Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beam me up, Scotty! (But this may take a while)

FTA: "Without quite the drama of Alexander Graham Bell calling out, “Mr. Watson, come here!” or the charm of the original “Star Trek” television show, scientists have nonetheless achieved a milestone in communication: teleporting the quantum identity of one atom to another a few feet away."

I think the biggest applications of this technology will be for quantum encryption. As amazing as PGP encryption is (and especially considering how simple it is), it's still not 100% secure. And you know the NSA has the computing power to break through even well encrypted communication using PGP. If they couldn't, you can pretty much place bets on PGP software being illegal (it was regulated, and still is in a way, by US munitions export regulations... read more about all that here.) Anyway, quantum encryption is probably a long way off from being accessible by anybody and everybody, but when it gets close you can pretty much bet we'll see the government do their best to shut it down, seeing as it's completely unbreakable (at least as far as I know, and admitedly I haven't kept up with a lot of the technology). Not to get all folksy on everyone, but I'm a big fan of encryption simply because with a good enough encryption scheme, we can keep the other people (ahem, the government, ahem) from reading our mail, IMs, and generally spying on us. Yay privacy! Also, online banking is pretty convenient.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, quantum teleportation and entanglement are pretty cool stuff, but we're a long way away from teleporting anything. The amount of information contained in a human body would take several light years of 1TB hard drives stacked one on top of the other. Even temporarily storing or trying to transmit and process the sheer amount would certainly be a limiting factor. I suppose a lot of the information in the human body is redundant, but I don't really like the idea of having a compression algorithm applied to my body.