week 01, 2020

The War Within: excellent

In the evening I finished The War Within, the second book in The Great God's War, by Stephen R. Donaldson.

While the book had, to me, a slow start, after about a third of the book it became a do not put down until finished one, and I really started to love the story, especially the what I call echoes of the Thomas Covenant series, in the characters and dialogs. Donaldson is an excellent writer; I can't wait for the third book in The Great God's War.

RSA Algorithm

RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) algorithm is an asymmetric cryptographic algorithm that is widely used in the modern public-key cryptosystems. We have been hearing RSA algorithm all the time, but some of us actually did not know what it really is and how it works.

In this article, I will systematically discuss the theory behind the RSA algorithm. The theory guarantees that the cryptosystems built on the top of the RSA algorithm are relatively safe and hard to crack, which is fundamentally interesting.

Source: RSA Algorithm, an article by Lei Mao.

Pure HTML Share Buttons

Share buttons are a great way to make sharing content easier, leading to make engagement and visitors down the road. Unfortunately, most first-party share widgets are ugly and require loading external scripts. Yuck. Not only that, but many also install 3rd-party tracking cookies that invade the reader’s privacy.

Luckily, it’s possible to create your own share buttons using a single <a /> tag. The reason this is possible is because social networks need to provide methods of sharing that work inside of emails (email clients don’t execute JavaScript).

Source: Pure HTML Share Buttons, an article by Gregory Schier.

No, We Still Can't Use Quantum Entanglement To Communicate FTL

One of the most fundamental rules of physics, undisputed since Einstein first laid it out in 1905, is that no information-carrying signal of any type can travel through the Universe faster than the speed of light. Particles, either massive or massless, are required for transmitting information from one location to another, and those particles are mandated to travel either below (for massive) or at (for massless) the speed of light, as governed by the rules of relativity.

Since the development of quantum mechanics, however, many have sought to leverage the power of quantum entanglement to subvert this rule, devising clever schemes to attempt to transmit information to "cheat" relativity and communicate faster-than-light after all. Although it's an admirable attempt to work around the rules of our Universe, faster-than-light communication is still an impossibility. Here's the science of why.

Source: No, We Still Can't Use Quantum Entanglement To Communicate Faster Than Light, an article by Ethan Siegel.

This Is How The Universe Changes With Every New Year That Passes

With each new year that comes upon us, there are a slew of new events awaiting us not only here on Earth, but throughout the entire observable Universe. Despite all appearances that things don't change very much, particularly on cosmic scales, our planet, the Solar System, the galaxy, and even the entire Universe all undergo significant metamorphoses that are not only detectable, but that cumulatively add up as time goes on.

Source: This Is How The Universe Changes With Every New Year That Passes, an article by Ethan Siegel.

(Very) Basic Intro To Elliptic Curve Cryptography

This is going to be a basic introduction to elliptic curve cryptography. I will assume most of my audience is here to gain an understanding of why ECC is an effective cryptographic tool and the basics of why it works. My goal is to explain it in a general sense, I will be omitting proofs and implementation details and instead focusing on the high-level principles of what makes it work.

Source: (Very) Basic Intro To Elliptic Curve Cryptography - Qvault, an article by Lane Wagner.