Feeds

Mysterious crypto-book dated to 15th century

Real life Da Vinci codex features nude ladies, too

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A mysterious book written in a language or code that no cryptographer has ever managed to crack has been verified as being written in the early 15th century, which has upset some of the theories on its origin.

Text from the 'Voynich manuscript'

People were making up garble-languages well before J R R Tolkien came along

The "Voynich manuscript" was found in 1912 at the Villa Mondragone, a one-time papal palace complex near Rome which was at the time being used as a scientific college by the Jesuit order of the Catholic church – formerly famous for their deviousness and secrecy. Book dealer Wilfrid Voynich found the tome among a chestful of volumes offered for sale by the Jesuits.

The book is full of bizarre illustrations and contains writing in an unknown and so far undecipherable script. The pictures appear to depict such things as unidentifiable plants, astronomical and astrological objects (suns, moons, stars, signs of the zodiac), curious cosmological diagrams and so forth. There is a section which mainly shows naked women in pools or bathtubs interlinked by elaborate networks of pipework, some parts of which resemble human organs.

Voynich, who died in 1930, theorised that the book had been written by the famous 13th-century friar and polymath Roger Bacon, a sort of early Leonardo da Vinci figure often credited with the introduction of gunpowder to much of Europe and conceptual invention of flying machines, steam engines etc.

This theory at least has now been conclusively disproven, as boffins at the University of Arizona have used radiocarbon dating to discover that the book was produced at some point between 1404 and 1438 – well after Bacon's time. The dating was done last year, but Arizona uni has announced the new information publicly this week to coincide with a National Geographic Channel doco.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.