Simple-Minded String Theory

January 2, 2014

newsmanOccasional sunshine and a bit warmer than usual this afternoon on California’s north coast — not bad by any means, but way-different than the US Northeast, where right now 22 states and 100 million people are getting hammered by the weather — maybe a foot of snow amid blizzard conditions: “(This) is not a big New England storm, but it is a particularly cold New England storm.”

The storm system has been un-coyly named, “Hercules.”

Up here in Humboldt County, the big PM news are reports the suspect wanted in the murder of a popular local priest has been taken in custody. The priest, Eric Freed, was found yesterday in the rectory, victim to “significant blunt force trauma.” There was also evidence of forced entry.
Apparently, there’s a back story to the suspect, Gary Lee Bullock — from our local daily, The Times-Standard:

The facts of the case are as follows: On December 31, 2013 Bullock was the subject of a radio call regarding a person who was acting strangely in the Garberville area of southern Humboldt County.
Humboldt County deputies located and arrested Bullock for public intoxication.
He was taken to jail where he was rejected due to his erratic behavior.
Bullock was then taken to the hospital for evaluation where he became more agitated and had to be physically restrained by deputies.
Bullock was ultimately booked into jail at 4:34 p.m.
Gary Bullock was released at 12:34 a.m. on Jan. 1.
At about 2 a.m. hours officers from Eureka Police Department were dispatched to 615 H Street, regarding a suspicious person.
Officers contacted Bullock and found that Bullock was not intoxicated, and did not qualify for an emergency psychological hold.
Officers referred Bullock to an emergency shelter for the night.
Later that evening a security guard heard noise in the area of the church and went to investigate.
He saw a person matching Bullock’s description and directed him to leave the property after a short conversation.

A short while later, cops were called back to the church when Freed’s body was found in the rectory — nasty little story with a sense there’s more to come.

Meanwhile, the NSA stories do keep coming. This afternoon, another tidbit from the seemingly endless files of Eddie Snowden, and this one even further out there in the science-fiction module — the development of a “a cryptologically useful quantum computer.”
From the Washington Post:

The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields like medicine as well as for the NSA’s code-breaking mission.
With such technology, all forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.
Physicists and computer scientists have long speculated whether the NSA’s efforts are more advanced than those of the best civilian labs.
Although the full extent of the agency’s research remains unknown, the documents provided by Snowden suggest that the NSA is no closer to success than others in the scientific community.
“It seems improbable that the NSA could be that far ahead of the open world without anybody knowing it,” said Scott Aaronson, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

A working quantum computer would open the door to easily breaking the strongest encryption tools in use today, including a standard known as RSA, named for the initials of its creators.
RSA scrambles communications, making them unreadable to anyone but the intended recipient, without requiring the use of a shared password.
It is commonly used in Web browsers to secure financial transactions and in encrypted e-mails.
RSA is used because of the difficulty of factoring the product of two large prime numbers.
Breaking the encryption involves finding those two numbers.
This cannot be done in a reasonable amount of time on a classical computer.

Best use of quantum physics was in Michael Crichton’s ‘Timeline,’ about going back to the middle ages via a “quantum foam wormhole.”

As in the way of the InterWebs, a foam-filled lot, this techno-crazy: Authorities in Indiana said they arrested a man accused of stealing jars of human brain tissue from a museum warehouse and selling them on eBay.
How is that shit possible? A guy buying the brains tipped the cops to the guy selling the brains with the dictum they were stolen brains — down the rabbit hole over and over again.

And tomorrow’s Friday! String that supposition…

(Illustration above found here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.