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Wed, Feb 09, 2005

RSS Readers
I refer to RSS in the syllabi for my classes, and mentioned it on the first day of class, but a student asked about it, so here's my 30-second explanation:

RSS is an XML format that allows you to "subscribe" to a web site, getting updates as they are posted. The format is supported by the "Live Bookmarks" feature of the Mozilla Firefox browser and by the Thunderbird e-mail client.

There are also a number of specialized RSS Readers. Click here for a list, or try searching Google for RSS.

If you're looking for a recommendation, I've used each of the following at various points:

I don't read too many blogs regularly these days (too busy prepping lectures and assigning homework), but the last time I did, I used an RSS reader that ran as a cron job and e-mailed me updates. I wrote it myself. (Although, of course, I stole liberally from rss2email and rawdog.) E-mail me if you'd like to play with the code.

Once you've gotten yourself a newsreader, try to subscribing to one or more RSS feeds:

Don't go crazy with the update-checking -- every half hour is more than enough. In the meantime, happy news-reading!

/var/spool/courses/csuf/2005/spring #

Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis Tutorial
On Thursday, we'll be talking about cryptanalysis. I'll give you an overview of the linear and differential techniques, but if you want to know more, check out A Tutorial on Linear and Differential Cryptanalysis by Howard M. Keys.

/var/spool/courses/csuf/2005/spring/cpsc433/misc #

The Two-Page Limit
I received an e-mail asking how firm I intend to be about the two-page limit for Thursday's assignment. The short version of the answer is "pretty firm."

The long version of the answer is that you should consider two pages to be a firm lower limit -- go much more than a paragraph under two pages, and you're not likely to get full credit for having completed the assignment.

The upper limit is slightly more flexible. Take three pages, if you feel like you need the space. But I do not want more than that -- I don't grade by volume. If you can't get it in three, get some help editing. If you can't find someone to help you edit, come by during office hours (I am available Wednesday afternoon) and ask for help, or send me e-mail.

/var/spool/courses/csuf/2005/spring/cpsc433 #



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