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* Posts by Jack Simon

11 posts • joined 23 Mar 2007

Daily Mail cites video game as proof of terrorist doomsday plot

Jack Simon

*Face palm*

Why the hell would terrorists get graphical artists to render a realistic impression of that?

This is just amazingly stupid. Next thing they will be saying they found a flock of flying pigs and cows.

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Optical boffins cut the cost of quantum cryptography

Jack Simon

Basics as I understand

Quantum cryptography is basically useful for security across a network. Almost all current securities work on the integer factorisation problem. That is, it's hard to find which 2 prime numbers multiplied together to make a number that gets transferred across the internet. Say for example, the number 15... well we know its made up by 3 and 5, with a 200 digit number though, that's another matter.

However, with the advent of quantum computers, they can break this problem in a polynomial time rather than exponential. Basically, rather than say 2^N it solves it in N^2. If N was 1024, thats 308 digits compared to only 7 for the latter. So much much faster, basically rendering current key exchange protocols useless.

So how to protect the key that gets used to encrypt bank details going across the internet after quantum computers are around?

To give you an idea of one way I like to think about it: Imagine binary and decimal.

If I told you "One zero" (10), that could be 10 in decimal or 2 in binary, depending on the basis that you read it in. You have no way of knowing which one it is. If you tried to tell someone else about it in either binary or decimal, you only have a 50/50 chance of getting the right one. Using this, you can effectively exchange a key without actually telling anyone about it.

(Note: 10 and 11 make nice comparisons for the binary/decimal analogy, but they just use 0 and 1 really. 0 and 1 mean the same in binary/decimal so I used 10/11 instead). So If someone sent 11 in binary then 10 in decimal then 10 in binary. The other guy would guess they are using decimal then decimal then binary, he reads the data to see if they are either 11 or 10. He then asks the sender about each one weather he was right or not. He finds out which are wrong and he will ignore that one. So the secret key would be 10 10. Using this, you shared information and the people in between can only guess.

Now if you did this with 20 parts the person guessing it in the middle would have a million to 1 chance of getting it right. So rather than just factorising a number, which will eventually be a simple math problem... you will have to play a lottery. If you had 72 parts to it, you would only have a 4277 million MILLION to one chance to guess it right; basically making it impossible to find the key.

This article is just about (Per my analogy) rather than needing a detector for binary and decimal, you divert one of them on a longer path and change it to the other basis. Now you know the one that arrives later is the one that got changed, despite being both in the same basis.

It's good to see some advancements in the field.

P.s. I'm doing a final year module at university in quantum computing. It's very hard for me to wrap my head around a lot of it as well. I have over £100 worth of books sitting here about it to read as well =/ (I'm lazy).Quantum entanglement is a whole new level of screwing with your brain. If ever you could call something "magic", this would be it.

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Microsoft patents brain-computer link

Jack Simon

Well...

I hope it has better memory management than ME.

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Britannia triumphs over Johnny Metric

Jack Simon

A good step

Way i see it, besides historical reasons, theres no benifits to a Imperial system. In the long run its better for us to change to metric, and like with alot of things, theres going to be alot of people who dissagree. Although once its done its going to be alot more helpful.

Although i still think a Pint should be refered to as a "Pint", i doubt it would change anyway.

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Seagate joins 1TB HDD battlefield

Jack Simon

Bit pointless atm

Considering 500gb for around £65-95, and 1tb for around £230. Even with the improved speeds, less energy, less space, less sata connections being used up... £40-100 is quite a bit to make up for.

Also it would be worth while waiting for the rest of the companies to come in so the real price war starts.

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Sun may never set on British Empire's pint

Jack Simon

Pointless

While its important to understand the basics of both systems (In case you go somewhere which does use the other), we would be better off with a metric system. Metric for the majority of things is more useful, especially since money is based more so on it (working out fractions and relating to monetary values is slower in general for imperial)

Theres no point in going to a pub and saying "ill have a five hundred and sixty eight millilitre of X" anyway... in a pub, its pointless to do that, a pint is 568ml, and thats what we should ask for and get served.

Although a "Shot" has quite a large verity of sizes, mainly being 25ml and 35ml, although ive seen 20 to 50ml before. Not much we could do about measures they want to sell them in though.

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Don't let Paris Hilton do bird

Jack Simon

Sigh...

She should get the same punishment as anyone else... although it would be far more useful to just lower the sentence and fine her mass amounts.

If your gonna jail someone rich, you may as well help out others while doing it. Its not like 45days in jail is going to make a dramatic difference, but $150k will to others.

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High level Night Elf druid saves PC gaming

Jack Simon

lol $3000

I speced up a PC the other day, (E4300,Gigabyte S3,AS5,Scythe Infinity,19"Lcd,320mb 8800gts,2gb C4 pc5300 ram, decent speced other parts + vista + S&H) and it came up under £1k. Assuming you can OC that e4300 to 3ghz... you sure as hell could play anything on the market at full or almost full 1280x1024.

Please bare in mind its $2 to £1 atm. With £6k you could get the latest of almost everything... bad power:cost ratio at that.

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eBay profits jump 52 per cent

Jack Simon

Isnt a shocker, by far

eBay + paypal is the same as iPod + iTunes. People want easy simple methods of getting what they want, and their willing to pay for simplicity.

eBay and iPods are already well into the self sustaining phase, where customer recommendations and free publicity automatically garentee a flow of new customers.

Although customers complain, for the majority its still cheaper than most and its still far more convenient. E.g i just brought something new at 1/4 the price compared to shops, in about 8 clicks. Just getting to the shop would automatically be higher than delivery charges.

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Thailand blocks YouTube

Jack Simon

I can see why

Ive been to Thailand, their monarchy isnt like the uk. They have giant pictures and statues everywhere of him, its common to see a picture of him in a house or shop. They regard the monarchy extremely highly.

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Booze worse than Speed or Acid shocker

Jack Simon

I agree with the study

Its hard to judge if "X is worse than Y" overall... but id defiantly say weed, tobacco and alcohol is more dangerous to quality of life than ecstasy (from personal experience).

More people than youd think take ecstasy and yet death rates are quoted insanely low in comparasion to any other class A drug (some put it close to vehicle accident death rates, while others only a few times higher), the actual causes of death are almost always 2 things, Inproper water intake(You sweat alot, causing some to panic and drink loads, others to not drink enough and dehydrate) and over heating (Due to less sensation of it). Both of which can easily be avoided if taking the correct precautions, same with any other drug.

Other than that, the small dose risks are minimal. Although due to its concentration, its much easier to consume enough to over do it, not because its more dangerous in regular doses.

Id say ecstasy should be placed in class B at least, then tobacco needs to be slightly more restricted.

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