26

I was just asked whether numbers were supported by the encoding, and wanted to post my answer here as well, since its an interesting point.
All letters, numbers and punctuation symbols that are used regularly as part of the English language are supported in some fashion by the encoding. It may or may not be the way in which they're supported by say, a keyboard.
I'll be adding a version of this to the hints section on the official page as well.

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27

This is just a quick update to note that the challenge will be closing in about a week.
If anybody has last-minute ideas or concepts you'd like me to verify, drop me a line via the contact page or post here.
I'll be adding the solution on the last day of November.

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28

I'm baffled.  We hear it's not encryption, ruling out frequency analysis, but a computer can run an algorithm to code and to presumably decode.  Unless the decoding is not possible, being a sort of one way coding, once again ruling out any mapping.  I also notice that this challenge is posted on alter eon.  A mud with user defined scripts.  Example being fb for fireball, fr for frost, but ffri can be defined as fire plus frost plus rain plus ice, the fr meaning something different inside another  string of text.  clearly I'm in a cul-de-sac.

Try my free games and software at www.rockywaters.co.uk

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29

@Rocky:
The encoding is two-way, and lossless. The examples can be shifted either way as many times as you want and will end up with the same results.

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30

Unfortunately I've suffered a rather nasty system crash, and as a result, am going to have some issues writing up the solution for the challenge by the end of today.
Therefore, I'm extending it until Monday, when I should have some time to finish up the final details.

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31

I know this is a little late, but I am interested in learning a little more about this so I can play with PHP stuff and stuff like that.

Ulysses
AKA Green_Gables_fan and HeavenlyHarmony
My new, self-hosted version of WordPress!

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32

@Green Gables Fan:
You can find info on the challenge at:
https://nightvista.net/decoding-challenge

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33 (edited by john 2017-12-06 22:00:45)

Warning! Reading past this post will give away the solution to the challenge. If you're still looking to give it a shot unbiased, stop here.

As of this morning, the challenge has officially closed and the solution is available.
Anybody whose interested in continuing to hack at it is more than welcome to do so, and I'll of course continue to answer questions.
There were no successful solutions that I'm aware of, though I suspect that a few people got pretty close.
The solution can be found at:
https://nightvista.net/decoding-challenge/solution.php
Thanks for playing!

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34

Ah, thanks for posting the result. I saw that your files are in PHP even though I didn't see any dynamic content going. Or was that to prevent users from hacking the server though the algorithm wasn't anywhere near /var/www/html?
So here's what I want to know. I heard that there is a complex division system to convert numbers from one base system to another. Decimal, which means 10, is the most common system we use in every day life to express numbers. But there are other number systems, like octal,, which means eight, and hexadecimal, which means 16 (hex 6, deci 10). And of course binary or trinary.
If let's say we took a number line and wrote out dots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then calculate 2 to the 6th power, which gives us 64. Then whenever there is a 1, which means on, engage that dot. When there is a zero, ignore it and move onto the next 1.
What inspired you to make this encoding algorithm? You mentioned there was a difference between encoding and encryption. What is the difference?

Ulysses
AKA Green_Gables_fan and HeavenlyHarmony
My new, self-hosted version of WordPress!

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35 (edited by CAE_Jones 2017-12-05 14:53:10)

*reads solution*
*facepalm*
The bit where I lost was trying to come up with a complicated rule, when the lowercase a and t things should have been dead giveaways as to the correct direction. I kept thinking of bit-shifting, instead of the much more sensible code you used.
Looking back, I think it's the B that killed me. I couldn't figure out how it could be what it actually is, so I started looking for other solutions. D'oh!

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

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36

Well done John  big_smile

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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37

I am wondering why frequency analysis as deployed by Aprone did not crack this.  Perhaps the grade 2 elements?

Try my free games and software at www.rockywaters.co.uk

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38

Rocky, it was because when I had tried those techniques the encoded messages had a mistake in them.  John later fixed it, but after the correction I never had time to go back and redo my tests.   It was a fun puzzle nonetheless.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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39

The basic laymen's difference between encoding and encryption is that encoding is more of a substitution where encryption is a deliberate obfuscation of the plane text.
for example, an encoding might be I substitute all of the letters on the forum here for numbers. a being 1 b being 2, and so on. Annoying yes, but trivial to brake especially if you know the way to untangle my dirty work. the key here is the 1-to-1 mapping of letters to numbers. this is the same way you can right letters as binary values, hex values, or octal values; the text is still there, it is just in a different form. On a side note, people say a lot of times to me that braille seems like a different language. I have never agreed with them, but now I think I know how to answer them. It is an encoding. there are more advanced levels of encoding that aren't quite so trivial and they boarder more on the level of encryption.

Encryption on the other hand takes the plane text and runs it through many algorithms of hashing, modular math, and exponentiation. the key is the password. that password drives the encryption algorithm and gives you the output of gibberish. you can not reverse the encryption without the password. in encryption I can not say that a = 1 or b = 2. a good encryption algorithm needs to use more entropy than that.

I don’t believe in fighting unnecessarily.  But if something is worth fighting for, then its always a fight worth winning.
check me out on Twitter and on GitHub

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40

@Green gables:
The only php code in either of the pages is the hit counter at the bottom.

I'm glad you folks seem to have had fun with this. It was an interesting experience running the challenge, so I hope it was also for you working on it.

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41

Can't you make a program where we can type some text and then get the encoded repræsentation and the other way around?

Solution spoiler
[wow]. Never had seen that comming. That you were using braille for encoding / decoding.
end spoiler.

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42

@NicklasMCHD:
I did write this, of a sort. The challenge is that it was designed to convert from braille (.brf) files, not traditionally entered text, and the only way I'd be able to make it convert from traditional text would be to write a full piece of braille translation software, which isn't exactly a small undertaking, especially given the idiosyncrasies of the language.

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43

One that assumes it's being entered in ascii braille should work fine, though, yeah?
,"o t assumes ascii brl wd "w f9e1 y1h8

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

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44

Yes, that should work fine. The problem is getting ascii braille in the first place. For me that meant a note taker, and I've yet to find any free software that can do it on Windows.
If folks are really interested I can put a bit more work into the encoder and post it, but in its simplest form its about 5 lines of code (with two huge hand-typed arrays).

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45

NicklasMCHD wrote:
Can't you make a program where we can type some text and then get the encoded repræsentation and the other way around?
Perhaps you would like to try out my password scrambler, that can also scramble up a whole text file, not just a password.  It's not based on braille of course, but certainly produces a whole lot of gibberish.

Try my free games and software at www.rockywaters.co.uk

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46

@Rocky Waters
It was more, if he could create some sort of ulity, so we could use that encoding / decoding in programming languages.

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47

Apologies for the delayed response all. For some reason I've been unable to access the forum over the last several days.

@NicklasMCHD:
While I could write up something to do the encoding from ascii braille like Cae listed above, I'm curious what in particular you'd be looking for it to do.
A basic mapping between characters only takes a few minutes to write, so if that's all you want, you can probably make it yourself faster than you can respond to this post.

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