Author Archives: naughkm1

Privacy Through Effort

In It’s Complicated, by Danah Boyd, she discusses the complicated situations teens face with social media. A big topic of discussion is privacy: “The default in most interpersonal conversations, even those that take place in public settings, is that interactions are private by default, public through effort…  In other words, when participating in networked publics, […] Continue reading

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Number Stations Podcast

Episode 97 of 99% Invisible, Number Stations, is a podcast that discusses the mysterious shortwave radio transmissions that simply list random numbers. The topic of the podcast is really interesting. Imagine just tuning a radio and you suddenly hear random numbers being said. What would go through your head? To me, it feels like something […] Continue reading

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Allied Success and German Error

As we know from history, the Allies were successful in cracking the Axis’ encryption methods. A major part of this success, as Singh states, is German overconfidence. Another reason for their success was simply limited ability. The Enigma Machine, as impressive as it was, was restricted by possible plug board settings and scrambler combinations. The […] Continue reading

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Feeling Safe

The display in the Newseum asks what people would give up for security. The results are exactly as you would expect. Some people make arguments for pro privacy and there are others for pro security. There is no clear cut answer to this question. One person summed up all the answers in a nutshell by […] Continue reading

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Assume the Worst

Before the Vigenère cipher, a simple monoalphabetic substitution cipher was the most advanced encryption. This is a weak way of coding however, as an encryption is only as strong as the key used to create it, and tools such as frequency analysis make this easy to conquer. Any code could be broken if the person […] Continue reading

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Needle in a Haystack

In Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, Marcus’s father supports the actions of the police saying that Bayesian analysis is a reasonable and logical response. He believes that data mining is key to crime prevention: “…it’s perfectly reasonable to conduct their investigation by starting with data mining, and then following it up with legwork where a human […] Continue reading

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Safety > Privacy

In “Mining Student Data Could Save Lives”, Morris argues that mining data is basically a crystal ball into the future. Data mining will give the ability to notice and prevent potential threats to the campus and community around it. The example Morris uses is a school shooter. If a university can use data mining to […] Continue reading

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Modern Cryptanalysis Geniuses?

In The Code Book, by Simon Singh, the discovery of cryptanalysis is discussed. It is explained that without a strong background in core disciplines, cryptanalysis is impossible to achieve. Mathematics, statistics, and linguistics are vital in the development of many methods, such as frequency analysis. Earlier civilizations lacked a certain amount of efficiency in these fields, […] Continue reading

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