The Skein Hash Function Family | Fast, Secure, Simple, Flexible, Efficient. And it rhymes with “rain.”

The Skein Hash Function Family | Fast, Secure, Simple, Flexible, Efficient. And it rhymes with “rain.”
Skein is a new family of cryptographic hash functions. Its design combines speed, security, simplicity, and a great deal of flexibility in a modular package that is easy to analyze.

Skein is fast. Skein-512—our primary proposal—hashes data at 6.1 clock cycles per byte on a 64-bit CPU. This means that on a 3.1 GHz x64 Core 2 Duo CPU, Skein hashes data at 500 MBytes/second per core—almost twice as fast as SHA-512 and three times faster than SHA-256. An optional hash-tree mode speeds up parallelizable implementations even more. Skein is fast for short messages, too; Skein-512 hashes short messages in about 1000 clock cycles.

Skein is secure. Our current best attack on Skein-512 is on 25 of 72 rounds, for a safety factor of 2.9. For comparison, at a similar stage in the standardization process, the AES encryption algorithm had an attack on 6 of 10 rounds, for a safety factor of only 1.7.

Fabric Engine | High-performance computing for dynamic languages

Fabric Engine | High-performance computing for dynamic languages
Fabric Engine offers a third way – we don’t think that performance should be a scarce resource, it should be a commodity that any developer can access. We provide a way for developers to provide a high-level description of concurrency that Fabric Engine dynamically compiles. We take care of the management of threading and memory and compilation so that you can concentrate on building your final product. Most importantly, we do it in a way that means we are as fast as multi-threaded C++. There is no compromise.

No Software Repositories in SuSE Enterprise on EC2

No Software Repositories in SuSE Enterprise on EC2
For anyone who knows SuSE Enterprise, you can file this one under “what a n00b!” (my SuSE experience in the past has been with openSUSE), but I recently inherited a project that required RHEL or SuSE Enterprise so they chose to deploy SuSE Enterprise on EC2 to reduce acquisition time. (Who would’ve thought a cloud provider like Amazon would be faster to acquire an install of one of these softwares that used more traditional licensing models?) Anyway, I needed to install a few extra pieces of software, but when I ran yast, its list of repositories was empty!? Turns out the fix is really easy, but I couldn’t easily find the answer within a minute or two, so I thought I’d share:

suse_register -a email=””

Yup, that was it. No license key required (at least on the EC2 build). Novell just wanted my email address.

Allen Brain Atlas: Home

Allen Brain Atlas: Home
The Allen Institute for Brain Science is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how the human brain works. Launched in 2003 with a generous seed contribution from philanthropist Paul G. Allen, the Institute tackles projects at the leading edge of science—far-reaching projects at the intersection of biology and technology—intended to fuel discovery for the broader scientific community worldwide.