Archive for June 2005

My first keysigning party

Click to enlarge I was to my first keysigning party today, arranged by Diana Senn in the System Security course at [ETH][]. The results so far can be seen in the graph on the right, click for a full-sized image.

The keysigning itself was quite amusing. First we each got a list with the fingerprints of all the keys involved. The list was checked by having each of us read aloud the fingerprint we had brought along. For a random guy it must have been a strange thing to witness: ten geeks each reading their string of forty hexadecimal digits aloud one after another… :-)

The fun continued with the identity check. We lined up in a row and the first guy went past us and checked our IDs along the way. That was it — everybody had proper ID and everything matched.

Coming home I signed peoples keys — if a key had multiple User IDs, then I signed each ID separately. I then sent the signatures on each User ID to the corresponding email address in encrypted mails. This ensures that my signatures wont end up on User IDs which the owner of the private key doesn’t control.

The problem is that anybody can make a user ID with, say, “Martin Geisler —” as the user information. But if they don’t control that address, then they wont get the signatures sent to it. And if the recipient doesn’t control the secret key, then the encrypted signature is useless to him. So this step binds the email addresses to the key, and should be done if one feels paranoid — or if one want to try and be a crypto-nerd :-)

I’m finally in the strong set

When I say “I” I’m talking about my GnuPG key, which has now been included in the set of strongly connected keys. See for yourself!

My key has a mean shortest distance (MSD) of 4.9, which means that on average you have a path of length 4.9 from your key to my key, provided that your key is also part of the strongly connected set. The path is made up by signatures from key to key.

My friends Thomas and Janus are now also part of the set because of the cross-signatures we’ve made.

I hope to become even more integrated after tomorrow, for there’s going to be held a keysigning party after the System Security exercises. I think that’s a really cool idea to hold such a party in relation to such a class for it helps getting people involved with cryptography so that it’s not just something they’ve heard about — they might end up using it every day like I do.

Saving bandwidth

In my continued effort to make my site faster and better I’ve enabled gzip compression of the output produced by [WordPress][]. So if you’re on a slow link, then you should be able to download the pages faster. Of course this comes at a price for the server, which now has to work a little more to compress the pages. Please let me know if you notice a slowdown because of this.

About dating geeks

I just found these two wonderful stories about how it is to date geeks, nerds, techies or whatever you like to call them:

I especially loved the point about “low-maintenance”:

8) They’re relatively low-maintenance. Most can be fueled on pizza, Twinkies and Mt Dew. No complicated dinners needed here, so if you’re not the best cook, eh. Can you order a pizza?

Check them out and see if you are missing out on something… and no, don’t ask — I’m already taken! :-)

The money is pouring in!

Google AdSense Hehe… it’s only been five hours since I put advertisements on my site, and I’ve already earned 68 cent from three clicks! :-)

If it continues like that, then I’ll make almost a hundred dollors a month from my new colaboration with Google. We’ll see how it goes…