This is a series of shots from German photographer Martin Rietze of last month’s eruptions of the Sakurajima Volcano in Japan. He looks like he’s standing pretty close, but hopefully he was just using one of those super-zoom lenses perverts use to take shots of girls on the beach from their hotel room balconies. That reminds me, one year in college I went to Daytona Beach for spring break when it also happened to be Motorcycle Week there and this older, leathery-looking woman on the back of a chopper flashed her boobs at me in a Walgreens parking lot. I gave her a thumbs up but deep down in my heart and peen they really just made me sad. Obviously I had to get really drunk afterwards and that night I swallowed a glow-stick.
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Quantum computing has teased us with its potential for some time, but we won’t be seeing qubits in our laptops anytime soon. However, science has also sought to leverage quantum physics in cryptography, and a recent breakthrough will allow for quantum encryption over fiber optic cables already in use. Researchers from Toshiba and Cambridge University discovered that they could transmit and receive encryption keys using pulses of quantum light and a specialized photodetector.
The trick was to build a detector with a gate capable of both sensing a single photon and opening for just one tenth of one billionth of a second at the precise time that the photon arrives. Knowing the timing of the photon’s arrival with such precision allows the quantum light to be captured and filtered out from other light pulses carrying regular data in the cable. Why all the effort to use quantum light? Well, if any quantum photon carrying an encryption key is intercepted during transmission, it’s permanently changed. This, in turn, alerts those intended to receive the info that the encryption key may have been compromised.
Previously, quantum encryption keys could be exchanged, but only if sent using a dedicated fiber line, which isn’t a cost-effective solution. This new method allows keys to be sent via existing lines already in operation transmitting data, so no dedicated fiber need be installed. In testing, simultaneous 1 Mbps quantum key data rates and 1 Gbps regular data rates were achieved, and one researcher told BBC News that the technology is “not too far away” from being used to secure financial networks. For now, the new quantum key distribution method remains in the lab, but you can read all about it at the source below.
Via: BBC News
Source: Physical Review XRelated Posts:
Just in case you thought the Lightning to micro-USB connector was Europe-only (to stave off that pesky European Commission), Apple has decided to sell it stateside as well. The tiny choking hazard recently made its way to the company’s online store in the US for $ 19 each (over in Europe, it’s £15 / €19), and brick-and-mortar locations will probably get them too — if they’re not in stock already. We’re not sure if there’s a huge demand for this, but if you’re a recent iPod, iPhone, or iPad (Mini or 4th gen) owner with a plethora of existing micro-USB cables, an adapter like this could help lighten your nest of wires.
Filed under: Misc
We’re now hearing from a source close to Apple’s accessory manufacturing partner that the company plans to hold a conference in Shenzen, China for its Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFI) program partners on November 7 and 8, similar to the one it held last year between December 7-9 when it expanded the MFI program to promote adoption of new AirPlay and Bluetooth standards. We’re also hearing that Apple will strictly regulate sales of Lightning connectors for MFI partners, and that the cost per part for those components, while not unreasonable, is fairly high compared to other widely-available standards like USB.
iLounge reported earlier in October that the confab in Shenzen for MFI partners was planned for November, and that it would detail new rules. One of those new rules, according to one of our sources close to the program,is that Apple’s Lightning pin supply is controlled by the company itself, and it supplies approved MFI partners with production quantities of the pin once their product is determined to have met its standards and specifications. It sells them in volume, and our source says the pricing is actually very fair when you consider the advanced technology involved in the connector’s construction.
Another source believes that while Apple regulating sales isn’t surprising in the least, unauthorized copies from Chinese engineers are likely to still appear, but that using their products in accessories could incur legal action or goods being confiscated by customs authorities at border checkpoints. That source also noted that Apple seems to have provided additional security against low-quality copies, something supported by a new Chipworks teardown in which a potential security chip was found. Still, there is evidence that some companies are already ramping up to create off-brand Lightning cables at prices that undercut Apple’s, as one of our tipsters was able to negotiate a quote for volume orders of the same at between $ 10 and $ 12 per piece, with an estimated ship date or later this month.
Of course, as with any product as popular as Apple’s mobile devices, a shadow economy of unauthorized goods and accessories is bound to pop up. The good news on the official side is that once Apple lays out its MFI guidelines in this upcoming forum, we’ll likely see a lot more Lightning-enabled accessories come to market, with some hitting shelves in time for the holiday shopping rush. Apple’s extensive dock connector-based gadget ecosystem won’t be easy to replace, but getting the wheels turning on the expanded Lightning MFI program certainly should help.Related Posts:
A bit of good news among the seeming rubble that is the iPhone 5 launch: the $ 30 adapter you have to buy to connect your Lightning iPhone 5 to your old and busted iPod dock should stream audio without problem. The folks at audio company Line 6 did some “preliminary tests” and found that:Line 6 is still testing their accessories with iPhone 5, but founder Marcus Ryle tells CDM, “Based on what’s been announced, for audio products that operate using USB Host mode and follow Apple approved methods such as CoreAudio and CoreMIDI, I would not expect there to be any technical issue.” I asked if they had anything to say about future Lightning support, but Ryle responded, “We continue to be excited about providing music-making devices for iOS devices, but we can’t comment on what additional products might be upcoming.”
Note the weasel words here (“Based on what’s been announced”). While we’re still in Schrodinger’s Cat territory with the adapter and dock combo, it seems that a reputable company is standing by the position that the new adapter will work with standard audio devices. However, the jury is still clearly out.
Core Audio is an Apple standard for playing sound on Macs and iPods/iPhones. Some docks may require special features that can’t be replicated through lightning, but the chances of that are slim. In the end, I guess we just have to wait and hope our devices survive the transition.Related Posts:
Apple’s new iPhone 5 comes with a completely new connector, a first since the introduction of the 30-pin model alongside the 3rd generation iPod (though that version received updates including video capabilities along the way). The new Lightning connector is 80% smaller than the 30-pin version, and it has a much better name than “30-pin dock connector.” But in many other regards, it’s a bit of a mixed bag for consumers. And yet, after a few days of frequent use, I love it. Here’s why.
First, actually, let’s talk about what’s not so great about Lightning. There’s the proprietary nature of the connector, which mostly means that it’s not based on a universally adopted standard like Micro-USB. Micro-USB, many argue, would make things much easier; the cables are already everywhere, since accessory makers and other smartphone vendors use them frequently in their products. Replacements, both at home and in stores, would then be incredibly easy to drum up.
Another problem with Apple’s version of proprietary in the case of Lightning is that there are indications this version is much more locked down than previous versions, thanks to the inclusion of a so-called “authentication chip” identified by Double Helix Cables (via AppleInsider). According to Kyle Wiens of iFixit, who I spoke with earlier today, that means users should wait and get cables only from Apple itself or from properly licensed manufacturing partners – those knock-offs on eBay or elsewhere on the web are definitely a risk.
It doesn’t help that Apple’s own cables are in short supply (2-3 week lead time on Apple’s site), and expected to stay that way for a while at least due to the complicated manufacturing process involved in their creation. That’s causing some problems for iPhone 5 owners already, and is bound to lead to power deficiency issues. I’ve already ordered a couple of backups, but it could be a month before I see them. In the meantime, look for tweets from me similar to this one:
I foresee a lto of this. RT @film_girl: I left my one Lightening cable at home and have no way to charge my iPhone 5. Sad panda is sad!
— Ross Rubin (@rossrubin) September 25, 2012
Wiens says that users can expect Apple and third-party vendors to catch up, though he believes the Lightning connector isn’t built for dock integration in the same way as the aptly-named dock connector was, and in fact that’s likely why Apple didn’t release a dock of its own. Manufacturers aren’t likely to release the kind of one-size-fits-all docking products users have enjoyed up until now; instead, generation-specific devices aimed at the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5 alone become much more likely.
Despite the problems listed above, the Lightning connector is a great addition to Apple’s mobile devices. Mostly that’s because it can be inserted whatever way one wants, a trick achieved (as AppleInsider explained in detail this morning) via dynamic assignment of pin function. After years of using cables that are very specific about which way they’re plugged in, spending the past four days using one that couldn’t care less has been nothing short of amazing.
You might think I’m exaggerating, but think about it this way: take the most menial, mind-numbing repetitive task you do during the day, something that’s simple enough to accomplish on a one-time basis but that has to be done about 25 times, and just get rid of it. Forget it altogether. Doesn’t that feel better? Now multiply that feeling, since it’s making its way to iPods next, and will inevitably come to the iPad, too.
iPhone 5 users should brace for a change, if they haven’t already. Getting over a technology we’ve been dependent on for nearly 10 years as Apple users won’t be easy (and could be costly in environmental terms), but Lightning actually takes a fundamental, basic part of using and living with a mobile device and improves on it, something that can’t be said for Micro-USB or any other combined data/power connection standard, and that’s worth some temporary discomfort.Related Posts:
This is a video of a Toyota Land Cruiser that gets struck by lightning while driving down the street. Amazingly, it didn’t explode like they do in my dreams. No word what the driver did to deserve the wrath of God, but my guess is tailgating. God hates tailgaters. He loves novelty bumper stickers though. You seen mine? “It says ‘Jesus is my copilot’”. It’s true too. He’s not very good with maps but he will hold the wheel steady while I eat.
Hit the jump for a video of the it’s Friday, there’s nothing on the internet, and all I want to do is play Borderlands.
We spend hundreds of hours on board a variety of airplanes each year, most often en-route to a trade show or product launch event, but occasionally we have a rare opportunity to hop on board military aircraft, to test out unrelated products, or, even more unusually, to take a seat behind the yoke. Sadly that’s not what we’re doing today — well, not exactly. We are taking a closer look at the F-35 fighter jet at Lockheed Martin’s Fighter Demonstration Center just outside our nation’s capital, but, being in the middle of a corporate complex, there’s no actual Lightning II on hand. We were able to take a simulated ride, however — this isn’t your ordinary 4D sickness-inducing amusement park thrill. The F-35 is by far the most advanced Lockheed jet to date, with updated radar, all-internal weapons, improved tracking systems, 360-degree infrared coverage with a visor readout, and a full-stealth design, not to mention the incredibly capable glass cockpit powered by more than 9.3 million lines of software code, and an overall smoother experience for pilots that could end up spending shifts of 12 hours or longer in flight.
The F-35 has already seen plenty of time in the field in the US, with more than 500 flights already in 2012, and it’s set to make its way to the UK armed forces next week and the Netherlands later this year, but while the aircraft is quite familiar to the pilots tasked with flying it, the public hasn’t had an opportunity to experience Lockheed’s latest airborne warrior. We flew a simulated mission within a grounded duplicate of the flyable F-35 cockpit, and the capabilities and improvements are quite clear — you definitely don’t want to encounter an F-35 from a previous-generation aircraft. The dual 8 x 10-inch touch-enabled displays combine to give you 8 x 20 inches of real estate, with dedicated modules for the weapons systems, targeting, and navigation easily accessible — you can also move them to different panels depending on your current objective. A pair of joysticks at the left and right side provide direct access, letting you move a cursor to track enemy crafts or ground-based targets as well, and a very slick heads-up-display mounted in the helmet provides infrared mapping and instrument readouts. Overall, it seems to be an incredibly powerful system. Unfortunately, the mock-up on display here isn’t accessible to the public, but you can join us for a behind-the-scenes look just after the break.
Mad scientists at the army’s Picatinny Arsenal have developed a weapon that can shoot lightning bolts down laser beams to fry electronics and detonate explosives. But can it cook a hotdog?
“Air is composed of neutral molecules and is an insulator,” Fischer said. When lightning from a thunderstorm leaps from cloud to ground, it behaves just as any other sources of electrical energy and follows the path of least resistance.
“The plasma channel conducts electricity way better than un-ionized air, so if we set up the laser so that the filament comes near a high voltage source, the electrical energy will travel down the filament,” Fischer elaborated.
A target, an enemy vehicle or even some types of unexploded ordnance, would be a better conductor than the ground it sits on. Since the voltage drop across the target would be the same as the voltage drop across the same distance of ground, current flows through the target. In the case of unexploded ordnance, it would detonate, explained Fischer.
Have I ever told you I’ve been struck my lightning before? Well I was lying if I did. It’s just a fantasy of mine, it’s never actually happened. So yeah, the lightning bolt laser-gun. That’s cool and all, Army, but you know what you should get next? A nicer camera.
Thanks to richard, bb and joe, who agree it’s probably not the kind of gun you want to wave your hand in front of jokingly after it’s powered up. Pfft, I’ll do it for $ 1.