Friday, December 10, 2004

What I'm Reading 

I totally loved this article on Tim Hunkin's webpage, which I found via Bruce Schneier's blog. Not only is it filled with a lot of cool information on how safe's are made and how they work, it also mentions how cool Richard Feynman was, and provides many other interesting bits of trivia.

The main point of the article was this: safes are pretty much impossible to break into these days. What jumped out at me, however, was why this is so. It's because for hundreds of years, people built safes, and the makers of safes would try to break into their competitors' safes to show how insecure they were. After a few hundred years of this, we wind up with safes that are filled with all sorts of unbelievable countermeasures, and can apparently protect their contents from an atomic blast.

So imagine that instead of allowing this to happen, governments had outlawed safecracking early on in the process. Robbers would continue to crack safes, since they were already doing something illegal. But now manufacturers would be unable to crack each other's safes, and presumably they are interested in obeying the law.

Now imagine that instead of safes we're talking about computer security products. I don't think I even need to finish this, or link to EFF.

Some physicsts were debating with Feynman if you could really pee in zero-g. Ends up the bladder pushes out, and gravity isn't really a part of elimination at all. To prove his point, Feynman took a piss while doing a hand stand. (From the book, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, which also has an amusing tale of him taking six asprin and three cokes to prove it wouldn't kill you.)
Yeah, read that in 8th grade.
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