Archive for July, 2010

The Cawood Sword: History of York (and early password generation!)

July 30th, 2010

The Cawood Sword (via historyofyork.org.uk)

One of the finest Viking swords ever discovered was found in the River Ouse near the village of Cawood, a few miles South of York.The Cawood Sword can be dated to 1100 by comparing it to a very similar sword found in Norway which was probably made by the same craftsman.  The swords are almost identical except the one in Norway has an inscription on its hilt in Runes.  Both swords can be fairly accurately dated from the clues in this Viking language.

via The Cawood Sword: History of York. Later in that same article:

The inscription runs down the blade and is made up of a number of capital letters which do not form known words. On one side they are in Roman script and on the other they are in Lombardic script. It is believed that these letters stood for words which in turn represented a phrase or saying. By looking at similar inscriptions it is thought that the phrase is religious, with the sword’s owner believing the words gave him extra strength in battle.

Turns out that this is a medieval example of good password generation, known as mnemonic password (c.f. http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1143120.1143129), which Google recommends (see “Solution 1”).

Historians locate King Arthurs Round Table – Telegraph

July 13th, 2010

The search is over! According to the UK newspaper The Telegraph, Historians locate King Arthurs Round Table. Very exciting! Now, how long before they make yet another Hollywood movie about Arthur? After Boorman’s Excalibur (1981) and Fuqua’s King Arthur (2004), it’s time for another spin…

The Evolution of The Logo – Smashing Magazine

July 12th, 2010

Printer's Mark (from smashingmagazine.com)

Smashing Magazine has published a short history of the logo. As a fan of logos (both the plural of logo and the software Logos (which is completely unrelated to the word logo)), from printers’ marks (example shown here) to Rembrandt’s “logo”/signature and more. Take a stroll down logo lane at The Evolution of The Logo – Smashing Magazine.