Entertainment Value

People who read about cryptography often enjoy the entertainment value that they find. Visual and conceptual enjoyment is appreciated due to the sober presentations about this technology. Here are some links to see some samples:

http://www.cryptography.com/ animation on its homepage.

Electronic Code Book ECB mode looks cool, not random.

The sci.crypt Usenet Newsgroup has years of archives of debates, breakthroughs, and obsessed flamers.

The visualization of bits during an encryption sequence is rarely shown as well as this triangular .gif image.

Elliptic Curve Cryptography has some pleasant pictures of curves that help people understand the finite field methods.

Mayan Characters: Unicode provides a wealth of Fonts and visual joys
for those who care about languages, secret alphabets, and old messages. A new Perl program is posted here to translate English sentences to use Mayan Glyphs.
Here it is: baffle_maya_72.pl
Here is an example .rtf file for Wordpad using Mayan fonts . To see it, install the TrueType fonts linked at the beginning of the first sentence of this paragraph.


An entertainment category has come from watching key sizes grow. Even though memory is very inexpensive, key sizes have gone from the 56 bit DES (data encryption standard) up to increasing values. But while that increase has occurred, the key size is kept as small as can be done while maintaining minimal credibility. Today, the 128 bit AES is good enough for rock and roll, but the 256 bit AES is commonly used, just to be safe. People ask, "Why don't they just use a megabit key?" Pondering and debating that issue is entertaining.

The RSA public key cryptosystem (Rivest Shamir Adleman) had 512 bits as a key until it was obvious that math wizards could factor composite numbers of that size. Then the 1024 bit key was proposed, then 2048, and then... you guess. The time to exponentiate 2048 bit numbers gets shorter every year, thanks to Moore's Trend. (The Publisher of PopCryMag had his crypto algorism evaluated by Adleman for $40,000 in 1980. The Publisher once presented his analysis of Rivest's crypto algorithm while occasionally looking Rivest in the eye with an apologetic expression. The Publisher was in the same room as Shamir in Rome, Italy. The Publisher was invited by Moore to remain in a small meeting with Moore, but I walked out due to the fears of my manager.) Moore's Trend is called a Law by entertainers.


Another entertainment category concerns the possible existence or non-existence of backdoors in crypto software and hardware. Key recovery is desirable for the goon squads but undesirable for honest people.


It is fun to read about experts who break cryptographically-related protocols in credit cards, cell phones, satellite TV.
Bonsai Venus, Mars, and Earth at 200x exaggeration, orbiting past Panama and Hispaniola Island. Imagine these are three orbiting hotels, shaped like three planets, with the mountains at real height, but with planetary radii reduced 200x. Imaging the conference Crypto' 2111 at those joint hotel facilities!