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Street Art For Codebreakers Offers Puzzles Painted On City Walls

Some of the graffiti found in London today has a hidden meaning. Watch out these for pictures of famous British code-masters–decipher the lines of code underneath, and you could win a prize.

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These colorful pieces of graffiti contain a coded message, and unless you’re a geek you won’t understand. That’s the point: to separate the nerds from the non-nerds.

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Painted on various abandoned walls in London, the pictures feature famous British code-masters, like Alan Turing, who led the team that broke the Nazis’ enigma machine. Turing is credited as the “godfather of computer science,” and much else.


The lines of code underneath–written in binary, Morse code, and JavaScript–have the same messages. Decipher any of them, and you could win a ticket to a leading European science festival.

The pictures were created for the Campus Party, a massive event that will be held in London this September. People claim their passes by going to a web site, and entering a secret key.

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It’s not exactly breaking the Third Reich and winning the War two years early, but it’s something.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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