I gave my students the job of building string instruments, for which they need to select the materials, calculate the appropriate string gauges and tensions, and pay attention to the energy flow from strings to air. After spending half a day putting the relevant equations in one sheet to make their work easier, it dawned on me that others might enjoy having them as well. So here they are. Read More
We all remember fondly those board games of our early years: Parcheesi, Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, and so forth. They were easy to play and a lot of fun, but in the end we outgrew them and perhaps took up other games that involved more thinking. In this article, though, I tell you a simple way to add more strategic depth to the same old games, by replacing “chance” with “fate.” Read More
A while ago, I got very paranoid about my computer being bugged, and so developed a series of paper and pencil ciphers that I published on this blog. After letting them sit for a while, my favorites from the bunch are FibonaRNG, a stream cipher seeded from three words which has formed the basis for the Human encryption mode in PassLok, and Snake, which achieves something close to the absolute impregnability of the one time pad by using a simple piece of text. In this article, I go through additional calculations related to Snake, and find that this cipher appears to be even better than previously thought. Read More
Yesterday a friend came to me in a rather vehement state of frenzy because people were getting spam from his email account. A quick trip to haveibeenpwned confirmed that, indeed, his email address was listed in recently discovered breaches. Fortunately, his password had not been compromised so the damage was relatively minor. But when I checked my own “low security” password that I still use in a number of places, the test was positive. This means that a hacker could just waltz into those accounts and order ukuleles that I don’t want, or impersonate me in some forgotten forum that nevertheless still has followers (including the FBI), and get me into a heap of trouble. So I decided to change all of those passwords and get it over with. Read on if you’re curious as to what happened. The picture should give you a hint. Read More
For quite a while now PassLok Chat has been one of the ways you can set up a real-secure real-time online meeting. This was done through the Chat option in PassLok, which generated an encrypted link to PassLok Chat. But now you can also enjoy PassLok Chat without the encryption step. This little app will generate a new chat link every time you click its “Make Chat” button, without asking you for any passwords or accounts of any kind. Share the link to enjoy free, unlimited, direct peer-to-peer conferencing without any accounts or servers in-between.
Recently I’ve run into more apps similar to my own VideoSkip, and I saw that there is a lot in common. In this article, I compare some of their features for the readers’ delight. Naturally, since I’m the original developer of VideoSkip, this app ends up on top. But you’re still curious, aren’t you? Read More
With version 0.2, VideoSkip has added a number of new features that make it even more competitive with other offerings out there. And yes, it remains legal, free, and active on any video source, not just a selected few.
Read on for a list of improvements. Read More
Yes, there was another one. PRGomez is short for Paco Ruiz Gomez, and there was a Paco Ruiz Antón, pictured at left, who was director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, in Europe. Cancer finally got the best of him, and he has departed for the other world at only 53. Read on for a different take on this great guy. Read More