Monthly Archives: August 2019

Can mining students’ data work?

The central argument of Morris’s essay is: although mining students’ data can not perfectly predict the campus violence and may provide issues of getting student private information without permission, this method is still helpful to reduce the possibility of school violence event. I agree with it. By surveilling student’s data on the internet, the school […] Continue reading

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Clockwork Humanity

Music has a certain peculiar, universal appeal which sets it apart from other forms of media. Most of us consume things like TV, video or movies on a daily basis. Hopefully most of us read a book for fun now and again – but we all have that one friend who hasn’t voluntarily picked up […] Continue reading

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Nothing to Hide

Chapter one of Simon Singh’s The Code Book begins with two stories. The first one is about Mary Queen of Scots and the second one is about Demaratus, an exiled Greek who nevertheless worked to communicate secretly with his homeland. While both of their stories were told to establish a theme of secret writing, the […] Continue reading

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The Perils of Hubris in Cryptography

On page 41 of Simon Singh’s The Code Book, Singh makes the interesting assertion that “a weak encryption can be worse than no encryption at all.” This seemingly paradoxical statement reveals how hubris can be the downfall of any great cryptographic scheme. Best exemplified in the case of Mary Queen of Scots, when two parties […] Continue reading

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The Theatricality of Cryptography

The first chapter of Singh’s The Code Book is packed with historical examples of cryptography. The Greeks, Persians, Arabs, French, and English, to name a few, were just some of the infinite number of societies and civilizations of which cryptography was crucial to their development. However, most of the examples described did involve people in positions of […] Continue reading

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21st Century Cryptanalyst

In chapter one of The Code Book, Simon Signh writes, “Cryptanalysis could not be invented until a civilization had reached a sufficiently sophisticated level of scholarship in several disciplines, including mathematics, statistics, and linguistics.” (p. 15) This is a valid point. However, the necessity of education to become a cryptanalyst during the period of deep […] Continue reading

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How All Things Advance and Progress

While it can be determined that the evolution of cryptography and cryptanalysis is a result of a high level of academic and scholarly progression, the ability to analyze codes and ciphers does not necessarily have to come from that level of scholarship. In fact, amateur cryptanalysts are fully capable of analyzing and deciphering codes without much […] Continue reading

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Yes, You’re Smarter than a(n Ancient) Fifth Grader

The first chapter of Simon Singh’s The Code Book introduces the historical roots of secret writing. Steganography, the practice of hiding the existence of messages, dates as far back as to the Greco-Persian Wars in the fifth century B.C. The practice of cryptography was a novel and unchartered concept for the early Greek, Roman and […] Continue reading

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Inviting Suspicion

We generally don’t bother to encrypt messages if we have nothing to hide. By using a code or cipher, it’s implied that the contents are sensitive or illicit in nature. In fact, as Singh points out, they’re likely to be more explicit because the encryption lulls the sender into a false sense of security and […] Continue reading

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To Code or Not to Code

What Singh is implying to coders is that cryptographic messages of high importance should be done well. For instance, if the contents of the message are a correspondence between about a politician having an affair then; it would make sense for the code to be very strong so the politician’s job isn’t jeopardized.  On the […] Continue reading

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