The A858 Project Has Concluded. You may unsubscribe.
October 24, 2016 11:19 PM   Subscribe

A little more than five years ago, a previously unused Reddit account began posting seemingly random strings of numbers and text in a new subreddit it had created. To the casual eye, there wasn’t much to see. The subreddit shared the same inscrutable set of numbers and letters as its moderator; the sidebar and comments provided no clarifying information.
posted by Chrysostom (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
G732JW94K38Z3M9Q2
posted by fairmettle at 11:41 PM on October 24, 2016


That's Numberwang!
posted by betweenthebars at 12:06 AM on October 25, 2016 [48 favorites]


Oh my god. Person of Interest was a documentary.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 12:15 AM on October 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is fascinating! I love numbers stations-style weirdness just sort of hanging out in the open, but also drawing no attention to itself. Great post!
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:16 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


“I only hope A858 actually has a purpose,” said jdaher. “I don’t particularly care if it is a good one.”

Finding purpose in this universe? Heh.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:12 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Has anyone tried using "COMSTOCK" as they key?
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:48 AM on October 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Here is some closure from a larger discussion.

The summary: [A]858 was a sham from the start, a waste of time fundamentally. Regardless, its been fun.
posted by nickrussell at 3:12 AM on October 25, 2016


Next week on Celebrity Cipher, A858 finds love and must prepare the biggest riddle of her life - how does she pass off the reins to a successor so she can find happiness?


What? You think after this and Madame Curie that the main character can't be a woman?
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:15 AM on October 25, 2016


Oh yeah. Hilarious. Until your number is up.
posted by Thella at 3:30 AM on October 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


[A]858 was a sham from the start, a waste of time fundamentally. Regardless, its been fun.

The real solution is the friends we made along the way. Awwwww.

(Thank me for not doing a "Metafilter: xxx" with this)
posted by Literaryhero at 3:36 AM on October 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Or fher gb qevax lbhe Binygvar
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:29 AM on October 25, 2016


ACTIVATE RESTON 5
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:59 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nonsense. I used what I learned from A858 to win $4,590 from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

And I only had to buy $12,500 in tickets to do it.
posted by delfin at 5:50 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Thank me for not doing a "Metafilter: xxx" with this
posted by sammyo at 5:59 AM on October 25, 2016 [18 favorites]


Lewis, eh? Perhaps we should inspect a Morse code.
posted by comealongpole at 6:25 AM on October 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


*queues up The Lincolnshire Poacher*
posted by SansPoint at 6:49 AM on October 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


.
posted by numberstation at 7:19 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I love articles like these, but I'd love more involved reporting on the math and work that goes in to the solving of these.
Like, are people just tossing these texts up against algorithms in their collection? Running analysis on supercomputers when they can snap up some discount cycles?
What is the process?
posted by Theta States at 7:39 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love articles like these, but I'd love more involved reporting on the math and work that goes in to the solving of these.
Like, are people just tossing these texts up against algorithms in their collection? Running analysis on supercomputers when they can snap up some discount cycles?
What is the process?


From my experience, they tend to just toss the codes into sites like these and try and figure out some combination that makes sense. Base64 into Vigenere then Caesar shifting... The best versions of these tend to use simple codes that work with the above but mix them with other media or puzzles to make it more challenging (hidden frames in videos, steganography, encoded sounds). That way they are still solvable to the wannabe code breaker while still providing what feels like a challenge to give a sense of accomplishment.

Any actual, real codes tend to go unsolved. I know, I ran a sub like this for a while and it took my kidnapping, murder and posting of the code solution online for it to be figured out.
posted by charred husk at 8:52 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: XXX
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:54 PM on October 25, 2016


« Older Out of Bounds   |   Mundane details of living Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments