8 pages of simple explanations
and a "explain me like I'm 5" post on http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1reu69/if_you_have_not_read_satoshi_nakamotos_original/cdmlnfd?context=1" target="_blank">reddit :
Bitcoin is a giant public ledger saying who sent what coins to whom.
People have private keys, which they use to sign coin transfers. It's easy to verify signatures. That way only you can give away your coins.
But that doesn't prevent you from giving the same coins to multiple people. For that we have the ledger, which puts all the transfers in a particular order that everyone agrees on so you can't pay someone with coins you already spent.
Transactions are published on a p2p network. To put them in order, people take sets of transactions, add a random number, and make a cryptographic hash of the whole thing. (Feed data into a hash function and you get an unpredictable number.) If the hash is a low enough number it's a valid block and it becomes part of the blockchain. If it's too high, you change the random number and try again.
The block also includes the hash of the previous block, so that puts everything in sequence. It takes a lot of tries to get a low-enough number, so only one block is published every ten minutes or so, by some random person who got lucky. This puts everything in order.
It's expensive to do that, so when someone successfully generates a block, they get paid by a special bitcoin transaction that awards them some brand-new coins. That's mining.
"We've heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption," said Albright. "Are you familiar with that?"
"Yes, I am," said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial.
"And how is it that you're familiar with public key encryption?"
"I invented it."
A nice piece of journalism about how Diffie stood out in court to "knock out the Jones patent with "clear and convincing" evidence (which is the standard for invalidating a patent).".
Learning more about the guy who is behind the Diffie-Hellman">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffie%E2%80%93Hellman_key_exchange">Diffie-Hellman handshake.
more info here
posted November 2013
So after a long night staying up and coding I finally handed in my project including my report in LaTeX.
I'm not really proud of what I did, I felt like I could have done much better if given more time (okay I slacked and I had enough time).
BUT, as I already said earlier, I've accomplished a lot and even though I'm done with this project I still kinda want to keep working on it.
Things that I've learned doing this class :
- C is awful. But now I know the basics. I wish we had one more project to code in C to really get it though.
- Makefile? Headers? I still don't really get the structure of a C project (and I'm ashamed).
- I know Linux! Okay I don't know Linux that much, but I'm getting really causy there. I installed debian on a VM and I'm considering setting up a dual boot on my laptop now.
- Emacs emacs! I was postponing learning it because I was afraid, and just forced myself to use it for this project and goshh am I fast when I use it. When I go back to Sublime Text I just want to C-M-F, C-A, C-K, C-Y...
- LaTeX! As a Math major I've always been ashamed not knowing it. Now that I got a taste of it I'm wondering if I should use it to write my book on.
- Svn and Git. I'm not a stranger anymore! And I use them for all my websites as well now :)
I think that's it, but I feel like I've learned a lot and I wished this course was a year thing rather than a semester thing.
The course is not over yet though and next week we'll dive into java for... a quick swim since it will be our last week.
I feel like I've been doing a hackaton these past few days trying to finish my sudoku solver. I had to hand it in 2 hours ago but still haven't finished... I really hope this won't affect my grade too much.
I've been learning a lot of Emacs, C, using gcov, gprof, LaTeX... I'm so confused right now and my code has became so dense that it's hard for me to debug it.
Yesterday, suddenly, I found something really stupid in my sudoku grid generation that I couldn't fix. A day after, I found the solution, randomly, fixing it created a huge load of other issues. I have been re-inspecting my whole code all day long and I'm stressed by this deadline that I already passed.
Gosh that is a hard course.
And... because of this, I missed a day writing on my new application. I was on a 9-day strike :(
I'm studying automata, it's sort of a "logical" subject that reminds me of studying mathematics. It looks cool, it only asks your brain to think, not to memorize, and you don't really know what's the real use of it.
If you want to take a peak at what I'm studying, you can find a similar course on Coursera given by Jeff Ullman from Stanford (yes, obviously I should have moved to the US and attend Stanford).
Well, someone nicely asked what I was thinking on Stackoverflow, and someone else nicely answered.
posted November 2013
I have an exam of Réseaux (Network) tomorrow and the slides of my prof are... how could I say this... not really clear. We have practical applications classes but they were... organized in the worst possible way. The subject did seem interesting at first but I felt like I learned nothing. Hopefully for the past few weeks I've been using the wonderful online course An Introduction to Computer Networks given by Nick McKeown and Philip Levis both very competent profs from Stanford. It seems like I should have gone there for my master of Cryptography :) Anyway, I'm doing with what I have here and I feel blessed studying Cryptography right when free online courses started becoming a thing.
The course is available here.