Quantum Computing And The End Of Encryption

Quantum computers stand a good chance of changing the face computing, and that goes double for encryption. For encryption methods that rely on the fact that brute-forcing the key takes too long with classical computers, quantum computing seems like its logical nemesis.

For instance, the mathematical problem that lies at the heart of RSA and other public-key encryption schemes is factoring a product of two prime numbers. Searching for the right pair using classical methods takes approximately forever, but Shor’s algorithm can be used on a suitable quantum computer to do the required factorization of integers in almost no time.

When quantum computers become capable enough, the threat to a lot of our encrypted communication is a real one. If one can no longer rely on simply making the brute-forcing of a decryption computationally heavy, all of today’s public-key encryption algorithms are essentially useless. This is the doomsday scenario, but how close are we to this actually happening, and what can be done?

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Dexter The Companion Bot Wants To Give You Five

The main character of Dexter’s Laboratory is a genius child inventor who inspired a lot of fans to become makers and inventors in their own right. [Jorvon Moss] a.k.a. [Odd_Jayy] counts himself as one of them. A serial companion bot builder, his projects are constantly evolving. But every once in a while he pauses long enough to share construction details. Like how we can build our own monkey companion bot Dexter named after the cartoon.

A slightly earlier iteration of Dexter attended Hackaday Superconference 2019. Perched on [Odd_Jayy]’s back, Dexter joined in a presentation on companion bots. We’ve been a fan of his work since Asi the robot spider and several more robots have been posted online since. Recently at Virtually Maker Faire 2020, he joined [Alex Glow] and [Angela Sheehan] to talk about their respective experiences Making Companion Bots.

Sketchbook pages with Dexter concept drawings[Odd_Jayy] starts with sketches to explore how a project will look and act, striving to do something new and interesting every time. One of Dexter’s novelties is adding interactivity to companion bots. Historically people couldn’t do much more than just look at a companion bot, but Dexter can high five their fans! Sometimes the excited robot monkey ends up slapping [Odd_Jayy] instead, but they’re working through issues in their relationship. Everyone is invited to see rapid cycles of iterative improvements on Twitter and Instagram. As of this writing, a mini Dexter is underway with design elements similar to the “Doc Eyes” goggle project running in parallel. It’s always fun to watch these creations evolve. And by openly sharing his projects both online and off, [Odd_Jayy] is certainly doing his part to inspire the next wave of makers and inventors.

The Sound Of Silence: Speed Up Your Video Consumption

There’s a lot of interesting content produced on video these days. Invariably, though, when we post something some comments will appear lamenting that a video isn’t the most efficient way to disseminate technical information. We have mixed feelings. Some things benefit from being able to see, for example, a screencast. Some people like the human connection of seeing an instructor interact with a class instead of just reading. But we will admit that sometimes a video takes longer to watch, especially if it is full of pauses. Unsilence is a tool from [labmoellertim] that can fix that. The command line tool takes a video and strips out the parts that are silent. You can also use it as a Python library if you want to build your own tools using the technique.

If you’ve ever taken a class online, it isn’t uncommon to speed up a video so you can get through class faster. This works to a point, but removing or speeding up silent gaps means you don’t have to “listen faster.” Of course, you could still speed up the video, too.

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