What I've been working on as of late

It's probably about time that I link over to the project that I've been involved with as of late.

everMany is a small Flash gaming company, and I've been working on something called the EMP -- the everMany multi-player server.

It doesn't have much of a public face yet, but there is a news blog -- and there should be more information coming over the next several weeks as the server, the website, and the docs become ready for others to use.

Currently, the EMP is powering a new Diffusion Games Flash game called: Armor Wars -- it's a turn based card game, and the EMP client provides a lobbying framework and all the connection / communication with the EMP server.

At any rate -- that's what I've been up to lately. If you are into Flash games, especially if you like card or strategy games, be sure to check the game out ( it's free to play ).
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HMAC vs. raw SHA-1

okay- maybe this shouldn't have taken me quite so long to understand, but I've been a little bit confused about the differences between SHA-1 and HMAC.

HMAC employs a cryptographic hashing function (ex. SHA-1) but it wasn't clear to me why the cryptographic hashing function itself wasn't "good enough" -- why couldn't HMAC just be SHA-1.

SHA-1 generates a fixed size output of 20-bytes for an arbitrarily long message; but so does an HMAC when it uses SHA-1. So what's the difference?

Turns out the answer is actually relatively straightforward.
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