Sudeep's Blog

Disorganized Thoughts in Organized Manner

Thu Jun 21 2012
Steve Huffman's super-amazing course on Web-app development on Udacity, ( link is here...And fyi, this humble blog is a result of diligently following lecture videos/programming tasks), talks about multiple hashing algorithms for hashing critical information (e.g. password). The course introduces three important/commonly used hashing libraries, described in the title of this post. Hashlib is fairly common, and has support for almost all of most common hashing algorithms like MD5, SHA1, SHA32 and SHA256. It is, however, vulnerable to Length Extension Attack HMAC (Hash Based Message Authentication Code) has an added advantage of a secret key, which is also hashed along with actual message. An attack is useless without knowing the secret key. The last library, however, caught my attention, especially because Steve termed it "the best" among all. Some googling led me to this page on python implementation of bcrypt. Now what exactly is bcrypt? Well, bcrypt stands for "Blowfish Encryption". Perhaps the most important feature of bcrypt algorithm is its adaptive modification of key. It starts with a standard key with salt. But modifies part of the key using the message it has already encrypted. This modified key is further used to encrypt remaining part of message and so on. Moreover, this cyclic approach is configurable: Number of message-hash-key-modify cycles can be specified by the user and as a result, hashing time of the algorithm is configurable, while giving stronger and stronger encryption schema. Neat stuff!
@neha_ns tweeted an interesting article on BBC News regarding European debt crisis: Here is a link: BBC News: Eurozone crisis explained What does the article say?
  • The European Union, led by Germany is proposing a limit on a nation's borrowing: 3.0% of total GDP
  • In fact, the exact same limit was agreed upon by all Euro nations in 1997, right when Euro was formed
  • Almost all big economies - Germany, Italy, France, even Spain after 2007 constantly violated this limit. Greece manipulated its books to appear as if they were staying within the limit.
  • Yet, German economy is strong, and Spain, even after staying within borrowing limit till 2007 is in trouble
  • The reason being, Spain and Italy had a huge amount of private sector loan, although government debt was under limit.
  • As a result, Spain and Italy, with their debt-earned-money, started heavily importing from Germany. Germany started earning lot of foreign currency and accumulating extra cash.
  • Moreover, in spite of being under heavy debt, Spain and Italy saw a constant increase in labor wages. Germany had a regulated/unionized set of wages. Larger wages imply higher cost. As a result, German exports were more competitive (read cheaper) than Spain or Italy. Italian and Spanish companies could not find any overseas buyers at all!
  • That's all there is! Even though governments regulated their own spending, they did not regulated wages and/or private borrowing in many of the failed European states
Conclusion: Political will and regulated markets are some of the biggest factors in deciding fate of a nation. A strong government willing to check its over spending, wastefulness of its private sector and unregulated increase in costs and wages wins the race in long run. Will India ever learn from Germany?
This was a big headache while developing the blog: A long text inside a ⁢pre> tag would overflow and look ugly. This nice blog comes to the rescue. Yay! Here's the blog post
Wed Jun 20 2012
I have watched a few iPhone-development-class videos from Stanford on ITunesU. ITunesU has now come up with the exact feature I wanted: A discussion forum and wiki-like feature that other sites like Udacity and Coursera offer. Here's a link to Techcrunch News
Wed Jun 20 2012
Google Launches Custom Themes For Gmail, Lets You Choose Your Own Background Photos. Via Techcrunch Link: Here is a link from Techcrunch
Wed Jun 20 2012
Bill gates has announced his plan of making at least one visit to India every year. Here is a report of his most recent trip. Hats Off Mr. Gates! Link: HTML link Here is a video
An old man going a lone highway, Came, at the evening cold and gray, To a chasm vast and deep and wide. Through which was flowing a sullen tide The old man crossed in the twilight dim, The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned when safe on the other side And built a bridge to span the tide. “Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near, “You are wasting your strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day, You never again will pass this way; You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide, Why build this bridge at evening tide?” The builder lifted his old gray head; “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followed after me to-day A youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm that has been as naught to me To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
Tue Jun 19 2012
Entrepreneur: Someone who will work 24 hours a day for themselves to avoid working 1 hour for someone else.rt @chrisguillebeau