from the ....-.-.-.-.-/-.-.-.-.-/-..-.-..-.-.-/-.-..-..-.-....-...-.-.-. dept.
The LA Times reports on the passing of Jeremiah Denton, the US Navy pilot held by the Viet Cong, who let the world know in a TV interview that POWs were being tortured by blinking out the word "torture" in Morse code. From 1965 to 1973, Denton was held at the "Hanoi Hilton" and several other infamous Vietnamese prisons and was held in isolation for lengthy periods totaling about four years. At points, he was in a pitch-black cell, a cramped hole crawling with rats and roaches. His beatings opened wounds that festered in pools of sewage. Frustrated that Denton would not confess to alleged American war crimes or reveal even basic details of US military operations, jailers subjected him to horrific abuse.
Taking command of fellow POWs he usually could not see, Denton fashioned a secret prison communication system using the sound of coughs, hacks, scratching, spitting and throat-clearing keyed to letters of the alphabet. "When you think you've reached the limit of your endurance, give them harmless and inaccurate information that you can remember, and repeat it if tortured again," he told his men. "We will die before we give them classified military information." Thinking they'd broken him, Denton's captors allowed a Japanese TV reporter to interview him on May 2, 1966. "The blinding floodlights made me blink and suddenly I realized that they were playing right into my hands," he wrote. "I looked directly into the camera and blinked my eyes once, slowly, then three more times, slowly. A dash and three more dashes. A quick blink, slow blink, quick blink." While his impromptu blinks silently told the world that prisoners were being tortured, he was unabashed in the interview, which was later broadcast around the world, in his denial of American wrongdoing. "Whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it yes, sir," said Denton. "I'm a member of that government and it is my job to support it, and I will as long as I live."
Do you sometimes feel that your custom mechanical keyboard is not quite loud enough to proclaim your superior hacking powers? Or do you need a more forceful way shout in all caps at someone who is wrong on the internet? For all this and more, [Jesse Li] has got you covered, with a set of bash scripts that allows you to type by slamming your laptop closed repeatedly, using Morse code.
The scripts are quite simple, and work receiving the lid open/close events from ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), recording the open and close timestamp and converting the timing to dots and dashes. After slamming to the required rhythm, you keep the lid open to see the character appear.
Yes, I see no practical use for this. Yes, I think it is a neat "hack". Had an itch and scratched it. Any soylentils here done their own Morse transceiver? How about on your smart phone? Transmit by long- or short-press anywhere on the screen for dits and dahs. Receive by phone vibration. Nearly silent communication while never needing to look at the screen!
(2020-02-29) Learning Morse Code The Ludwig Koch Way
(2016-06-22) Ham it up! 2016 ARRL Field Day is June 25-26
(2015-02-27) Verizon Issues Furious Response to FCC, in Morse Code, Dated 1934
(2014-05-11) First Covert Communication System with Lasers
(2014-04-03) The POW Who Blinked "Torture" In Morse Code