Crypto and the Olympics

I finished reading Simon Singh’s The Code Book yesterday. It is a short (350 pages compared David Kahn’s book which is over 1000) history of cryptography from the ancient Greek’s Linear B script all the way up to quantum cryptography. I think it’s unique in that he not only describes the code to you but takes you through the process of breaking it and manages to tie in the intriguing back story, as well. You get cryptography, cryptanalysis, and a mystery story in each chapter. I’d probably recommend it to anyone with an interest in cryptography (no math required).
The last chapter (A Quantum Leap into the Future) also manages to serve as a great introduction to quantum theory. He provides a short overview of the two camps: superposition (the cat is both dead and alive) and the many-worlds interpretation (the multi-verse, the cat is dead in one universe and alive in the other). And yes, this does tie into crypto!

It appears that WiFi will not be used at the 2004 Olympics in Athens because of security reasons. Could this be a sign that the general public is catching on to the insecurities of 802.11b/g/a? Certainly the people who put on the Olympics aren’t the general public but I wouldn’t consider them hackers or geeks, either.

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