Quotes – 19

It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities.

– R. P. Feynman, Character of Physical Law, November 1964 Cornell Lectures, broadcast and published in 1965 by BBC, pp. 57-8.

1

Tips for texting via email

I just got this in an email. This is useful if you are in front of a computer and want to send a message to somebody without going through the painful process of texting from an antique cell phone (Gaa. I need a new phone).

Anyway, now you can email short messages, reminders, phone numbers and other important stuff to any mobile phone that supports text (SMS) messaging. Note: This might work for only carriers in the US and check with your mobile carrier regarding the charges for text messaging under your plan, of course!

1. Create a new email message.

2. In the “To” text box, enter the cell phone number using the following syntax:
10-digit-number@carrierdomain.com

Here is a list of some major carrier domains:

Alltel @message.alltel.com
Cingular/AT&T @txt.att.net
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
Verizon @vtext.com
Virgin Mobile @vmobl.com

3. Create a message of 160 characters or less. You can also attach a .jpg file, if the cell phone you are sending to supports images.

4. Send the email.

And voila.

Most Powerful Supercomputers: Brains and Beauty

A very impressive collection of photos about supercomputers, from Konrad Zuse’s apparatus to few of the rather not-so-famous flop burners of the recent years… Interesting. I was wondering why they had left out RoadRunner of recent fame but then a quick search on google yields the updated full list for anyone interested.

“Is there a God,” and said machine answers, “There is now.”

via Dark Roasted Blend: Most Powerful Supercomputers: Brains and Beauty.

PS: On a side note, I stumbled upon a list of the fastest supercomputers in India.

Choosing good passwords

A farewell mail from one of Apple’s security professionals. Derrick Donnelly, in his farewell mail, made these very interesting suggestions for choosing a good password.

My final words

Remember security starts at the keyboard in front of you:

A 6 character password has about fifty six billion (56,800,235,584) possibilities and the average computer (the G5 is even faster) can try all combinations (crack them) in 2.5 hours.

A 7 character password has about three and a half trillion (3,521,614,606,208) possibilities and a computer can try all combinations in about 1 week.

An 8 character password has about two hundred trillion (218,340,105,584,896) possibilities and a computer can try all its combinations in about a year.

A 9 character password would take about 70 years for a computer to try all combinations.

They say the chips coming in about a year could half these times! Now if you do not want to wait for next year’s chip, you can always put 2 computers in parallel and half the time. In theory you could put 365 computers in parallel and break 8 character passwords in just over a day (Virginia Tech just put 1100 G5s in parallel). Do you think hackers have friends?

Computers have a lot more time on their hands than we do and most of the bad guys don’t have jobs. The next person asking for your social security number could be just a few clicks away from your stock options.

If you just got a chill down your back or just got a little paranoid; good, my work is done.

Use an 8 character password (9 characters is better)… You would make this security professional very happy if you would change your passwords after you read this e-mail : )

You can learn more about choosing good Passwords. And hey, do follow them !

On a sidenote, I remember learning to code during the under grad years just for the thrill of cracking passwords. I can still feel how beautiful it was when i did manage to do it. Sheer bliss. I understood then, on why people take so much effort to hack into classified sites and just play around with files until they make one stupid mistake and get caught.

It is the sheer satisfaction of the EGO … The Ego Trail that keeps us going.

2

The Nine Billion Names Of God

One nice short story after a long time. You’ve gotta read this.

Here’s a excerpt from the story.

You ever wonder why Google doesn’t cache it’s own searches?

They program around it.

No. That’s what you think. That’s what everyone thinks. But it started back when Google was just a thesis project, back when it was just a drop in the data sea. No one thought to stop it back then. That web site you had, the one you forgot about. Almost everyone’s got one of those, right? But Google doesn’t forget. Google’s studied that thing so many times that it’s studied its own caches of you. What do you figure happens, when a site gets so big that it’s bigger than the internet?

It’s still a part of the internet, though.

No. Now, the internet is a part of Google.

Cool !

Reflection of Lasers

I have stumbled upon one of the most addictive and beautiful game I have ever laid my eyes on. It is beautiful because the simple laws of reflection of light have been so slickly introduced and designed into a simple, rule based game. And it is addictive because it does prove that I can still make this soft mind think and in-effect pushes me to play even more. There is nothing fancy about the game and probably that is also why it stands out. Kudos to the creator !

Here is a small screenshot of the game which has got me tied to the computer more so during my breaks.

Reflections


And finally, here is the link. If you are sitting there, idly, reading my post right now, click on and play like a maniac.

My current record is Level 16. I am sure i am gonna break it soon, probably in my next break 😉 in about 2 hours. Adios.