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A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

timothy posted 1 year,23 days | from the is-he-gonna-shift-or-is-he-gonna-kill-us? dept.

Encryption 261

We appreciate all the support we've gotten over the years from Slashdot's logged-in users. They take part actively in discussions, and in exchange for their active interest in the site, we like to give a few perks over and above what our beloved anonymous readers get. But we never want to deprive anonymous readers of the actual features of the site — whether you're a logged-in account holder, anonymous, a subscriber, or have a username but are browsing anonymously at any given moment, Slashdot has always been freely available to read for anyone with a browser and an uncensored Internet connection. It's a balance we try to maintain, too, Sure, we'd like you to login, and we think it has some worthwhile benefits (like tracking comment responses, building karma, and using the Zoo system to keep track of your friends and foes), but we'll never force you to. Today, we're building on this approach, by introducing a feature that benefits every logged-in user, but still leaves the page free to read for all. We'll be phasing in over the next few days a button that logged-in users and subscribers can click to decrypt the text of each Slashdot posting with the trivial transform known as Rot13. Read more, below!Don't panic. You don't have to do anything at all, especially for right now. For the rest of the week at least, though, you'll notice that stories are rendered a bit harder to read, because they've been ROT13'd. "Encrypted" seems too strong a word for it, since ROT13 is about as tough an encryption as Pig Latin is, and more consistent. You'll just need to click once more to read the full, plaintext version of each story. After we complete a few shakedown days, subscribers and other logged-in users will always be able to get through to the plaintext just that simply, and for anonymous readers, it'll be nearly as easy: they'll just need to click one button, and watch one painless interstitial ad, to reach each story's plaintext. For the masses who read anonymously but don't want to suffer through any more ads? (Believe us, we understand.) Not to worry! As we transition away from offering the plaintext along with the ROT13 version, there will be several great options for translating ROT13 text; you'll just need to copy and paste the text, or in some cases the URL for the story you'd like to read, into the engine of your choice. We favor the spartan rot13.com, but there are others. Heck, if you're a CS grad, or even an amateur programmer at all, you've probably written a ROT13 translation program, or you can pipe the text through a built-in function in the language of your choice. (Let us know your favorite translation system in the comments below.) If you have any questions about the transition, please let us know.

Note: You'll notice that comments are still in plaintext for now by default. They will probably stay this way for a while, too, even for anonymous readers. The conversion process itself for the 19.2 million comments in our database is pretty trivial, actually, but there have been some glitches with the way that the transform handles things like code inside of comments, and it would be a shame to break any of that code. And it's a near certainty that only anonymous readers will ever see reader comments encrypted with ROT13, when all those details are worked out.

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261 comments

svefg cbfg (5, Funny)

headcase88-2 (2613991) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329635)

svefg cbfg

Second post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329921)

The joke is on Slashdot, I for one have been using ROT26 for several years already.

Warning! Security hole in ROT-13 and ROT-26! (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330161)

Cryptography experts have proven long ago that ROT-13 is weak against simple brute-force attack. But it turns out that there is also a little-known security hole in ROT-26, which allows a sophisticated eavesdropper to read the message WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THE PASSWORD.

Cryptography experts suggest, for robust security, the use of at least ROT-39 encoding should be encouraged. This takes a minimum number of log_2[2^39] tries to decode by brute force.

Some experts have suggested that ROT-39 shares the same security hole as ROT-13, but I don't believe I've seen that result confirmed in peer-reviewed literature.

Re:Warning! Security hole in ROT-13 and ROT-26! (5, Funny)

NorbMan (829255) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330303)

Wow, I had never heard about the security hole in ROT-26.

Personally, I think I'll skip ROT-39 and go straight to the state-of-the-art ROT-52, if for no other reason because the attackers are still trying to break ROT-39!

So that explains APK's posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329641)

Maybe they'll make sense now!

oh timothy... (5, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329643)

The only person in the world that is so bad that his NORMAL writing looks like Rot13...

He's in trouble now... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329997)

Don't panic. You don't have to do anything at all

The Adams family's lawyers are sending the takedown notice now... also, reading a slashdot story is now a felony, since the content is cryptographically protected by slashdot's patented Rot-13 DRM technology.

Gotta love them lawyers!

Re:He's in trouble now... (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330305)

The Adams family's lawyers are sending the takedown notice now... also, reading a slashdot story is now a felony, since the content is cryptographically protected by slashdot's patented Rot-13 DRM technology.

What do Gomez and Morticia have to do with it?

In the menatime...

or fher gb qevax lbhe binygvar!

Not sure if april fools'... (2, Insightful)

filmorris (2466940) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329651)

...or actual ad spamming. Naah, april fools'

Re:Not sure if april fools'... (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329739)

Did you figure that out all by yourself or did somebody help you?

Re:Not sure if april fools'... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329785)

Really? Obvious troll is obvious.

Wow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329653)

Lame. This is pretty lame even by Slashdot standards.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

hawkinspeter (831501) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329691)

That was my first reaction on seeing this. I thought I'd have a look to see what April Fool jokes are on Slashdot, saw this and thought how pathetic it was.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330019)

Well, there was subtler joke in this [slashdot.org] story, for example. Gotta check other stories for more.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

SpzToid (869795) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329885)

What? You were expecting ponies?

pretty weak (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330191)

Hopefully this is one benefit of the new Dice Holdings, Inc. regime, 4/1 will be less lame and annoying.

Re:Wow (2)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330057)

Lame. This is pretty lame even by Slashdot standards.

Not as lame as posting here just to let everybody how you weren't fooled by it (like, duh!)

(and not posting in ROT13 makes your post double-lame...)

Nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329655)

Nice try, I almost fell for it. Keep up the good work, thanks for a great site.

One of your anonymous readers. :-)

Just going to come right out and say it... (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329657)

...someone at slashdot has lost their mind.

Re:Just going to come right out and say it... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329679)

um.

April 1st.

ok, IHBT. I think.

Re:Just going to come right out and say it... (0)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329733)

Dumb, but not quite as dumb as people who come here to say "April 1st".

Re:Just going to come right out and say it... (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329889)

What about people who come here to say people come here to say "April 1st". Is that double redundant that? Wait, now I'm triple redundant. Forget it if you reply to me.

date (1)

intertrode (1564753) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329659)

Wait, what day is it?

Re:date (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329719)

Wait, what day is it?

April troll's day. I miss the long dead tradition of April fools day.

Re:date (2)

houghi (78078) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330201)

Instead of having many stoopid ones, what they should do is have one extremely clever one. That would be funny. But then that would require effort and preparation. Not copy and paste.

Also I see more and more companies doing the Aprils Fools day so they can show how 'real' they are and not at all a serious company. However they are still aware that they do it and are so afraid of their image that they make it extremely obvious and it becomes just another marketing trick.

So please stop doing that.

What I did as a kid was NOT fool anybody. At the end of the day everybody was almost killing them selves, because they were waiting for it. Then when asking if they thought I was going to fool them (or already did) and they said yes, I said : Fooled ya!

Many adults did not understand what I was talking about and why I thought that was extremely funny.

I admit, I have no friends.

This is one of those deals (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329663)

Where it would be quicker to write a perl script to do ROT13 translation, than to read the editors' description of what the site did with it.

Assuming it's not an April 1 joke, and it might be (an unusually ponderous one at that).

Re:This is one of those deals (2)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329753)

Where it would be quicker to write a perl script to do ROT13 translation, than to read the editors' description of what the site did with it.

Assuming it's not an April 1 joke, and it might be (an unusually ponderous one at that).

I can't resist an excuse to do this in tr.

tr 'a-z' 'n-za-m' HERE
Put your message here
HERE

Trivial I know. I'll bet half to slashdot could not resist immediately coding ROT-13 in their favorite language.

Jub rqvgf gur rqvgbef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329665)

Bayl 19.2 zvyyvba pbzzragf? V unir n eha n snveyl zrqvbper jro fvgr bire gur cnfg srj lrnef jvgu n sbehz juvpu unf nobhg n guveq nf znal.

I Got a Better Idea (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329675)

How about letting logged in users filter out all april fools jokes?

Re:I Got a Better Idea (3)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329705)

How about letting logged in users filter out all april fools jokes?

'Jokes' implies funny. This is just lame trolling.

Gvzbgul vf na nffubyr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329693)

Gvzbgul vf na nffubyr.

More BS (5, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329699)

More April 1 bullshit. Can't they at least come up with one thing that is actually funny?

Or just rename it April 1 troll day and be done with it.

Re:More BS (1)

Dachannien (617929) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329873)

Their best one was OMG PONIES, but they can't do that one ironically anymore because people actually like ponies now.

Re:More BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330015)

This counts as +5 Insightful these days? Ragging on a mod joke that's at least on par with most April Fools jokes I've seen?

Re:More BS (1)

nine-times (778537) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330025)

No. There are no April Fools jokes that are "actually funny".

Re:More BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330125)

That's the best thing of it. It's a day to identify all idiots in your nearby location, you haven't detected in the previous year.

funny, cute, or just makes you think. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330315)

I don't care. I look forward to it each April 1st. I certainly don't begrudge them not being funny to all people. April 1st is like National Nerd Day.

Its fun to be a geek, humor is what you make of it, my suggestion, take a step back and enjoy the day.

Huzzah (1)

Waveguide04 (811184) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329709)

I admit to being the anonymous lurker myself sometimes, but this reinforces me to actually login when I hit /. daily and post instead of just read.

Bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329715)

Give out Bitcoins that would work better for every article read and is also signed up???????

Fnq arjf ... Fgrcura Xvat, qrnq ng 54 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329723)

V whfg urneq fbzr fnq arjf ba gnyx enqvb - Ubeebe/Fpv Sv jevgre Fgrcura Xvat jnf sbhaq qrnq va uvf Znvar ubzr guvf zbeavat. Gurer jrera'g nal zber qrgnvyf. V'z fher rirelbar va gur Fynfuqbg pbzzhavgl jvyy zvff uvz - rira vs lbh qvqa'g rawbl uvf jbex, gurer'f ab qralvat uvf pbagevohgvbaf gb cbchyne phygher. Gehyl na Nzrevpna vpba.

this was funny 10 years ago (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329729)

Now the April Fool's jokes on /. are just tired and worn out. There are days why I wonder why I still come here. I guess old habits die hard. Can we not do this shit next year guys?

Re: this was funny 10 years ago (1)

halivar (535827) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329829)

There are two inviolable traditions on Slashdot: April Fools' articles, and incessant whining about them.

Re: this was funny 10 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329939)

Did you come today for both?

Re: this was funny 10 years ago (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330067)

...and incessant whining about them.

Represented in a Venn diagram, everything and whining would be two entirely overlapping circles. This is the way of our people.

Re:this was funny 10 years ago (1)

epdp14 (1318641) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330195)

it's really not a good idea to make reading slashdot obnoxious to readers... it has already been going downhill, and fast, recently. They really shouldn't make it a pain in the ass to read. It isn't funny, it's obnoxious. Now you get to ROT13 unencrypt the latest slashvertisements and 10 day old news!

Oehpr Fpuarvre snpg (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329731)

Vs lbh nfxrq Oehpr Fpuarvre gb qrpelcg guvf, ur'q pehfu lbhe fxhyy jvgu uvf ynhtu.

Re:Oehpr Fpuarvre snpg (2)

etnoy (664495) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329775)

Vs lbh nfxrq Oehpr Fpuarvre gb qrpelcg guvf, ur'q pehfu lbhe fxhyy jvgu uvf ynhtu.

I, for one, use ROT26 to protect my comments. Everybody knows that it offers the level of security that slashdot really needs.

Conversion using APL (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329737)

Seems like a perfect candidate for a simple one-line APL ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_(programming_language) [wikipedia.org] ) function. This should be something like {/~{\}, but my keyboard doesn't have the required keys to enter any of the characters needed. Can anyone help?

Re:Conversion using APL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329749)

Doesn't matter, /. doesn't support Unicode.

Re:Conversion using APL (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330043)

Doesn't matter, /. doesn't support Unicode.

Bravo, you just ruined next year's April fools joke.

"A new benefit for readers: Unicode support in comments. MÃtley Crüe impressed!"

Re:Conversion using APL (3, Funny)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329759)

Seems like a perfect candidate for a simple one-line APL ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APL_(programming_language) [wikipedia.org] ) function. This should be something like {/~{\}, but my keyboard doesn't have the required keys to enter any of the characters needed. Can anyone help?

Ok, I've managed to work out a truly marvelous 7-character conversion in APL, but the margin is too small to contain it.

This is great! (1)

thomasdz (178114) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329741)

I appreciate this extra security since the Cisco "type 7" encryption was broken earlier this year.

And as a long-time Usenet reader, I can basically de-crypt ROT13 in my sleep.

Re:This is great! (1)

WoOS (28173) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330011)

Yes and I think this will put slashdot back at the forefront of securely readable (well, after some conversion) news sites.
Although soon we will see an arms race between bookmarklets [wikipedia.org] for decoding and increasingly complex encoding schemes. XOR $ff, anyone?

Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329751)

How about you make anon cowards watch ads before they can post either short (fr1st! type posts) or long (I use host files to block ads type posts) posts. You could increase the length of the ad in relation to the length of the post. So a medium size post (three or four sentences, at least one paragraph) won't have any problem. But six paragraphs, a three second ad. Nine paragraphs, a six second ad. And so on. Then you could be even more evil, and test understanding, such as having multiple choice: "what company is derided in this ad because they suck compared to our lords and masters Dice.com?", with the obvious answer being "fuck dice and your shitty ads", but the answer required to actually post being something like "monster".

Also, I use host files to block ads. I also use JS to rot13 shit. Someone post a bookmarklet for de-rot13ing stuff alright?

It never gets old! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329755)

Oh slashdot, your shitty April fools shenanigans never get old or tired!

Please keep entertaining is with mediocre bullshit every year on April 1st!

What I'd really like to see... (2, Funny)

blahplusplus (757119) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329781)

... is 'super members' of the community that have proven their knowledge, there is too much bullshit getting modded insightful when it is outright incorrect. I'd like to see slashdot select logged in moderators get the ability to mark false insightful posts as 'false/incorrect' and turn that posters post a different color.

The amount of disinformation from either youth, the uninformed, trolls, or paid hacks to disrupt intelligent discussion on the internet is something I've grown increasingly weary of. It seems increasingly difficult to have intelligent discussions online. There are people who DO KNOW and understand the world at a higher level then most posters on slashdot and these people could help guide discussions when these forces of stupid / distortion appear.

http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/ [consciouslifenews.com]

Re:What I'd really like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330307)

Indeed. And too many Pro-microsoft moderators these days. I cant even comment how much was this or that organization paid with Microsoft money that I am modded down :)

Re:What I'd really like to see... (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330333)

It's called "meta-moderating", and we already have it. I presume from your rant that you make use of this frequently?

My favorite day of the year (1)

halivar (535827) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329815)

I love reading the impotent rage in the comments. Keep whining; the April 1st articles will just keep rolling in.

ROT47 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329831)

I think that's a good time to improve our security to ROT47:
x E9:?6 E@ :>AC@G6 @FC D64FC:EJ 25@AE:?8 E96 #~%cfi

Re:ROT47 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330185)

How did you know the combination to my luggage?

Hey, Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329851)

I'd be willing to subscribe if there was a possibility with
- no javascript
- no cookies

Just plain or digest auth. Wanna play?

Heck. I'd even buy a for-pay subscription. I'm serious.

Ooookay.... (1)

vomviersen (737326) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329865)

Well, it's no "OMG!!! Ponies!!!" but I guess it's the thought that counts. Happy April Fool's Day to you, too!

If I was a CS grad.. (1)

DeBaas (470886) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329883)

If I was a CS grad.. I'd make an app that blocks Slashdot for me each April 1st....

Yes I'm getting old.

Emacs FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329925)

Of course, for those anonymous cowards like me that browse the internet in the correct way - inside emacs - this scheme holds no terrors! A quick M-x toggle-rot13-mode and all is revealed.

FUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329981)

I hate april 1st on the net...

What used to be some lame jokes and minor humor... Has become outright lying and unfunny bullshit.

Re:FUCK (1)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330183)

I hate Anonymous Coward on Slashdot...

What used to be some witty humor and unusual perspectives has become noise and spamming and just posting too fast everywhere.

decodeing rot13 without authorization can = JAIL T (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329985)

decodeing rot13 without authorization can = JAIL Time under some of the laws.

I thought ROT13 was something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330007)

Anyone else think ROT13 had something to do with the game Rise of Triad?

Jul fhpu n cbbe pubvpr bs rapelcgvba? (1)

Skapare (16644) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330159)

Jul jnf fhpu n cbbe rapelcgvba nytbevguz pubfra? Rirelbar xabjf gevcyr-ebg13 vf orggre.

Wait, is this a trap? Am I breaking the DMCA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330255)

Are you giving me permission to un-rot13 it? I wouldn't want to be accused of circumventing an encryption device without authorization.

Way to piss off your customers (1)

raymansean (1115689) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330277)

I usually have a pretty decent sense of humor. However this ROT13 joke, is not funny and shows no creativity. For a website that USED to be about news nerds/ stuff that matters, this is a new low. You are forcing your target audience to do more work, which may temporarily drive up ad clicks, but in the long run you will loose your base and the site will continue to decline.

Get your Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330317)

Qba'g sbetrg gb qevax lbhe Binygvar.

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