The latest from Q branch – self-destructing electronics…

Friends, time to get your 007 on!  Engineers have developed a new kind of “transient electronics”, which are designed to disappear when they’re no longer needed.  This new class of electronics can dissolve and disappear on a pre-set schedule, within a few minutes or a few years, depending on when you want them to go away. They could live in the body and deliver drugs, they could stick on the exterior of buildings or tanks, and they can become compost instead of metal scrap.

The applications are endless but here’s a list of other items that have been built so far: transient transistors; diodes; wireless power coils; temperature and strain sensors; photodetectors; solar cells; radio oscillators and antennas; and digital cameras. There is a huge array of possible uses for this technology, which is partly funded by our friends at DARPA.  Pretty cool stuff!

SOURCE – Popular Science

MRAM – Semiconductors that run forwards and backwards?

Magnetic RAM (MRAM) could one day break modern encryption methods.  So says Engineers from Purdue University and University of California at Berkeley.

Modern encryption relies upon the fact that certain mathematical operations are inherently difficult to undo with an inverse action. Current generation hardware typically has a set of inputs and a set of outputs to handle the computation required by encryption algorithms. Importantly, there is no way to reverse the actions performed in hardware without major efforts and a lot of time.

Circuits have been designed to have an adjustable degree of randomness. The device has been named a P-bit to note the controlled probability of the output.  P-bits can be combined to build logic gates and arithmetic circuits capable of performing inverse operations. Circuits that act as adders can be made to perform subtractions while multiplier circuits can factor out products.

Pushing a stream of random bits into the output of a logic gate will cause the inputs of the gate to reveal what inputs would produce the output presented. With enough combinations fed through a circuit in reverse, the original input data can be found exponentially faster than traditional brute force methods.


Forest camouflage? In Afghanistan?

The U.S. government’s leading oversight authority for Afghanistan reconstruction said there is a criminal investigation into the $28 million boondoggle for forest camouflage for the Afghan army.  Yes, you heard that right, forest camo for the Afghan army.

John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), said he opened the investigation after the Pentagon was found to have spent more than $93 million in taxpayer dollars on Afghan National Army (ANA) uniforms that used a forest camouflage pattern, despite the country’s scarcity of forests.

“This $93 million procurement demonstrates what happens when people in the government don’t follow the rules”

No shit… The Pentagon bought the 1.3 million uniforms though the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan over 10 years “without testing its effectiveness and costing up to $28 million more than needed,” Sopko said.  The SIGAR report findings, released in June, was widely panned as a major misuse of taxpayer dollars. Even Defense Secretary Jim Mattis weighed in last week, condemning the alleged waste as “cavalier” spending in a memo to Pentagon officials.

Sopko recommended fixes to the Pentagon’s personnel system, saying that such wasteful spending continues to occur because of lack of accountability and is made all the more difficult due to annual rotation requirements.

“They’re never held accountable for their screw up because they’re not around when the screw up is discovered by us,” he said. “By the time we get there – it’s like the detective show you see on TV, if we’re lucky there’s a chalk outline of the body, but usually it’s seven years old.”

Friends, take a minute and let the CSTC-A Leadership know your thoughts on the matter… Unbelievable…


Quantum-Proof Blockchains?

Researchers in Russia say they’ve developed and tested the world’s first blockchain that won’t be vulnerable to encryption-breaking attacks from future quantum computers.  This technique could be a means of protecting fast-growing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum which are safe from today’s code-breaking methods, but could be exposed by tomorrow’s vastly more powerful quantum machines.  A team from the Russian Quantum Centre in Moscow says its quantum blockchain technology has been successfully tested with one of Russia’s largest banks, Gazprombank, and could be used as a proof of concept to underpin secure data encryption and storage methods in the future.

Blockchain what?

Blockchain is a publicly accessible, decentralized ledger of recorded information, spread across multiple computers on the internet.  This kind of distributed database is the underlying technology that makes Bitcoin possible where it maintains a list of time-stamped digital transactions that can be viewed by anyone on the platform.  The idea is that the blockchain frees users on the network from needing any kind of middleman or central authority to regulate transactions or exchanges of information.  Because all interactions are recorded in the distributed ledger, the blockchain makes everything a matter of public record, which, when it comes to Bitcoin, is what ensures that transactions are legitimate, and that units of the currency aren’t duplicated.  Check out the video below…

But there’s a problem…

When a computer conducts a transaction, the system uses digital signatures for authentication purposes and while that protection layer may offer strong enough encryption to secure those exchanges today, they won’t be able to withstand quantum computers.

“In our quantum-secure blockchain setup, we get rid of digital signatures altogether.  Instead, we utilize quantum cryptography for authentication…”

Quantum cryptography depends on entangled particles to work, and the researchers’ system used what’s called quantum key distribution, which the researchers say makes it possible to make sure nobody’s eavesdropping on private communications.


California Democrats Prefer Criminals Over Legal Gun Owners…

In a move that absolutely defies the slightest semblance of logic, the Democrat controlled California State Senate passed a measure that will lower the sentences for felons who used a gun in the commission of their crimes.  Yes, you read that right.  They are reducing sentences for criminals using guns.  These are the very same Democrats that constantly create and pass stricter and stricter gun control laws, and who constantly scream, cry and whine about how guns are bad.

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said he introduced the bill after a 17-year-old riding in a car involved in a drive-by shooting was sentenced to 25 years in prison even though he denied shooting the gun.

A criminal denied committing the crime for which they are in prison?  Is this moron serious?  Prisons are filled with people who “didn’t do it.” The bill, SB 620, passed based solely on Democrat votes.  Not a single Republican voted for it, and even some Democrats were not stupid enough to pass this ridiculous bill.  This bill just furthers California’s continued (idiotic) approach of going soft on crime, which started with AB 109, followed by Prop 47, and most recently topped off with Prop 57.


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