I generally love when people use the comic form to explain complicated concepts. I generally love cryptography. I have a special place in my heart for stick figures.
So you can imagine how I feel about Jeff Moser’s multi-stage explanation of how AES came about, and how it works.
Everyone should check it out, since there’s not really anyone (at least in the “First World”) who doesn’t depend in some invisible way on AES every day. And Moser has carefully constructed his lecture in a series of increasingly technical iterations–my grandmother would probably be able to follow the first two “acts” in Moser’s explanation–with exit points along the way for people who reach their geek limit.
Actually, how far you go through the panels without bailing is probably a reasonably reliable indicator of your geek level. (Of course if you make it past the end, and into the annotated sample code, then you’re a Big Serious Geek.)
Update: Apparently Cory and I are similar geeks in some way, since he picked the same frame I did to illustrate his pointer when BB got around to linking to this.