The ultimate goal of quantum supremacy would be to use qubits to crack encryption codes.  NY Times

I have read this many times, about the latest advance in computer technology: it will be able to crack encryption codes.

I have a simple question: if an application is programmed to deny further attempts after three, or maybe five incorrect password entries, how will even the most powerful quantum computer in the world be able to “crack” the encryption?  Sure, it can bombard the server with every conceivable combination of numbers and letters and symbols, but after each try, most servers will lock the user out for at least 20 minutes.  So it will have to wait until the application resets the login function, which, obviously, can be as long as a diligent programmer wants it to be.

So, how would a very, very powerful computer get around it?

Is that statement in the article just a glib teaser, designed to excite the reader?  I think it is.  Or perhaps they envision a computer that is so smart, it can hack into the operating system of the target device and over-ride the login time-out restrictions.  But then, maybe we could use an equally smart computer to devise an operating system that cannot be easily hacked.

Speaking of super computers…

Microsoft warns users against putting applications in any folder other than “program files”.  Why?  Because if you do, Microsoft’s “hotfixes” may not install correctly.  So why is that a bad thing?  Here’s why:

Microsoft hotfixes, updates, and security updates may not be installed correctly.
New versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Windows Media Player may not be installed correctly.

In other words, if you don’t put applications in Microsoft’s preferred location, the applications will not be in Microsoft’s preferred location.  If you don’t get the most current hotfix, you might not be able to install the latest hotfix.

I install most of my applications in a folder called C:\apps, and continue to harbour a burning resentment over the fact that Microsoft will just go ahead and create folders under “program files” anyway, just to be really, really, definitively stupid.

The real message is, we own your computer.  When you browse your computer and see a label called “my computer”, it means Bill Gates’ computer– not yours.


The Telephone Shoe

If Microsoft had invented the telephone, we would now have telephone-shoes and telephone-lamps and telephone-doors and telephone-clocks and telephone-pants and telephone-chairs and so on, because the telephone allows you to “collaborate and share information” and every technology will fail to promote collaboration and information-sharing because the problem is not the technology but the employee; but every employer believes that a new form of an existing technology will work better even if the old one didn’t really fail.

That is why we have Sharepoint and Onedrive and Outlook and Teams and Facebook and Twitter and Yammer and Skype and Messenger and so on and so on and so on. They’re like diet plans. The reason people keep buying the next one is precisely because the old one did not work.  It didn’t magically eliminate the bad habits that really caused the problems.

Not one of these applications really provides any real communications functionality that did not exist 20 years ago in Eudora. They just provide more fonts and… emojis. And they facilitate Microsoft taking over the management of your company’s information systems so that you will have to pay them forever in order to continue to access your company’s data because you will not even know where your files actually reside.

They are on Azure. They are in the cloud. The cloud is a Microsoft server you can only reach with a Microsoft application which will be licensed, not purchased.

And if you read this far, you have too much time on your hands.