Archive for May, 2010

Advanced Encryption Standard: A Play in Four Parts

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The Advanced Encryption Standard is one of those things that is almost omnipresent on the Internet, but most people don’t know it exists—much less how it works. Jeff Moser seeks to rectify that in creating A Stick Figure Guide to the Advanced Encryption Standard, which is exactly what it says it is: a comic using stick figure art to explain AES as simply as possible.

Of course, “simply” is a relative term, which is why Moser has separated his guide into four parts, so that a reader can bail out whenever it gets too intense for them. I have to admit that this was me:

The math can get a bit thick at the end, which might not be a problem for someone currently engaged in studying mathematics or programming, but flies over the head of people like me, who haven’t had cause to use algebra, calculus, or anything more complicated than basic math past college. That’s not a problem with the comic, as the primary audience is people interested in programming or cryptography. For them it will probably be just fine, presented in a format easier on the eyes than lines of dry text documentation.

Class Notes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
  • Water Cooler Games shut down last year on August 15th. This was a blog operated by Ian Bogost and Gonzalo Frasca, dedicated to researching “video games with an agenda.” It was part of the inspiration to create this site, so we’re a bit sad to see it go. WCG is archived in full over at and Bogost will continue to blog about video game theory and design there.
  • A few days after we posted about it, Bound By Law was updated, including a new introduction by Cory Doctorow and forward by Davis Guggenheim.
  • Luxee, the restaurant featured in the Cooking Manga panel at last year’s New York Anime Fest, closed on August 16th.