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11-year-old Indian-origin girl sells secure passwords in US

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New York: Mira Modi, an 11 year old girl of Indian origin in the US has started her own website where dice rolls generate cryptographically secure passwords.

The sixth grader in New York City charges $2 to generate a six-word Diceware passphrase for her customers.

Diceware, a familiar system which goes decades back, uses dice rolling as a way to generate random numbers, which are then matched to a long list of English words.

The passphrases are then created by combining these words into a non-sensical string which is very random and thus, difficult to crack. However, these passphrases have been proved to be easily memorized by humans.

“This whole concept of making your own passwords and being super secure and stuff, I don’t think my friends understand that, but I think it’s cool,” Modi told ‘Ars Technica’.

Julia Angwin, Modi’s mother, is a veteran journalist and author of Dragnet Nation. As a part of research for her book, Angwin employed her daughter to generate passphrases.

It was at this time that Modi thought of turning this into a business.

Modi physically rolls a dice for each order she gets, and looks up the words in a printed copy of the Diceware word list. She then notes down the corresponding password string onto a piece of paper and sends it to the customer by post.

“I think (good passwords are) important. Now we have such good computers, people can hack into anything so much more quickly,” Modi said.

(Inputs from Economic Times)

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U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter

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FILE - The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter. VOA

US, Dec 31, 2017: The U.S. Library of Congress says it will no longer collect every single tweet published on Twitter as it has been doing for the past 12 years.

The library said this week that it can no longer collect everything across the entire social media platform because of recent changes Twitter has made, including allowing longer tweets, photos and videos.

It said in a blog post this week that its first objective with collecting and archiving tweets was “to document the emergence of online social media for future generations.” The library says it has fulfilled that objective and no longer needs to be a “comprehensive” collector of tweets.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington.
FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington. VOA

The Library of Congress said it will still collect and archive tweets in the future, but will do so on a more selective basis. It said going forward “the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

The library said it generally does not collect media comprehensively, but said it made an exception for public tweets when the social media platform was first developed.

The library said it will keep its previous archive of tweets from 2006-2017 to help people understand the rise of social media and to offer insight into the public mood during that time. “Throughout its history, the Library has seized opportunities to collect snapshots of unique moments in human history and preserve them for future generations,” it said.

“The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation,” it said. (VOA)

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