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{ Category Archives } Personal

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 […]

Getting Up To 8 Possibilities From A Single Coin Toss

Introduction Lately, I've been interested in pulling up some classical modes of generating randomness. That is, rather than relying on a computer to generate my random numbers for me, which is all to common and easy these days, I wanted to go offline, and generate random numbers the classical way- coin flips, dice rolls, card […]

Tor and the CloudFlare Problem

Before I go anywhere with this post, let me make three things very clear: I do not work for CloudFlare. I work for a small local ISP in Utah. I have been using Tor probably almost as long as many of you have been alive. I first blogged about Tor in 2006. I had discovered […]

Digest Algorithms in Google Spreadsheets

I can't imagine there are a lot of uses for using digest algorithms in spreadsheets, but I came up with one, and I really wished I had access to them. Seeing as though most spreadsheet applications don't ship one, I figured I would create my own. Mostly, I use Google for my document processing and […]

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. […]

Now Using miniLock

I have been a long proponent of OpenPGP keys for a way to communicate securely. I have used my personal key for signing emails since ~ 2005. I have used my key at dozens and dozens of keysigning parties. I have used my key to store account passwords and credentials with vim(1), Python, and so […]

The Chaocipher With Playing Cards

As you know, I am a cryptography hobbyist. More specifically, I have an interest in pencil and paper ciphers, also referred to as "hand ciphers" or "field ciphers". Since Bruce Schneier released his Solitaire Cipher for Neal Stephenson's book "Cryptonomicon" (known in the book as "Pontifex"), I have had a real desire to learn hand […]

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 […]

Going Google Free

On June 25, 2004 I received the following email: To: Aaron Toponce From: Gmail Team Subject: Gmail is different. Here's what you need to know. Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit First off, welcome. And thanksfor agreeing to help us test Gmail. By now you probably know the key ways in which Gmail differs from traditional […] Is Now SSL Enabled

Just a quick update to say that I have enabled SSL, and forced it by default, for this blog. Given all the revelations about the NSA, the straw finally broke the camel's back, and we are now live with SSL. There may be some growing pains, seeing as though this will cost me a bit […]

Please Consider A Donation

I just received an anonymous $5 donation via PayPal for my series on ZFS. Thank you, whomever you are! I've received other donations in the past, and never once have I had a donation page or ads on the site or asked for money. It's awesome to know that some people will financially support your […]

Ramadan, Take Two

Two years ago, I participated in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. I blogged about my experiences, and you can read them here: Looking forward to Ramadan, Ramadan - Week One, Ramadan - Week Two, Ramadan - Week Three, An Open Letter to Pastor Terry Jones, and Ramadan - Week Four. Well, I intend to […]

Why I Cryptographically Sign My Email

Yesterday, I received a disturbing phone call. Someone very close to me, call him John, might lose his job, because a slanderous, offensive email was sent with forged headers, claiming to be John. John certainly did not send the mail, and those close to John know that the tone of the mail does not seem […]


DISCLAIMER: By sending me email, you agree to the following: I am, by definition, "the intended recipient". All information in the email is mine to do with as I see fit and make such financial profit, political mileage, or good joke as it lends itself to. In particular, I may quote it where I please. […]

Protesting SOPA/PIPA

Starting Jan 18, 2011 at 00:00 UTC, this blog will be joining many others to protest SOPA and PIPA. I strongly oppose the views outlined in the bill, and with a Google Pagerank of 4/10, with almost 650 RSS readers, and about 1,500 hits to my site per day, I'll be taking advantage of these […]