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


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.


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.


Please Excuse Our President

Dug this brief blurb off of 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."