Are there hidden gems in Dollarama’s tech section? [Part 2]

Are there hidden gems in Dollarama’s tech section? [Part 2]
You might not realize it, but Dollarama sells a wide variety of tech products, ranging from wireless speakers, headphones, PC peripherals to wireless chargers, smart lights, power banks and more, all for under $5. Last month, I outlined five tech products available at Dollarama, with some of them turning out to be actual tech gems that cost under $5, while others didn’t work at all, as expected. Now I’m back with round two to see if digging around your local Dollarama for cheap tech is worth the trip. Electra’s Studio Headphones Electra’s Studio Headphones aren’t a product I’d recommend to an audiophile, though for a casual listener looking for pocket-friendly headphones, they’re not an awful option because they’re foldable and affordable. The headphones cost $4.25 and resemble the generic headphones airlines give you on long...

Quantum computing’s threat to crypto — Part 2

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Work on quantum computers is accelerating as developers grow more confident that they will be able to address problems that are intractable with classical computing. That may be good news in some contexts, but bad news for cryptography. The concern is that quantum computers will crack the cryptographic schemes that protect our online lives, financial systems, and communications networks. An algorithm to do so has been around since 1994, awaiting the development of a quantum computer upon which it can run. The challenge in cryptography is to find a way in which two entities can communicate securely over a public channel. This is easy to do if the entities can meet and share a secret for use as the basis of a coding scheme. It’s more difficult if the two entities never meet, and so cannot share a secret in this way. Public key schemes address the...

This USB-C gadget from hell brings back the worst part of USB-A

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USB-C ports, I am occasionally forced to admit, are somewhat confusing. Different standards, different charging speeds, different data and video capabilities, proprietary labels like Thunderbolt, all on top of identical-looking plugs — it can be a lot. But one thing that USB-C ports had going for them was a solution for one of the biggest annoyances of USB-A — it’s no longer possible to insert a USB cable the “wrong” way, thanks to the symmetrical design of the plugs. Or, at least, it was, until mechanical engineer Pim de Groot came along with a USB-C gadget from hell, which does behave differently depending on which way your USB-C plug is facing. And I hate it so, so much. The device itself is rather simple: when the USB-C cable is plugged in one way, a green LED lights up on the top of the device. Plug it in reversed, and the bottom...

A brief history (so far) of quantum computing [PART 2]

Feature quantum computing Quantum Information Science
Most of us have become aware of quantum computing in recent years. As is often the case with significant scientific and technical advances, the origins occurred decades ago. Subsequent theorizing, elaborating, tinkering and engineering have stretched over the intervening decades. Then, all this work results in various prototypes. Eventually, reasonably finished products appear that an end-user without a Ph.D. and a supporting lab team can use. Quantum computing is the use of quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations. Computers that perform quantum calculations are known as quantum computers. The following pages describe the highlights of the development of quantum computing so far. Click here for Part 1, and check back later this week for part 3! D-Wave Systems Inc. – 16-qubits D-Wave demonstrated...

A brief history (so far) of quantum computing [PART 1]

21 Quantum Supremacy Eric Lucero Google 1
Most of us have become aware of quantum computing in recent years. As is often the case with significant scientific and technical advances, the origins occurred decades ago. Subsequent theorizing, elaborating, tinkering and engineering have stretched over the intervening decades. Then, all this work results in various prototypes. Eventually, reasonably finished products appear that an end-user without a Ph.D. and a supporting lab team can use. Quantum computing is the use of quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations. Computers that perform quantum calculations are known as quantum computers. The following pages describe the highlights of the development of quantum computing so far. Check back on Monday for part 2! Richard Feynman At Cornell and Caltech, Richard Feynman was a theoretical physicist known...