Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Reverse Steganography

You figure it out.
 
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

STenography_iS a technIQUe by whiCH_a_MessagE_is hIDden within AN image. it Occurred to_me that IT_may be_PosSIBLE_To_hiDe_a PicTuRe InSidE sOme_tExt: hAvE i_at_lEasT HalF-bAkeD_THIS_Now?
Loris, Aug 16 2002

Forward and Reverse Genetics http://iccb.med.harvard.edu/forrev.html
gif diagram of one definition [Loris, Aug 19 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Register article on spammimic http://www.theregis...ontent/6/15521.html
contains link to spammimic itself. [Loris, Aug 19 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

textual steganography http://www.compris.com/TextHide/en/
By rephrasing. (I think we've linked to this before.) "The auto drives fast on a slippery road over the hill" -> "On the slope the car travels quickly on an ice-covered street." Oh well. [jutta, Aug 19 2002]

Steganography tools for Linux http://munitions.vi...=render&category=06
Textual ones include text producers nicetext, texto, steganosaurus; text modifiers snow, stegparty. (Stegparty is closest to what you describe, I think.) [jutta, Aug 19 2002]

StegParty 0.2 http://www.fasterli...ects/stegparty.html
Author's home page for the tool. [jutta, Aug 19 2002]

[link]






       Stenography ? I thought it was "Steganography" ... but I'm prepared to be corrected ....
8th of 7, Aug 16 2002
  

       No, that's a dinosaur with a row of plates along its back.
angel, Aug 16 2002
  

       Is that a middle finger?
Gulherme, Aug 16 2002
  

       Um, what? My drawing skills leave something to be desired, admittedly.. Its meant to be ... cookery related.   

       Regarding the spelling of stenography - it seems to be either, judging by the number of web-pages which use both. That said steganography is probably correct, stenography seems to have shorthand connotations. I'm not planning on changing it, for obvious reasons.
Loris, Aug 16 2002
  

       Is it the Read See? I see read people
<Critique>The "art" seems to be missing that special something, that certain "je ne sais quoi."</Critique>
thumbwax, Aug 16 2002
  

       Steganography means 'hiding messages in plain text', whereas stenography is the translation of speech to written form (often via shorthand).
pfperry, Aug 16 2002
  

       Hmm.   

       After some hackery in perl I've made a decoder - I was worried I'd munged it up somehow. And it is decipherable. So the possibilities are:   

       1) My artwork is *really* bad.   

       2) You've not decrypted it quite right (and this is quite possible - even though I tried to pick the obvious bit settings, they may not be the obvious ones to you.)   

       3) You fellas don't know the thing I'm trying to represent. 3b) it is just too subtle for you. (unlikely)   

       4) You're just teasing me   

       So whatever it is, isn't this half-baked? I'm a bit disappointed to only have fish votes!   

       While pedants may be technically correct to claim that this is just steganography, I think the common meaning of "text in an image" is firm enough to claim that an image in text is "reverse steganography" Drat, that was rather explicit.
Loris, Aug 16 2002
  

       How many columns in the picture? I am not above being bribed for croissants with clues...
spartanica, Aug 17 2002
  

       If you copy the message (and remove the line-breaks, however many there are) then you should have 187 characters. This is a product of two primes, so there are two possibilities: a*b and b*a. Try them both (it just looks like a mess if you pick the wrong one).   

       Of course this is a very simple example, if you were doing it seriously then you'd need a header with this sort of metadata in it.
Loris, Aug 17 2002
  

       if you squint your eyes up, in a certain light it looks like a fish eating a banana.
po, Aug 17 2002
  

       Is it an hour glass shooting out of someone's ear (leaving a comet trail)?
spartanica, Aug 17 2002
  

       Ah .... I think you're looking in a mirror again, aren't you ?
8th of 7, Aug 17 2002
  

       11*17 or 17*11
But is it art?
thumbwax, Aug 17 2002
  

       8.8............................
8....8.........................
8.8.8.........................
8.8.8....8.8................
8.8.............8.8..........
........................8.8....
..............................8.
..............................8.
........................8.8.8.
..................8.8.......8.
8.8.8.8.8.8....8.......8.
...8.......8.......8....8....
...8....8.......8.......8....
...8....8................8....
8.......8.......8....8.......
8....8.......8.......8.......
8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8..........
  

       Even after adjusting for proportionally-spaced text, as I have more or less done here, I'm still compelled to ask "what is it?"
supercat, Aug 18 2002
  

       Hey, nice Microscope
thumbwax, Aug 18 2002
  

       Is this reverse steganography or is it just encoding of a 2-color bitmap in ASCII?   

       One could encode around 3000 colors by using 2-letter alphanumeric codes for each pixel. 'Course it wouldn't look like English, most likely--OK, maybe that's the bit I'm missing here: does the encoded data have to look like a message in English?
Dog Ed, Aug 18 2002
  

       To expand slightly on pfperry's definitions:   

       Steganography (from Greek steganos, hidden) refers not just to the hiding of text in pictures, but to any technique that obscures the fact that a message is being sent. (This is important in times and places where people can be executed or tortured for the mere suspicion of being a spy.) So, what you've halfbaked here is more a particular flavor of steganography (cupcake?), not its inverse.   

       Stenography, from Greek stenos, narrow, little, is "shorthand", a technique of writing very little, quickly, often used for (but not by definition connected to) transcribing speech, and doesn't have anything at all to do with the subject of this idea. It is sometimes substituted in error for Steganography.
jutta, Aug 18 2002
  

       Supercat's decode looks like a JumpRabbit to me, whatever that is.
pfperry, Aug 18 2002
  

       Does it have anything to do with quiche?
TeaTotal, Aug 18 2002
  

       supercat and Steve DeGroof's decodings look to me like either a backwards croissant or backwards fishbones (can't decide, not enough detail). I give the idea a croissant though, if it could be done without giving away that it's a picture in the message (a bunch of random caps and underscores are a little suspicious, I think, unless you have a broken keyboard).
Bert6322, Aug 18 2002
  

       Supercat and Steve DeGegroof, you have won a major prize! Actually, no prize (except honour). It was meant to be half an iced bun with cherry - as Steve said. (although I think something went wrong with the last line or two Steve).   

       Jutta's definitions are I think precisely correct. However, let me draw your attention to the link I'm adding now. Reverse Genetics is a technique (or actually, there are several different ones) which are clearly subsets of genetics. But they're called 'reverse genetics' because they are done the opposite way to what is traditional. It was with this in mind that I gave this idea its name.   

       Bert6322's observation that there clearly is something going on in the posting is a good one. This is really because it had to - otherwise noone would have spotted it in the first place. I have a couple of ideas on where one should hide bits in some text: Firstly one doesn't attempt to pack 1 bit per character. Instead we try to sneak in bits in places where they'll look like typos:   

       1) Non-capitalised letter following [.!?]
2) Capital letter in position after (1)
hOw many times have you seen this? oR this? OR this?
3) double space after [.!?]
4) no space at all after [.!?]
These two look like they conflict - but really they don't.
xx._xx encodes 1
xx.__xx encodes 0
xx.xx encodes 00 (ie you can encode 1 bit 3/4 the time and 2 bits 1/4 the time)
5) redundant space before newline.
  

       Obviously, one would need a fairly long message to encode hidden message of any size. I guess you get about 5 bits per line of text. I'd appreciate any further suggestions.   

       While writing this I was reminded of an admittedly very similar idea I read about on The Register (see link). Fortunately it won't take pictures :-) [I'd recommend anyone thinking of using this consider the potential of their unencoded message being picked up on the way to the server.]
Loris, Aug 19 2002
  

       Steganography's success depends on the cover message data being orders of magnitude bigger than the hidden message data. With plain text hiding in an image, this happens quite naturally. I find it curious that you would wish to swap the roles of these two media. A thumbnail sized image (let's say the half croissant on a plate that graces the top of this web page) in grainy resolution and minimal color depth would likely take most of War and Peace to encode. How often can one send such a message before it looks a just wee bit peculiar?
BigBrother, Aug 19 2002
  
      
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