Tuesday, January 1, 2008

update: quantum cryptography

about quantum cryptography
Quantum cryptography is the oldest and best developed application of the field of quantum information science. Although it is frequently perceived as an encryption method, it is really a scheme to securely distribute correlated random numbers between the communicating parties and thus better described as quantum key distribution (QKD). Any attempt at eavesdropping from a third party is guarantied to be detected by the laws of physics (quantum mechanics) and shows up as an increased error rate in the transmission (the QBER).

the xo laptop and quantum key distribution

Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer, Prof. Antia Lamas and others from the
Quantum Information Technology Lab
Quantum Optics Section
Department of Physics
National University of Singapore
2 Science Drive 3
117542 Singapore
have been at the 24C3, giving a lecture on Quantum Cryptography and Possible Attacks (Video) and demonstrating the hardware of a full working kit developed in the National University of Singapore for entanglement based QKD over a free space channel.

That device is accessible via usb and was built up at the ccc on the first floor. They got interested in the xo, sj gave them a few to play, and they started implementing their software for quantum key distribution.

After a few hours of tinkering with the kernel config, timezones (the xo's had to be synchronized with an accuracy of at least 0.5 sec) and software dependencies, they successfully tested the first 'entanglement based quantum key distribution' between xo laptops (Sa, 29.12.07)! And yes, they enjoyed it! : )

Sunday, December 30, 2007

@ 24C3 + new contributor program + quantum cryptography on the XO!

We (Tano, Chris, SJ, /me) are at the 24th CCC congress. First of all : great presentations, hilarious hacks and a very good atmosphere.

We presented OLPC there and asked people to sign up for the new contributor program. We immediately got some very good proposals.
And what is more.. there was a great group from the Univ. of Singapore which immediately ported their quantum cryptography key exchange software to the XO. So much for "the OLPC laptop is slow". The QDK program was doing FFTs and statistical correlations. In the pictures you can see a photon transmittor (sounds fancy ;-)doing the actual quantum crypto - the rest of the data comes in via USB to the XO where it is correlated with each other.

Other highlights from the 24C3 are flying quadcopters, remote controlled robot UAVs (flying planes) which were in France but given waypoints from here in Berlin. Also the openwrt guys made a proof of concept by porting openwrt to the XO. The astounding fact there - openwrt boots in around 20 seconds! Xterms open instantaneously and everything is much faster in general. Small is beautiful. 

Friday, December 14, 2007


By James Chung with apologies to Mr. Watterson

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

givemany hack

Those german hackers....

Three students from Germany started olpc-deutschland.de which looks like the Austrian grassroots organization. But seems like they want to order via the givemany program and then distribute locally. But this does not work, according to Samuel Klein (SJ). The give many program is only intended to reach educational institutions. I confirmed this in a Skype chat with SJ.

aaron 1:37 AM
question: there seems to be a collective order for givemany at http://olpc-deutschland.de (not known to me) .
They want to pool orders for givemany . I thought the givemany XOs should *only* go to schools/educational
institutes or be ordered by them? Is that so?
1:38 AM
since otherwise there would be the issue of reselling the XOs
2:20 AM
still here?
SJ Klein 2:33 AM
2:33 AM
2:33 AM
aaron 2:34 AM
SJ Klein 2:34 AM
yes, givemany laptops only go to ed institutions
aaron 2:34 AM

Monday, November 12, 2007

weekly OLPC.at status report #3

1. Ministry of education
2. Germany's OLPC group
3. Activity/Sugar handbook
4. Dr. Lozanov's DE-suggestobpaedia ;-)
5. presswork preview
6. we need more dev laptops

1. Ministry of education

We had another talk with the Austrian ministry of education concerning how the Austrian pilot can and how it should be handled.
Just one comment: getting there... be patient .

2. Germany's OLPC group

We had some talks with Bert Freudenberg, Joachim Wedekind, Yokoy about the founding of a german OLPC grassroots group.
Seems like we were able to pull something off... Germany, now it is your turn! ;-) Create an e.V. or so hm?

3. Activity / Sugar handbook

We all met on Saturday on our almost weekly jam session night. Christoph and Daja (Daniel Jahre) were continuing to write on the Activity / Sugar handbook. The others were busy planning, hacking on the a very nice embedded board (more about that later when it is ready), upgrading the XOs, coding , etc. Christoph got javascript and flash working and got SIM CITY to work ! yeah!

4. Dr. Lozanov's DEsuggestopaedia ;-)

Tano and /me went to Dr. Lozanov. He was one of the most famous bulgarian educators. Dr. Lozanov invented superlearning, a method which enables you to learn languages quicker. We wanted to talk with him if he could imagine some sort of audio .ogg files on the XO for language learning. But alas! he was not here. A big fat sign on his door showed us that he was not interested in his own suggestopaedia method. It read "Dr. Lozanov. International Institute for DEsuggestopaedia" wow!

5. Press preview

Tomorrow we will meet with FM4 (most famous youth radio station in .at) and the day after with ORF konkret (TV).

6. we need more dev laptops

Lindsay , Walter, SJ? Please, in case you have a few extra C1s or B4s... Jaume is stuck with coding XOTv. He is stuck waiting until the other XOs are free. So we need another one or two XOs to speed up.

Monday, November 5, 2007

weekly status report OLPC.at

This goes out to other grassroot groups. We would like to encourage you too to send out weekly info posts of what happened in your country. Helps to understand where the whole project is going and what local grassroot groups can do and what they achieved.

So, I will start with our group

OLPC Austria newsletter #2


We have been presenting the ideas behind OLPC and our XOs at the elevate.at festival in Graz Austria.
Graz is a lovely small city. It has the worlds biggest collection of medival knights armor, the "Schlossberg" a castle on a small mountain in the middle of the city and a very active young students scene.

Then moved on to Kiblix. See the posts below.
Graz and Kiblix was just amazing! So many people got interested. I guess we will see a OLPC Graz section soon.

A few days later we got an email about the wish to found of "OLPC Germany e.V." (eigentragener Verein, registered association) modeled after OLPC.at. Bert Freudenberg will be there, Yoko will be there,... folks are interested in doing that, let's see what happens.

After Graz we all needed some days off.

next steps

* Austrian pilot: there is lot of organizational work for that!
* activity challenge: expect some progress here
* activity handbook: same

I am curious about your grassroot experiences and progresses. Please report! Let's get more connected on these issues.

Friday, November 2, 2007

olpc in nigeria ^H aeh.. mandriave aehh... microsoft??

seems like mandriva got the classmate deal in nigeria . However! Francois from Mandriva was tricked by M$. Well, looks like it! woah! What kind of biz practices...