[Ads-l] Garbling, redux [Re: misuse of "permutation"]

David Champion dgc.ads at BIKESHED.US
Thu Mar 24 22:45:10 UTC 2016

Sorry to hijack this, but on the subject of message garbling here's
another kind that I've noticed before.  Again this is because of
a dropped header; this time it's

	Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

But compounding the problem is the insertion of the "---- Information
from the mail header ---" banner.  That actually prevents any rational
mail reader from ever decoding this, even if you put the C-T-E header
back in place.

Here's what Jim actually wrote:
* On 24 Mar 2016, James A. Landau wrote:
> On  Wed, 23 Mar 2016 21:09:28 Zone-0400 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> quoted:
> Macworld.com
> Forensics expert says FBI to use NAND-mirroring to crack terrorist's
> iPhone
> "... Farookb
Herre's wha iPhone used a four-digit passcode, which would result in
> 10,000 permutations, a low enough number to be possible _to
> brute-force_
> using NAND-mirroring ..."
> http://goo.gl/bmg4XX
> There are exactly 24 permutations of a four-digit passcode.  The
> writer meant to say that there are 10,000 *possible passcodes*.
>     - Jim Landau

And here's what most(?) of us see:
* On 24 Mar 2016, James A. Landau wrote: 
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> Subject:      misuse of "permutation"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> T24gIFdlZCwgMjMgTWFyIDIwMTYgMjE6MDk6MjggWm9uZS0wNDAwIFdpbHNvbiBHcmF5IDxod2dy
> YXlAR01BSUwuQ09NPiBxdW90ZWQ6DQoNCk1hY3dvcmxkLmNvbQ0KRm9yZW5zaWNzIGV4cGVydCBz
> YXlzIEZCSSB0byB1c2UgTkFORC1taXJyb3JpbmcgdG8gY3JhY2sgdGVycm9yaXN0J3MgDQppUGhv
> bmUNCiIuLi4gRmFyb29r4oCZcyBpUGhvbmUgdXNlZCBhIGZvdXItZGlnaXQgcGFzc2NvZGUsIHdo
> aWNoIHdvdWxkIHJlc3VsdCBpbg0KMTAsMDAwIHBlcm11dGF0aW9ucywgYSBsb3cgZW5vdWdoIG51
> bWJlciB0byBiZSBwb3NzaWJsZSBfdG8gYnJ1dGUtZm9yY2VfDQp1c2luZyBOQU5ELW1pcnJvcmlu
> ZyAuLi4iDQpodHRwOi8vZ29vLmdsL2JtZzRYWA0KDQpUaGVyZSBhcmUgZXhhY3RseSAyNCBwZXJt
> dXRhdGlvbnMgb2YgYSBmb3VyLWRpZ2l0IHBhc3Njb2RlLiAgVGhlIHdyaXRlciBtZWFudCB0byBz
> aW0gTGFuZGF1DQoNCl9fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX19f
> X19fX19fX19fX19fX19fX18NCk5ldHNjYXBlLiAgSnVzdCB0aGUgTmV0IFlvdSBOZWVkLg0KDQot
> LS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0t
> bGVjdC5vcmcNCg==

I believe that LISTSERV is also responsible for breaking the threading
of messages ("conversations" in Google lingo) so that new messages
appear as unrelated in some recipients' mailboxes.

And, ObADS: I see frequent substitution of "permutation" for
"combination" as well, but that's probably old news.

David Champion • dgc at bikeshed.us

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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