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Judge Creates Own Da Vinci Code

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the judges-with-a-sense-of-humor dept.

United Kingdom 463

xmedar writes "The BBC is reporting that the judge who presided over the recent Da Vinci Code plagiarism case used steganography to embed his own code in the judgment using italic text in random places throughout the text. The full text of the code reads 'smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz' if you want to have a go at cracking it." From the article: "Although he would not be drawn on his code and its meaning, Mr Justice Smith said he would probably confirm it if someone cracked it, which was 'not a difficult thing to do'. In March, he presided over a High Court case brought by authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who claimed Dan Brown plagiarized their own historical book for The Da Vinci Code."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211480)

It means "First post"!

Dan Brown, Artiste! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211706)

A telephone is ringing in the darkness -- a tinny, unfamiliar ring. I fumble for the bedside lamp and turn it on. Squinting at my surroundings I see a plush Renaissance bedroom with exquisite Louis IX furniture, hand-frescoed walls, and a mahogany four-poster bed with a person in it, who is me, Dan Brown, the master storyteller and a bestselling author whose talent for dialogue and depth of characterization exceed even Tom Clancy at his finest. The jacquard bathrobe hanging on the bedpost bears the monogram: HOTEL RITZ PARIS.

Where the hell am I?

The cobwebs in my head blow away, like candles in the wind. Oh, that's right, I am in my New England bedroom recovering from a trip to the world renowned city of Paris, where I attended a lecture given by world renowned Harvard religious symbologist Robert Langdon, who gave me an idea for a novel about religious symbology. On my bedside table I see Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum ... It's really difficult to read. How I wish someone would write a dumbed-down version!

Hello?

I pick up the phone. "Monsieur?", says the voice. "Sir, an important man is here to see you, s'il vous plait?" I wish Juanita would stop putting on a French accent. "A very important man," she pressed. That could only be my friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, the Royal Historian and Ambassador-Plenipotentiary to the Exchequer. He was awarded a knightency by Queen Elizabeth the II for his amazing volume on the House of Percy, in which he revealed for the first time the ninth earl's involvement in a Rosicrucian-Illuminati-Masonic conspiracy to do, er, something or other.

"Good evening, old fruit!," he exclaimed as he shimmered in, his monocle popping out. "I say, how the devil are you, old bean? Lawks-a-mercy, had a spot of bother getting up the apples and pears, don't you know! Good lord, is that settee kosher or wot? Must 'ave a knees-up round the old Joanna, eh!" (Did I not already tell you my research skills are second to none?: I based this dialogue on The Code of the Woosters, a useful compendium of contemporary slang). His manservant, Rémy Legaludec, stood by, menacingly. I don't trust him. Rémy, I mean, not Sir Teabing, who is as straight as a piece of string.

But who was the femme fatale (fatal woman) accompanying him? She looked familiar, like a beautiful Jacques Saunière, world renowned curator of the Louvre (the Louvre), the world renowned art museum in Paris. "Ah, 'alo, 'alo, monsieur (Mister), my name is Sophie Neveu," she said in flawless English, "I studied at the Royal Holloway." There is a sadness about her, as if she were about to find out her grandfather had been shot by a psychotic albino assassin working for Opus Dei -- hey, it happens -- but on the outside she smiles enigmatically, like Amon L'Isa.

Sophie took off her glasses, the ones that made her look like the renowned French government cryptographer she was. "My God," I said, "you're beautiful." "Thank you," she said, tossing her mane of thick burgundy hair playfully. Her playfulness disguised the haunting memory of witnessing her beloved grandfather participating in a bizarre sex ritual, but I wasn't to know that, though I thought I'd mention it now to keep the narrative tension at fever pitch. See, that's what good writing is all about.

Sir Teabing was also a sight for sore eyes. I wanted to pick his brains about an idea I'd had for a new bestselling book. "Sir Teabing," I said to the Royal British Knight of the Realm, "I'd like to pick your brains about an idea I've had for a new bestselling book."

"O, Jubilate!," Sir Teabing said. "Fire away!, as we used to say on the hunting-fields of Eton College, the world renowned school for the British upper-crust."

"From my researches at the Institute of Historical Review, and with the help of world renowned scholar David Irving, I've discovered the existence of a secret cabal -- known as 'Jews' -- which controls the destiny of the world through its factotum, an entity called 'Israel' that worships the fertility god Straussianus. This ancient sect of men pays fealty to the 'Priory of American Enterprise,' a shadowy organization that seeks to institute the rule of Neoconnium for the next thousand years, the first step being the invasion of the sacred and happy land of Nebuchadnezzar ..."

"I say, my cheeky Cockney chappie, hold your horses," said Sir Teabing. "There's nothing new about that old chestnut. Haven't you been reading The American Conservative and The Nation recently? Queer bedfellows, those two, but not half so queer as some chaps I knew at public school, which is what you Americans call private school." Sophie glanced nervously at me. Had Sir Teabing's words been a reference to le vice Anglaise (the Angle's vice) she had heard so much about from her beloved grandfather, a habit they had picked up from the Grand Order of Bulgars? Or did they point to something darker and more mysterious, a hidden code to unraveling the enigma of ...

"You mean, it's been done before?", I said, quizzically but disappointedly. I'd put a lot of work into that one, as had Sam, Pat and Alexander C. "Well, what about this? Seventy-five years ago, the galactic overlord, Xenu, sent tax-audit demands to the 178 trillion people living in his overpopulated space empire of 76 planets. When they came to the tax office to discuss the matter, Xenu had 13.5 trillion of them frozen and put on spaceships to Earth, then known as Teegeeack. You follow?" Sophie and Sir Teabing nodded understandably. It all made so much sense.

"When the fleet of spaceships got here they dumped the bodies into volcanoes and then dropped hydrogen bombs to vaporize them. But Xenu took their souls and made them watch 3-D movies to implant a false reality and made them believe in fake stuff, like religion. These spirits attached themselves to us and caused people to believe in the lies created by Xenu to control us. It's left up to Don Black, the hero, to 'clear' humans of these alien spirits against all odds. It'll sell millions, what do you think?"

Rémy gave me a funny look. Just then, Sir Teabing said: "It sounds like a flier, but I think the Scientologists got there first, old thing. Thomas Cruise and Jonathan Tra-, Tra-, Travol-, well, some foreign name anyway, pay a million dollars, which are known as pounds in Blighty, to have these secrets revealed to them. Must come as something of a disappointment after all that, I should think."

This was getting hard. I grasped at straws, like a drowning man. Suddenly, it hit me, like a steam train crashing into an iceberg. "The Church!", I said. "Controlled by a secret faction of fanatics, the Church has suppressed all knowledge of Jesus Christ's love life in order to...in order to," I could barely mouth the words, so explosive were they, "conceal Our Lord's true nature. In a desperate race against time, handsome and debonair symbologist hero Don Black must expose their lies, get the girl and save the world from their domination. The McGuffin could be, I don't know, a fiendishly complex code phrase that Dan, sorry, Don, and, er, Sophia, would have to break.... Something like ISAAC OPEL and PIN. I'm going to rock the Church to its very foundations and reveal the truth to my readers, the more deluded of whom might actually think that a third-rate thriller ought to be regarded as an authentic contribution to theology and history!"

"Remarkable, my good fellow!", said Sir Teabing. "But is it truly believable? Do you really think the Church of England could pull off such a diabolically cunning plan? The Archbishop of York and his henchman, the Bishop Suffragan of Ohio, are sinister, shadowy figures, as we all know, but The Anglican Candidate, Gene Robinson, inadvertently came close to giving the game away...."

Sophie gave a curt nod, in agreement. "Unfortunately, I think I've already broken your code using the same amazing ability to make unrealistically enormous logical jumps that you invest so many of your characters with."

Sir Teabing and I looked expectantly at her, as if we were pregnant.

"Thus, ISAAC is a reference to Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, the 17th century fishing guide crammed with clues -- known only to initiates of not overly exciting but sociable outdoor activities -- to the Rosicrucian Enlightenment, the movement based on principles advanced by the Cathar Heretics and the Knights Templar, guardians of the Holy Grail. "Angler" is, of course, a Latinised play on "England," the country visited by the Venetian sacred geometrician Paracelsus in 1524; Paracelsus cites "Germanius" -- brother of King Dagobert II -- on page 5284 of his Cryptex Cryptonomicon..."

I nod knowingly. As does Sir Teabing, who excitedly says, "... and 5284 is, of course, 1524 according to the Jewish calendar! And Paracelsus -- whose real name was Kaspar Hauser -- was adopted by German monks when he was seven, which is what you get if you add 5+2+8+4 together and then subtract the total of 1+5+2+4!"

"Yes," said Sophie. "And 450 years later, that very same monastery asked Roberto Calvi, later murdered by a renegade sect of Merovingians, Halliburton employees, Cubans, and the P2 Lodge, to invest its funds with the Rothschilds, who along with the Rockefellers and the Carlyle Group, owned a minority stake in General Motors, which..."

I completed her sentence. "...wholly owns OPEL, the major German car-manufacturer! A-ha, at last the circle comes full square! And what else is based in Germany? The Lutheran Church, a Protestant denomination mentioned in the Jacobite-derived Dead Sea Scrolls, a text literally littered with mentions of the sacred Aramaic word, "ÿYðÐ," roughly rendered in English as "PIN," the ancient word for, you guessed it, New Hampshire."

"Or you could just tap those words, I guess, into an online anagram generator and get EPISCOPALIAN, as the author of this article did," interrupted Rémy unhelpfully. "I mean, isn't that a more reasonable explanation for these totally unrelated events than the ever more ludicrous and outlandish conspiracy theories you drum up to mask your own ignorance of how the world works?"

We sat stunned by Rémy's outburst. "Know your place, manservant!," said Sir Teabing, with feeling.

"Non! (No!), I shall have my say," said Rémy. "Look, nobody's going to buy a book with characters so wooden they're an insult to furniture, whose plotting is so unashamedly designed to appeal to Hollywood executives it's offensive, and which rips off a hoary old work of junk pseudohistory called Holy Blood, Holy Grail that was written by a couple of obsessive nutcases in the '80s. Nobody could take such lowbrow, manipulative garbage seriously. I obviously have more faith in the taste of the great American public than you ..."

"Have a peanut, Rémy," offered Sir Teabing. "Now let Dan get to work."

FP?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211486)

W00T!! I win it!

It's not ROT13 (5, Funny)

griffjon (14945) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211496)

Which only turns it into "nrvrkgbfgcfnpternzdjsxnqczdm"

I checked double, triple and even quadruple ROT13, too! No luck!! ;)

Re:It's not ROT13 (1)

tddoog (900095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211696)

Maybe the judge just randomly italicized letter to screw with code breakers.

That is something that I might do, but then again I am lazy and kind of a dick. (or so I've been told)

Re:It's not ROT13 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211699)

You do realise what double and quadruple ROT13 would do, right? (hint: ROT means "rotate").

Re:It's not ROT13 (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211843)

Hey, you can't possibly be so lazy as to make up some random characters instead of really ROT13-ing the text. The obvious giveaway is the missing uppercase character. The realROT13 of the smithcode is "fzvgupbqrWnrvrkgbfgcfnpternzdjsxnqczdm"

now somebody please mod me "informative"....

Coolest Judge Ever? (5, Insightful)

propellerhead_prime (777032) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211499)

Anybody who puts that kind of stuff in their formal documents is clearly too cool to be a judge. Anybody know where you can find info on what the italicized letters are?

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211515)

They're in the summary, you fucking retard.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (5, Funny)

propellerhead_prime (777032) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211586)

Actually, if you RTFA you would see that what's in the summary doesn't match the summary. So I see your 'Fucking retard' comment and raise you with 'stop being a total dumbass'

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211773)

So I see your 'Fucking retard' comment and raise you with 'stop being a total dumbass'

Woah. This is getting too rich for me. I fold...

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (2, Informative)

gormanly (134067) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211549)

FFS, Her Majesty's Courts Service is slashdotted! [0@42 downloads]$ wget http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/images/judgment -files/baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf [hmcourts-service.gov.uk] --14:30:51-- http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/images/judgment -files/baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf [hmcourts-service.gov.uk] => `baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf' Resolving www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk... failed: Temporary failure in name resolution.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (2, Interesting)

gormanly (134067) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211570)

doh.

FFS, Her Majesty's Courts Service is slashdotted!

[0@42 downloads]$ wget http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/images/judgment -files/baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf
--14:30:51--  http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/images/judgment -files/baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf
           => `baigent_v_rhg_0406.pdf'
Resolving www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk... failed: Temporary failure in name resolution.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211571)

Any judge intentionally making fun of/with one of the two parties involved in a lawsuit must be a retard. Or atleast biassed.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211682)

Then tell us which one he's making fun of.

Sorry, didn't mean to end a sentence with a prepostition.

Then tell us which one he's making fun of, asshole.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (1)

Gonarat (177568) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211716)

Why? I thought the whole lawsuit was ridiculous -- but with the way copyright law and rulings have been I would (sadly) not have been surprised to see the ruling go against Dan Brown. Needless to say, seeing a sane ruling was a breath of fresh air, and I thought it was neat that the Judge had a little fun in his ruling. I don't think Judge Smith was making fun of either party -- he was just having a little fun in the spirit of this high profile case. He stayed away from the religious aspect of the case -- I could see people getting upset if he made a joke about that part of the case. Just my 2 cents.

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211717)

Not in the UK.

Here the Judiciary still manifests some sense of humour at least from time to time.

It is only the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who had that amputated. Dunno when this happened but they are clearly missing it now. Along with elementary sanity and sense of reality and proportion. Don't believe me? Here is an example: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/ 2981358.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Coolest Judge Ever? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211585)

judges are cooler than gay fucking programmers/hackers.

Smithy Code? (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211503)

The line in the summary "The full text of the code reads 'smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz' if you want to have a go at cracking it." seems to be contradicted by the linked article
Italicised letters in the first few pages spell out "Smithy Code", while the following pages also contain marked out letters.
I would not have a go at cracking what's in the slashdot summary (if it's missing one letter who know's what else is wrong)

Offtopic: For those unsure about whether Dan Brown is a fool or a genius, I offer a quote from Digital Fortress: [wikipedia.org]
"We've got a five-tier level of defense," Jabba explained. "A primary Bastion Host, two sets of packet filtersfor FTP and X-eleven, a tunnel block, and finally a PEM-based authorization window right off the Truffle project. The outside shield that's disappearing represents the exposed host.It's practically gone. Within the hour, all five shields will follow. After that, the world pours in. Every byte of NSA data becomes public domain.
You cannot make this stuff up :-)

Re:Smithy Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211556)

IIRC, the Times published this code today. They claimed it was 'smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz' (the /. way), without the 'y'.

Although I might be mistaken.

Re:Smithy Code? (4, Funny)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211584)

While the five-tier defense system of the NSA computer network is well-publicized, few people know about the hidden "sixth tier" of defense run by the sysadmin superman "The Plague" It is comprised mainly of an overwhelming number of "garbage files" to muddle even the most leet hax0r. It seems quite unlikely that anyone will ever hack the Gibson.

Re:Smithy Code? (3, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211674)

It seems quite unlikely that anyone will ever hack the Gibson.

And even if they do, the resultant files will likely be in Aramaic or some obscure, ancient Mayan language.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

yfarren (159985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211863)

LOL!!! Better Be Mayan! WAY too many people (myself included) are functionally literate in Aramaic (the basic document of Orthodox Jewish Law, the Gemara, is written in Aramaic. Most Boys who have gone through a Orthodox Jewish Day School, will be able to decifer, if not flat out read, anything written in Aramaic).

Re:Smithy Code? (2, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211587)

Oh, come on, name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it. This is mass-market fiction, if it was authentic then it would not be as successful. Dan Brown did what he had to. The only example of popular fiction that I can think of that contains a believable depiction of an IT system is Jurassic Park - the novel, not the movie.

Having said that, I read Angels and Demons (which I think is a marginally superior novel to DVC) but seeing the liberties that he took with physics I stayed well clear of Digital Fortress because I knew that my familiarity with the science invoved would have me spitting my own teeth out, so I do sympathize.

Brown's a hack. Other pop writers less so. (2, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211672)

This is mass-market fiction, if it was authentic then it would not be as successful.

There are plenty of examples of both hacks and decent writers being successful. As successful -- maybe there you have a point -- but the question was whether he's a genius or a dork, and the "dork" clicker on my geiger counter just went off a ton during that excerpt.

John Grisham is putridly bad in terms of the legal setting he sets his pop schlock in, whereas Scott Turow is pretty danged good and gets his stuff close to plausible. Turow's novels are far superior to Grisham's as a result -- but Grisham's dumbed-down idiocy does get cranked out faster and make somewhat more money, that's true. John Lecarre, especially early on, was writing his espionage thrillers based on personal experience in British Intelligence; Ian Fleming was writing pop nonsense. They've both had their commercial successes. James Bond is an easier franchise to cash in on in those Hollywood movies you talk about -- but give me "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" any day.

The question was whether Dan Brown should be taken seriously. Looks like he's a trash pop fiction writer to me, that being the parent poster's point. There are much better examples of what he does. If you want the whole grand-conspiracy-across-history thing, Umberto Eco turned it inside out in Foucault's Pendulum in the 1980s, and Eco's about 700 times the novelist Dan Brown is...

Re:Brown's a hack. Other pop writers less so. (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211820)

John Lecarre, especially early on, was writing his espionage thrillers based on personal experience in British Intelligence; Ian Fleming was writing pop nonsense.

Maybe so, but it was based directly on his personal experience in British Intelligence. To claim le Carré's work is superior because of his intelligence background is nonsense. It may be superior (although that's subjective), but given Fleming's background in naval intelligence, personal experience is certainly not going to be the reason for one being better than the other.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211679)

"name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it"

ID4?

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211805)

OK, I now realise that ID4 means Independence Day - and therefore that you are either joking, trolling, or having some kind of episode.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211830)

Well, take your pick. If I wanted to REALLY mention realistic (more or less) portrayal of IT-systems in a major Hollywood-movie, I would have propably picked Matrix Reloaded. And it deserves a mention for mere 5 seconds of footage.

Re:Smithy Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211723)

name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it.

Hackers.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211811)

name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it. Hackers.


Thank you for putting a smile on my face... but Hacker was just as bad as many movies with computers in them from that era.

Re:Smithy Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211725)

"Oh, come on, name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it."

The Second Matrix, with Trinity using nmap at the power plant.

Re:Smithy Code? (2, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211767)

The only example of popular fiction that I can think of that contains a believable depiction of an IT system is Jurassic Park - the novel, not the movie.

Oh yes, Michael Chricton is just the person I'd point to for realistic [everything2.com] portrayals of science in popular fiction.

Re:Smithy Code? (2, Informative)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211774)


oh, come on, name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it. This is mass-market fiction, if it was authentic then it would not be as successful. Dan Brown did what he had to. The only example of popular fiction that I can think of that contains a believable depiction of an IT system is Jurassic Park - the novel, not the movie.

Jurassic Park makes up for it with stupid biology. They think they can contain the dinosaurs contained on the island by making them "lysine dependent". People are fucking lysine dependent. It's an essential amino acid [wikipedia.org]. To the author's credit, it turns out not to work. But I can't imagine an organization capable of bringing back dinosaurs from DNA that can't collectively remember 9th grade biology.

Re:Smithy Code? (4, Funny)

phong3d (61297) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211812)

Oh, come on, name me one major hollywood movie with more realistic IT in it.

The First Wives Club [imdb.com]. At one point in the movie, one of the characters is in her husband's office. She opens up a document in Microsoft Word and saves it to a disk.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211817)

Antitrust wasnt bad. At least the video of the guy working on the commandline. That honestly impressed me.

I'd be curious to see how shows like ER or House actually compare to real medicine. I wonder if its that much a crapshoot most of the time.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211588)

You cannot make this stuff up :-)
Really? I'd have thought it was readily apparent that making that stuff up is exactly what Brown did. You don't think he actually asked someone knowledgeable do you? :)

Re:Smithy Code? (5, Insightful)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211623)

Too bad the book sucked, though.

    Dan Brown uses basically the same plot outline for each of the three books of his that I've read. (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and Digital Fortress). Here it is in a nutshell:

    Egghead professor-type gets sucked into something Really Important To the World (tm) with the help of a very intelligent woman who happens to be an expert in the Really Important Thing (tm) but STILL needs him to explain everything to her anyway. While they try to make it to the end of the book they are pursued by a merciless killer who wants to bump them off before they discover the Big Secret (tm). Did I forget anything?

Re:Smithy Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211660)

Does the egghead professor-type and the intelligent woman fall in love at the end? That would be totally unpredictable.

Re:Smithy Code? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211671)

Dan Brown uses basically the same plot outline for each of the three books of his that I've read.

Makes one wonder why you keep on reading his books if they're all the same...

Re:Smithy Code? (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211889)

It's because those crafty marketing people at the editing house keep changing the book covers.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

Zoidbergo (751725) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211708)

Someone always dies in the Foreword (or is it the Preface?). :)

Re:Smithy Code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211884)

The first para conforms to a pattern as well. As Language Log [upenn.edu] put it:

"Renowned author Dan Brown staggered through his formulaic opening paragraph."

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

Mazzie (672533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211710)

You have also just described the plot of Deception Point, another Dan Brown book, except the hero is actually a woman (heroine), and the geeky expert is a man baby, yeahahh (tm).

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

ec_hack (247907) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211844)

Did I forget anything?

Yes. The books (at least for A&D, DVC, and DP) take place over 24 hours.

In fact, the producer of the DVC movie originally tried to buy the rights for the TV show 24.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

toddritt (971248) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211850)

I definately concur...I have read Angels and Demons, Digital Fortress, Da Vinci Code as well. I read Da Vinci Code to make the movie more interesting. I guess if you write the same plot multiple times, eventually you'll get a bestseller?

Re:Smithy Code? (2, Insightful)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211885)

Did I forget anything?

You forgot that the apparent bad guy is the good guy in the end, and the helpful good non-hero character is the criminal mastermind.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211896)

While I agree that Digital Fortress is far from a "Great Work". His other works, Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Deception Point are very good. Digital Fortress was his first published work and you can see that it's a little rough compared to the others. While they all do follow a simalar pattern that is because all his works are a part of the same genre. I don't believe it makes them a boring read. He is a great author. I've read hundreds of books and those three are some of the best.

Just as a side note, I consider The Da Vinci Code his third best.

1. Angels and Demons
2. Deception Point
3. The Da Vinci Code
4. Digital Fortress

I know his next book is based around the same stuff The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons are about. While I loved both books; I hope he doesn't beat the subject into submission.

Re:Smithy Code? (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211777)

I would not have a go at cracking what's in the slashdot summary (if it's missing one letter who know's what else is wrong)

It is [reuters.co.uk] "smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz".

italic letters may not be useful by themselves (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211507)

What if they are markers and the character count between italics is the true code (for example)? He said it isn't difficult so the italics might suffice, but still...

It's "Smithy code" (4, Informative)

Creosote (33182) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211511)

The first boldface italicized letters actually spell out "Smithy code"; you can see the 'y' in section A.1.3 of the ruling [hmcourts-service.gov.uk] (PDF).

too much time on their hands? (0)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211531)

I see in the news how our Justice system is overwhelmed, they have too much work to do, they need more people, more funding, etc...

I can't understand this... OK, so they have the time to do these sorts of things now?

I know that if I attempted such shenanigans in, oh I don't know, reports that got sent to customers I'd likely be reprimanded if not fired.

Re:too much time on their hands? (4, Interesting)

Hedgethorn (859353) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211626)

This isn't unheard of in the legal world. I don't have any references at hand, but my brother-in-law (who is presently in law school) has shown me several creative decisions like this: a judge who included hundreds of movie titles in his decision, decisions in rhyming verse, etc.

Re:too much time on their hands? (5, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211628)

Yes, but funding doesn't always help you in the legal process. What we need is smarter people who can read betwen the lines and check out what is really being said. Why don't people realise that lack of intelligence is what the problem is actually about>

Re:too much time on their hands? (3, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211678)

Surely, it is about more than funding, but I don't think you can say its a just matter of intelligence, primarily.

I'd reckon it falls somewhere in the middle; that its mostly a management issue.

Re:too much time on their hands? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211769)

Its the system overall. Too many stupid laws, too many wars on this or that. Why don't people think more .. about the children that is. We need to think about the children more. To make the world a special place for them. If only we could do that. I realise that this is hard to do, but what are the consequences otherwise?

Re:too much time on their hands? (4, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211742)

Although, speaking of severe, horrific,ubiquitous legal forums, it remains to be seen which of the two well funded legal teams has enough capital to really win this case through successful legal obfuscation.

Sorry (-1, Flamebait)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211547)

I'm sorry, but a Judge should not be playing games in a judgement. If I were the plantiff or prosecutor, I'd be pissed the he might not be taking the case seriously.

Re:Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211576)

Do you have to stand up to type--what with the giant pole up your ass and all?

Re:Sorry (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211581)

I'm sorry, but a Judge should not be playing games in a judgement. If I were the plantiff or prosecutor, I'd be pissed the he might not be taking the case seriously.

The plaintiff's premise for suing was "Dan Brown wrote about the same stuff we wrote about" followed by their lawyer's logic of "Dan Brown is rich" and "this pays better than the lottery". They deserve not to be taken seriously.

Re:Sorry (2, Insightful)

ghc71 (738171) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211602)

Maybe, if you were the plaintiff, you would take a hint as to how serious he felt your case was?

Obligatory: (1, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211839)

Mr Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Lamest (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211568)

This is officially the lamest news story of the day. I'm kind of ashamed to find it on slashdot.

That judge is such a nerd that its not even funny - and I don't mean nerd in the endearing way. I mean he has no sense of humor and no wit and no talent.

Distributed Cracking! (-1, Offtopic)

Kalak (260968) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211619)

OK, so who wants to write a distributed cracking for this?

Yes, I'm joking. My guess is that if you know enough to write a distributed cracking program, and it's a simple code, then it's probably something you can crack this code without one.

Help finish the M4 project (enigma) with the new client at http://www.bytereef.org/ [bytereef.org]

Then go back to your favorite distributed code project when it's done - only one message left.

not ceasar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211631)

I was poking about at it earlier, it's not monoalphabetic, but that's as far as I got.

Vigenere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211722)

I wondered whether 'smithycode' might be a Vigenere keyword, though it doesn't seem to be the case. Seems there is good reason to consider this, as the judge mentioned he used codes found in both books which were in the case. Vigenere cipher was an important part of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", one of the books in the court case. The other, Brown's obscure novel, used a number of codes including the Atbash and other simple substitutions.There's a few random thoughts here: Smithy Code [dailygrail.com]. No solution though. :/

The courts are overloaded enough... (-1, Troll)

multiOSfreak (551711) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211637)

The US court system is already busting at the seams. Why waste time "creating" a silly code in a *judgement* document? That's the kind of thing you should do at home, not while sitting on the bench. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great there's a judge cool enough to grok cryptography, but goofing around with official court rulings is not cool. In fact, that's the kind of thing that might prompt a losing party to file an appeal, further engorging the court system with frivolity.

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211653)

How about reading the fucking article before getting up on your high horse.

This was a UK judge, retard.

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (2, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211654)

Um .. just to let you know .. it wasn't a US court.

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211677)

Oh, look! Look at the repression inherint in the system!

Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (1, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211697)

From TF Summary:

The BBC is reporting...
...Mr Justice Smith...
...a High Court case ...

In other words, this case is from Britain!

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211786)

it might have escaped thy notice that the judge is not from the US.
we are slightly non-amused that thou fortakest UK for US.
cultured justices should be capable of creating such fine art as inline
cryptography at the blink of an eye. especially in a courtly environment.
thou should be thrown in the tower for such assumptions.

yours sincerely,

HRM Anonymous Coward

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211821)

Of course they shouldn't be wasting their time writing judgments while sitting on the bench.
That's why they have clerks tucked away in the back room to bang these things out ;)

Re:The courts are overloaded enough... (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211824)

goofing around with official court rulings is not cool

Rebellion is always cool. Besides, it was probably an "after the fact" thing which might have taken all of 10 minutes. Not to mention, even if it were the U.S. court system, I would venture to say that it has already all but choked to death from frivolity on the side of the litigators, it's not like this act would seriously affect the integrity of the system.

Media circus (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211695)

I'm suprised nobody seems to notice that they both are linked to the same publisher, the book has been in existence for 3 years already, so why now?, and suprise, suprise, the film is about to come out. What better than a pointless media frenzy and "cool judge" to get everyone talking about it? So transparent...

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211700)

It's just rotating clear text...

One Question (4, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211724)

Can we get this guy on the US Supreme Court? It's gotten way too stuffy for my test. Mr Justice Peter Smith might just bring some much-needed humanity to court deliberations.

Missing letters (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211729)

The summary is missing one, and this morning everyone thought there were 25. There must be a more geeky way to figure this one out than sitting there for hours on end reading boring legal stuff.

Re:Missing letters (1)

kimbellina (888321) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211776)

The code posted earlier was missing an instance of g: smithycodeJaeiextostgpsacgreamqwfkadpmqzv

ho8Lo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211775)

abou7 who caN rant

More Clues (2, Insightful)

Flaming Babies (904475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211806)

From another article [timesonline.co.uk]

Mr Justice Smith confirmed Mr Tench's suspicions when he said the pattern was "something more than a typo". The judge, who is 53 and lists some of his hobbies as reading military history and the sinking of the Titanic, said that paragraph 52 of his judgment would give readers a clue to the puzzle.

That paragraph reads: "I have set out at some length what in my opinion is an overall analysis of HBHG [The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail]. I have done that and will do the same further in this judgment in respect of DVC [The Da Vinci Code] because that is essential in my view to deciding this case."The paragraph ended: "The key to solving the conundrum posed by this judgment is in reading HBHG and DVC."

In Mr Justice Smith's coded judgment, the first nine digits obviously spell Smith Code:
s,m,i,t,h,c,o,d,e,J,a,e,i,e,x,t,o,s,t,p,s,a,c,g,r, e,a,m,q,w,f,k,a,d,p,m,q,z.

Beyond that is anyone's guess.

Hmm. I submitted this anonymously. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15211825)

Amazing. Only 30 minutes after I submitted this anonymously (with a Reg link), somebody else submits it for credit...

Blah, subject, blah (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15211828)

Is it just a subsbitution ciper with the letters "smithcode" being the first ones?
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