Amusing cryptography apocrypha – the Rip van Winkle cipher

While writing an article on cryptographic hashing for programmers, I stumbled across the Rip Van Winkle Cipher in Applied Cryptography: James Massey and Ingemar Ingemarsson proposed the Rip Van Winkle cipher, so named because the receiver has to receive 2^n bits of ciphertext before attempting decryption. The algorithm, illustrated in Figure 17.10, is simple toContinue reading “Amusing cryptography apocrypha – the Rip van Winkle cipher”

The consequences of smart phones

While waiting for the bus outside Powell’s after Charles Stross’s book signing for his latest novel, Halting State, I finally decided to try to the new-fangled Transit Tracker phone thingy. You call a phone number, type in your Stop ID, and it tells you when the next bus/streetcar/train/people-mover will arrive. In reality, it seems toContinue reading “The consequences of smart phones”