brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

28May/04Off

Fun with Python and Cryptography

I'm a bit of a classic cryptography nut, and I also have had a lot of fun writing bits of Python code. Python is awfully good at sucking up text files and performing statistics and the like, so I thought I would go ahead and describe some of the fun things I've been doing.

I've developed code to crack fairly sophisticated ciphers before, including both the Playfair and Enigma machines, but I thought it might be fun to work on a simple python script to crack ordinary substitution ciphers using evolutionary computation. You would probably get better results from using a dictionary based attack, but I thought this would be both simple and fun.

28May/04Off

Software Potpourri

Python 2.3.4 is out. Just a bugfix release. FreeBSD 4.10 was also released earlier this week. This is the first "Errata Branch", which will include security fixes and other significant and well tested fixes.

28May/04Off

Please Excuse Our President

Dug this brief blurb off of talk.origins this morning. From the pages of New Scientist:

HERE'S one US company where "freedom fries" surely never appeared on the staff restaurant menu, even when Francophobia was at its height. One of its products is a laptop bag which bears a label in English and French. The English version reads simply and sensibly "Wash with warm water; use mild soap; dry flat; do not use bleach; do not dry in the dryer; do not iron". The French version, only, continues (in translation): "We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him."