It seems that the news is less serious than initially thought. Read on.
As usual, submit your most beautiful papers:)
If you are interested in obtaining a sample hardware chip, containing all SHA3 finalists, for experimentation, you may find this link useful.
I’m presently at the ongoing Crypto 2011 conference which is, like every year, taking place in the Campbell Hall of UCSB. So far, everything has been super-fantastic including the meals in the very known De La Guerra cafeteria. Last night we were present at the famous crypto rump session which is one of the mostly viewed live crypto meetings, because it is webcast live every year. The most exciting talk at this year’s rump session is probably the announcement of the key-recovery attack on the full AES, with complexity lower than the brute-force, by Bogdanov, Khovratovich and Rechberger. The improvement is marginal — at most by a factor of 3. However, note that they are the first attacks on the full-round AES without any related-key assumption. The paper is here.
Among other talks, that I could at least understand, one of them is the meet-in-the-middle attack on IDEA by Eli Biham, Nathan Keller, Orr Dunkelman and Adi Shamir. If I remember correctly, the attacks require work equivalent to more than 200 bits, but they are certainly better than the brute-force. Adi Shamir also busted GOST, in his talk GOSTBUSTER 2. The subject of the talk is not at all funny like the title; in fact it is quite the opposite: Attacks were reported on the russian crypto-system GOST.
Yuji Suga talked about many sponge-like constructions. This work tallies very much with our present research. Yuji’s presentation was fabulous. People rolled on the floor laughing, as he trots out his slides one by one. I believe it had taken Yuji a lot of hard work and time to prepare a presentation like this.
Last but not the least, I also presented our (Dustin Moody and I) new results on the hash function modes of operation FWP and JH. The slides are here. The full paper will be available as soon as possible. The presentation was one of the worst for me. I could not actually finish off the slides, way behind schedule, and sort of booed away by the audience. But, as always, it was great fun also to be honked off the podium, as the spirit of the audience was never rude as it may seem from my description; on the contrary it was quite affectionate. I hope those who watched the live broadcast would have already known that.
The list of all talks is here. But they have not yet uploaded the slides. Check back later.
Postscript: If you think you will be able to learn about the proceedings of a conference just by managing to buy the so called “conference-proceedings”, you are pitifully wrong. One of the major gains of attending this year’s crypto is to know a very interesting anagram for the phrase “the codebreakers”. Any idea what the anagram could be? Oh. This reminds me that David Kahn was honored with IACR fellowship this year for his outstanding contribution to the crypto-community. The citation is here. Other new IACR fellows are: Richard Schroeppel, Scott Vanstone and Charles Rackoff. The webpage.
As expected Michele Bachmann emerged the winner in the Iowa state straw poll that put her somewhat ahead of the other Republicans candidates in the race to challenge Barack Obama in the presidential election 2012. I understand that she is a conservative republican, and that she is a spearhead in the much talked-about Tea Party Movement. Well, I’m not an expert in American politics, and, therefore, I cannot make a balanced opinion on how good a president she would be, if finally elected, from the perspective of both the US and the world. But in my limited view and approach, I will really find it extraordinarily funny, if she goes on to become the US president in the end. Before I explain why, I’d like to encourage you to please read this article. In short, she publicly supports the intelligent design which is based on the fact that there is a God who created the Universe only a few thousand years ago, when it has been established by the scientists — they may be less human than Prof. Bachmann — using fossil records and techniques like radiocarbon-dating that the Universe is tens of billions of years old ; in other words, to put it plainly, she does not believe in Darwinism. Consciously disapproving Darwinism and publicly speaking against it, in my opinion, is no small talk. It reflects your worldview, it shows your outlook. After successfully disproving all kinds of skepticism for hundreds of years, Darwinism has been established as a concrete evidence-based full-fledged science, being accepted by the scientific community the world over without any iota of doubt. Not only that, new evidences — in the scopes of many modern scientific disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology — emerge each passing day that further corroborate the authenticity of this age-old theory; so much that it has been put in the same elite class as the gravitation law and laws of motion by Isaac Newton. Both the theories are being taught in schools across the world. But things are different in America (further reading).
I’m a firm believer of democracy; therefore, I’ll surely stand up and applaud the American democracy, when they elect their new president in 2012, no matter who the person is. Nevertheless, I just only hope that the American electorate take into consideration other aspects of a candidate’s worldview too, such as this, before making their final decision. God bless America.
How many native English speakers know the meaning of bilingualism? May be all. But, what about the word diglossia . The meaning is here. Honestly, I never thought the Indians knew that.
Well, the title of the post may be a little exaggerated, and provocative; therefore, if you find it so, trust me it is because it was intended to be so. OK, no more mincing words. Some social, economic, and political events that played out during the last few days came banging down in my head, blaring out just one slogan, over and over, “Fall of the Titans”. Oops, I think I used too weighty words, such as “social”, “economic”, “political”, for something that, apparently, may not be as influential as many other concurrent events happening across the world. No, the events that are on my mind do not include the ongoing Libyan crisis; nor is it the Syrian uprising. It is not even the European debt problems. What actually I found more eye-catching are the downgrading of the US credit rating, and all the more very importantly, the uncontrollable riots raging through the city of London for the successive three days now.
Ever since I can remember, I have been taught — directly or indirectly — that the US and the UK are the lands of El Dorado, meaning that they epitomize cultural leadership, modernity, economic and military might; in a word, they are the symbol of the ultimate success of human civilization. Such Indian impression of these two English speaking countries may have roots in the country’s colonial mindset — slowly built in 200 years of British rule — and, of course in part, is due to the sweeping American success in business and industry post WWII. Against such image of these two countries, nothing can be more culturally shocking than watching pictures of public riots, arson, shops with smashed windows, coming straight from the heart of London; these pictures of violent mob are usually associated with the Middle east, the third world, and Africa, thanks to the widespread painting of these places by the mainstream media in such light. By the same token, another incredible event is probably to see the US, so far the undisputed world leader of business and industry, relegate from the elite group of countries with business credit rating AAA to a less prestigious AA+ level. If you care to peek into history, such changes are nothing but absolutely normal, when evaluated retrospectively; rise and fall are just a matter of time, but we never cease to feel surprised when they happen right in the present. For example, I find it extremely unbelievable that a leader named Genghis Khan, from a present-day very low profile country called Mongolia, just a few hundred years ago could build an empire — which is still world’s largest contiguous landmass conquered by an emperor — by virtue of sheer military superiority over all other world powers (another example may be the history of Jerusalem). Transition of power from one hand to the other is so common in history that it appears that such events may not be worthy of any special attention in the future. As such, the events just described will be trivialized as one of many such. Nonetheless, it is exciting to be a live witness to such events.
I might have talked completely nonsense; these incidents may be just isolated ones without any large-scale repercussions, and would go into media oblivion very fast; at best, they may have some passing impact on only a few isolated pockets in an even fewer countries. But at present, we don’t have the hindsight to predict how they unfold in the future.
Update: The ugly underbelly is laid bare. Here.
Although, this article is particularly written on the Holy Bible, there is no obvious reason why it should not be applied to other religions. The key idea is not to confine the God into a restrictive box; take Her out into the vast openness so that She can take deep breaths of fresh air. Interpret religious texts as they are relevant in the present, not as they were in the past. I can understand that this may be a strong word, since religious sentiments are sometimes very touchy and can be easily hurt. But “My faith is superior to those of the others” kind of attitudes should, by no means, help the world be a better place for our children and grandchildren. So, what do you like your religion to be, without bothering about the one you were indoctrinated into? Your religious books say exactly what you think it should say in order to earn your respect. Does it sound too apostate? No so much I think. The ideas are catching on. Here.
They claim they have nabbed him. True or false this is not a solution. This is in fact “cheating”.
In a landmark ruling, BT, an internet service provider based in the UK, has been ordered by the UK high court to block the site Newzbin 2 which is (in)famous for supplying its users with links to pirated copies of movies, TV shows etc. As expected the Motion Picture Association applauded the court ruling, however, BT is known to have decided not to appeal against the ruling.
Will that be any effective to prevent the BT users from accessing Newzbin 2 anyways? Some analysis here: