3 Pages

As I said in a previous post, I was recently in a summer school on real-world crypto and privacy. Here, I found David Wong again, a former student of my Master. And today, when I was browsing his website, I came upon the project 3 Pages that he created.

The 3 Pages project consists in writing 750 words a day. For information, everything you write stays private, 3 Pages is not a blog. You can write what you want: personal ideas, rants, reflections… And since the goal is to practice the writing, the website is built to show you statistics on your writing. The more you write, the more satisfaction and the motivation you get.

I believe the approach of this website is perfect to stay motivated, take time everyday to think about yourself and to train focus: in summary, beneficial! I have created an account yesterday, my first step is to write during one week, we will see…

[Book Review] surveillance://

Written by Tristan Nitot, former president of Mozilla Europe, surveillance:// is an excellent book to alert the general public to the mass surveillance and the privacy.

Very accessible and instructive, it allows for the reader to understand the privacy issue with the Internet and the Internet of Things. The different economic models of the GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) are clearly detailed and expose the fragile balance between free services and privacy.

In addition, many easy-to-use relevant tips are presented allowing for readers to protect their digital life. To conclude, it is a reading that I recommend to all!

Brightness Control in i3 with Intel Backlight

For a few months, I’ve been using the i3 tiling window manager. This choice is due to my interest in configurable, light, powerful and simple tools.

However, Fn-combinaisons for brightness controls do not work out of the box and they must be manually configured. I try this tutorial but details on the sudoers file seem not very clear for me and do not work on my laptop. Hence, I propose a little clarification on this part.

In sudoers file, accessible via the command line sudo visudo, we add:

user ALL = NOPASSWD: /bin/bash /path/to/script/bright_up
user ALL = NOPASSWD: /bin/bash /path/to/script/bright_down

where user is your login. Additional details concerning the key-binding for i3 can be also useful. In the configuration file of i3, we add:

bindsym XF86MonBrightnessDown exec --no-startup-id sudo /bin/bash /path/to/script/bright_up
bindsym XF86MonBrightnessUp exec --no-startup-id sudo /bin/bash /path/to/script/bright_down

Then, a Mod+Shift+R on your i3 configuration will make brightness control functional.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Backups with rsync

Reading the excellent book surveillance:// of Tristan Nitot, I have just learn the existence of a powerful Linux tool to perform backups, namely: rsync.

rsync is a command line utility and very easy to use. It is efficient because it only transfers files which are different between the source and destination directories. Assume that you want a backup of a source to a destination, then the command is just:

rsync -a <path-source> <path-destination>

There are a lot of interesting options, so take a look to the Ubuntu documentation or to the man (Unix spirit!).

What is Open Access?

Currently at the Summer school on the real-world crypto and privacy, I have the opportunity to listen to a lot of interesting talks. One of them (not directly linked with cryptography) was about Open Access (OA) and has been given by the crypto jedi, Peter Schwabe.

What is OA? The first point is that OA is a very important thing. The second point is… There is only one point.

More seriously, OA is the sine qua non condition to share equitably the human knowledge around the world. In academic world, OA means that all publications are freely available online and do not depend on the power of a particular entity. The three main advantages are:

  1. OA reduces effort to access papers,
  2. OA makes easier for others to improve on your results,
  3. OA advances the field faster.

So, if you have some publications, code lines, results or particular knowledge, please share it on the Internet. Keep in mind that OA is not only restricted to the scientific knowledge, all our culture should be freely available online, from everywhere for everyone, let’s think about Wikipedia…

Good references about OA is the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto written by Aaron Swartz and the animation created by the famous PhD Comics.


Hello World!

No, I have not just created a new kernel… So hello everybody and welcome to my blog.

My name is Matthieu, I am currently a PhD student in cryptology at the Université Clermont Auvergne (France). First of all, why isnotprime? This pseudonym is a nod to the function prime() of the computer algebra system PARI/GP which checks if a number n is prime or not; and since I am intrigued about prime numbers…

The purpose of this blog is to share with you, dear readers, some ideas, viewpoints or knacks about privacy, mathematics, free culture/software. There will certainly also be some posts on photography and LaTeX. This is not an exhaustive list, we will see.

Whatever, I hope you will enjoy it.