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Geneva Vote Will Use Quantum Cryptography

First real-world use of physics-based encryption

2 min read

16 October 2007—A system that produces unbreakable encryption based on the quantum properties of light will be used to secure the electronic transmission of votes in a Swiss election next week. Grégoire Ribordy, CEO of Geneva-based id Quantique, the company that built the system, considers it to be the first real-world use of quantum cryptography and a major step toward creating a larger engineering test bed for the technology in Geneva.

Id Quantique approached Geneva’s regional government last August to demonstrate quantum cryptography devices, and officials immediately upped the ante. ”They said, ’Okay, we’re interested, but we’d like you to do something even more. We’d like you to use it in a real setting,’ ” says Ribordy, who cofounded the company. The 21 October Swiss parliamentary election provides a good opportunity to cut the ribbon on quantum cryptography, he says.

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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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