an insulated electrical wire is ordinarily
no big deal, but it's another matter when
the wire is only 100 atoms thick. It's an
even bigger deal when you can make trillions
of them at a time in a test tube.
make crypto keys
Using voiceprints to ID people isn't new, but Bell
Labs researchers have extended the concept by combining
voice prints with passwords to produce cryptographic
keys. The aim is to give the venerable password
a security upgrade without burdening users.
corrals tiny bits
As the areas of disk drives that store the individual
1s and 0s of computer information get smaller, they
become less stable. Fencing bits in helps them hold
on to the data, but many methods have proved quite
costly. A flexible stamp that has the potential
to bang out billions of fenced-in bits at once promises
to make more capacious disks affordable.
devices arranged fractally
A lot has been made of the virtual structure of
the Internet, from concentrations of links to the
bow tie shape of the Web, but not as much attention
has been paid to the physical structure of the Net.
It turns out that the distribution of the routing
devices that bind the Internet together forms a
fractal pattern. This insight could help engineers
keep the Internet growing smoothly.
scheme lightens load
If full-blown quantum computers, which promise to
leave electronic computers in the dust, are successfully
demonstrated, we may be able to say the feat was
pulled off with mirrors. A new optical quantum computing
scheme shows it is possible to make fantastically
fast photon-based machines using a manageable number