18 Stories

All New GE Hires Will Learn to Code

'The new middle-class job is a programmer'

(Newser) - Want to learn to code? Get a job at General Electric. CEO Jeff Immelt tells Vanity Fair that new hires, including the 4,000 to 5,000 college graduates hired each year, will now learn to code as part of a larger overhaul to the century-old company. "It doesn'... More »

Strange North Korean Radio Broadcasts Raise Old Fears

'On page 459, question number 35, on page 913, question number 55...'

(Newser) - Mysterious radio broadcasts out of North Korea are raising Cold War concerns in South Korea, the AP reports. A woman read a string of meaningless numbers on North Korean state radio for two minutes on June 24. It happened again last Friday; this time for 14 minutes. Popular Mechanics gives... More »

What the Heck Is Up With This Reddit Mystery?

At first no one noticed the numbers and letters quietly churning away at A858

(Newser) - It all started back in 2011 when a Reddit account began posting an indecipherable sequence of numbers and letters to a new subreddit, r/A858DE45F56D9BC9, or r/A858 for short. After languishing in Internet obscurity for nearly a year, another Reddit user requested more information, asking: "Do these seemingly random strings... More »

Women Deemed Better Coders— if Not IDed as Women

Study of GitHub developers shows possible link to gender bias

(Newser) - When a group of student computer scientists decided to test their hypothesis that software coding done by women doesn't get as much cred as that done by males, they came face to face with a couple of surprises. In the not-yet-peer-reviewed study published in the open-access PeerJ journal, researchers... More »

Cops Crack Mafia's Bizarre Sheep Farming Code

Communication pointed to messages hidden at Sicily farm

(Newser) - Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro has been on the run since 1993, but Italian police hope a series of raids early today will bring them closer to putting one of the most wanted criminals in Europe behind bars, per Deutsche Welle . Authorities say they arrested 11 alleged associates of... More »

Last Original Navajo Code Talker Dies

Chester Nez helped create WWII code Japan couldn't crack

(Newser) - For the last of the group of Navajo men who created a code that confounded the Japanese in World War II, "baa hane' yée éí t'áá kódiíji' bíighah silíí"—"his life story ends here"—fellow Navajo veterans... More »

Ancient Viking Carving Yields ... a Love Note

PhD student deciphers mysterious codes from 12th and 13th centuries

(Newser) - A PhD student thinks he's deciphered a 900-year-old carving that has long puzzled experts—and it's basically a valentine. The carving appears to be based on a code that subs in numbers for runes and, when deciphered, reads "kiss me," Jonas Nordby from the University of... More »

Internet Cracks Grandma's Mystery Code in Minutes

She filled cards with cryptic letters in her final weeks ... 18 years ago

(Newser) - A cryptic mystery left by a dying grandmother puzzled a Maryland family for nearly 20 years before her granddaughter turned to an Internet forum for help. "My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left... More »

American Woman Key to Cracking Ancient Code

Michael Ventris built off Alice Kober's notes to crack Linear B

(Newser) - The British genius known for decoding a then-unknown 3,500-year-old language may not have been all he was cracked up to be. According to newly catalogued archives, Michael Ventris, who decoded Linear B in 1952, owes much of his praise to an American woman. "Alice Kober is the great... More »

Has 'Unbreakable' WWII Message Been Cracked?

Canadian man says WWI codebook was the key

(Newser) - A recently discovered coded message from World War II may have been cracked. A British intelligence agency took the 27 blocks of text, found attached to the remains of a pigeon discovered in a UK chimney, to the public last month after its codebreakers had no luck. Now, a Canadian... More »

WWII Message's Code May Be Unbreakable

Experts seek help decoding newly discovered missive

(Newser) - While renovating his chimney, a UK man discovered a long-lost coded message from World War II attached to the remains of a pigeon. Now experts are trying to figure out what the message said—and so far, they're at a loss, the BBC reports. A British intelligence agency is... More »

Cryptographers Solve 'Unbreakable' Code

21 computers unravel 923-bit code in 148 days

(Newser) - A code that scientists thought should take at least thousands of years to unravel was cracked in a mere 148 days by 21 computers working in unison, reports CNET . The solution to the 278-character, 923-bit code broke a world record in cryptanalysis, and the victorious team of technologists used "... More »

Crossword Puzzle or Coded Threat? Venezuela Ponders

Writer accused of suggesting assassination of Hugo Chavez's brother

(Newser) - It makes American politics look sane: Venezuela's intelligence service grilled a crossword puzzle maker this week because some think he called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez's brother in code. As Reuters explains, answers to one newspaper puzzle included the words "adan" (the first name of the... More »

Secret Nazi Codes Litter Germany

Secret numbers, letters express movement support: Expert

(Newser) - Swastikas may be outlawed in Germany, but that doesn't mean that neo-Nazi signs have disappeared. Coded letters, numbers, and other symbols communicate support of the extremist philosophy among those "in the know" in German society, reports Der Spiegel. The numbers 14 and 88, for example, which can be... More »

Facebook Shut Itself Down for 30 Minutes

After code leak, 550M users were temporarily friendless

(Newser) - Facebook closed its virtual doors to users for about 30 minutes yesterday, after the code for a handful of new products went public before those products had been rolled out, reports Wired . The 550-million-user site shut itself down between about 4:15 and 4:45pm ET. “For a brief... More »

NSA: Hey Kids! Spy on Your Family!

Agency's CryptoKids cartoons touts fun projects like computer surveillance

(Newser) - New CryptoKids cartoons created by the National Security Agency urge wanna-be baby spies to make and break codes, pick up languages for easy eavesdropping, and oh, hey, monitor family computers so they know exactly what everyone in the house is doing. The character Decipher Dog discusses his "favorite project"... More »

Don't Let This Army Captain Wear a Beard

Uniform, appearance exceptions a slippery slope to ruin

(Newser) - Following the Fort Hood shootings, top Army brass have worried about a “backlash” against Muslim soldiers. Funny, then, that the Army itself is creating the climate for backlash by eroding the uniform code with concessions to religious custom, writes Elaine Donnelly . Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Sikh, was granted... More »

200-Year-Old Presidential Code Cracked

Mathematician unravels cipher that stumped Jefferson

(Newser) - A code that stumped Thomas Jefferson and other cryptologists for over two centuries has finally been cracked, the Wall Street Journal reports. The cipher—sent to Jefferson in 1801 by mathematician Robert Patterson as an example of the perfect code—piqued the interest of defense cryptologist Lawren Smithline, who tackled... More »

18 Stories