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After brushing up on this, if you're looking for something "fun" to work through, the NSA's 2016 Codebreaker challenge is good, granted you have a .edu email address (only US .edu too, unfortunately).


I think they're going to be keeping the 2016 version up for a while longer. They generally start a new one in September each year.

Frankly, Micro-corruption, and crypto-pals is way better if you are looking for something to spend your time on for learning.



Do you happen to know of any similar learning resources or tools for reversing file formats? Reversing the code that actually reads it is one way, but I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of static analysis of the save file.

For example, we plug known data into the program, save it, then figure out how to extract that info from the save file.

Bonus if anyone knows the legal status for that kind of work. My impression is reversing file formats has been successfully defended in US courts but I haven't started researching fully and would appreciate any leads there, cases, etc. to review and potentially discuss with lawyer. (What kind of lawyer would know about that kind of thing?)

Damn, too bad they don't accept .ac.uk addresses :( I feel like there should be a standardised way to ensure users are students/affiliated with an educational institution (maybe an international federation on top of SAML a la the UK Access Management Federation).

I guess at the end of the day the NSA want students in the US, who are likely US citizens and thus eligible for a job.

> I feel like there should be a standardised way to ensure users are students/affiliated with an educational institution

or you know, they could just open it for the public, given that there's such a wide gap in quality, cost, subsidy and affordability between higher education worldwide.

only after I stepped out the university bubble, I saw how unfair this "educational license" stuff really is. so many people who just can't afford to, so many people who don't have access to actual quality education (and don't want to throw money away just to get a piece of paper), so many smart people that spent years in "lower" (level) education (often family background not aiming high enough for their daughter/son) and then not qualifying for further funding (I'm seeing this a lot in the Netherlands, recently, it's really sad).

question is, what are you really selecting for by only accepting affiliation with an educational institution? who are you excluding and why?

(note: I put "lower" in quotes, because I feel everyone should in principle receive education to the best of their abilities. learning skills/knowledge/stuff is the goal and there's nothing wrong if that's not university-level. it's a wide world out there with so many beautiful different kinds of people)

You raise some really interesting points, and it's something I've never really considered befoer. I'm curious as to how you think it should work, though - a universal non-commercial license that people can use personally?

Do you think there's much scope for abuse in terms of people using the licenses commercially without funding the company behind the product, though? As an example I'm considering JetBrains' IDEs, but I think the same concerns could be applied to a wide variety of products.

> I feel like there should be a standardised way to ensure users are students/affiliated with an educational institution

There's ISIC (International Student Identity Card) [1], but I don't imagine it's used widely.

[1] https://www.myisic.com/isic-card/

Not a standard but https://github.com/leereilly/swot comes to mind.

Hehe, it's nice to see Tech leading the pack. Go Jackets <3

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