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Breaking Quantum Cryptography's 150-Kilometer Limit

Scientists want to put an unbreakable-code generator on the International Space Station

2 min read

Researchers in Europe in the field of quantum cryptography have demonstrated for the first time that it should be possible--with the help of satellites--to communicate across thousands of kilometers using unbreakable codes whose security is guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics. For many business or government uses, the codes must be usable between cities and continents, but quantum cryptography machines today are limited to about 150 kilometers by the length of individual optical fibers and the loss of photons within them.

The team that performed the experiment, made up of researchers from Italy and Austria, did not actually encrypt a message, but they demonstrated a key principle: the detection of single photons sent from a satellite. This month they will present a plan to the European Space Agency to install a quantum cryptography system on the International Space Station (ISS) and use it to perform the first satellite-based quantum communication.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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