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Techie Time Capsule   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Puzzle Locked Cloud Based Time Capsule for Child

I saw a great Gmail ad (link) about a father who created a email account for his daughter at her birth so that he could email her key stuff that she could read later. I have now belatedly done the same for my now 4 year old daughter.

It seems like a simple solution for a problem I've worried about since before she was born, which is that there are certain things I want to tell her, but there is always a possibility that I will die before she is old enough to hear them.

The next question is, how do I give her the password in such a way that she will not get access to all the emails until she is old enough to hear them, but still have it so that if I die she will still have the password and have access to all the emails.

So I took a page from another idea about math based wall decorations (link) and combined it with a SciFi story about a trove of information left for a primitive society at the top of a ridiculously tall tower and thought of putting a alphanumeric puzzle together that was so hard that it could not be solved by someone under say 16.

Here is where I'm a little vague and could use a little help. What I am trying to encrypt is a password and I'd like the puzzle to be wide ranging learning points that in some way avoid Googleability and if possible be a guide to learning a wide range of information.

So I think the puzzle should go in ever increasing stages of complexity, built using graphical clues with graphical checks, so she knows she has not made mistakes. The start could be Michelangelo's Vitruvian Man to get the golden ratio and multiply it by Pi in symbols, which then has the Mayan Great Cycle years aligned along the prime Fibonacci locations, etc. (PS I have not checked this and assume this is not true) then end with something like a crackable or forcible reverse hash. (Though reversed hashes are not unique, so I'd need a clue to the correct reversed hash and then guarantee that the clue narrowed to uniqueness.)

The problem is the Googleability and things like Google Goggles and my inability to predict how advanced computers and mobile phones and kids will be in the next twelve years, which is why I think the quest will have to force her to program or something.

But I figure if anyone is devious enough to make a puzzle for the ages, it would be the crowd here at the HB, so as long as Jutta doesn't mind, I'd like some suggestions.
-- MisterQED, Jun 24 2011

GMail or Chrome ad http://www.youtube....watch?v=R4vkVHijdQk
Caution, may cause parents to cry. [MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]

Equation Wall Stickers Equation_20Wall_20Stickers
Though I'd hate to have her redecorate before she decodes it. [MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]

Prior Art - Googles Job Application Puzzles http://www.npr.org/...php?storyId=3916173
[MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]

I have a question: is it possible to do age-progression on fingerprints? Like, you know what her fingerprints look like *now*, and can figure out what they are going to look like *then*...
-- lurch, Jun 24 2011

You'd have to know how tall she is going to get as scaling would be the basic change.
-- MisterQED, Jun 24 2011

A rebus might be helpful as an organizing principle.
-- mouseposture, Jun 24 2011

Make the password tuesdayjanuary1st2023, if it's a Tuesday, I'm too lazy to check, and hopefully she will be too, and just tell her to try entering the date the first day of the year every year until its right. Make sure the account doesn't deactivate from disuse.
-- rcarty, Jun 25 2011

Get a sample of her DNA. Get someone to check the lengths of the "telomeres" in the DNA. Get someone else to figure out what their length will be in 12 years (they shrink with age). Then program the system to unlock when it receives a sample of her DNA that has the correct length of telomeres.
-- Vernon, Jun 25 2011

What I'm thinking is to make it a pictorial quiz covering various topics. So an electronic circuit with a resistance value of a component missing. The date a mythical asteroid with a given orbit will strike Earth. Probably Google-able or Wolfram-able soon, but not yet and at least the surfing will expose her to new tools she may not have known about.

I'll have the advantage in that I get to start at the end point and work my way back.
-- MisterQED, Jun 25 2011

The rebus is definitely the right strategy and I figure I will give it to her multiple copies in book form and give my wife a copy also. Oh, I didn't mention this before, my wife is an English teacher, so if she was given access, she would edit or delete my annotations due to bad grammar, and delete pictures of her she felt were unflattering (she is beautiful, but like all women, thinks she is hideous) so the test has to be hard enough to foil my wife at least temporarily.
-- MisterQED, Jun 25 2011

// rebus is definitely the right strategy //

Right up to the point where she achieves The Lament Configuration ...
-- 8th of 7, Jun 25 2011

//Read the FAQ. They might have some solutions.// Weirdly enough they have none, the problem is never addressed other than having someone else tell them about the account. From their FAQ: //Tell the Recipient about the website, his login and his password. If the Recipient is too young, let a close one know about the account to make sure the capsule and messages are delivered.// I guess it just time locks the account, but the site worries me as they never mention what the subscription fee is, so I have little faith that they will be here in ~12 years when my daughter will need them. About the only use this might be is to save the password as the service is limited to 50MB per year or something and the biggest problem is that I'd have to pre-pay years ahead of time or set up some kind of auto- pay or when I die and I actually NEED it, I will not pay the bill and the account will freeze just when it is needed.

I'd be better off setting up a free website on Google or some other big service and write code which creates a time lock.
-- MisterQED, Jun 27 2011

Yeah, that is my other two fold worry, I could create the key as the solution to a calculus problem which she wouldn't be able to solve till she is taught calc, which shouldn't be till at least the early teens, but then again, if I die, she may never learn calculus, EVER and never derive the key. That is why the correct solution is a path for learning with the key at the end.

Start with basic math checked by advanced topics she can use to check results later to avoid early mistakes compounding into later errors. This also makes the puzzles like Bugs Bunny cartoons, having appeal to both children and adults. 7 x 6 = HHGTTG 7 + 6 = UNLUCKY HHGTTG x UNLUCKY = 1000100010

Each page then is a clue to a later puzzle to gamify the search for the password. If written correctly the search could be better than the prize at the end.
-- MisterQED, Jun 28 2011

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