Amazon issues code-breaking challenge

Code-breakers of the world unite!

Code-crackers the world over have been issued a challenge by online bookstore Amazon.com which is offering signed cryptography titles for anyone who can break a specially devised code.

Copies of such crypto-classics as Cryptonomicon, Between Silk and Cyanide, Applied Cryptography and the Code Book are on offer and there's even a programmable robot kit!

Clearly attempting to play down the high-end mathematical and somewhat geeky image of cryptographic endeavour, Amazon issued the following statement: "Here at Amazon.com, we like to think of cryptography as a good, wholesome activity, providing hours of fun for the whole family. You don't need any special math skills to decrypt the messages -- just good old-fashioned smarts and a little persistence."

Indeed.

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