DARPA's latest tech challenge should make you hesitate to throw out your shredded documents, instead opting for the handy caveman solution of simply burning them. Until DARPA comes up with a way to read ashes as well as messages on shredded paper.
Troops often confiscate the remains of destroyed documents — the SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden took plenty of paperwork, for instance — but they're difficult if not impossible to reconstruct, as DARPA explains on the challenge website. So DARPA is turning to puzzle lovers and computer scientists in search of a new technique. Winners will take home $50,000 and the sense of pride that comes with unnerving millions of people who thought their shredded documents were secure.
To make the five puzzles, DARPA officials bought some commercial-grade paper shredders and put single-sided handwritten documents through them. Some are multiple pages long, and although the pages were shredded separately, their remnants have been mixed together. The pieces were arranged text-side up and scanned at 400 dpi. To solve the puzzles, competitors must reconstruct the documents and answer a puzzle embedded in the context of the rebuilt document, DARPA says. As the puzzles increase in difficulty, solvers can win more points. The puzzles were unveiled Oct. 27 and solvers will have until Dec. 4 to make sense of them.
Go to the DARPA Shredder Challenge site, register, and download the five puzzles, which come with high-resolution TIFF images and a text file containing instructions and puzzle-specific questions. Registered participants can submit solutions for any or all of the puzzles.
"The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community," DARPA explains.
So maybe shredding paper is not as secure as we all thought. Unless you use it to line the hamster cage, in which case puzzle solvers would have a lot more to deal with.
[via Cosmic Log]
For humanities ever quest to acquire more knowledge, the macro and micro acquisition of information greatly exceeds our capacity to store as a pack rat society our thirst for more knowledge. We have to decide in storing information what is most important as we also invent more ways of storing this information and processing it.
It like being at a sandy beach and deciding each grain of sand is important and unique and so each single grain of sand needs to be stored and all that is information known about it needs to be stored and understood, coupled with there being too much sand to store all that information, so then we much pick and choose what is important as well as invent new ways of storing this information.
Well in science we can count numbers for the sake of counting numbers or we humanity can choose to see each other in life. Some people may choose to count numbers. Others will decide to focus on relationships. I know not want to spend my life counting and understanding pieces of sand. I choose to focus on the people closest to me now and focus on these relationships.
Well you are saying that youd rather focus on the popularity than the study... (yes, yes, like back in the highschool)
I think the study is more important NOW, if it will save our lives later...
-Oh i am so happy on my planet ^^ this is heaven !
*asteroid going straight to the earth*
-damn it, not enough tech... oh well at least we all gonna die happy right?... ^^"""
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
First, I accidently posted this comment in the wrong article. I have a few open at the same time. Second, I think humans are more important that data itself. Yes, data is important, but I just put humans higher up. My comment was not about popularity and high school.
As much as Darpa wants to put shredded documents and its data back together again, I hope they also want to rebuild it from ashes. Most of the important documents I work near that are shredded, are later burned.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
But hey, when have they ever ignored THAT clause? >.>
Relationships are nothing if you can't survive long enough to make something of them. When you get in a car wreck and have your spinal cord severed, ask your friends for help instead of medical scientists. I'm sure your buddies are most than happy to use the power of friendship to mend your broken body.
Tech is nothing without people yes, but like vt007 said, we need tech to push forward. Playing patty-cake isn't going to feed to hungry or let us cure cancer.
thank you ^^
bored? lets go mine the stars... ^^
Imagine the rage of the Shredder manifacturers, when somebody breaks into the Computers of the Pentagon again and steals the Program. =D
Kind late on that one. They should just outsource to Germany.
The best an official office can hope for is to find unclassified information, general stuff, and company info. Anything higher classification is just burned!
The fact is shredding works very well, especially if you dump the contents of one bag to another.
I suppose DARPA can dream.
When in doubt; ALWAYS EAT incriminating documentation! :)
Then perhaps another challenge would be to come up with a variety of tasty new flavors of ink. :)
Try outlining the borders of each shredded piece with fractal line mapping software. Then create software that best matches the shredded pieces based on the outlined fractal line data.