The smoke signal is one of the oldest forms of long-distance communication. It is a form of visual communication used over long distance. In general smoke signals are used to transmit news, signal danger, or gather people to a common area.
Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be seen. Visual communication in part or whole relies on eyesight. Visual communication is a broad spectrum that includes signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation, color, and electronic resources.
In ancient China, soldiers stationed along the Great Wall would alert each other of impending enemy attack by signaling from tower to tower. In this way, they were able to transmit a message as far away as 750 kilometres (470 mi)[ citation needed ] in just a few hours.
Misuse of the smoke signal is known to have contributed to the fall of the Western Zhou Dynasty in the 8th century BCE. King You of Zhou had a habit of fooling his warlords with false warning beacons in order to amuse Bao Si, his concubine.
King You of Zhou was the twelfth king of the Chinese Zhou dynasty and the last of Western Zhou Dynasty. He reigned from 781 to 771 BC.
Bao Si was the concubine of the ancient Chinese sovereign King You of Zhou. She was considered one of the most beautiful Chinese women ever.
Polybius, a Greek historian, devised a more complex system of alphabetical smoke signals around 150 BCE, which converted Greek alphabetic characters into numeric characters. It enabled messages to be easily signaled by holding sets of torches in pairs. This idea, known as the "Polybius square", also lends itself to cryptography and steganography. This cryptographic concept has been used with Japanese Hiragana and the Germans in the later years of the First World War.
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage and Corinth in 146 BC, and the Roman annexation of the mainland Greece after the Achaean War.
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
A torch is a stick with combustible material at one end, which is ignited and used as a light source. Torches have been used throughout history, and are still used in processions, symbolic and religious events, and in juggling entertainment. In some countries "torch" in modern usage is the term for a battery-operated portable light.
The North American indigenous peoples also communicated via smoke signal. Each tribe had its own signaling system and understanding. A signaler started a fire on an elevation typically using damp grass, which would cause a column of smoke to rise. The grass would be taken off as it dried and another bundle would be placed on the fire. Reputedly the location of the smoke along the incline conveyed a meaning. If it came from halfway up the hill, this would signify all was well, but from the top of the hill it would signify danger.[ citation needed ]
In anthropology, a tribe is a human social group. Exact definitions of what constitutes a tribe vary among anthropologists. The concept is often contrasted with other social groups concepts, such as nations, states, and forms of kinship.
Smoke signals remain in use today. In Rome, the College of Cardinals uses smoke signals to indicate the selection of a new Pope during a papal conclave. Eligible cardinals conduct a secret ballot until someone receives a vote of two-thirds plus one. The ballots are burned after each vote. Black smoke indicates a failed ballot, while white smoke means a new Pope has been elected.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its membership is 220, as of 5 June 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff or the Roman bishop, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.
Colored smoke grenades are commonly used by military forces to mark positions, especially during calls for artillery or air support.
Smoke signals may also refer to smoke-producing devices used to send distress signals.
Lewis and Clark's journals cite several occasions when they adopted the Native American method of setting the plains on fire to communicate the presence of their party or their desire to meet with local tribes.
Yámanas of South America used fire to send messages by smoke signals, for instance if a whale drifted ashore.The large amount of meat required notification of many people, so that it would not decay. They might also have used smoke signals on other occasions, thus it is possible that Magellan saw such fires (which inspired him to name the landscape Tierra del Fuego) but he may have seen the smoke or lights of natural phenomena.
The Cape Town Noon Gun, specifically the smoke its firing generates, was used to set marine chronometers in Table Bay.
Aboriginal Australians throughout Australia would send up smoke signals for various purposes.Sometimes to notify others of their presence, particularly when entering lands which were not their own. Sometimes used to describe visiting whites, smoke signals were the fastest way to send messages. Smoke signals were sometimes to notify of incursions by hostile tribes, or to arrange meetings between hunting parties of the same tribe. This signal could be from a fixed lookout on a ridge of from a mobile band of tribesman. "Putting up a smoke" would often result in nearby individuals or groups replying with their own signals. To carry information, the colour of the smoke was varied, sometimes black, white or blue depending on whether the material being burnt was wet grass, dry grass, reeds or other, and the shape of the smoke could be a column, ball or smoke ring. This message could include the names of individual tribesmen. Like other means of communication, signals could be misinterpreted. In one recorded instance, a smoke signal reply translated as "we are coming" was misinterpreted as joining a war party for protection of the tribe when it was actually hunting parties coming together after a successful hunt.
Modern aviation has made skywriting possible.
Digital data, in information theory and information systems, is the discrete, discontinuous representation of information or works. Numbers and letters are commonly used representations.
A signal is an action used to convey information.
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of textual messages where the sender uses symbolic codes, known to the recipient, rather than a physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus flag semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not. Ancient signalling systems, although sometimes quite extensive and sophisticated as in China, were generally not capable of transmitting arbitrary text messages. Possible messages were fixed and predetermined and such systems are thus not true telegraphs.
A message is a discrete unit of communication intended by the source for consumption by some recipient or group of recipients. A message may be delivered by various means, including courier, telegraphy, carrier pigeon and electronic bus. A message can be the content of a broadcast. An interactive exchange of messages forms a conversation.
Tactical communications are military communications in which information of any kind, especially orders and military intelligence, are conveyed from one command, person, or place to another upon a battlefield, particularly during the conduct of combat. It includes any kind of delivery of information, whether verbal, written, visual or auditory, and can be sent in a variety of ways. In modern times, this is usually done by electronic means. Tactical communications do not include communications provided to tactical forces by the Defense Communications System to non-tactical military commands, to tactical forces by civil organizations, nor does it include strategic communication.
In cryptography and computer security, a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is an attack where the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communications between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other. One example of a MITM attack is active eavesdropping, in which the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them to make them believe they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker. The attacker must be able to intercept all relevant messages passing between the two victims and inject new ones. This is straightforward in many circumstances; for example, an attacker within reception range of an unencrypted wireless access point (Wi-Fi) could insert themselves as a man-in-the-middle.
In computer security, challenge–response authentication is a family of protocols in which one party presents a question ("challenge") and another party must provide a valid answer ("response") to be authenticated.
A wink is a facial expression made by briefly closing one eye. A wink is an informal mode of non-verbal communication usually signaling shared hidden knowledge or intent. However, it is ambiguous by itself and highly dependent upon additional context, without which a wink could become misinterpreted or even nonsensical. For example in some regions of the world, a wink may be considered rude or offensive. And depending on the relationship of the people involved, a wink could possibly constitute a sexual gesture.
In cryptography, the Polybius square, also known as the Polybius checkerboard, is a device invented by the Ancient Greeks Cleoxenus and Democleitus, and perfected by the Ancient Greek historian and scholar Polybius, for fractionating plaintext characters so that they can be represented by a smaller set of symbols.
Key exchange is any method in cryptography by which cryptographic keys are exchanged between two parties, allowing use of a cryptographic algorithm.
Cryptography in simple terms means the use of any alphabet or numerical statement which has a meaning or stores a message.
A secret broadcast is, simply put, a broadcast that is not for the consumption of the general public. The invention of the wireless was initially greeted as a boon by armies and navies. Units could now be coordinated by nearly instant communications. An adversary could glean valuable and sometimes decisive intelligence from intercepted radio signals:
The Selk'nam, also known as the Onawo or Ona people, are an indigenous people in the Patagonian region of southern Argentina and Chile, including the Tierra del Fuego islands. They were one of the last native groups in South America to be encountered by migrant ethnic Europeans or Westerners in the late 19th century.
The Yaghan, also called Yagán, Yahgan, Yámana, Yamana or Tequenica, are one of the indigenous peoples of the Southern Cone, who are regarded as the southernmost peoples in the world. Their traditional territory includes the islands south of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, extending their presence into Cape Horn. They have been there for more than 10,000 years.
Military communications or military signals involve all aspects of communications, or conveyance of information, by armed forces. Military communications span from pre-history to the present. The earliest military communications were delivered by runners. Later, communications progressed to visual and audible signals, and then advanced into the electronic age. Examples from Jane's Military Communications include text, audio, facsimile, tactical ground-based communications, terrestrial microwave, tropospheric scatter, naval, satellite communications systems and equipment, surveillance and signal analysis, encryption and security and direction-finding and jamming.
In cryptography, a nonce is an arbitrary number that can be used just once in a cryptographic communication. It is similar in spirit to a nonce word, hence the name. It is often a random or pseudo-random number issued in an authentication protocol to ensure that old communications cannot be reused in replay attacks. They can also be useful as initialization vectors and in cryptographic hash functions.
Fuegians are one of the three tribes of indigenous inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America. In English, the term originally referred to the Yaghan people of Tierra del Fuego. In Spanish, the term fueguino can refer to any person from the archipelago.
Phryctoria was a means of communication used in Ancient Greece.
A hydraulic telegraph is either of two different hydraulic-telegraph telecommunication systems. The earliest one was developed in 4th-century BC Greece, while the other was developed in 19th-century AD Britain. The Greek system was deployed in combination with semaphoric fires, while the latter British system was operated purely by hydraulic fluid pressure.
Naval flag signalling covers various forms of flag signalling, such as semaphore or flaghoist, used by various navies; distinguished from maritime flag signalling by merchant or other non-naval vessels or flags used for identification.
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