(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Otis

“You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers”*…


For more than 45 years, the Shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the world’s intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages. These messages are transmitted by hundreds of “Numbers Stations.”

Shortwave Numbers Stations are a perfect method of anonymous, one way communication. Spies located anywhere in the world can be communicated to by their masters via small, locally available, and unmodified Shortwave receivers. The encryption system used by Numbers Stations, known as a “one time pad” is unbreakable. Combine this with the fact that it is almost impossible to track down the message recipients once they are inserted into the enemy country, it becomes clear just how powerful the Numbers Station system is.

These stations use very rigid schedules, and transmit in many different languages, employing male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or phonetic letters day and night, all year round. The voices are of varying pitches and intonation; there is even a German station ‘The Swedish Rhapsody’ that transmitted a female child’s voice!

One might think that these espionage activities should have wound down considerably since the official “end of the Cold War”, but nothing could be further from the truth. Numbers Stations, and by inference, spies, are as busy as ever, with many new and bizarre stations appearing since the fall of the Berlin wall…

Read more at The Conet Project— and listen to samples (including the Swedish Rhapsody girl) at Internet Archive.

* John Forbes Nash, Jr.


As we put away our one-time pads, we might recall that it was on this date in 1892 that Jesse Reno was awarded U. S. Patent 47091815 for “Endless Conveyer or Elevator.”  It was built and opened in September, 1895 as a Coney Island amusement ride, a conveyor belt that moved people up a 25 degree slope.  (An earlier escalator-type patent was issued in the U.S. in August, 1859 to Nathan Ames. [No. 25,076], for an apparatus with steps mounted on an inclined endless belt or chain, but it was never built.)  The Otis Elevator Company manufactured their first escalator in 1900;  they exhibited it at the Paris Exposition in that year, and then installed it at the Gimbal Brothers store in Philadelphia in 1901. Otis registered the U.S. trademark Escalator in May, 1901, and later bought Reno’s company.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 15, 2014 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: