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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

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Information Underground

Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx discuss things.

Personal password algorithms - klaatu | 2019-03-07

Here is a bash script to generate an org-mode word list matrix. It requires at least one file ending in .list to be used as a source of words or strings.


if [ -z $1 ]; then

cat >> "${DEST}" <<EOF
| | a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z | ? |

VERT=(a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z ?)

cat *list > tmp || exit

BIG=`wc -l tmp | cut -f1 -d' '`


while [ "$c" -lt "27" ]; do
    # horizontal row across
    v=`echo ${VERT[$c]}`
    printf "| $v |" >> "${DEST}"
    while [ "$n" -lt "27" ]; do
	i=`echo $((1 + RANDOM % $BIG))`
	w=`awk "FNR==$i" tmp`
	#reduce chance of empty cell
	if [[ -z $w ]]; then
	    i=`echo $((1 + RANDOM % $BIG))`
	    w=`awk "FNR==$i" tmp`
	    echo "blank cell found"
	printf "$w | " >> "${DEST}"
    echo " " >> "${DEST}"

/usr/bin/rm tmp

When you open the resulting file ( by default) in emacs, use the fill-paragraph (m-x fill-paragraph) function to align the cells into a pretty table.

Invent your own key, and generate some test passwords. Do this 6 or 8 times, and then try to reverse the key using the passwords and the table. If the logic to reverse the key is too simple, then try using values relying on the metadata, rather than data, of the table (for instance, the number of letters in the first word in the table starting with the same letter as the site name, or whatever).

Do you have analogue methods of generating passwords? Post ideas to either the comments or, better yet, as an HPR episode!

Here is a word list for testing:

Deepgeek explains SPF records - klaatu | 2019-03-06

Klaatu reads a phlog (gopher) post by Deepgeek explaining the practical uses of SPF records.

Character build in the d20 system - klaatu | 2019-02-06

Klaatu and Lostnbronx spend an hour building an RPG character at a leisurely, and hopefully informative, pace. While the build process here is technically specific to the sci-fi (or science fantasy, really) game Starfinder, the idea is to convey the generic process of stepping through a character build instruction, cross-referencing important rules, and generally learning how to build a character in an unfamiliar system.

Storytelling formula compliance - klaatu | 2019-01-22

Storytelling has had a formula for yearsAndYears. Some people speak of it in disdain ("it was too formulaïc") and others (creative writing and intro film teachers, mostly) praise it. Everybody else (us) is a sucker for it.

Here is the literal formula, in pseudo code:

{A} Reinforced


{A} Returned


{Z} Returned

You can (and should, because it's free and you can throw out your work if you don't like it) practise this formula by plugging in events to represent A and Z, where A and Z are polar opposites.

Really obvious examples are any given romantic comedy:

{A} Jack is A="single and free"
{A} Scene to reinforce that Jack is in relationships with no strings attached. Jack is {A}.

{Z} Jack meets Jill, realises she makes him happy. He decides he's had enough of being {A} and want to be {Z=married}

{A} Reunion with old school mate makes Jack question his resolve. He leaves Jill so he can be {A}

{B...Y} Plot happens. Jack does stuff, Jill does stuff. Funny? Tragic? You decide!

{Z} Jack realizes at last that he's only happy with Jill, and that being {Z} with Jill is the only way to be truly free.

You can also try it with the old Evil Empire plot line.

{A} Jill is an {A=obedient citizen}. Loves her mama, loves Jesus and America, too.
{A} Scene in which Jill witnesses a Rebel being mistreated unjustly, but does nothing to stand up for what is right, because she is {A}.

{Z} Jill meets Jack, an outlaw and rebel against the Empire. He's in trouble, so she helps him evade the police.

{A} Jill, horrified at her own rebellion, conforms all the more. She is dedicated to the Empire, and works diligently to hunt down Jack and his rag tag band of rebels.

{B...Y} Plot happens. Action, laser guns, laser swords, nationalism, motorcycle gangs.

{Z} Jill, seeing the devastation her allegiance has caused, realises that the Empire is actually Evil. She joins the rebels to fight for freedom.

Now go practice this. Soon you will be telling stories, jokes, and anecdotes that have a clear beginning, a clear conflict, and a clear ending.

Information Underground -- Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll - lostnbronx | 2018-01-26

Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx look back at the flappers and speakeasies of the 1920's and 30's, and attempt to draw a line from the newly independent women of that era, up through the Playboy Bunnies of the 1950's, all the way to today.

Are things better or worse? Is what we "know" about history really important? And do the Info-Underground boys have any clue what they're even talking about?

Information Underground: Local Control - lostnbronx | 2017-11-27


Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx discuss communities, real and virtual, and get to the heart (or not) of the confluent issues surrounding modern confusion, apathy and despair with their leadership.

Information Underground: Co-op Paradise - lostnbronx | 2017-10-30

Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx discuss their long-running server co-operative, including the triumphs and challenges over the years, personal benefits, and why listeners might want to create such a thing themselves.

Information Underground: 21st Century Superstar - deepgeek | 2017-09-11

Deepgeek, Lostnbronx, and Klaatu talk about cultural iconography.

Information Underground: Working Out - klaatu | 2017-08-21

Deepgeek, Lostnbronx, and Klaatu talk about exercise.