Author Archives: wangs29

Women and Codes

With American men deployed overseas for WWII, women were expected to uphold the battle on the home front. This task involved recruiting women for jobs that traditionally would have gone to men, such as code-breaking and cryptanalysis. The women involved in the operations at Arlington Hall were sworn to secrecy. Thus, many of their tremendous […] Continue reading

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J’accuse You of Creating a Good Podcast

The podcast on the Panizzardi Telegram caught my attention as I had learned about the Dreyfus Affair in high school and was interested in the topic. Prior to listening to the podcast, I was unaware of the telegram and the role encryption had in the case. I enjoyed the beginning of the podcast, as the […] Continue reading

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Wartime Measures

It’s important to take into account the circumstances of a situation. In times of war, different standards are often applied to domestic and foreign policy as countries are working in their best interests to defend their home front. In terms of the Zimmerman telegram, I think it was a strategic move for Britain to not […] Continue reading

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The Panopticon as a Faulty Metaphor

Philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with the idea of the Panopticon: a prison where a guard is located in a tower. He can see all the prisoners, but the prisoners can not see him. In addition, the prisoners are not aware if they are being watched or not. As a result, prisoners act on their […] Continue reading

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Feeble Attempts

People say love is the most powerful force on Earth, and if that is the case, then the lure of money is an extremely close second. The Beale Papers basically gave an open invitation to a $20 million treasure (over $500 million in today’s money!) just with a catch– decipher some unbreakable ciphers. With that […] Continue reading

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Misleading Statistics

An interesting pint Cory Doctorow brought up in his novel, Little Brother, is the idea of the “false positive.” He writes, “Say you have a new disease, called Super­AIDS. Only one in a million people gets Super­AIDS. You develop a test for Super­AIDS that’s 99 percent accurate… You give the test to a million people. One […] Continue reading

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Data Mining in Universities

The issue over Internet privacy and surveillance is large and ever-increasing as our lives become more and more linked with the digital world. In Michael Morris’ essay Mining Students’ Data Could Save Lives, Morris argues that schools and universities should employ data mining technology on their networks to try and prevent potentially harmful acts against the […] Continue reading

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The Consequences of Weak Encryption

One may assume that any type of encryption is better than no encryption, but for many situations, that may not be the case. Take the story of Mary Queen of Scots. Her weakly encrypted correspondence with Babington was interpreted by expert cryptanalysis Phelippes, leading to her eventual execution. Mary and Babington were so confident in […] Continue reading

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