back to article Prince Charles whips out jumbo red ball for Blighty's code-breakers

Prince Charles unveiled a ball of rose marble inscribed in binary and Morse Code on Friday - a tribute to the men and women of the British intelligence services over the last century who have worked at the "slog" of cracking, interception and security. The new memorial a stone ball with a plaque in the National Memorial …

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Joke

In congratulation I would like to say

JFADF IUKHK JUYKL HLKHH DBXUW NWXPG HJDSG UYQWJ BXXXM

ZOPQW KSXWQ SLWHF AAGHF THEOPS GHFML QWEBN IITHQ

The people who need to know will get it

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In congratulation I would like to say

Why does that look like a license key? Think it's time to find a new careers methinks

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Linux

Re: In congratulation I would like to say

Why does that look like a license key?

What is a license key?

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Anonymous Coward

"What is a license key"

Also called Redhat Activation Key for you Linux users

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Pirate

Re: In congratulation I would like to say

If that is meant to be BATCO then the first block should only be three characters...

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Re: In congratulation I would like to say

Ah, the Enigma Cypher. Now all I need is one of Turing's bombes to read your message... ;)

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Big Brother

What would Turing think?

If Turing and his colleagues had foreseen that their legacy had been turned from defeating the enemy overseas to mass surveillance of UK citizens I bet they'd have been none too pleased.

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Thumb Down

Re: What would Turing think?

I dare say that if he was alive today, he'd think "Great; I can be open about my sexuality without be arrested, forced to take hormones to 'fix' me, and I won't feel so ostracised and persecuted that I'll be driven to suicide. I can actually live a normal life."

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WTF?

Re: What would Turing think?

Hmmm I want to vote you both up...tough call.

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Re: What would Turing think?

Indeed he would be encouraged to be open about his sexuality - you're not vulnerable to blackmail that way.

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Big Brother

Re: @ jason 7, sandman & Psyx

Yes, it's great that Turing could be openly gay in UK 2012 but what about the countries that still oppress gay & other minority groups and monitor their communications? Turing would be appalled that people used his inventions at risk of imprisonment or worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What would Turing think?

Are you channeling the spirit of Alan, otherwise I'm wondering how you can make pronouncements on his behalf.

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Re: What would Turing think?

Are you channeling the spirit of Alan, otherwise I'm wondering how you can make pronouncements on his behalf.

Quite obviously not but do you don't have to be a medium to have a good guess that he'd not be a great supporter of his ideas being used to suppress people. Who would?

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10a51a2d58907739668a462fb4b70066

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GC & CS

Regarding GC & CS I believe it was colloquially known as the Golf, Chess and Cheese Society as a cover when mentioned in conversation!

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Holmes

Re: GC & CS

" ... colloquially known as the Golf, Chess and Cheese Society ..."

The gentlemen's triathlon?

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Childcatcher

Where is it then?

I only clicked on the link to see a picture of a giant red ball that the Prince had put on display..

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Re: Where is it then?

Same...

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Re: Where is it then?

Me, I was hoping to see Prince Charles on the Total Wipeout course. Flapping his ears would give him a natural advantage on anything involving jumping.

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Thumb Up

Re: Where is it then?

http://www.thenma.org.uk/news-centre/news-releases/general/the-prince-of-wales-attends-memorial-dedications-at-the-arboretum/

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't it great

Isn't it great that a man who failed his A levels, somehow got into Cambridge to study an arts degree can make judgments about the import of science. This is a man so mind-bogglingly scientifically illiterate that he treats his cattle with homeopathic medicines.

Next time, get someone important who knows at least a little of what they're talking about, a minister in a science/education role would be a good start.

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Pirate

Re: Isn't it great

And how many "ministers in a science/education role" have any scientific background? At least Charlie isn't playing games to get promotion into the top job, or to get a lucrative position on the boards of several major companies...

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Facepalm

Re: Isn't it great

AC @ 12:08 wrote :-

"Next time, get someone important who knows at least a little of what they're talking about, a minister in a science/education role would be a good start."

You ARE trying to be funny, aren't you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Isn't it great

"At least Charlie isn't playing games to get promotion into the top job, or to get a lucrative position on the boards of several major companies..."

No, he just meddles in the affairs of companies from his position of inherited establishment banging on about how stuff used to be better in the olden days when people knew how to design buildings (ie: design them how he likes them) and how scientists are going to turn the world into gray goo with their tinkering with nano tech. He's also got a pretty good track record of banging on about bio tech and how that will take us all to hell in a handcart.

He is the wrong person to covey any sort of honor on anyone which has anything to do with science or engineering.

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Facepalm

Re: wrong person to weigh in on science

...but you have to admit -- his ears are *indeed* mighty.

That, and the though of the whole world admiring his large, red ball is hysterical.

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Headmaster

Public Recognition

"Due to the nature of their work, spooks rarely get much in the way of public recognition. "

The reason the Bletchley group did not get recognition is that Churchill did not want the impression to get about that the enemy was beaten by a small group of eggheads solving puzzles and getting a bit lucky. He wanted, especially as war with Russia was a distinct possibility in the late 40's, to leave the impression that it was entirely due to superior military ability.

Nor did he want to shift the honour from the many 1000's of soldiers who had died or been maimed in direct military operations onto a small group of boffins, whom most of the public would perceive as column-dodgers who had enjoyed an easy war in a country house.

I am not trying to be disparaging of the Bletchley achievement. I knew one of those guys (John Saltmarsh, when he was old) personally.

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Silver badge

Re: Public Recognition

My impression has always been that keeping Bletchley Park secret was nothing to do with recognition for eggheads or honour for soldiers.

The ability to read your enemies' (and your friends') secret messages was a war-winning weapon in 1945 and probably still is. It doesn't diminish the Bletchley Park achievement to say that the weapon was more effective when the enemy thought it was impossible. So national security alone would have been sufficient excuse to keep the secret.

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Re: Public Recognition

And...

After the war, Britain gave vast numbers of Enigma machines away to the various colonies and dependencies for them to encrypt all their traffic using an 'unbreakable' cipher. We also knew the Russians had got their hands on Enigma and hoped they would begin to encipher their communications with it.

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Boffin

Re: Public Recognition

Maybe the public perception on CompSci and math folks would be more appreciative if they knew that thanks to those 'eggheads' the Allies had much less casualties than they would've had if GCHQ hadn't been able to read the Wehrmacht 'secure' comms.

But the real reason would've been that they didn't want the world+dog to know they had cracked Enigma; instead they gave away Enigma machines to the Commonwealth countries, so they would be able to read their stuff. Also, the Enigma itself came to be after the Germans' previous cypher was directly involved with a real bad case of pwnage: the Mexico City / Zimmerman telegram. When the fact that GCHQ had cracked their cypher went public, the German gov't took Arthur Scherbius seriously with his newfangled crypto machine...

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