“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
There’s some good news out this week about a court’s decision that forcing a suspect to decrypt the contents of a hard drive would violate their fifth amendment, and therefore is unconstitutional.
Bruce Schneier has linked to a fascinating blog post about a recently declassified letter that John Nash sent to the NSA regarding cryptography in 1955. Nash’s letter is fascinating and show just how brilliant he actually is. It’s interesting to me how he has to try to convince the recipient that he’s not a crazy person – I guess at the time his reputation did not precede himself (or maybe it did) – and how he apologizes for his handwriting.
It hadn’t occurred to me that at the time more correspondence was probably done by hand-written letter than typed letters, especially if you did not have a secretary to type it up for you. I can’t imagine leaving my boss a handwritten note these days. In fact, in the five years that I’ve worked at UCSC, I’m not sure that I’ve ever sent any of my co-workers a handwritten note. I take hand-written notes at meetings just to avoid the distraction of having a full laptop during the meeting, but I usually immediately convert the handwritten notes to an e-mail or request queue ticket and then file the paper away, probably never to look at it again.
At any rate, the blog post does a good job of explaining why the letter is extraordinary, so I won’t bother regurgitating that here but I definitely recommend reading it.
Apparently, I’ve been living a double life, and the other “me” is up to no good:
By JESSICA M. PASKO – Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted: 02/03/2012 02:49:05 PM PST
SANTA CRUZ – A man who was apparently upset about his life used a horseshoe tied to the end of a ribbon to smash the windows of two cars, Santa Cruz police said.
Officers were called to area of Rincon and Chestnut streets just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday following reports of the incident, Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Rick Martinez said. There they found two cars with smashed-out windows.
Witnesses helped lead them to Timothy Gustafson, 19, who was sitting on a curb close by, crying, Martinez said. The horseshoe and ribbon were on the ground nearby.
Gustafson was arrested on suspicion of vandalism and booked into County Jail. It did not appear Gustafson knew the owners of the cars, and it seemed to be a random occurrence. The rear window of one of the cars had been smashed, along with the windshield of another. The damage was estimated at $1,000 for both cars, Martinez said.
Gustafson is listed as a transient currently living in Santa Cruz.
This is a pretty amazing video out of a research lab that developed a swarm of about 16 nano-helicopters that can all fly in formation.
This is what happens when your programmers are not happy:
I was able to get out for another epic ride today. I went down Highway 1 all the way through Big Sur and continues on down to San Simeon before cutting across the mountains and back up the 101. The weather was excellent, and the sunset was gorgeous. It was a slight bit chilly after sundown, but that didn’t really detract from the trip at all.
I didn’t stop to take any pictures, but there are plenty of picture-worthy stops along this trip that I’ll have to stop at when I have more time. Perhaps I could make a two-day trip out of it and camp down near San Simeon. I should also have brought the Contour Roam video camera, but I didn’t think about it until it was too late.