User talk:Sandy Harris

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Welcome to the Citizendium! We hope you will contribute boldly and well. You'll probably want to know how to get started as an author. Just look at CZ:Getting Started for other helpful "startup" links, and CZ:Home for the top menu of community pages. Be sure to stay abreast of events via the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list (do join!) and the blog. Please also join the workgroup mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and have fun! D. Matt Innis 10:40, 22 December 2007 (CST)

Cryptography revision question

Hi Sandy! How are you??? I have left a proposal on the talk page for Cryptography and would specifically invite your comments upon it before I would consider tackling a revision of that page. It is okay if you are against it, in which case I'll seek another topic, but this one has long left me discontent and I was hoping to work on it now that I'm free of serving on the council. Please advise when you have time to look. Thanks!Pat Palmer 23:55, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

hi and welcome

Hi Sandy, Welcome to the Citizendium, and thanks for editing in the Computers Workgroup.Pat Palmer 20:38, 22 December 2007 (CST)


Sandy, re: your enquiry on my user page, I believe the forums have been phased out, and people are encouraged to use the mailing lists instead. You might also post on the Computers Workgroup talk page if you have a suggestion for work someone might want to do.Pat Palmer 11:57, 28 December 2007 (CST)

Pat, I don't know where you got that idea -- the Forums are VERY active! I think, in fact, that that is where just about all of the discussions are going on.... Hayford Peirce 12:30, 28 December 2007 (CST)

I can clarify this. For general project discussion, the forums are the place to go. For discussion of workgroup-specific issues, go to CZ:Mailing lists. There are still workgroup-specific boards, but they are now discouraged... --Larry Sanger 12:34, 28 December 2007 (CST)

So far, after a dozen or so attempts on several different days, I've been completely unable to reach any forums. I suspect the Great Firewall of China is blocking them. Sandy Harris 12:43, 28 December 2007 (CST)
Still not accessible to me. Fine if I use a proxy, so it seems clear the Great Firewall has blocked them. Of course I can bypass that, but I am not willing to do so routinely. It slows performance a good deal and creates risks -- to me since it may be illegal under local laws and to others since if I over-use a bypass technique, the Chinese gov't are more likely to catch on and block that technique.
So I will use forums only if I think something I could do there is very important. Sandy Harris 09:59, 10 October 2008 (CDT)
Today they work. Sandy Harris 05:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've extracted part of the broader discussion, to prepare a draft of the first navigation idea to go into the formal CZ Proposal system. See User:Howard C. Berkowitz > Strong Articles. I've gotten some feedback in email that I'll try to put in later tonight, or tomorrow. Hopefully, it can start in the Proposals system sometime next week. Howard C. Berkowitz 05:59, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
And today they are not accessible except through a proxy. Sandy Harris 10:01, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

For the last couple of months, the forums have been working fine for me. Perhaps the Great Firewall is now allowing that link. No telling whether or when it might be blocked again though. Sandy Harris 05:26, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

It seems to be consistent. It is now at least six months since I've seen a forum connection failure, although I do check the forums moderately often. Sandy Harris 02:44, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Stopped working today. I wonder how long that will last. Sandy Harris 23:25, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Only a few hours, as it turned out. Sandy Harris 02:38, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Gone again. Sandy Harris 00:10, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I no longer think the Great Firewall is blocking this. It has worked fine, with the occasional glitch, for years now. Sandy Harris 05:13, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

one-time pad

Hi! Thanks for your notice. I've changed the status accordingly and left a note on the talk page so that the copyright issue is clear. Please note that imported articles are supposed to be improved here. The external content just copied from elsewhere and not developed further on Citizendium sooner or later gets deleted. An article that is improved becomes CZ_Live; still, it retains a notice about the original source (BTW, you may be interested in adding such a note at the bottom of your article). Cheers! Aleksander Stos 10:19, 17 January 2008 (CST)

Comment on CZ:Bold Moves addition

Moved from CZ:Bold Moves (which is just a log, not a discussion forum):

Sandy, I am unclear about what you're trying to do - and what is One-time pad is all about? Can you help me? And welcome to CZ, by the way! Stephen Ewen 02:44, 21 March 2008 (CDT)

Network architectural models

I appreciate your mentioning concerns on the talk page before making major changes. Now, since I wrote some of the articles in question, my "authority" as a Computers Workgroup editor cannot be asserted, due to conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, we really do need to discuss certain things on article talk pages. First, a great many real-world network architects and protocol designers really wish, for very specific reasons, that the OSI model be discarded as a teaching tool. It introduces many obsolete concepts or things that are just wrong, especially when the teacher tries to force incompatible Internet concepts into it. There is more relevance, at least with respect to telephony, to considering the SS7/ATM model, with due regard that even there, SIGTRAN is moving SS7 to an IP framework, and, while optical communications are very much alive, ATM itself is more historical; its assumptions involved some technological dead ends that, for example, did not predict that extremely fast routers do not need fixed-length cells.

I've commented on one example under VPN. Again, it may be a good idea to stress that not all models are PPVPN, but the terminology from PPVPN is useful and quite general in the IETF.

Howard C. Berkowitz 13:17, 1 August 2008 (CDT)

Existing VENONA article

There was already a substantial article, VENONA, before you deleted my reference to the primary source in cipher, and then created Venona. Please stop deleting citations and redirecting away from existing work. I have asked for assistance from the Constabulary.

I have indeed cited some of my own outside work on Citizendium, but I put prominent disclaimers on the talk page or referred only to peer-reviewed published material. There is no obvious peer review of the external material that you wrote. If you want to cite your own research, one way to do so is under the signed articles subpage. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:29, 2 August 2008 (CDT)

I am not "being silly" about having citations in relevant places; I am following consensus practices about putting references where they are relevant. If you don't think pseudorandom numbers are relevant to one-time pads, I'm not sure quite what to say -- except this is the sort of thing that tends to be an Editor call on CZ. It might be useful for you to discuss this with another Computers Workgroup editor, or a Constable. Do you understand that a workgroup editor has some content responsibility? Howard C. Berkowitz 21:57, 2 August 2008 (CDT)
Do not move citations without consensus, or when a relevant Editor states they are relevant in the place they are, unless you get a Constable or uninvolved Editor to mediate and/or arbitrate the matter. This is not Wikipedia, and we do not get into edit wars. I have added citations, where I felt they were appropriate, in my judgment as an Editor. I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish besides confrontation. This is a sincere attempt to improve quality, but you seem unwilling to consider any opinion other than your own; I'd rather not have to see this enforced by a constable. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:13, 2 August 2008 (CDT)

I have commented at Cipher. Please remember to use the talk pages on these articles to avoid misunderstandings. Constable D. Matt Innis 08:48, 3 August 2008 (CDT)

It's a party, and you're invited!

Hi ! Your CZ Write-a-Thon MC here. Please head over to the Party Room and add yourself to the list of revelers in whatever category you think appropriate. Thanks for contributing! Aleta Curry 18:41, 6 August 2008 (CDT)

Starting some new material for cryptanalysis.

On the talk page for now -- I'll use a sandbox if it gets too big -- I'm doing some suggested basic text on "tactics" that go before strategy. They are quite basic, but a beginner may need them. Give me a little time to get out a rough draft: it's 1200 my time; I want to spend 30-60 minutes on this. I won't touch the main article until doing this. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)


At citizendium there is no need to manage the categories at the bottom of each page. We have a metadata page associated with each article; the one for ULTRA is at Template:ULTRA/Metadata. You'll notice that along with removing the categories from the article I made another edit to the metadata. That edit allows the subpages template to now place the correct categories on the article and all the subpages (notice the correct categories are still at the bottom of the page despite the fact I removed them). This has the advatange that we do not need to make many changes when we wish to add/change or remove a category. You can read more at CZ:Subpages. Chris Day 14:17, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I gave you the wrong link. The more informative one is at CZ:Using_the_Subpages_template. Chris Day 14:06, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Good work development

I know it's in flux, but I like what you are doing in moving some of the materiial from cryptographic snake oil to cryptography. You make the correct general point that some of this refers to security beyond cryptography.

As I think I've mentioned, I started an article, communications security, but am not happy with the title and have various thughts of developing it, with the clear intention that the article is about the goal and the abstract requirements (e.g., content confedentiality, atomic integrity). Now, those particular requires are most often met with cryptography (nods head in direction of covert channels, steganography, etc.).

There are, however, goals, more on the hardware side, that are minimally, if at all, implemented with cryptography, such as low-probability-of-intercept and direction finding. Yes, LPI can use a synchronized PRNG for frequency agility and spectrum spreading. Physical protection is very different for an antenna and a communications line.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are things like privilege levelsl, mandatory access control, etc., that are primcipally in software rather than the network or the transmission system. Again, they may make use of cryptography, as in digital certificates for authentication, but biometrics and multi-factor authentication need not depend on cryptography.

I think we need that unifying article — information assurance is one term that might fit, although I've never liked it. Information assurance, though, also picks up fault tolerance.

As I say, I'm frustrated and need some fresh eyes on it. Could you give me your opinion? If you think some of the non-cryptographic security material you are moving out of snake oil might fit better there, feel free to try to work them in.

The workgroups are getting very complex at this point -- mathematics and computers are pretty easy, but engineering, physics, law, and other fields touch. Howard C. Berkowitz 04:16, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Could you look at ..

Hi, I haven't forgotten this, just haven't had the time (yet) to give it enough attention to have something intelligent to say. If I can get done with Crash of 2008 I'll try and make time. J. Noel Chiappa 18:56, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

PS: Thanks for all the hard work; I haven't had much time for articles yet, I seem to be busy with other stuff, but maybe some day I can join in too. J. Noel Chiappa 18:56, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Your testimony

Please let us have it! --Larry Sanger 21:01, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Electronic probing

Sandy, I remember you asked whether there was a term used for active measures to tease out information useful for cryptanalysis, but I don't remember which talk page had it. Anyway, you might want to look at electronic warfare#electronic probing. It's different than what you described, but you might want to link to the heading/reference and build on it.

Personally, I would't think it too much like original research even to create as small article titled something like "cryptanalytic probing", link to the EW definition, and explain that the term introduced is an organizing article to pull together several non-obvious common threads. "Organizing article" isn't a wonderful term, but occasionally, the function, if not the name, is needed in a knowledge navigation structure. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:18, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Developing articles of interest

If you haven't seen them, there are two groups of articles that might tie to some of your interests, and be worth some cross-linking. User:David MacQuigg is doing a series of articles starting with Email system, and he has a special interest in authentication. There's also a series of articles, including group theory, by User:Richard Pinch, with topics that might tie to crypto algorithms. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Sandy. Thanks for your interest in my articles under Email System, and the link to PGP. I am the developer of ZCrypt, a little-known, but very secure secret-key system, so I have an interest also in cryptography. I appreciate also your link to the Global Trust Register. This has gotten me thinking about changing the title of my Registry of Internet Transmitters. Although email is the main application, it could be used with any application needing to establish trust in a TCP-based transaction on the Internet. David MacQuigg 13:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm delighted to see this connection. While I can say I know a good deal about communications intelligence and information security, I don't pretend to be immersed in the details of modern cryptographic algorithms. If I can be more in the role of editing as one knowledgeable in the context and how a non-subspecialist would see the topics, that's more useful for everyone.
Me network engineer. Push bits and packets around. Some encrypted. Router not care unless in header; then link encryptor cares. Physical and electronic security — ah, those are equines of a different reflective wavelength. ;-) Howard C. Berkowitz 14:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

About approval of Brute force

Sandy, I have added my name to the Metadata template as an approval nominator for Brute force. However, I did ask you to create some of the subpages. Please have a look here. Milton Beychok 20:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Please look at my response to your request for a review of the Bibliography and External links subpages. Sorry, I got held up in replying. But I think my response is a bit more clearly explained than Howard's. (Don't tell him I said so.)
For your info in the future, CZ:Citation templates has instructions on how to use a bunch of different citation templates. Regards, Milton Beychok 03:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

About reviewing or nominating other crypto articles

Sandy, in response to to your query on my Talk page this morning:

  • Yes, I still support the approval nomination of Brute force attack and have said so on the article's Talk page.
  • But I really cannot undertake reviewing or nominating any other crypto articles. Milton Beychok 15:10, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Additional articles

I'm still going to be playing catchup for a few days. Just glanced at FreeSWAN -- it does have some rendering problems -- but my initial thought is that we should first work on Cypherpunk. I'm trying to understand the political context for FreeSWAN. I'm probably not explaining this very well, but I see several related things here: the OE article, the Cypherpunk movement, FreeSWAN saying essentially why Cypherpunk wanted to do OE and any criticism thereof (or should FreeSWAN fold into Cypherpunk?). Not to be forgotten is that I'd like to see reasonable cross-linking between these and IPSec, and maybe VPN. It would be nice if VPN unified my more provider orientation and your more end system one (or so I think is yours).

We also may want to get Dave McQuigg's thinking on this, and for that I have to get back to some material he's sent me for review. My logic here, which may be faulty, is that some of his secure email work might tie in. I'd like to find someone better on secure DNS than I am; the best explainer I know is Ugandan.

Please don't take this complexity as meaning it all has to happen at once. It doesn't, but I'd like to see a plan among a few of us. We just might be close to breakthrough on getting some outside computer visibility here; I have a couple of people in mind who might at least guest review--not that we really have a mechanism. I'll drop you an email as I don't want to name them without permission. Howard C. Berkowitz 01:29, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

New Draft of the Week - formatting test

Hi Sandy, I have been fiddling around with the formatting of the Article of the Week and New Draft of the Week and would be thankful if you would play the guinea pig (in terms of testing the documentation) by changing the formatting for the New Drafts. I have also asked Milt and Howard, so please do one article at a time. Thanks! --Daniel Mietchen 05:03, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Finite fields

Hi. The article on finite fields is far from satisfactory. But what do you mean by "multiple types" of finite fields? Peter Schmitt 10:30, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

article approved

Hi, Sandy, I just finished approving your article, correctly, I hope! Hayford Peirce 19:24, 1 December 2009 (UTC)


Sandy, I have to apologize that I have not yet read the article. --Peter Schmitt 19:23, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

new member

Hi, Sandy, I've just approved a new Author named whose background and interests seem similar to yours. Cheers! Hayford Peirce 20:21, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Sandy, James here,yes some similar interests, and your also in China (what part? I'm in Jiangxi), Am I right in assuming that your interest in computer security and cryptography began after you moved to China?--James R. McCarthy 13:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm currently in Fuzhou, likely move to Shanghai/Suzhou area next academic year. Your assumption is wrong; I was interested in this stuff long before moving here. Sandy Harris 15:36, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Random generators

Hi Sandy. Your work is wonderful, but not close to my expertise. Your message is moved by me from Talk:Boris Tsirelson to User talk:Boris Tsirelson (and answered there). Boris Tsirelson 05:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Cryp. article at [1] approved

Congratulations, Sandy, we've finally got your article approved! Sorry for the various delays.... Hayford Peirce 21:08, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Kerckhoffs' Principle

Congratulations on another approval! (Thanks for the Howard bump ;) D. Matt Innis 14:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Links in references

Sandy, could you check (and fix) the links in references 8, 12, 17, 18, 19 8, 14, 19, 20, 21? --Peter Schmitt 14:35, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Claude Shannon article

Sandy, unless I misperceive, it appears that you have removed the sentence from Claude Shannon that stated that he worked at Bell Laboratories and that he suffered from Alzheimers late in life. Unless you have a major objection, I would like to restore that information to the article, as I believe both pieces of information to be worthly of mentioning in the broad overview of his life and work.Pat Palmer 20:50, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Oops, sorry! I was looking at the diffs and didn't pay close enough attention. Thanks for the reply. Thanks also for the work you do here in CZ.Pat Palmer 15:06, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi, Sandy. Is now a good moment to resume Cryptanalysis approval?. I do not want to hurry you, of course. --Peter Schmitt 10:33, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Up to you. I will not be around for at least a week, though. I'm in the process of packing, then move, then get set up at new place. Sandy Harris 12:22, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Then it is better to wait. As you know, there are a few fixes that I cannot do if I want to approve it.
I sympathize with you ... moving is hard work. --Peter Schmitt 00:02, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Moving is done & I've just got Internet service at new place. Sandy Harris 02:09, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Sandy, if the remaining issues (broken links) are resolved I shall resume the postponed approval process. --Peter Schmitt 10:48, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Sandy, thank you for your contributions on Homeopathy. I appreciate your thought process and ability to state the obvious in a neutral fashion. Keep up the good work, please. D. Matt Innis 12:50, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

You've been Nominated!

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Godwin's Law

Please take a look at this, and revise and extend. Were you thinking of doing an EFF article? Howard C. Berkowitz 00:36, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


Hi Sandy. I had a window today in which I could take a look at the article, and I've put an explanation on the Talk page of what I was doing in my edits. If you want my opinion on any specific point, ask - but feel confident that I trust your judgement.Gareth Leng 16:37, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

_ I think your rewritten lede is excellent.Gareth Leng 08:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

For the non-technical reader

Sandy, excellent and interesting article. Does active vigorous opposition to the movement exist?

For nontechnical readers using a PC under Windows, say, how would they go about availing themselves of some of the privacy options you write about. For only one example, how would one send email anonymously, privately, readable only by the recipient, the recipient having the same capability in response?

Do you plan to write an article on digital cash, and its functional utility for ordinary citizens using PCs running Windows, say? Anthony.Sebastian 15:27, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Digital cash article? Yes, but I am not likely to do it soon. Sandy Harris 11:37, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Eastern Orthodox Church

Just to let you know I've invited the Ombudsman. Peter Jackson 09:10, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

PATRIOT Act in perspective

Sandy, you might find PATRIOT Act Section 816‎ of interest, as it was one of the useful parts in the Act setting a realistic threshold for the FBI to assist when requested. This went up in contrast to the huge, and to me unacceptable, PATRIOT Act, Wikipedia import.

Section 816 could contribute to an article on computer crime, as one set of triggers for law enforcement. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:36, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

EC on romanization

Sandy, you live in China: Have you any comment on this proposal? --Peter Schmitt 23:45, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikileaks and sssociated articles

Hope you don't mind, but I did look back on the edit histories. There are actually several related articles and I'm willing to do more, but do look at:

These all relate, as do others. I'm afraid MBE is going a bit wild about bias in the Wikileaks article, which I've really tried to keep objective, with the caveat that the article is focused on the process of the leaks, not the substance of the documents or their revelations. The latter is certainly relevant to CZ, but not in the same article.

For some reason, the US Government is not happy with Assange. I am shocked, absolutely shocked, but Martin seems to think I am unfair about it.

John Young and Cryptome are covered in a few places, but I've never really been able to put together a decent article on him -- he's essentially a one-man operation. At some point, I really should do some things on prior restraint such as the Pentagon Papers and the Progressive Case (i.e., Howard Morland's H-bomb disclosures).

Thoughts on direction? Howard C. Berkowitz 18:58, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Random numbers

Before I go try to find the books on the shelf, have you been through Knuth's tests of randomness? Howard C. Berkowitz 18:58, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I looked at them decades back. I think they are all incorporated in the Diehard tests. Sandy Harris 21:42, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
You may have trumped me; I'm not familiar with the Diehard tests, unless you are referring, for some strange reason,to the Sears Diehard car battery. I could write something about Knuth. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Link at Random_number_generator#Testing_for_Randomness Sandy Harris 22:24, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations upon becoming a Computers workgroup Editor

Sandy, I have just granted you a Computers workgroup Editorship. Also, as per your agreement via email, I have re-written your user page so that it presents your biography and qualifications as required of Editors by the Proposal PR-2010-024 passed by our Editorial Council.

Congratulations and best regards! Milton Beychok 22:45, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

If you should find that I have incorrectly stated anything in the Biography section of your user page, please let me know and I will make any changes required. Proposal PR-2010-024 stipulates that your biography must always remain publicly revealable. You are free to augment, delete or revise the rest of the user page in any way you wish at any time. Milton Beychok 22:52, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Congratulations, Sandy. You have earned it. Glad to see it. D. Matt Innis 02:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Delighted to see this, Sandy. There's no question in my mind, having worked with you, that you will be a superb Editor and you can Edit me anytime.
With respect to your specialty, my additional congratulations are encrypted: 9OOEJW SXPMK JPW44 SMUYT .... Howard C. Berkowitz 02:12, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks from the Editorial Council

Sandy, on behalf of the Editorial Council, I would like to thank you for the enormous amount of time and expertise that you have put into the WikiLeaks article -- almost certainly there is no one else around who could have done what you did. Once again, thanks! The Secretary Hayford Peirce 04:50, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

New author in Computers

You might be interested in knowing that we have a new author in Computers: . (Or do you already get automatic notifications of things like this?) Bruce M. Tindall 18:45, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the grammar fix!

Thanks for the grammar fix concerning the NDE article. Nice to share the wiki collaboration by making an article better. Mary Ash 02:40, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Artillery doctrine

I know this should go on the article page, but wanted to make sure you saw it. You were asking some questions about doctrine and missions. Would you like to see some basics, such as the NATO (and other allies) standardized way of calling for fire?

I am, incidentally, back in touch with a distinguished Canadian gunner. He has been associated with the claim that artillery turns what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl into a proper battle. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

I'd be more interested in principles than details. Everything from how cannon made walled cities obsolete, to how do artillery & armour interact, to how does an army decide what type of guns it needs, rather than specifics of anyone's doctrine. That said, we probably need some of each, and some quite specific things are very interesting. Why was what the Light Brigade did crazy? Would modern "cavalry" (tanks) fare any better against modern guns? In the Pacific War, to what extent did naval guns replace land-based artillery? Sandy Harris 23:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
You raise some very good questions, although I can't immediately think of how to do the what-if of the Light Brigade in an encyclopedia format. That said, one of the tragedies of the Light Brigade is they charged the wrong guns. I personally contrast that with the sacrifice of the torpedo bomber squadrons at the Battle of Midway, who decidedly charged the right targets -- and could have turned aside in a way not available to densely packed horse cavalry.
Naval guns, in WWII, did fairly poorly in the Pacific. A very basic concept had been forgotten: heavy naval guns were optimized to fire at long ranges at ships. This gave them fairly flat trajectories, which rarely could plunge into underground bunkers. They could be devastating against cliffside bunkers that could be engaged in direct fire, but were inferior to lighter howitzers and mortars against land targets. One of the reasons for using guided naval gunfire support shells today is that they are fired at a high angle and dive against land targets.
Both in offense and defense, the roles of tanks vs. artillery is very complex. I may have scratched it in combined arms. It is largely a truism that tank cannon are optimized to kill other tanks, much as naval guns of WWII were optimized against warships. Tank cannon are fairly poor at suppressing infantry or other area targets, and, before the development of antitank submunitions, howitzers were fairly poor at killing tanks. I'm not sure where to put all this. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:58, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Nor I, and of course, it isn't just tanks & guns involved but air as well. Take the North African campaign in WW II: the mobile stuff was largely tank vs tank but artillery was heavily used in the major battles. Air was important too, but there weren't any tank-killing Warthogs. Sandy Harris 03:08, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the laugh

Your comments added to the RCMP article made me laugh. I used to correspond with a Mountie who worked up in Alberta. After I returned to work at the paper I sent him links to some of my police stories. He enjoyed reading them. I often wonder what happened to him as he was a good pen pal. Some how with work and family things just sort of slipped away... Here's the comment that made me laugh: "Watching a rehearsal for the Ride can be quite amusing. Some of the riders are new recruits and not yet skilled horsemen, and occasionally, one falls off. Generally, the horse continues just fine without him, remaining in formation and performing the movements unguided." Kind of makes you wonder who is smarter doesn't it? Mary Ash 05:01, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

My dad was a mountie and at one point commanded N Division in Ottawa. Now only Regina trains recruits; N Division has become the Canadian Police College doing advanced courses for many police forces, but when I was there, there were two recruit training bases. I actually watched rehearsals, and rode some of those horses. Sandy Harris 05:25, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Lucky you! I've always held Mounties in the highest regard as they seem so professional. It didn't hurt either to read the book Mrs. Mike which is a fictional account of a Boston girl who married a Mountie and headed north. Have you read this book? I'd love to see the Musical Ride and visit Canada once again but I'm sure that's not going to happen. With a kid in college and another soon to follow we are too poor. Mary Ash 05:40, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for the proofreading, I don't mind it, just explaining myself :) The KJV never uses the term 'Cherubim', only 'Cherubims', for all 90 or so times it's found in the Old Testament. I was thinking Cherubims wasn't the proper term, but figured I'd stick with the KJV style. I'm fine with the change you made as is, I'm just a grammar nut myself, so had to explain :) Thanks for the help! --Joshua Zambrano 01:00, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Financial Report as of March 15, 2011

Please read our Financial Report as of March 15, 2001 for complete details on our financial history and our current financial situation. If you have any questions, please ask them on CZ Talk:Donate. Milton Beychok 00:25, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Kindergarten-level encryption question

So nowhere on the web does the formatting of a .pub file appear. I have a vds and I am trying without luck to ftp (yes, pretty lame of me). So now I'm trying to do it with a key. CPanel gives me the key but not sure how to format it so Putty can import it. And the problem might not be what I think it is. I've never used a virtual server before. I wrote programs but didn't do server stuff.--Maria Cuervo 21:04, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Cancel the server doom. I figured out how to do it another way didn't need to use a key.--Maria Cuervo 21:17, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

You have a statement but have not filled in the "accept" box

Sandy: Your candidacy here needs immediate attention to fill in the Accept/Decline box. John R. Brews 18:14, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

This is the first I have heard of my nomination, The statement is from a previous election. I decline. Sandy Harris 02:29, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Fondazione Foucault

Sandy, you may not have noticed it but the EC is discussing to remove these articles as not verifiable. Therefore improving their layout and style may be premature. Comments on their content is welcome, of course. --Peter Schmitt 01:16, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I know, but I figured it was worth at least doing quick format fixes. Sandy Harris 01:28, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Re re-approval Cypherpunk/Draft

Sandy, I posted the call for review for reapproval on Talk page and forum.

You might consider commenting/listing the improvements made justifying re-approval, on the Talk page.

Any suggestions who to contact as potential nominators?  Approval Manager: Anthony.Sebastian 18:30, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Regarding approval of Cypherpunk/Draft-2

Sandy, I will need something to help me justify certifying Approval of Cypherpunk/Draft.

Please comment as to the major differences/improvements/corrections between the draft and the approved version. In other words, tell us why you think the draft should replace the currently approved version.

Comment here: 04:49, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Cypherpunk/Draft - new issue requires response for Approval

Sandy, Pat Palmer writes:

"I like the reworded introduction, as well as the addition of comments by John Gilmore (ACM talk/91). However, I note the addition of Matt Blaze among well-known CypherPunks, yet I don't really know how to verify whether including him is reasonable or not. If that can be verified, I will vote for approval; otherwise, I'd like to see his name removed.Pat Palmer 09:27, 19 March 2012 (UTC)"

Will you respond on the article's Talk page. Also you need to respond to the comments of Peter Schmitt re references and broken links.

Thanks.  —Anthony.Sebastian 14:35, 19 March 2012 (UTC), Approval Manager

Sandy, regarding your developed articles

Sandy, do you have a developed article you consider ready to start a 'call for review' to initiate the approval process, or one you can put the finishing touches to for that purpose?

If so, will you give me a list names of users that I can ask for comments on the article, including an Editor or two among the article's workgroup categories.

Thanks.  —Anthony.Sebastian 15:49, 17 April 2012 (UTC), Approval Manager

Sandy, you (and everbody else) may suggest articles for approval by putting {{subst:Call for review|~~~~}} on its talk page (and adding helpful comments, if possible). The article will then be announced in the green box of Recent changes. --Peter Schmitt 14:11, 18 April 2012 (UTC)


I liked your comment there. But it has a typo, so it's not quite perfect. Cheers, Ro Thorpe 14:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

your opinion please...


I saw today that two new Editors for Computers joined the Citizendium.

I had horrible experience working with Howard. After deciding I could not work under his direction, as our sole Editor for Military topics I decided to write in other fields. I started a dozen of so computer related articles -- then I realized Howard was the Editor there too.

I took a leave of absence, for several years, until Howard retired.

Today I looked at Traffic_analysis and saw you changed it from the stub I left to a real article -- but without being mean-spirited about my little stub. Thanks for that.

I started that stub after creating an article on "chatter" -- which Howard first rewrote, then had moved to userspace User:George_Swan/sandbox/Chatter (signals intelligence).

I made a significant contribution of my time, to the Citizendium, a few years ago. But my experience of working with Editors was limited. The idea I had of how ordinary contributors would work with Editors was that the Editors would be collegial, and provide guidance -- and that they would reserve being heavy-handed only for the clueless, when tact failed.

Howard was only one of two Editors who I interacted with, around articles in their designated subject field. The other was a prolific Editor in the History field, who retired prior to Howard -- (Ah. User:Richard Jensen_. I had only been here a week or so, when he discovered some of my contributions, and criticized them for a lack of professionalism. With him I was able to roll with it, be consistently deferential, remind him I was just an amateur, knew I was just an amateur, and ask him to be more specific.

That disarmed him, to a certain extent. But I never got a single word of guidance from him. Several stubs I started, he rewrote from scratch, as he did here.

Sadly, I don't think the vision of a Citizendium where Editors provide guidance to ordinary contributors can work when Editors simply rewrite from scratch the work of ordinary contributors. On a talk page Howard told another contributor it was his intention to see every article I started deleted.

If I had realized Howard wasn't the only computer editor I would have continued to contribute to articles related to computers and computing. Stubs I created were:

  1. Intel iapx 432
  2. Intel 8008
  3. Intel 8080
  4. Intel 80286
  5. Intel 8087
  6. Intel 80287
  7. Intel 80487
  8. Pentium family of computer chips
  9. Pentium 1
  10. Motorola 6800
  11. Hanging chad
  12. Punch card
  13. Pin-compatible
  14. Dual in-line package

Anyhow, I'd welcome your input on whether my time would be well spent on historical articles similar to those above. I'd welcome your input on whether my time would be well spent improving the article on chatter, to the point it could be restored to article space.

Cheers! George Swan 13:00, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Link of potential interest

re cryptography

Blocked in China. Is it important? Sandy Harris 02:58, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Anthony.Sebastian 21:36, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Would appreciate your help with Jet engine

Sandy, in case you have not seen it, I just place this request in the forums:

Howard Berkowitz imported the Jet engine article from Wikipedia in 2009. It has sat there for 3 years with no significant editing, so I decided to improve it. I have now spent about 50 hours on it and have:

  • Uploaded about 8 or 9 of the photos and other images that Howard did not do when he imported the article. Each required at least an hour to upload from Commons and elsewhere. One or two took very much more time.
  • Uploaded 2 extensive tables, again which Howard did not do.
  • Spent about 10 hours on re-formatting and expanding the references. They were a big mess.
  • Deleted many, many wikilinks to WP articles and created many, many wikilinks to CZ articles.
  • Deleted a few sections that I decided were not needed.
  • Extensive re-wording and copy editing of the article's main body text.
  • Re-formatted the Related Articles subpage.
  • Numerous other items.

I have no expert knowledge of jet engines for aircraft, spacecraft and rockets. If anyone has such knowledge, please take the time to read the article and edit it as may be needed.

It would also be helpful if Sandy Harris would take the time to do his usual excellent job of correcting grammar, spelling, typo and wording errors.

Thanks in advance,

Milton Beychok 19:51, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Sandy, just a reminder that I would still greatly appreciate your proof-reading of Jet engine. Milton Beychok 21:02, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I have scanned it. No obvious problems. Sandy Harris 04:13, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Re Block cipher/Draft & Onne-time pad

Sandy, I'll try to get approval expedited this week. Need you to comment on their Approval subpages, at:

Guidelines for comments in editor box, see <!--..guidelines..-->. Anthony.Sebastian 22:12, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


Thanks for supporting my referendum proposal. Cheers, James Yolkowski 16:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Revoke some approvals that are perhaps questionable?

Peter Jackson just suggested, in the forums, that a couple of Computers editors such as you and I could revoke the Approval status of certain Computers articles if we both felt they would benefit from being Unapproved and no other relevant editors objected. So how about our attempting this for Cryptanalysis and Cryptography (and possible for some of their related sub articles such as Block_cipher) ? The main issue is, that I feel this entire set of topics needs to have its organization looked at, it's introductions cleaned up, and I for one am not enough of an expert in any of these topics to approve them, nor was HB who begged to get them approved. I'd like to see them stay open for easy contributions, because these are very important, current topics and interest in them runs high, and frankly, I think CZ looks silly to have approved them given out limited expertise. What say you?Pat Palmer 20:53, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Where I'm disgruntled is also due to another editor (who is no longer on the project) having removed a large section of my own writing. I had slaved to prepare an overview of Cryptography for one of my classes--it was targeted to help people who didn't know much get started--and he just took it OUT, and lost the point of all of it. I want that kind of introduction back, and I don't know what else I want. I got so discouraged at dealing with him back then that I had given up. I'd like to have another go at it. In the meantime, he got the whole thing locked up so it feels pointless to try and change it because even the structure of the articles is now cast in stone. Given the current structure, an overview is much more difficult to achieve.Pat Palmer 20:57, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I wrote nearly all of block cipher, large chunks of cryptography and various related things, but I agree none of it is really finished & first-rate. See old discussion at Talk:Cryptography/Archive_1#Quasi-outline. Also Talk:Cryptology/Draft for discussion of overall structure for the group of articles. Sandy Harris 00:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Let me clarify that I have not read or evaluated Block cipher per se; probably, it's good to break these topics out into smaller articles like that. We could leave it alone for now.Pat Palmer 13:35, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

One contrast between me & Howard was that I tend to work bottom-up, creating various small articles (some listed at the Quasi-outline link above) without worrying too much about overall structure, where H worked more top-down.

Where I think the higher-level articles are now is roughly:

  • Cryptology at top level: fine as it stands
  • Cryptography looks basically OK to me, but I'd be interested in seeing your proposed improvements
There is a problem with too much detail at Cryptography#One-way_encryption. We need a general discussion of password management that a reduced version of that can link to. I've covered some of the issues in Dictionary attack and Challenge-response protocol, but the overall organisation needs a look and we need at least one more article.

Most of the articles one level down, like Asymmetric key cryptography and cipher, are mainly Howard's work. See Talk:cipher for the arguments that made me throw up my hands and stop editing these.

Among the main symmetric primitives, block cipher is basically OK but stream cipher, one-time pad, random number generator and especially Hash (cryptography) could stand improvement. I've more-or-less done all I can on those for now, though I might return to them at some point. Sandy Harris 15:12, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

You've been nominated as a candidate in the June 2016 election

You've been nominated as a candidate for the post of Managing Editor in the June 2016 election. Please visit this page to accept or decline. No action will also be treated as declining. If you accept, you may choose to write an election statement - see the election page for further details. Meg Ireland (talk) 15:17, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Reminder: We'd love to have you back

Hi Sandy! I recall you told me a few months back that you are really busy right now, so maybe it's not time yet. Just writing here to remind you we miss you, we're still stirring the pot over here and trying to clean things up, and we'd love to have you writing in this wiki again. You'll see that (mostly I) have been revising the documentation to reflect the current situation more, which is, that we don't have many actual Editors and so we're no longer putting a huge emphasis on the editorial role. The wiki is fast again, and we have some ongoing activity, and we're beginning actively to seek new members--and former members. My thinking for now is to try to get a smaller, but very supportive and collegial, active community of good writers, working to create articles of a type one could probably not manage to write over in Wikipedia, not because CZ's articles are better but because they are different. We're allowing people to be leads on articles (for a period of time), and are open to the possibility of multiple articles on a given topic as long as the approaches to the material are substantially different. You are missed!Pat Palmer (talk) 17:19, 3 October 2020 (UTC)