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How do you pronounce "daemon"?

As a Linux system administrator, I am familiar with the definition of the term "daemon" as a process running on a system, usually backgrounded, that provides some sort of service, like a web server or file store. When I first started my career, I prounounced the "ae" with the long "a" sound as "day-mon". It […]

Solving Wordle with Regular Expressions

It seems like everyone is solving the daily Wordle puzzle these days, myself included. If you're not familiar with Wordle, it's a simple, fun, stress-free game. Your goal is to guess the secret 5-letter word within six tries. The rules are really quite simple: Gray letters are not in the solution. Yellow letters are in […]

Checksums in Passwords? Uh, okay.

Introduction As most of my readers know, I have a rather extensive yet easy-to-use web-based password generator. I've spent a lot of time doing password research (a couple ideas mine, most not), and have implemented most of these into the project. These include, but are not limited to: Expansive language support Verbal unambiguity Visual unambiguity […]

Introducing Deckware - A 224-bit entropy extractor

Introduction I can't believe that it's been almost 3 years since my last blog post. Interestingly enough, that was on a deterministic card shuffle that I decided to call "Ouroboros". Well, this post is also about a deterministic algorithm with a deck of playing cards, but rather than shuffling the deck, we'll be extracting the […]

The Ouroboros Card Shuffle

Introduction For the most part, I don't play a lot of table games, and I don't play party games. But occasionally, I'll sit down with my family and play a board game or card game. When we play a card game though, I get teased by how I shuffle the deck of cards. I know […]

Middle Square Weyl Sequence PRNG

Introduction The very first software algorithm to generate random numbers, was supposedly written in 1946 by John von Neumann, and is called the Middle Square Method, and it's crazy simple. Enough so, you could execute it with a pencil, paper, and basic calculator. In this post, I'm going to cover the method, it's drawbacks, and […]

1,000 Books Read In One Year? No, Not By A Long Shot

Recently, Goodreads sent out a tweet about how to remove social media and the Internet from your life, so you can focus on reading 1,000 books in one year. The post follows this sort of math: The average person reads 400 words per minute. The typical non-fiction books have around 50,000 words. Reading 200 books […]

A Practical and Secure Password and Passphrase Generator

The TL;DR Go to and check out my new comprehensive password and passphrase generator. Screenshots and longer explanation below. Introduction Sometime during the middle of last summer, I started thinking about password generators. The reason for this, was that I noticed a few things when I used different password generators, online or offline: The […]

Webcam Random Number Generation

A couple weeks ago, I purchased a lava lamp for $5 at a thrift store. It was in brand spanking new condition, and worked like a charm. The only thing going through my head at the time? I can't wait to point my webcam at it, and start generating some random numbers! Okay, well that, […]

Weechat Relay With Let's Encrypt Certificates

I've been on IRC for a long time. Not as long as some, granted, but likely longer than most. I've had my hand in a number of IRC clients, mostly terminal-based. Yup, I was (shortly) using the ircII client, then (also shortly) BitchX. Then I found irssi, and stuck with that for a long time. […]

Two OCB Block Cipher Mode Patents Expired Due To Nonpayment

Peter Gutmann on the "[Cryptography]" mailing list wrote some thoughts about the impending crypto monoculture of all-things-Bernstein that seems to be currently sweeping the crypto world. In his post, he mentions the following (emphasis mine): The remaining mode is OCB, which I'd consider the best AEAD mode out there (it shares CBC's graceful-degradation property in […]

My Strange Tweets

You may have noticed some tweets from me that look.... strange. Probably something like these: UNYEf FXgOZ ILokj nIbFM qIlTr BRwQX iQciZ OtVhi GbUzj IGMVC SrOix sXHRZ TCtfJ #talon #cardciphers — Aaron Toponce (@AaronToponce) February 17, 2016 1455741420: 198027fd95bb881b223161d0df1b325fea7dab7f #ripemd160 #unix #epoch — Aaron Toponce (@AaronToponce) February 17, 2016 First, let me provide some background. […]

Getting Root On The Nexus 6 With Android 6

This probably the 40th millionth time, since owning this phone, that I've needed to root my device. Because I keep doing it over and over, while also referring to past commands and notes, it's high time I blogged the steps. If I can benefit myself from my own blog post, then chances are someone else […]

The Lagged Fibonacci Generator

Lately, I have been studying pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs, also called "deterministic random bit generators", or DRBGs). I've been developing cryptographically secure PRNGs (CSPRNGs), and you can see my progress on Github at This project is for nothing more than for me to somewhat get a feeling for new languages, while also learning a […]

The Outrageous Fares Of The Utah Transit Authority

I hope my readers don't mind, but I'm going to break from the standard geekery for a second, and type up a personal post about something that has been bugging me for the past few years. For those that don't know, I live in Utah, and work in Salt Lake City for the best local […]