Be on the wave or under it
The News Ė 12/12/02
Quantum Cryptography Rides the Light
The second part of the Why
You Need to Get Hip to HIPAA series will appear in a future
Thereís one thing thatís sure
about the information security field: Anything you can hide,
I can find, given enough time and enough computing power. With
peer-to-peer (P2P) networks becoming more popular (see the story
in Briefly Noted), the kind of raw computing horsepower necessary
to crack even the most powerful encryption scheme will soon
be available, if it isnít already. Using P2P distributed computing,
last year one group discovered the largest prime number yet
known, and another deciphered a message encoded with RSA Security's
RC5-64 encryption algorithm.
So thatís why new developments
in quantum cryptography seem so promising. Rather than encrypting
a message using a very large key and sending it using traditional
electronic networks, quantum cryptography encrypts the message
and sends it on optical networks as a stream of single photons.
Eavesdroppers canít sample or divert the light stream without
The science is a good deal
more complicated than this, and the technique faces some real
world limitations. For example, besides being limited to optical
networks Ė and unworkable over the Internet Ė current quantum
cryptography has a very limited range and speed. Recently, scientists
at Northwestern University sent data at 250mbps (megabits per
second), still pokey, but more than 1,000 times faster than
what was achievable with existing quantum technology. Swiss
Quantique (stupid name alert) successfully distributed quantum
keys over a 60 km link at 1000bps.
Other companies working on
this technology include IBM, NEC, Verizon, BBN Technologies,
and Magiq Technologies (Jeff Bezos is an investor). Each promises
to deliver workable commercial products in 2003.
It remains to be seen
whether you and I will benefit from quantum cryptography, but
itís a cinch that the US military and other large operations
that can afford all optical networks will be using the technique
in years to come.
- Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: CTOMentor
has released a new white paper entitled, How to Use Microsoft
Outlook to Deal with Spam. The paper describes how
to set up email rules to route spam email messages that have
been tagged by a spam filter to a special spam folder for
Also, check out the article I wrote for the Taylor Harkins
newsletter entitled, Wherever they go, there you are about the wireless service
known as Short Messaging Service (SMS). The article points
out how marketers can use Ė carefully Ė this new way to contact
Iím featured in Manyworldsí Thought
Leader Showcase, which lists a few of the white papers
Finally, the CTOMentor wireless white paper, You Can Take
It with You: Business Applications of Personal Wireless Devices,
is available at ITPapers.
- Gateway Gets P2P: Hereís a great
business model. Letís say youíre a large, formerly direct-only,
seller of personal computers. Letís say you got the astonishingly
bad idea of opening storefronts to sell them retail. And letís
say you called these stores, oh, I donít know, Gateway Country.
Letís further say you now have thousands of demo models sitting
on showroom floors doing pretty much nothing most of the time.
Sounds like a bunch of non-performing assets to me.
Well, now Gateway has found a way to monetize those assets
by renting processing time to companies and organizations
with huge computing projects. Gateway has partnered with veteran
peer-to-peer (P2P) company United
Devices to offer distributed computing resources to anyone
able to pony up 15 cents per PC per hour. Gateway's 8,000
PCs can deliver 14 teraflops (trillions of calculations per
second) of computing muscle. This sudden discovery of a new
revenue stream for very little investment puts IBMís recently
announced plans to invest $10 billion in on-demand P2P computing
in a different light.
For more information on P2P computing, see the CTOMentor white
paper, Peer-to-Peer Computing and
Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear.
- But Will It Work at Home? Congress
in October introduced a bill that would create an Office of
Global Internet Freedom. The new bureaucracy would fight Internet
blocking and helping Web users in countries such as China
and Syria get around censorship efforts and avoid punishment.
The bill also would allocate $50 million each year over the
next two years to develop and promote anti-blocking technology.
I just wonder how we would feel if another country set up
an agency devoted to circumventing our information policies
like, say, copyright.
- Donít Delay Supply Chain Modernization:
Think you wait to modernize your supply chain? Think you
can wait until Information Technology comes back into fashion
as a strategic initiative before investing in electronic commerce?
In the aftermath of the tragic events on 9/11, the worldís
most savvy marketing organization, WalMart, showed how a real
agile supply chain works. According to Geoff Colvin, Editorial
Director, Fortune Magazine, on the Saturday following the
tragedy, marketers at Kmart noticed that customers were buying
a lot of flags. They contacted their suppliers to order a
large shipment, but were told they were out of flags. Several
days before that, on the morning following the tragedy, marketers
at Target also noticed the run on flags. When they contacted
their suppliers, they also found that no flags were available.
How come? Because at 8:00 PM the evening of 9/11, the buyers
at WalMart had ordered every flag available in the supply
Will it take a disaster to convince companies that there is
a sustainable competitive advantage in creating and maintaining
an agile, responsive supply chain?
- Yet Another Entertainment Suit: From
the I Hate My Customers Dept. comes news that the Motion
Picture Association of America is suing nine people in eight
states for infringing copyrights by allegedly selling illegal
DVD copies of movies on eBay. The DVDs in question were apparently
bootlegged in Asia.
- Windows Cheaper Than Linux? From the
He Who Pays the Piper Dept. comes this next item regarding
a recent white paper authored by research group International
Data Corp. The paper compared Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
for Windows and Linux servers across five enterprise computing
workload situations at 104 companies. Interestingly, IDC found
that Windows 2000 offered a lower five-year total cost in four
of the five selected workloads. Who sponsored the white paper?
Time Traveler in Trouble
OK, I get lots of spam, more than 85 pieces a day. And Iíve
seen it all, all the male enhancement, get out of debt, work
at home, sexy co-eds, and Nigerian money laundering come-ons.
At least I thought Iíd seen it all, until a very strange bit
of spam landed in my spambox last week with a slightly weird
subject line: DWG Needed! The text of the message was:
If you are a Time Traveler I am going
to need the following:
1. A modified mind warping Dimensional
Warp Generator # 52 4350a series wrist watch with memory adapter.
2. Reliable carbon based, or silicon
based time transducing capacitor.
I need a reliable source!! Please
only reply if you are reliable. Send a (SEPARATE) email to me
A quick search on Google turns up hundreds
of hits for this exact message. So itís spam, right? But whatís
the point? One site suggested either a time traveler is really
in trouble, or someone is trying to popularize another goof
along the lines of All your base are belong
. Others have suggested that hosting a copy of the
letter on your site could generate traffic due to all the folks
receiving the email who then go to their favorite search engine
to find out information. But that would be wrong.
Return to Mikeís
Copyright © 2000-2008, StratVantage Consulting, LLC. All rights
Please send all comments to
Looking to light up your office, your business, or your city?
The WiMAX Guys™ can help you easily provide secure wireless Internet to your customers.
The WiMAX Guys specialize in designing and running wireless networks. We're experienced, we're quick, and we won't cost you an arm and a leg. Give us a call today provide your users a wireless Internet experience tomorrow.
Alert SNS Reader Hall of Fame
About The Author
a New Service from StratVantage
Canít Get Enough of ME?
In the unlikely event
that you want more of my opinions, Iíve started a Weblog. Itís the fashionable
thing for pundits to do, and Iím doing it too. A Weblog is a datestamped
collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a Web
page. If youíd like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do,
you can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows
you FTP access, and the free software from www.blogger.com.
This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts
to your Weblog.
Iíve dubbed my Weblog
entries ďStratletsĒ, and they are available at www.stratvantage.com/stratlets/.
Let me know what you think.
Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of
the latest emerging trends.
14, 1928 - July 5, 2003
Jane C. Ellsworth
20, 1928 - July 20, 2003