As more and more of our personal information is stored in our smart phones, consumers are understandably concerned about how safe their phone security really is. Recently, researchers have developed a "quantum entropy source" for random number generation that's capable of fitting into a phone. This could offer new levels of safety and encryption for mobile transactions. A quantum entropy source helps complicate random number generation because, every 'random' number starts with a 'seed' number chosen by the computer, and then the computer does additional math to complicate it. This means that these fandom number generators If hackers can discover the reasoning behind the seed number, or the math done to shake things up, then they're halfway towards getting to your data. However, that's where quantum mechanics can come in. Quantum processes (the behaviors of energy on the atomic scale) are truly random, and because of that can generate a truly random number better than any previous random number generator. Previously, these quantum number generators haven't been particularly fast or small, but the latest devices developed run quickly enough to encrypt GBs of data every second, fast enough to encrypt voice calls, video, and financial data in real time. They're also small enough that two of these generators put together are only 6 by 2 millimeters, small enough to include in a phone without bulking its size. Check out this Popular Mechanics article for the full details.
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Last week, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and of course the tech world is ablaze. Notable features include:
- Improved cam specs - the front and back cameras are upgraded, and the 7 Plus features a dual rear camera that allows for 2x optical zoom, and 10x digital. The new iPhones also support the higher grade, RAW image format.
- Removal of the headphone jack - given that Bluetooth and wireless headphones options still don't offer the sound quality of wired headphones, most techies aren't happy.
- A storage option upgrade - the lowest amount of storage offered in the new iPhones is 32GB, and they go up to 256GB.
Last week, Facebook's Internet.org initiative took an unexpected hit when the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its launchpad, destroying the satellite in the process. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the accident. Because essentially everyone with current access to internet has a Facebook account, the company has turned its attention to connecting more people to the internet. This initiative, known as Internet.org, aims to bring selective internet access (read: access to/through Facebook) to a number of developing countries. The SpaceX rocket that exploded was set to launch an Eutelsat communication satellite called Amos-6. Amos-6 would have, among other things, been used to beam internet in large portions of Africa for Facebook. This rocket launch/satellite project was years in the making. While covered by insurance companies, the incident will mean significant delays to Facebook's Internet.org rollout endeavor. However, the Eutelsat satellite is not the only way Facebook is working to bring internet to developing countries; other efforts include using lasers, or the giant drones of the Aquila project.
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