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WHAT IF: A Solar Storm Destroyed the Internet?

Solar Storm - NASA

The sun is always showering Earth with a mist of magnetized particles known as solar wind. For the most part, our planet’s magnetic shield blocks this electric wind from doing any real damage to Earth or its inhabitants, instead sending those particles skittering toward the poles and leaving behind a pleasant aurora in their wake. But sometimes, every century or so, that wind escalates into a full-blown solar storm — and, as new research presented at the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference warns, the results of such extreme space weather could be catastrophic to our modern way of life. In … Read more

Are We Inching Closer to Quantum Internet?

quantum internet - pixabay

When the precursor to today’s internet carried its first message in 1969, clunky but functional classical computers had already been around for decades. Now, physicists are designing the embryonic threads of a whole new internet for moving and manipulating a radically different type of information: the quantum bit, or “qubit.” And this time, they aren’t waiting for the corresponding computers to exist first. Two teams have now demonstrated an ensemble of technologies essential to building the backbone of such a network — devices known as quantum repeaters. The researchers managed, for the first time, to use light particles to bind … Read more

Say Hello to the “Hacker Proof” Quantum Internet

Internet - Deposit Photos

The advent of mass working from home has made many people more aware of the security risks of sending sensitive information via the internet. The best we can do at the moment is make it difficult to intercept and hack your messages — but we can’t make it impossible. What we need is a new type of internet: the quantum internet. In this version of the global network, data is secure, connections are private and your worries about information being intercepted are a thing of the past. My colleagues and I have just made a breakthrough, published in Science Advances, … Read more

FOR WRITERS: What Will The Internet Become?

internet - pixabay

FOR WRITERS Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer J. Scott Coatsworth: The internet today is vastly different from the one of twenty years ago – both in how we access it (fiber optics, mobile devices) and what it does and how it influences society, for good and ill. What will it be like in another twenty years? Dust off your crystal balls. Writers: This is a writer chat – you are welcome to share your own book/link, as long as it fits the chat, but please do so as part of a discussion about the topic. Join the chat

ONLINE: New Plugin Makes Internet Forms Gender Free

form gender

Denmark is making the internet gender-free. The organizers of Copenhagen Pride started a new initiative in response to unnecessary gender questions on online forms. Calling them not just ‘so yesterday’ but also very discriminatory, despite Denmark being very open. ‘At Copenhagen Pride we are proud to represent one of the first countries in the world to stop defining being transgender as a mental illness,’ they said. ‘But the gender struggle does not end there.’ So they set out to rid the internet of the need to tick a box confirming your gender. With Gender Free Internet we wish to give people all over the … Read more

For Writers: Smells Via the Internet

A researcher recently announced plans to market a device that would allow you to send smells across the internet, emitting the appropriate matching odor on the other end – let’s say the smell of a rose. Smell tech goes way back – in the fifties, there was Smell-o-Vision, releasing smells at appropriate parts of a film. So where is smell-tech going in the future? And what applications does it have in gay sci fi? This one should be fun. :P