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Video Australian Company Claims Laser-Based Quantum Crypto is "Unbreakable" (Video) 84

The QuintessenceLabs website doesn't mince words when it comes to self-promotion. It boasts that they are "The world’s first company to harness the quantum properties of lasers to herald a new generation of data security." InvestCanberra says, "the defense and security policy and procurement centre of Australia is the natural location for large conglomerate defense and security corporations and specialist cyber security, advanced communications and radar, ICT and surveillance businesses alike," and goes on to list QuintessenceLabs as one of several "locally headquartered companies that have grown into internationally successful organizations."

Here's another statement taken from the company's website: "QuintessenceLabs is the first in the world to exploit a new generation of quantum cryptographic technology which enables unbreakable, secure storage and communication of sensitive information through the generation of an ultra-secure cryptographic key." Unbreakable? That's a strong boast. Is it true? And even if it's only partly true, your upper management may call on you to explain (and possibly implement) laser-based quantum security, so you need to know what it is and how it works -- and whether it's something your company (or your client companies) need.

Comment Re:Still a ways to go (Score 1) 131

They achieve the high densities by using atmospheric air for oxygen. Basically they are rusting iron and reversing the rusting using electrolysis. Which means not only you need to keep the iron molten, you need to vent it to atmosphere too! Other molten metal batteries are sealed, allowing for better thermal insulation.

Comment Anyone working on liquid charged electrolytes? (Score 1) 131

I wonder if people are working on charged liquid electrolytes based batteries. If I could drain the electrolyte from the discharged battery, refill it will charged electrolyte much like filling gasoline into a tank. Must be a dumb idea because I have not seen any excited posts about it. May be the energy density is so very poor for these charged electrolytes.

Comment Re:Dat envelope (Score 1) 131

Electric motors are extremely efficient, over 99% in converting electricity to mechanical energy. So you don't have to lop off so much for the efficiency of the electric motor. But, how much of the energy in the battery can be actually extracted is the question. If the energy densities quoted were based on "available energy" you don't have to account for it. But if it is based on some theoretical value based on how much can be packed in, without worrying about how much of it will come out, then you need to account for that loss.

Comment Why the prize went unclaimed. The true story. (Score 1) 191

This is the true reason the prize went unclaimed: A lonely researcher from a poor religiously vegetarian family from the South Indian town of Saivakkadu developed such a chicken and was about to claim the prize. But Tyson food spies found out about it, bought the invention from the inventor by out bidding PETA and have rolled the process into production some three years ago. Suddenly all those animal cruelty sneak videos from the chicken farms reduced greatly in volume. Coincidence? I think not. Tyson finds it far more profitable to peddle vegetarian lab grown petri dish meat as the real thing instead of selling it to wimpy vegetarians susceptible to temptation as ethical meat. Look how uniform all those chicken legs and thighs packed in plastic. Nature is going to be that uniform?

Think about it people. Lab meat is here. On your table. Already.

Comment Gimmicks and real technologies... (Score 1) 242

Carbon fiber trailer, aerodynamic body, central driver seat etc are gimmics.

A high efficiency power source, mediated via battery and electric motor is really interesting technology. The locomotives made the switch to diesel electric from steam in 1940s very very swiftly. In just one decade the steam engines were gone. The electric motors are ideal things to turn the wheel. Their torque peaks at zero rpm, exactly when it is needed. IC engines via clutch + transmission + gear box is a hack. But trucks have been using synchromesh transmission and gear box for all these years. Even without a battery in the middle, constant rpm diesel engine producing electricity would have been simpler than the complexity of the gearbox. That is exactly how locomotives work.

It is high time diesel-electric or micro-gas turbine + electric trucks are designed at least experimental platforms.

Comment K-cup is open now. (Score 1) 769

Their K-cup patent has expired. They might pipe dream about migrating all their users to more expensive DRM protected coffee machines. But it will die like Vista. And it will give the generic K-cup makers, who have just 8% of the market now, a new lease on life. Eventually like Microsoft they will tuck their tail between their legs and come out and compete in a level playing field. But these top honchos who dream up these things will do a few power point presentations, do some hustle to make bonus, cash out the stock options and will go out looking greener mountain to roast something other their share holders. Dump the stock now if you own it.

Comment Over compacted, under compacted ... (Score 2) 121

Jean-Michel Claverie: 'We thought it was a property of viruses that they pack DNA extremely tightly into the smallest particle possible, but this guy is 150 times less compacted than any bacteriophage [viruses that infect bacteria].

I am sure this scientist is going to be perplexed by this too. this . I expect him to say, "I expect the human torso to be kind of roundish in cross section and two hands hanging by the side. But this guy is over compacted. We don't understand any thing anymore."

Comment Would be useful in bike shares (Score 2) 166

Cities are introducing bike share stands, where people rent bikes by the hour. A technology like this could broaden the appeal and market for them.

If they make it compatible with bicycles that fold into a car trunk, it could reduce drunken driving. People who find themselves too drunk to drive could rent drivers to take them home. These drivers would arrive in a folding electric bike, fold their bike and put it in the trunk, take the sensible drunk home and return on the electrified bike. They could do it in a regular bike too, but with some electric assist more people would be interested.

Comment Perry Mason sort. (Score 1) 195

Perry Mason: "Someone rented a car, returned it and rented it again. We need to find that person."

Paul Drake: "Do you know his name?"

Perry Mason: "No"

Paul Drake: "Do you really want me to take all these receipts and compare each against everything else? Do you know how long will it take, Perry?

Perry Mason: "Paul, Just sort these receipts by name and look for duplicates"

Donald Knuth, quoting Erle Stanley Gardener, in the chapter on sorting in the TeX book.

[Quoting from memory, please forgive inaccuracies].

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