$3M Bitcoin Recovered… Using Time Travel

Electrical engineer Joe Grand and his team successfully hacked into an encrypted file containing 43.6 bitcoins, unlocking a $3 million cryptocurrency wallet and rescuing a man who had forgotten his password 11 years ago.

On May 28, Joe uploaded a video to his YouTube channel, demonstrating how he was hired to access a valuable encrypted file that had been inaccessible since 2013. Michael, whose identity was hidden, contacted Joe last year for help.

Initially, Joe declined to help, stating that trying to guess the password, known as brute-forcing, was impractical. “If we had to try every possible password combination, that’s more than 100 trillion times the number of water drops in the entire world,” Joe explained.

However, a year later, Joe reconsidered because he had found a new method to recover the password. During that time, Bruno had successfully reverse-engineered a password generator and used it to recover the passwords it had created. Using a tool developed by the NSA, they disassembled the code of the password generator, RoboForm, that Michael had used to create his Bitcoin password.

RoboForm is a password management software that creates complex passwords and stores them in an encrypted vault. Michael had used it to create a 20-character password and saved it in an encrypted text file on his computer. Unfortunately, data corruption caused Michael to lose the password, locking him out of his wallet.

Joe discovered that older versions of RoboForm didn’t generate completely random passwords. By setting the time back to 2013, they tricked the program into recreating the same password it had generated years before. Joe and Bruno generated millions of potential passwords, but after getting the correct date, they cracked the code in just a few tries, recovering Michael’s $3 million Bitcoin wallet.

Here is the full, fascinating story:

Dying Marine’s Last Wish Fulfilled

When a dying veteran’s last wish was to receive a high school diploma, a superintendent and an American Legion Outpost commander made it happen.

Their efforts ensured that Richard Remp, a marine who sacrificed his education to fight in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, was awarded an honorary diploma. Remp, originally from Sharon, PA, and living in Poolesville, MD, had seen another elderly marine receive a diploma and wished for the same honor.

Superintendent Justi Glaros of the Sharon School District and James Cappuccilli, vice commander of Legion Post 247, teamed up to fulfill this wish. Although Remp attended a neighboring high school, Glaros obtained approval from her school board to print a diploma from their high school.

With Remp’s health rapidly declining due to stage 4 prostate cancer, Glaros drove four-and-a-half hours to personally deliver the diploma in a graduation ceremony at his home.

“The last thing he remembers is receiving the diploma,” said American Legion Post 247 Commander Julian Singh. Remp passed away on May 19th at the age of 98, having received a combat commendation ‘V’ for valor for his bravery in helping fellow Marines evacuate safely from enemy territory.

New ‘The Lord of the Rings Movie’ Announced for 2026

Warner Bros. announced a new Lord of the Rings movie, signaling a return to the beloved film franchise based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels. The upcoming film, the first of a two-part series delving into untold tales within the universe, will feature Peter Jackson, the director of the original trilogy, back in charge. Additionally, Andy Serkis, known for his portrayal of Gollum, will star in and direct the initial installment, titled “The Hunt for Gollum.”

The announcement was made by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav during an earnings call, with the tentative release date for “The Hunt for Gollum” set for 2026. While details about the plot are still under wraps, speculation has already begun among fans and critics.

Notably, a fan-made film of the same name, “The Hunt for Gollum,” released in 2009, explored a subplot from Tolkien’s appendices, depicting Gandalf’s mission to capture Gollum before he could betray the Ring’s location to Sauron. Whether the upcoming film will follow a similar narrative remains uncertain.

While awaiting the release of the new movie, fans can look forward to other Lord of the Rings project, the animated prequel “Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim,” slated for December 13, 2024.

I am a huge fan of Tolkien and his works. I am tentatively looking forward to “The War of the Rohirrim”. This new movie around the hunt for Gollum is certainly a surprise. I will have to hear more about the project before I can decide if I can get excited or not. Here’s to hoping they will both be good!

Spain’s Newly-Found Sword’s Secrets Revealed

A relic from a millennium past recently emerged in Spain: a sword found wedged in a stone, reminiscent of the legendary Excalibur of King Arthur. However, unlike Arthur’s tale of questing for the Holy Grail alongside his knightly brethren, this sword belonged to a Muslim wielder.

Unearthed three decades ago at an archaeological site in Valencia, the sword, dubbed ‘Excalibur’, has undergone restoration and analysis, revealing its secrets for the first time.

Measuring 18 inches (46 centimeters) with an ornate handle clasping the blade with bronze plates, ‘Excalibur’ bears resemblance to Visigoth swords, though its sedimentary context places it firmly in Islamic times. Its modest size and lack of a hand guard suggest it may have been wielded by a horseman during the Andalusian caliphal era.

This find marks the first appearance of an Islamic sword in Valencia, with only one similar sword discovered in the excavations of Madinat al-Zahra, the caliphal city of Abd al-Rahman III, in Córdoba. Uncovered in what was likely a domestic dwelling north of Valencia’s Roman-era central square, or forum, this discovery underscores the city’s rich tapestry of cultures.

Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula spanned over 600 years, following the reigns of the Byzantines, Visigoths, Romans, and Carthaginians. Known as Al-Andalus, this era shaped the region, contributing to its modern identity as Andalusia. Among its legacies, the Arabs gifted Spain iconic landmarks such as the Alhambra, alongside establishing prominent cities like Cordoba, Malaga, and Almeria.

A Memorial for the Queen — and Her Beloved Corgis

A seven-foot-tall sculpture of the late Queen Elizabeth II was recently unveiled. The memorial also included some of the queens beloved corgis.

Queen Elizabeth II’s affection for her corgis was well-known, a fondness Princess Diana amusingly likened to a “moving carpet” as the dogs followed the queen wherever she went.

This cherished aspect of the late queen’s life has now been captured in a bronze statue, unveiled on what would have been her 98th birthday. Created by London-based sculptor Hywel Pratley, the monument stands in a green space outside the library in Oakham, England, located roughly 100 miles north of London.

The unveiling ceremony, held in September 2022 following the queen’s death at age 96, attracted various dignitaries. Notably, over 40 corgis, organized by the Welsh Corgi League, attended and participated in a parade to Oakham Castle, as reported by Tatler’s Ben Jureidini.

Commissioned by Sarah Furness, the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, the statue cost £125,000 (about $155,000), funded mainly through donations, according to BBC News’ Samantha Noble. The Rutland County Council has hailed the statue as “the first permanent memorial” to Britain’s “much-loved and longest reigning monarch.”