MidReal Story

Cryptic Tezos: Unveiling the Hidden Calendar

Scenario: Calendar, calendar mark, calendar event, tezos, banner
Create my version of this story
Calendar, calendar mark, calendar event, tezos, banner
The calendar mark was still on my mind when I saw the mysterious banner.
It was almost as if they were connected.
I didn’t have much time to think about it, though, as I had to get the article written before the end of the day.
I quickly snapped a picture with my phone and got back to my desk.
The banner displayed a series of letters and numbers, along with some strange symbols and what seemed to be a date.
The date was written in hexadecimal, which I knew could be converted to decimal.
I tried scanning the rest of the banner to see if there was anything else that could help me, but that didn’t help at all—I couldn’t make any sense of it.
If only I could get the whole image into my computer, I could run some software on it.
But that wasn’t an option.
As the seconds ticked by, I realized that there wasn’t enough time to try to figure out what it was or what it meant.
I had to get the article finished.
I quickly converted what I had to a PDF, attached it to the email, and hit send.
Then I pulled up the hex-to-decimal conversion chart and tried to figure out what date it was.
“0x1F4C” in hex was 8012 in decimal.
“0x3D” in hex was 61 in decimal.
So the date was “June 61, 8012.”
But there’s no such thing as June 61st.
I guess it must be some kind of code that needs to be decrypted or something.
If only Alex were here—he could probably figure it out right away.
Alex is my brother and he’s really good with computers—especially with programming and cryptography.
He’s still in college but he’s already developed some software that you can buy on the internet.
His most popular one is called Password Cracker, which does exactly what you think it does—it tries every possible password combination until it finds the right one.
He’s even been asked to help the FBI in a couple cases where they needed to break into someone’s computer or phone.
I’ve always been good at writing and research, so I thought it would be fun to start my own blog about technology and cybersecurity.
It’s still pretty new, and my readership is still pretty small—but it’s growing!
I wish Alex could help me figure this out right now, but he’s on campus and won’t be back for a while.
And my other friend who might be able to help me is in class all day too.
I guess I’ll just have to try to figure it out myself.
I kept staring at the hex-to-decimal conversion chart, but nothing was jumping out at me.
So I went back to look at the banner again to see if it reminded me of anything I’d seen before that might give me some clue what it was or what it meant.
It looked almost like a QR code—that square pattern of dots that you can scan with your phone.
I’d always thought those were really cool!
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But this one didn’t look like any QR code I’d ever seen before—QR codes were always black and white, not a bunch of random colors like this one.
Well, those dots are in a grid pattern like a QR code is though—maybe this one is just more colorful than usual?
I tried to scan it with my phone and see if anything came up—but nothing did.
I guess it’s not a QR code then—I must be missing something else here!
There had to be some kind of clue on this banner that I wasn’t seeing yet.
Then I noticed that there were a lot of letters and numbers on this banner—it was almost like a message written in code!
Could this be some kind of cipher?
I’d learned about ciphers in school before—they’re ways of converting messages so that other people can’t read them unless they know how to convert them back again (usually by using a key).
Maybe this message needed to be decrypted with a cipher?
Or maybe they just wanted me to convert the hex into decimal?
Yeah, that must be it!
I went back to look at the date on the banner: “0x1F4C3D.”
The first digit is 0x1F4C, which is 8012 in decimal.
Then we’ve got 0x3D after that (which is 61 in decimal).
So this must mean June 61, 8012!
But again, that doesn’t make any sense—I’ve never heard of a June 61st before!
I kept staring at the chart.
There had to be something I was missing.
But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t find any pattern to the numbers and letters on this banner.
This was just too hard!
I should probably just give up now.
If I couldn’t even convert the date from hexadecimal to decimal, then there was no way I could figure out what the whole message meant.
Maybe I should just forget about this and go do something else for now.
But I didn’t want to give up yet—I’d solved some pretty tough ciphers in the past!
There was no reason to think that this one was any different, right?
I stared back at the image of the banner on my phone one more time.
This was just a random mix of letters and numbers that didn’t make any sense at all.
So what was this trying to tell me?
Did this mean anything at all?
Just then, I heard a knock on the door.
“Hey, Em, are you in there?”
I quickly turned off the screen of my computer and hurriedly shoved the image of the banner to the side.
I didn’t want anyone else to see it—especially Alex!
“Yeah, I’m here,” I called back.
“Can I come in?”
The door creaked open and Sarah walked into my room.
She’s my other sibling and we both live at home with our parents.
Sarah is really good with computers too—probably even better than Alex in some ways!
She’s been really interested in hacking too, and she’s always been interested in the dark side of computer security.
She’s always talking about how easy it would be to break into government networks or hack into someone’s social media accounts.
But so far, she’s just stuck to the legal side of hacking and she hasn’t done anything illegal (that I know of).
And she’s still really secretive about what she does on her computer and what she’s working on.
We’ve always been really competitive with each other and we always try to one-up each other whenever we can.
And Sarah is always making snide comments about how I’m not as good with computers as she is.
If she found out that I couldn’t solve this cipher on my own, she would never let me hear the end of it!
But I didn’t want to admit that I needed her help—I wanted to try to solve this on my own first.
So I wasn’t going to tell her that I was stuck until I absolutely had to.
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I clicked to another window on my computer so she wouldn’t see the image of the banner on my screen.
I was just about to show her the message when she suddenly said, “I’m sorry, Em, but I have to go now.
I forgot that I have something in the oven and I need to go check on it.”
She quickly turned around and left my room before I could say anything else.
Something in the oven?
Since when does Sarah ever bake anything?
And if she did bake something, then why would she leave it unattended?
Was she lying to me?
I quickly pulled up the image of the banner on my screen again and examined it more closely.
I knew that Sarah was really interested in cryptography too, so maybe she had seen the picture on my phone while she was waiting outside and she wanted to try to solve it on her own before I could.
Maybe she thought that I wouldn’t be able to solve this and she wanted to see if she could figure it out instead.
Maybe she already knew the answer and she didn’t want me to find out?
Well, I wasn’t going to let her get away with this—if she was going to try to steal this from me, then I would make sure that I solved it before she could!
But just as I finished thinking those thoughts, I suddenly heard another knock on the door.
“Hey, Em, are you in there?When I didn’t answer her right away, Sarah called out again.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” she said.“I wasn’t thinking straight.
I really do need your help with something.”
Did she change her mind about leaving something in the oven?
Or is this just another lie?
I quickly opened the door for her and let her back into my room.
“What did you need help with?”
I asked as she came back inside.
Sarah laughed nervously as if she didn’t know what else to say.
And for a moment, we both just stood there in awkward silence while we tried to avoid looking at each other.
“I guess there was nothing in the oven after all,” Sarah finally said when the silence became too much for us to take.
“So, what did you need help with?”
I asked again.
“It’s just something with my computer,” Sarah replied.
I knew that Sarah was lying to me.
She definitely didn’t have anything in the oven, but that didn’t mean that she was telling me the truth now either.
So what was it that she really wanted to ask me for?
And what did she see on my phone earlier that made her change her mind about leaving?
“Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, then I guess I can’t help you,” I said.
I was just about to turn back to my computer screen when Sarah suddenly blurted out, “Oh, come on, Em!Don’t be like that!Just let me see whatever it is that you’re hiding on your screen!”
I heard Sarah call after me as I left the room and walked back to the living room.
Now, all I could do was wait for Alex to come home.
Alex is the other sibling in our family, and he’s the oldest one of us all.
He’s always been really good at computers ever since we were kids.
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When I told him about the mysterious banner, he only seemed interested in it for a second.
Then he went back to ignoring me and focusing on his own work instead.
It wasn’t until I showed it to him on my phone that he finally stopped working and paid attention to me.
“Why didn’t you show it to me on your computer screen in the first place?”
Alex asked when I explained the whole thing to him.
“I thought you already looked at it on your phone,” he said.
“My phone’s camera doesn’t have a high enough resolution for me to see anything clearly,” I replied.
“So, can you take a look at it now?”
Alex grabbed my phone and looked at the image of the banner for a moment.
He didn’t seem too impressed with it and only briefly examined it before putting my phone down on the table and going back to his own work.
“So, what do you think of it?”
I asked when he finished looking at it.
“Looks like an advertisement for Tezos,” Alex replied.
“I mean, look at this logo here.” He pointed at a small image of a large “T” with a circle around it in the bottom right corner of the image.
“The banner has the same logo on it too.
That doesn’t mean that this is an advertisement for Tezos,” I replied.
“It could be something else entirely.”
“It probably is an ad for Tezos,” Alex said.
“And even if it isn’t an ad, then it’s probably just some kind of announcement instead.
And I don’t care about either one of those things right now.”
“But the banner has a calendar mark on it too,” I said.
“And I don’t know what this mark means.”
“Oh, is that so?”
Alex asked with a grin.
“Well, have you tried clicking on the link in the banner yet?Maybe that will give you more information about whatever it is that you’re looking at.”
“The link just takes me to the Tezos website,” I replied.
“Well, what did you expect?”
Alex asked with a shrug of his shoulders.
“You know that Tezos is a blockchain platform, right?If they’re advertising some kind of announcement or conference, then they would probably just put up a banner like this one instead of trying to hide everything behind a bunch of secret codes and messages.”
I could tell that Alex wasn’t going to help me out with this, so I just stared at him for a moment and tried to think of what else I could say.
Then I remembered that Alex was really into cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Even though he didn’t work on anything like that for his job, he still liked learning about it and talking about it all the time.
So, if he wasn’t going to help me figure out what this mark meant, then maybe I could just ask him about the other things instead.
“What do you think this mark is for, then?”
I asked when Alex continued to ignore me and focus on his own work instead.
“I mean, there has to be some kind of reason why they put it here, right?”
“Don’t know,” Alex mumbled in reply.
“Maybe it’s just some kind of timestamp or something.”
“A timestamp for what?”
I asked again.
“Well, there are lots of different things that you can use blockchain for,” Alex explained.
“And one of the most common uses is for decentralized finance, or defi for short.
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