15 Keywords

As an officer of Central Austin Toastmasters, I use Meetup to advertise my club and welcome new guests. Meetup allows me to set 15 keywords that best describe my club. It also lets you (a Meetup member) set keywords that describe your interests. Meetup uses your keywords to recommend groups that would interest you.

My goal is to attract more Meetup members so that more will visit my Toastmasters club. Hence, I should select keywords that are not only relevant to my club, but will also likely coincide with your interests.

Which 15 keywords should I use to attract more members?

I wrote a simple program to help me decide on these keywords.

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p@55w0rd$: Part 2

Last time, we looked at how passwords work. To confirm your identity, companies salt your password, they hash the salted password, and they check your hash. (For brevity, I won’t mention salts anymore. Assume that salts are used.)

We left out 3 important questions.

1. Can a hacker find out our passwords from hashes?

Yes and no. We will see that a hash function that is designed well acts like a trapdoor. We can change passwords to hashes, but there is no way to change hashes back to passwords. However, the hacker can still make guesses at our passwords and check which ones result in the stolen hashes. We call this an attack. I will cover 2 ways to make an attack.

2. Can the hash function stop attacks?

Yes, a hash function that is designed well makes attacks difficult. I will explain what I mean by a good design.

3. What can we do to protect ourselves?

We can’t completely rely on the hash function to protect us. We have to be vigilant, too. I will show you how to create good passwords and keep your accounts safe.

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p@55w0rd$: Part 1

There are many things we need to function every day: love, family and friends, good health, puppies, Toastmasters. There is one more: passwords. Think about it. We use passwords every day, when we check our computer, phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, bank account—basically, anything that represents us. Passwords are valuable.

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Sierpinski Shirt

This weekend and next, Austin has its annual East Art Studio Tour. I bought this shirt at Art.Science.Gallery. I liked that the shirt was actually mathematical. Art.Science.Gallery is also in danger of closing and is looking to raise funds, so please visit their website to see how you can help.

Sierpinski triangle up close.
Leibniz harmonic triangle.
Lorenz system.