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Join the conversation! There are now 13 comments on this chapter's page 39. A Code?. What are your thoughts?
  1. Jeff says

    So the prosecutor’s a gamer, eh? I’m liking her more and more!

  2. Murdoc says

    Haha and here I thought the names were Easter Eggs turns out vital part of the story.

  3. Tsapki says

    Seems Cortana had some trouble with bombing kids…

  4. thecanvashat says

    I would not like a haircut at Pyramid.Head Salon.

  5. Alex Lockwood says

    Chell and Gladys. Nice.

  6. Legion says

    Very appropriate.
    At least by Tom Clancy rules construction and maintenance of a cipher is goddamn hard.

    • What the bombers are using is a code, not a cipher.

      Codes are symbolic replacements of ideas, usually words.

      Ciphers are mathematical encodings of data using a key.

      Codes can be implemented verbally using a code book (physical or mental), but ciphers usually require some device such as a computer. Ciphers are fairly rare in phone conversations, though ubiquitous on the internet. Some specially designed VoIP software and a few hard phones (usually military radiotelephones) do implement ciphers, but these are fairly rare.

      • I would argue that what they’re doing would be better considered a form of cipher. What they’re doing is transforming the message based on a set of rules rather than using a code. According to traditional wisdom, a code can’t be broken without compromising a code book, while a cipher can be solved using nothing more than the messages. (In theory at least; computer ciphers are capable of sufficient complexity that the strong ones are effectively unbreakable using contemporary hardware)

        • Codes and ciphers both use rules. According to Wikipedia, the difference is that codes operate on a semantic level (they replace a concept or idea with a designated symbol) whereas ciphers operate on a lower level, with the data that encodes that idea (the letters, bits, etc.).

          For instance, if you refer to the president as “the jellyfish” and the plane as “the banana”, you’re using a code. If you turn the letter P into the letter X, and the letter R into the letter A, etc. then you’re using a cipher.

          Turning an address into a time is a code, because it depends on the meaning of the message (semantic content). A cipher would convert the letters or numbers into other letters or numbers without regard for the meaning those letters or numbers were trying to express (e.g. turning 123 into 456, regardless of whether 123 was originally an address, a time, a distance, a part number, etc.).

          Since humans are comparatively good at semantics and computers are comparatively good at data, it makes sense that humans talking on a phone would be more likely to use a code, while computers talking over a network would be more likely to use a cipher.

          Wikipedia also says that codes were thought to be more secure, but it says that in the past tense, and I don’t find the reasoning convincing (seems like they’re comparing strong codes to weak ciphers). Regardless, even a strong code/cipher can be ruined by carelessness in how you use it (like saying “down the road at 4:47″…not that this is a particularly strong code to begin with).

  7. Dhamon says

    ok, in order
    COD: MW
    Silent Hill
    Street Fighter or Ninja Gaiden
    Assassin’s Creed

    surprised Pi didn’t react to the staple remover assassin’s hoodie earlier

    • What, something like “Hey dude! Nice hoodie! Anyhow, I’ll be the one prosecuting you for drug possession.”? Not terribly professional, is it?

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