On November 29, 2012 (six years ago today), there was an NBA basketball game that got some attention. It was a nationally televised game featuring two powerhouse teams: the San Antonio Spurs (Tim Duncan, etc.), versus the Miami Heat (Lebron James, etc.). To the dismay of many, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich more-or-less threw the game, … Continue reading Why throwing a game is against the rules
In a previous post, I summarized the character encodings used by Windows console mode programs. This is a short post about a not-very-good mitigation technique for some of the resulting problems. In a future post, I'll go over some better solutions. [Edit 2020-05: Unfortunately, I've had to walk back the advice in this post a … Continue reading Win32 I/O character encoding part 2: chcp 65001
SHA-1 is a cryptographic hash function. You give it a computer file, and it produces a 160-bit hash that is completely determined by the input file, but not in any obvious way. In early 2017, a group of researchers, using advanced mathematics and 6500 CPU-years of computer searching, found the first ever SHA-1 collision: two … Continue reading Examining the SHA-1 collision files
Planet FrictionlessIceball has a straight, narrow tunnel connecting two points on its surface. How long does it take to slide through the tunnel? Simplifying assumptions As with most story problems, we have to make some simplifying assumptions. But I think they're fairly reasonable. We assume the faller starts out motionless, at one end of the … Continue reading How long does it take to fall through a ball of ice?
The other day, a Twitter user (David Buchanan, @David3141593) posted a message that gained some attention. It has an attached JPEG file, with an image of William Shakespeare. If you save a copy of the JPEG file, and unzip it as if it were a ZIP file, it unzips into the complete works of Shakespeare. … Continue reading About that JPEG/ZIP/Shakespeare hybrid file