Posts Tagged ‘Ebay’

by Ivana Kottasova

Volunteers at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in the U.K. found a part of an extremely rare Lorenz coding machine on eBay. The military-issue Lorenz teleprinter was advertised as a German telegram machine for £9.50 ($14).

“One of my colleagues was searching on eBay and came across what seemed to be a German Lorenz teleprinter, so we bought it and drove to Essex … and there it was in a garden shed under some rubbish, the Lorenz teleprinter in its carrying case,” said John Whetter, a volunteer at the museum.
The component looks a bit like an old typewriter and was used to transmit messages.

It connects to a Lorenz SZ42 cypher machine, one of which was used by Hitler and his closest associates to send top-secret strategic messages to the Nazi high command during the war.

The museum said that about 200 Lorenz SZ42 cypher machines were in existence during World War II. Only four are known to have survived.

The existence of the machines remained a secret until the 70s.

The museum is now trying to put together a complete Lorenz machine, using an SZ42 on loan from Norway, and replicate the process of encrypting and then deciphering a message using historical equipment. A motor for the machine is still missing. The story of the teleprinter’s discovery was first reported on the BBC.

The Lorenz machine uses a code in which each letter of the alphabet is represented by a series of five electrical impulses. Messages were enciphered by adding a series of letters to the original text. The letters were generated by 12 rotors.

To crack the code, code-breakers had to determine the starting position of the rotors. The code was first broken after the Germans made a mistake, sending two messages using the same setting.

Mathematician Bill Tutte then deduced the architecture of the machine, without ever seeing it.

“That has been described as one of the greatest intellectual feats of World War II,” Whetter said.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/31/news/ebay-world-war-two-coding-machine/index.html

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A “perfectly spherical” chicken egg has sold for an “unbelievable” £480 on the internet auction site eBay.

Kim Broughton found one of her hens – now renamed Ping Pong – had laid the round egg in her garden in Latchingdon, Essex, on 17 February – Pancake Day.

She decided to auction the egg in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust after a friend’s son died from the disease.

Ms Broughton, 44, said she imagined the buyer was interested in preserving, rather than eating, the unusual egg.

The item, laid by a Buff Orpington hen – described as the “Scarlett Johansson of the chicken world” – attracted 64 bids, but the identity of the winner is not yet known.

Ms Broughton said she had been tempted to cook and eat the egg before being told it was “one-in-a-billion”.

She said: “I was literally about to crack it open to make a pancake when a mate saw the photo I put on Facebook and messaged me to say ‘Don’t do it!’

“Apparently somebody had sold one before for more than £90 so I thought ‘Great if I can sell if for that’.

“When it was at £20 I thought ‘Who’d pay that for an egg?’ and then it went through the roof. It’s unbelievable”.

Ms Broughton, who said she was known as “the mad chicken woman”, said she was nervous about sending the egg through the post.

“At the moment it’s safely in my son’s lunchbox padded with kitchen roll – but if I send it in a hard box it should be quite safe,” she said.

Speaking to BBC Essex Ms Broughton said she would be keeping a close eye on future eggs in the hope of raising “a few more quid” for the charity.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-31668640