Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Miracle of UTF-8

I've written about UTF-8 before and recounted the story of its invention one night over dinner by Ken Thompson and Rob Pike. Now Tom Scott over at audible.com has a wonderful video on UTF-8, which he calls the world's greatest … Continue reading

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H.R. 2818--Surveillance State Repeal Act

In my The New York Times on Encryption Backdoors post, I mentioned that Representative Russ Holt of New Jersey has introduced legislation that reins in the NSA and prohibits some of its more egregious activities. Although it doesn't go far … Continue reading

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Org Mode and Broken Links

As a couple of you have pointed out to me recently, HTML links in my posts are sometimes getting broken. That happens when the link has a parameter specified with a question mark and equal sign. For example, here's a … Continue reading

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Emacs Regular Expression Recap

Xah Lee has a nice summary of Emacs regular expressions and how they differ from the other familiar varieties. I may have linked to an older version of this a while ago but it's a worthwhile link for anyone who … Continue reading

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Building a Blog with Org Mode

As regular readers know, Irreal posts begin as Org Mode files that are subsequently published to WordPress with org2blog. This works very well for me but not everyone wants to run WordPress. For those of you who want to build … Continue reading

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Hating Apple

My friend Watts has a perspicacious tweet concerning those who hate Apple: At times I suspect hating Apple is at least as much of a fashion statement as buying them is. That's right, I think. How else to reconcile the … Continue reading

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The New York Times on Encryption Backdoors

In a bit of good news, The New York Times has published an editorial Calling on the NSA to close their backdoors. There's nothing in the editorial that will be news to Irreal readers but it's useful because it educates … Continue reading

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Code Snippets in Org Mode

Everyone who's hung around Irreal for a while knows that I'm a big fan of Org mode and that I use it to, among other things, write all my blog posts. One of the really nice things about it is … Continue reading

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Safe Password Hashing

I have written several times about the absolute necessity to properly hash passwords. The tricky part is that properly. It's a bit subtle to get it right. Happily the folks over at Defuse Security have an excellent guide that Tells … Continue reading

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Dual_EC_DRBG

One of the recently released Snowden documents mentions the NSA's success at weakening a 2006 NIST encryption standard and getting it accepted as an international ISO standard. While the standard isn't named, it is widely assumed to be NIST Special … Continue reading

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