# Ed's Big Plans

## Fight e-mail address typos with MD5 hashes :P

Silly: One day, Dave messaged me and said that his e-mails weren’t getting through to me. I was puzzled as he was using the g-talk service, meaning he has my valid g-mail handle. As it turns out, the device he was on didn’t have copy and paste available for that field, and he simply couldn’t see the ‘t’ in my address.

Incidentally, that’s one dysfunction of the human visual system I’d like to purge– reading something over and over, only to make exactly the same lexicographical mistake each time. It’s an evil broken heuristic… remember kids, it’s a ‘feature’, not a ‘bug’.

I then messaged him the MD5 hash of my e-mail address along with the one for the incorrect address…

Correct:   2f776881db0ca037c145e74a6c41721c
Incorrect: 35c56bee61e9914929f4a3242d44c339

Don’t worry, there’s no practical value in doing this

Note: to get the MD5 of an arbitrary string on a *nix system, just type this in the terminal…

echo "arbitrary string" | MD5

It almost amuses me as much as catting arbitrary binary files…

Written by Eddie Ma

January 22nd, 2010 at 9:54 am

Posted in Silly

Tagged with , , ,