This post was a while back, but I juts now have gotten to it. A fellow PhD student, in an attempt to help us brainstorm more creative ways to recruit new information science students, sent us the following advertisement for reference:
As he explained, it’s a puzzle meant to draw you in:
In this poster, everything is hidden in the binary code (please ignore the girl at the background).
The decipher process can be found at http://xrl.us/bnx5jc (in Chinese). Here are the steps to get the material in natural language (I skip some trial and reasoning steps):
- OCR the binary code from the image.
- Save it as a binary file and name it bin.gz (you can get the name of the file by interpreting the binary code).
- Unzip the file and get a file called bin. This is a java class (again, tell from the binary code).
- Save the file as a java class and run it. You can get the correct name of the class (i.class) from the java error message.
- Run the class again and finally you will get an url: www.i.u-tokyo.ac.jp/fun/
What puzzles me about it is not actually the number cipher, which I imagine is pretty neato, but the the relevance of the woman in the background. Is she supposed to be just a pretty background, like a flower pattern? Are they assuming only heterosexual men apply and that this woman will get their attention? Is this like insurance companies that put naked ladies on billboards, but a subdued version? I’m not yet ready to label it sexist, simply because I don’t understand Japanese culture enough to comprehend the context. Right now I can’t help but see it as comically non-sequitur!