turing's work merely built upon the theoretical and practical framework that Rejewski invented. Turing (and the rest of Bletchley) were banging their collective heads against the wall vis a vis Engima until the Poles showed them how to break it.

Now, he is the theoretical father of the modern computer, but sometimes I think his work at Bletchley, while important, is often overstated to the point where it becomes "Turing broke Enigma".

Yes and no... the Poles were the first to break Enigma, however the Poles technique stopped working in May 1940 when the Germans improved their encryption scheme. Turing got the Allies back into Enigma and developed the framework for the 'Bombe' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombe) which put breaking Enigma on an industrial basis.


But prior to the Poles handing over the information in July 1939, Bletchley was fumbling around, unable to break Enigma. And Turing was part of that team, if only on a part-time basis. It was Rejewski who invented the math necessary to break it, and who came up with the theoretical basis. The British Bombe was just an extended and improved version of the Polish Bomba, and the Poles knew, in theory, how to use cribs to break Enigma, they just didn't use that method because of a lack of resources.

In fact, it was lack of resources in the face of the addition of two new rotors in 1938 that eventually led them to sharing their information with the French and British. They knew how to break back into Enigma, and indeed they recovered the wiring of both rotors in fairly short order through cryptanalysis, they just didn't have the money or personnel to consistently break it into plaintext in anything like a useful amount of time.
 
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