Weekly Roundup #3

Apple's iPhone 5 was released this week. It lived up to most of the speculation, including a 4-inch Retina display and mostly-aluminum construction. I'm probably in the minority here, but the two-tone throwback to the original iPhone just isn't my thing. If I were to upgrade, I would probably opt for the white variant simply because the white/silver combination is more pleasing than the black/slate.

The idea that a computer in the future could simulate an entire history of human experiences is being theorized by a NASA scientist. In summary: according to Moore's Law, we may produce a computer within the next 30 years that has the computational power to simulate billions of people and their individual experiences.

It's an interesting philosopical perspective — and that's mostly how I am approaching this personally — but it does beg the esoteric question: are we all just products of a computer simulation?

I've begun looking into PGP — a set of cryptographic tools that has been around for a long time. There are a lot of really cool applications of PGP, some of which I don't think have been taken advantage of fully. The idea of PGP and a Web of Trust has the potential to solve a lot of cryptographic issues, however there has been a change of preference over the past few years. Most applications that need to communicate securely on the Internet rely heavily on certificate authorities which, naturally, have morphed into commercial entities.

However, PGP stands on its own regardless of how it is or isn't applied in practice. I'd like to take some time in the near future to experiment with the viability of a PGP-backed messaging application. I'm sure there are many out there already, but doing this will hopefully give me a good excuse to dive into Go or another language and learn more about PGP at the same time.

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