Archive for October, 2009

Numbers, Codes, and Obscure Constants

Codes are, as rare as they seem to be, are a vital part of everyday life, with online transactions being protected by humongous primes 500-so digits long, but these are often being broken by computers with a lot of spare time on their hands. However, these computers might easily be halted by the RSA code, along with a second code applied.

A good one which is easy on bit space for a computer is the matrix code (not the movie) which can be used to easily code letters back and forth. You choose a matrix, the size depending on the length of your letter, and use a simple alphanumeric code (like a=1, b=2, c=3…) to turn that into another matrix, which would give you something like

Matrix 1       Message
[5  9 -7]       [5  21 12 5 18]
[-9 6  2]       [12 15 22 5 19]
[3 -8 -8]       [16 9  5  5  5]

Then, after passing the matrix to your friend (RSA code, anyone?), or making it an obscure constant like Kinchin’s Constant , you simply use standard matrix multiplication to get

[21   177   223  35  226]
[59   -81   34  -5   38 ]
[-209 -129 -180 -65 -138]

This is the coded message, which you then can pass on to your friend, adding a second code on that if you want, without fear that the crackers will decode it.

When your friend gets it, he multiplies that by the inverse of the first matrix, decodes the alphanumeric code, and reveals the original message:

euler loves pieee

This code is effective for small messages, although larger first matrixes and matrix numbers will increase the time dramatically to brake it.

Of course, you could scramble the original message by using the standard alphanumeric code, but shifting the values of the letters by some number for each letter in the message.


Or you could just tell the message to them.


Matrix runs on Windows XP?

This is an amazingly funny spoof of “The Matrix”, best for anyone who remembers XP and the evil Clippy.



A few months ago, my mom and dad decided to take a trip to Australia for our yearly vacation. The reason why Australia and not some other place like (… err…) Scotland was unclear.

A week before we were scheduled to board our plane, my dad presented me with an early birthday present which he said might help to pass the time on the plane and while driving, and in a big box at his office. Inside the big box was another box. And inside that was another box. And so it went on for about 10 iterations, until I was presented with 2 boxes, one smaller than the other. Opening that box, I found…  An envelope. Inside that was bubble wrap, and then inside that was finally two of the gifts: Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. You can probably guess what was inside the other box.

A week after that, we finally arrived in Brisbane, Australia and ate a bacony cheeseburger. From then on we each had our separate schedules that we had to agree on. I wanted to go to science museums and movie studios, play the Dsi, and possibly go to the beach.

Mom’s schedule: WaterparkbeachbeachbeachBEACH!beachbeachBEACHbeachbeachbeach. (practically)

So, we looked around Brisbane, and found a beach, which Mom was prepared for. In the city. Because of this, I found that you can use air bubbles in long pants (which I always wear) to float. There was also a closed carnival and a Da Vinci exhibit which we had already seen in San Jose. We stayed for 2 days longer, meeting Mitchell Riley, and picking up a disposable phone from Optus, because At&t internet costs a LOT in Australia.

However, one thing went my way. Australia has lots and lots of puzzle stores!

We went down the coast, going to Surfer’s Paradise (a town) which makes the best California beach look like a mud pit, and Byron Bay, where we realized that EVERY Australian beach makes a Californian beach look like a mud pit. We got through the humongous dust storm, Dad saying “I think I played this level in Fallout 3”, and finally made it to Sydney.

Sydney is like San Francisco, except with less fog. Parking spaces were hard to find, and the coffee and book stores were numerous. It’s famous for being where they filmed The Matrix, possibly because it looks like a city, with clear skies, park-looking parks, and cars. When we were there, we saw a McDonald’s ad being filmed, and a callout for extras for a Dunkin Donuts ad. The reason why this place has not been labeled the new Hollywood is unclear. Sydney not only looks like a movie, it acts like a movie also. My Dsi had been without power for 3 days, so we picked up an Australian Dsi charger at GAME (the gamestore)— moments before a couple bought every single other one. Other differences of Sydney from San Francisco- Toy store: Mr.Toy’s Toyworld, Donut store: Donut King, Coffee store:Various, the best being Gloria Jean’s.

We drove back to Brisbane, caught the plane, which stopped at Sydney, where— like a movie — we caught the plane to the U.S. in the nick of time, and flew back.

I somehow, during that time, managed to completely finish Professor Layton and the Curious Village (every single puzzle), but not the Diabolical Box- due to a peg solitaire puzzle.