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Archive through March 25, 2005Benjamin Moore22 3-25-05  3:20 am
Archive through April 21, 2005Benjamin Moore22 4-21-05  3:27 pm
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John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 11:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some kind of artistic work? something on a computer? something that could be stored on a computer?
Did they hope to learn / discover something that would help them make money later?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 3:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some kind of artistic work? no something on a computer? yes something that could be stored on a computer? yes
Did they hope to learn / discover something that would help them make money later? yessish
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 7:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Something on a computer, but not an artistic work. One thing? several different things? multiple copies of the same thing? one per person?
A website? software? a game? a password?
Audio? video? text? numbers?
Something that would normally be watched? read? listened to? looked at? used interactively?
Something that would normally be stored in one file?
Something that has a real-world counterpart? like a photograph?
Were they expecting it to be delivered on one or more disks? or over the internet?
Were they planning to sell copies of it afterwards? legally?
The one person primarily to blame, was responsible for providing it?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 10:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Something on a computer, but not an artistic work. yessish One thing? yes... several different things? multiple copies of the same thing? probably, but irrelevant one per person? no
A website? software? yes a game? no a password?
Audio? video? text numbers
Something that would normally be watched? read listened to? looked at? used interactively (ish)
Something that would normally be stored in one file? no
Something that has a real-world counterpart? yes like a photograph?
Were they expecting it to be delivered on one or more disks? FA or over the internet?
Were they planning to sell copies of it afterwards? legally? no
The one person primarily to blame, was responsible for providing it? yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They hired a programmer to write some software for them? which they would use to make money? but he didn't do it?
e-books relevant?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 12:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They hired a programmer to write some software for them? yes which they would use to make money? yessish but he didn't do it? no, he did do it
e-books relevant? no
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 1:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, slight blooper here penetrating my puzzle:
Although they can use this software to get more money, they don't use it to make it as such, and money isn't their primary focus.
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 3:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he write the software but not let them use it?
Are they a non-profit organization?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 4:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he write the software but not let them use it? no, they used it
Are they a non-profit organization? no
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 8:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hm.
Did they examine it? modify it? compile it? run it? Use it in the normal way while it was running?
Was it faulty? or were there some conditions attached that prevented them from doing what they wanted with it?
Is it a common type of software? would it be found on a typical home computer? office computer? geek's computer? internet server?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 1:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they examine it? probably, but for the sake of the puzzle, think NO... modify it? no compile it? yes run it? yes Use it in the normal way while it was running? yes
Was it faulty? yes or were there some conditions attached that prevented them from doing what they wanted with it? no
Is it a common type of software? no would it be found on a typical home computer? no office computer? no geek's computer? that's a little open for contestation, possibly, for svv of geek :) internet server? no
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 1:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the software just not do what it was supposed to do? or did it malfunction in a particular relevant way?
Did the programmer intentionally make the software faulty?

Was the software to be used for anything to do with: audio? video? communication? money? text? education? databases? programming?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the software just not do what it was supposed to do? or did it malfunction in a particular relevant way? this
Did the programmer intentionally make the software faulty? no

Was the software to be used for anything to do with: audio? video? communication? THIS money? text? education? databases? programming?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 1:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Encryption software? translation software? drivers or something for a particular piece of hardware?

Communication in the form of words? typed?
Communication over the internet?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 2:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Encryption software? translation software? drivers or something for a particular piece of hardware? this

Communication in the form of words? typed?
Communication over the internet? none of these
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 1:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The hardware is a communication device then? but not something connected to the internet? does it use cables? radio waves? microwaves? infrared? sound?
Are they a government agency?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The hardware is a communication device then? yessish but not something connected to the internet? correct does it use cables? no radio waves? yes microwaves? not in this case infrared? see previous sound? see previous
Are they a government agency? yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 4:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they a law enforcement agency? Is it some kind of surveillance equipment?
Does it transmit radio waves? does it receive them?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 5:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they a law enforcement agency? no Is it some kind of surveillance equipment? yes
Does it transmit radio waves? yes does it receive them? yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the device connected to a computer which also has other functions? on which the software is running? or is it running on the device itself?
Is the device intended to intercept radio transmissions? and record them? and/or retransmit them to someone else? the agency? or does the agency control it via a radio signal?
Did it pick up the wrong transmission? transmit on the wrong frequency? to the wrong person?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 2:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the device connected to a computer which also has other functions? FA on which the software is running? possibly... or is it running on the device itself? ...but certainly this
Is the device intended to intercept radio transmissions? no and record them? and/or retransmit them to someone else? the agency? or does the agency control it via a radio signal? this
Did it pick up the wrong transmission? transmit on the wrong frequency? to the wrong person? no to all
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 3:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they some kind of military agency?
Is the device primarily for surveillance? or just being used for this purpose? does it have any other function?
Does it do audio surveillance? video? does it transmit audio and/or video via its radio transmitter?
Is it smaller than a button? a football?
Is it fixed in one place? is it able to move under its own power? is its movement controlled by the agency's radio signal?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 11:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they some kind of military agency? not really
Is the device primarily for surveillance? yessish or just being used for this purpose? does it have any other function? yes
Does it do audio surveillance? possibly video? probably does it transmit audio and/or video via its radio transmitter? probably
Is it smaller than a button? a football? no
Is it fixed in one place? no is it able to move under its own power? yes is its movement controlled by the agency's radio signal? yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they an intelligence agency? but not specifically military intelligence?
Is the device some kind of aircraft? a radio controlled spy plane?
Is the malfunction related to the device's movement?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 4:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they an intelligence agency? no but not specifically military intelligence?
Is the device some kind of aircraft? no a radio controlled spy plane? no but OTRT
Is the malfunction related to the device's movement? Yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 1:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does it move on land? on water? underwater? underground? in space?
Did it crash into something?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does it move on land? on water? underwater? underground? in space? this
Did it crash into something? yes
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it a rocket? shuttle? satellite? space station?
Did it crash into the ground? the atmosphere? a rocket? shuttle? satellite? space station? debris in space? the moon?
Does this happen in the past? present? future?
Is it manned?
Is the agency NASA? ESA? similar?
Ariane 5 by any chance?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 2:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

or better yet, Mariner 1?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 1:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it a rocket? this shuttle? satellite? this space station?
Did it crash into the ground? this is closest the atmosphere? a rocket? shuttle? satellite? space station? debris in space? the moon?
Does this happen in the past? this present? future?
Is it manned? no
Is the agency NASA? this ESA? similar?
Ariane 5 by any chance? no

or better yet, Mariner 1? bingo! Care to put it together?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 2:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

From NASA's web site:

This was to be the first Mariner mission. It was intended to perform a Venus flyby. The vehicle was destroyed by the Range Safety Officer 293 seconds after launch at 09:26:16 UT when it veered off course. [...] Additionally, the Mariner 1 Post Flight Review Board determined that the omission of a hyphen in coded computer instructions in the data-editing program allowed transmission of incorrect guidance signals to the spacecraft. [...] This caused the computer to swing automatically into a series of unnecessary course corrections with erroneous steering commands which finally threw the spacecraft off course.

I'm still not exactly sure how the puzzle statement fits in though. Is it a reference to the missing hyphen?
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 3:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well done Wunderland! - you've solved it all except for the relevence to the puzzle statement, but I'll spoil it anyway...
Benjamin Moore (Zenith)
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 3:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As Wunderland mentions above:
The Mariner I space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on 28 July 1962 towards Venus. After 13 minutes' flight a booster engine would give acceleration up to 41,545 kph; after 44 minutes 9,800 solar cells would unfold; after 80 days a computer would calculate the final course corrections and after 100 days the craft would circle the unknown planet, scanning the mysterious cloud in which it is bathed.

However, with an efficiency that is truly heartening, Mariner I plunged into the Atlantic Ocean only four minutes after take off.

Inquiries later revealed that a hyphen had been omitted from the instructions fed into the computer. `It was a human error', a launch spokesman said.

This hyphen cost $8,560,000.

hence the puzzle statement. It was metaphorically alluding to the price of a hyphen, using the Wheel-of-Fortune "would you like to buy a vowel". If a hyphen cost $8.5million, how much would a vowel cost? :)

The Title, as had been discovered was part of
The Rime of The Ancient Mariner which was the name of the satellite. The line used also had a hyphen in it and talks of dying on the seas, all which I thought were relevent to the puzzle. It also mentions albotrosses which I thought would make for an amusing red herring...


Congratulations go to Wunderland for solving pretty much the whole puzzle!
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 1:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, but without the "Ancient Mariner" reference I would have been left wandering aimlessly around NASA's formidable web site for quite some time. Not that I would have complained of course.

A highly enjoyable puzzle. :)

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