back to article Finally a use for quantum computers: Finding LOL-cats faster

Boffins at the University of Southern California have been looking at applications for quantum computing, and discovered that it's going to make for some serious search engine tech. Not that quantum computing is practical yet – the first quantum circuits are experimental devices at best – but it is possible to emulate a basic …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unfortunately, applying quantum computing to Pageranking LOLCats has a tendency to report the page as both highly ranked and lowly ranked until the page is viewed - at which time the Pagerank collapses to a single value, but by then it's too late.

  2. Anon


    Schrödinger's LOL-cats?

    1. Blitterbug
      Thumb Up

      Re: Schrödinger's LOL-cats?

      Best. Comment. Ever.

  3. Archibald Trumpetbeetle

    Some joke about doing something fast

    but not knowing where it is

  4. Christoph

    Next-generation ciphers

    All very well switching new stuff to next-generation ciphers, but there's a problem that essentially all existing encrypted data will be easily crackable with quantum computers.

    That's not too bad if you can re-encrypt all your stored data and every single one of the backups, but if it's ever got out on the web you've had it.

    1. Yeik
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Next-generation ciphers

      I was thinking the same thing. Except what if they are out of reach for 90% of the people, we are stuck with needing encryption that requires a quantom computer, our current tech would take years to do any sort of encryption and the encryption we can do would be cracked in seconds. The only safe place to store things, is in your mind... with a tinfoil hat... in a bunker 150 feet down.

      1. anon9045839452
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Next-generation ciphers

        what about plausibly deniable encryption? quantum computers cant find your hidden partitions... can it?

        1. pixl97

          Re: what about plausibly deniable encryption?

          Lets say that quantum computers can break truecrypt volumes with high encryption in something crazy like 5 minutes... they will break your main volume and get the header from it, then they can crack away at the space between your header volume and your main volume and see if anything decrypts, it might take it longer, but if it's that much faster then even a hidden volume will fail quickly with a brute force attack.

    2. Chris Miller

      Don't panic!

      As has been pointed out before on these pages, the only* quantum computing algorithms (both due to Shor) that affect cryptography are for factorisation (RSA) and discrete logs (Diffie-Hellman). The present state of the art of QC in the lab is 4-bits, demonstrating very quickly that 15=3x5. There's a long way to go before we see factorisation of 4096-bit integers.

      And if we do get to that point, there's ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) which (again AFAIK) is not affected by QC. Symmetric encryption (all the above stuff is mainly used for key exchange) is not affected either.

      * published - maybe NSA/GCHQ know something we don't, but then maybe they know how to break RSA even without resorting to QC.

      1. Archimedes_Circle

        Re: Don't panic!

        Thank you, saved me a rant. However, symmetric key sizes are effectively halved, so that 2**256 retains the effective strength of 2**128. Also, ECC is vulnerable to an adapted version of shor's algorithm. There are several QC secure algorithms, with homomorphic encryption being first off my mind.

    3. Bounty

      Re: Next-generation ciphers

      Well all existing encrypted data using known a known cipher or pattern of ciphers might be in jeopardy. Being obscure would still help in this regard I believe.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    AI Course, AI Course, Future Kingdoms for AI Course .. to punishingly paraphrase a Shakespeare line

    It is not secure cryptography which has the future on edge and any and all smarter elites into Great Game play/Right Royal Charades in an increasingly desperate panic, it is sensitive stealthy serial steganography.

    State secrets and highly disruptive, novel intellectual property [revolutionary information processing for advanced intelligence systems with command and control of human power sources and virtual machine engines] rumbled and further invented and developed by relatively unknown and practically anonymous and mercenary, free-lancing non-state actors, hidden and sharing freely in plain sight, protocols and instruction sets in simple clear, highly sensitive text, safe transmitted and securely protected by virtue of both the arrogance and ignorance of the unsuspecting masses/undereducated primitives/sub-prime algorithms.

    And if you can't believe that, is the concept perfectly proven right before your very eyes/hearts and minds.

    And now? Well, what else other than to flood the markets and create turmoil and mayhem, fortunes and reputations [and destroy many of the same] with CHAOS in Steganographic Command and Virtual Control of Novel Invisible Power and Proprietary Intellectual Property [Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems in NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Programs with SMARTR Options and/or Derivative Pogroms]

  6. sisk

    Secret quantum computers anyone?

    So quantum computers can waltz through all current encryption like it's not there. I'm beginning to see a good reason for any state sponsered lab that actually managed to build one to not tell anyone they succeeded. For all we know the NSA and CIA could already have quantum mainframes chomping through 'secure' communications while keeping the rest of the world in the dark about next generation computers. Sure, they'll claim to just be looking for terrorists, but can you really trust them with such power?

    I'm going. Mine's the one with the well thumbed copies of 1984 and Brave New World in the pockets.

  7. Mr Young

    "looking at applications for quantum computing"?

    So they testing their quantum computer eh? Does it work? Faster cat videos - ye man

  8. John Deeb

    storage story

    Cheap mass storage will prevent the quantum decryption threat. If the encryption scheme becomes completely variable and stored with the private key/password (or by reference) then the availability of enough significantly different algorithms at both sender and receiver will increase any potential decryption time many times over. And there's AFAIK no theoretical limit to the amount of proper ciphers one could device which all are generating cryptographically random output. Storage kills the computing star :)

  9. Naughtyhorse

    Oh Noes!!!11!!!!!!!

    if this comes to pass then the hero in tech movies/tv series wont have enough time to say,

    "hmmmm it's encrypted, this will take a bit longer"

    before it's cracked.

    this must be stopped!

    1. stuartnz

      Re: Oh Noes!!!11!!!!!!!

      Don't fret, the CSI spwan and their kind still be saying "can you enhance that?", and then proceed to zoom in on Cassini's photo of Earth to see what colours someone's nosehairs are.

  10. streaky
    Black Helicopters

    Big calculations.

    Quantum computing isn't so much about doing big calculations as it is about superposition - you can do lots of calculations at once, which might not hold useful for google judging by the article.

    What doesn't work for google does work for breaking crypto though, where you're trying to factor a number many times at once, which will most definitely be the first use for it.

  11. The last doughnut


    If you type Qoogle into Qoogle you could open up a portal to hell

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