Microsoft and Quantum Computing

Microsoft recently announced they are developing a new programming language designed for Quantum Computing.  This (still unnamed) language will come with full Visual Studio integration as well as a Quantum Computing Simulator and will be available before the end of 2017.

Microsoft is also going to release *two* versions of the Quantum Computing Simulator. One version will run locally, the other version will be powered by Azure. The local version of the stimulator will offer up to 32 qubits and will need 32GB of RAM. Each additional qubit doubles the amount of memory required. The Azure version will scale up to 40 qubits.

This is fantastic news for anyone interested in Programming or Technology in general.  I’ve been very impressed with Microsoft over the last few years, their Visual Studio development tools, their SQL Server database product, Azure etc.  I’ve signed up to the Quantum Computing preview program and am looking forward to playing with their offering in due course.

Quantum Computing

More information on Microsoft and their Quantum Computing efforts can be found here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/quantum/default.aspx

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Security Mistakes [1]

We are constantly told that the most insecure password is one that relates to us directly and is easily remembered. That is not true, the most insecure password is the one that is written down in plain sight.

The only reason to write down a password and make it easily retrievable ( on a postit note stuck under the lid of a closed laptop is common ) is if it is too complicated for you to remember. One way to guarantee you won’t remember it is if it has to conform to someone else’s rules, for example:

stevencholerton.com

This is a screen grab from the installation of Windows 8. 

This from one of the worlds biggest software companies. Scary. This restriction very possibly causes the following issues for their customers:

  • A difficult to remember password, so written down and insecure
  • A password structure that is some would take as literal, ie: XXxx00## – again, less secure
  • A password structure now standard across gazillions of Windows systems – again, less secure
 
stevencholerton.com
stevencholerton.com
 
 
To summarise, well done Microsoft for participating in ‘Security Theatre’ – On the surface a higher security password is enforced, job done.  In reality, not really !

@stevechol