Category Archives: Links

Why we encrypt →

This protection is important for everyone. It’s easy to see how encryption protects journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists in authoritarian countries. But encryption protects the rest of us as well. It protects our data from criminals. It protects it from competitors, neighbors, and family members. It protects it from malicious attackers, and it protects it from accidents.

Security guru Bruce Schneier explains why encryption is important. Worth a read.

Measuring continental drift with your phone →

So, you could imagine instead of leaving your phone to do nothing overnight you could instead leave it to record 8 hours of drift data. We’d anonymize it and record drift information just for the nearest 100 mile square or something so we don’t know where your house is. Then we could aggregate that data with other phones across the world and see if we get something that looks accurate out of it.

I have no idea whether that works, but it sure is a damn cool idea. Go to m.opendrift.org on your phone to participate.

Bayes’ Theorem explained with Lego →

What’s a good blog on probability without a post on Bayes’ Theorem? Bayes’ Theorem is one of those mathematical ideas that is simultaneously simple and demanding. Its fundamental aim is to formalize how information about one event can give us understanding of another. Let’s start with the formula and some lego, then see where it takes us.

There should be more explanations of mathematical ideas that involve Lego.