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August 20, 1997

Mimicry Applet

By PETER WAYNER

This applet shows how data can be mutated into innocent sounding plaintext with the push of a button. In this case, the destination is a the voiceover from a hypothetical baseball game between two teams named the Blogs and the Whappers.

The information is encoded by choosing the words, the players and the action in the game. In some cases, one message will lead to a string of homeruns and in other cases a different message will strike out three players in a row. See the FAQ for more information.

The applet takes a few minutes to load. When it is ready, you'll see three text input areas. The first one gets the message. Put the data there. The second, larger one is where the mimicry comes out. You can generate it by pushing the first button.

Mimicry can be reversed by pushing the second button. The output is replicated at the bottom. Remember that any error in the text can screw up the result.

There are plenty of limitations to this system. It only sends uppercase letters and spaces. Lowercase letters are converted to uppercase ones and everything else is converted into a space.

How do I use to send ''innocent'' messages?

Type your message into the top box, push the first button and then cut the blather out of the second box. Most of the new browsers will let you do this, but some older browsers don't have this capability. Upgrade to Netscape Communicator 4.0 or Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3.0 for this feature.

To unscramble the "innocent" message, paste it into the second box and then push the second button. It should appear at the bottom.

Your browser isn't supporting Java. Get one that does to use this tool.




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