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.
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!
Livraria Lello e Irmão is a totally badass looking bookstore, but at first glance many people mistake it for a library.
I discovered that the English Wikipedia has a considerably less detailed entry on it, which was a little surprising to me, considering there’s approximately 5 times more English content out there than Portuguese. I think it’s easy to forget the wealth of knowledge on the web that is strengthened by localities, even in countries where internet access and use may be less prevalent. My own cultural insensitivity aside, it led me to a fun design question: if this place were a library, how could we best integrate public computing into the space?
One of the first articles to run on duenos.net was “this story”:http://duenos.net/article/43/a-different-approach-to-greening-the-countryside-in-china about officials in Fumin, China who went about greening the countryside by spray-painting a bare rock cliff with green paint. At the time the news was so recent that there were no pictures to be found, but here I was combing the “Treehugger”:http://treehugger.com pages and I found one. I just thought I’d post it in the interest of all things funny (in a sad, destructive kind of way).
As opposed to the bullish media-downloading market, naval piracy is way down compared to normal. In the last quarter, there were only 41 incidents of pirate activity compared to last year’s 61. The numbers itself are not that interesting but the way in which the international community analyzes and manages piracy is really cool. The pirate-control group is the “International Maritime Bureau”:http://www.icc-ccs.org/imb/overview.php part of “International Chamber of Commerce”:http://www.iccwbo.org/. View the IMB’s latest piracy report “here”:http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/news.php?newsid=83.
Russian engineering seems to be thinking pretty highly of itself these days. First it was the “floating power plant”:http://duenos.net/article/173/FloatingnuclearreactorbuiltbyRussians and now this, a 64 mile tunnel connecting Asia and North America across the International Date Line. The tunnel could revolutionize international trade, lowering the price of freight, passenger, and fiber-optic traffic between the world’s largest producer countries in east Asia and the largest consumer base, the United States.
The plan calls for two separate lengths of tunnel to meet halfway on the Diomede Islands pictured above. Of course this isn’t the first time a Bering Tunnel has been proposed. Before World War I, Czar Nicholas II had the idea to connect the two land masses and the “TKM-World Link tunnel”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TKM-World_Link has been on the table for over 5 years. Still, there are a lot of hurdles to jump before this idea becomes reality. In the meantime we should all consider how great it would be to take a train through Arctic waters in the world’s most active volcanic/earthquake zone.
Caracas law enforcement officials, hoping to lower their world’s worst crime rates, have bought 3 mini-airships equipped with cameras to look down on the city. The 50-ft long (15 m) vessels will be operated by remote control from a brand-new zeppelin command center in downtown Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Apparently to further to deter crime, the floating camera platforms will be painted with phrases like “We watch over you for your security” in red letters. Big Brother references aside (it’s just too easy) maybe this will actually help the city to overcome its horrendous public safety records. The murder rates were so high that the government apparently stopped publishing the records last year.