Registered for Code Jam 2016

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I’ve just registered for Code Jam, Google’s annual programming contest. Unfortunately, the schedule means I might have to do a round or two while on the road, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’m a firm believer that programming languages are tools, and using the right tool for the job matters, so I’ve always used multiple languages for Code Jam. For a bit of extra fun this year, I think I might try for a personal record for language count.

In particular, this is my first Code Jam in a few years, so it’ll be the first one where I’ll use D. D’s standard library is weak on containers (at least for now), but otherwise it’s a really good language for problems like this.

Omoide Kaeru

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Today is the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Japanese Tohoku earthquake disaster. When disasters happen, news sources tend to focus on dramatic statistics like the number of deaths or the number of homes destroyed, and not so much on the very long process of recovery. In the 21st century, though, it’s much easier to find videos on the internet produced by the disaster victims themselves. Unfortunately, as in the Japanese disaster, language barriers can stop the messages reaching far beyond the disaster area.

So I thought I’d translate one of the videos. It’s about Omoide Kaeru, a non-profit organisation that’s been restoring and returning items found washed up after the tsunami hit Sendai. The video mostly talks about photos, but the group has also been handling personal documents like certificates.

By the way, the original video is from 2013, but Omoide Kaeru is still working in 2016.

Why Defensive Coding Matters - A War Story

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Story time.

What Difference Can Order Make When Hashing?

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I saw this thread about password hashing on the D language forums. The original post had a good question that didn’t get answered at the time: if you’re hashing a bunch of things, can it make any difference (for security) what order you do it?

The answer turns out to be yes, and it’s a neat example of the difference between theoretical ideals and real-world systems. Because I think this stuff is worth knowing if you’re using cryptographic hash functions for, you know, actual crypto, I thought I’d write up a blog post about why it can matter.