david wong

Hey! I'm David, a security engineer at the Blockchain team of Facebook, previously a security consultant for the Cryptography Services of NCC Group. I'm also the author of the Real World Cryptography book. This is my blog about cryptography and security and other related topics that I find interesting.

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Canal discret sans mémoire posted November 2013

In my quest to better support to learn, I've again stumbled into a complicated, badly explained and unclear paper from my prof about discreet and time-memoryless channels.

Although it might be just me, but when I don't understand something from one source I like to diversify, and papers from Polytechnique (in french) are always a good snack :

http://www.enseignement.polytechnique.fr/profs/informatique/Nicolas.Sendrier/TI/cours6.pdf comment on this story

Claude Shannon posted November 2013

Learning about Shannon's theorem in class I got curious and googled the guy.

One extract I found interesting in his wikipedia biography :

Shannon and his wife Betty also used to go on weekends to Las Vegas with M.I.T. mathematician Ed Thorp, and made very successful forays in blackjack using game theory type methods co-developed with fellow Bell Labs associate, physicist John L. Kelly Jr. based on principles of information theory. They made a fortune, as detailed in the book Fortune's Formula by William Poundstone and corroborated by the writings of Elwyn Berlekamp, Kelly's research assistant in 1960 and 1962. Shannon and Thorp also applied the same theory, later known as the Kelly criterion, to the stock market with even better results. Claude Shannon's card count techniques were explained in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling book published in 2003 about the MIT Blackjack Team by Ben Mezrich. In 2008, the book was adapted into a drama film titled 21.

Apart for inventing most of cryptography concepts, and doing chess IA, he also made a fortune from gambling and playing with stocks. Interesting.

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bordeaux1 url posted November 2013

My portfolio/vitrine/online resume... call it what you want, which is available on davidwong.fr, is now available on david.wong.emi.u-bordeaux1.fr as well. I thought that was pretty cool to have a bordeaux1.fr url. I think I can also have a univ-lyon1.fr since my account is still active but I can't be bothered looking at where it is.

Anyway, just this small piece of news in the ocean of bitcoin/litecoin news I've been posting here. Exams are coming soon and I should blog more about them than cryptocoins but yeah...

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To the moon posted November 2013

There we are, bitcoins reached the 1000$/btc bar. We are living history. The price of 1mBTC is 1$ now. I don't know what to think anymore. I've been following bitcoins since they were bellow 20$. Reading everything on /r/bitcoin and HN. I would never have imagined that. comment on this story

Bitecoin and Litecoin reach a new peak! posted November 2013

Bitcoin reached 877$/bitcoin today. I had 11 bitcoins that I bought for 450$ in total (40$/bitcoin) and which I lost trading and losing my wallet as well. I'm raging every time I think of the free holidays I could have paid myself with them.

But not all is lost, I have some litecoins and they just reached a peak of 14$ / litecoin. They're following bitcoins' rate closely and they're just waiting to become "mainstream" as well to boom.

Fingers crossed.

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Satoshi's original paper on Bitcoin posted November 2013

8 pages of simple explanations

and a "explain me like I'm 5" post on http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1reu69/if_you_have_not_read_satoshi_nakamotos_original/cdmlnfd?context=1" target="_blank">reddit :

Bitcoin is a giant public ledger saying who sent what coins to whom. People have private keys, which they use to sign coin transfers. It's easy to verify signatures. That way only you can give away your coins. But that doesn't prevent you from giving the same coins to multiple people. For that we have the ledger, which puts all the transfers in a particular order that everyone agrees on so you can't pay someone with coins you already spent. Transactions are published on a p2p network. To put them in order, people take sets of transactions, add a random number, and make a cryptographic hash of the whole thing. (Feed data into a hash function and you get an unpredictable number.) If the hash is a low enough number it's a valid block and it becomes part of the blockchain. If it's too high, you change the random number and try again. The block also includes the hash of the previous block, so that puts everything in sequence. It takes a lot of tries to get a low-enough number, so only one block is published every ten minutes or so, by some random person who got lucky. This puts everything in order. It's expensive to do that, so when someone successfully generates a block, they get paid by a special bitcoin transaction that awards them some brand-new coins. That's mining.
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