Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Imitation Games

Just saw this movie and wondering just how realistic it is. The following occurred to me while watching without even thinking about whether the events in the movie were based on facts or not – they relate purely to the issue of problem solving and the way that anyone who knows even a little about problem solving ought to tackle a problem like that one.

  • Were the Germans really stupid enough to sign off all their encrypted transmissions with “Heil Hitler”?
  • Were the Bletchley park team so stupid as to miss that those messages that they were able to decode all ended that way (since that dramatically decreases the possible options)?
  • Were the messages so time sensitive that it wasn’t worth decoding them a day or two later (why stop decoding at midnight – the encryption of the existing messages hadn’t changed)?
  • Was Turing so moronic that he didn’t think to test his machine first with messages that they had already decoded – something any programmer today knows is the best to run most tests.
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