Weekly Roundup of Tech News – 5/16/2021

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Programming Languages: Python founder wants to improve its performance

    • What: Python founder, Guido von Rossum, wants to make Python work faster similar to its counterparts like C++.
    • How: Microsoft hired Guido von Rossum after he retired and allowed him to pursue whatever he wanted. He focused on improving the performance for Python with other developers hired by Microsoft.
    • Why it matters: Guido von Rossum committed that it will not break the existing code and will incrementally improve the language. This may allow application developers to pay attention to Python language which has been primarily used extensively in data communities.

CyberSecurity: Colonial Pipeline paid $5 million ransom to the hackers

    • What: According to Verge, Colonial Pipeline paid around $5 million ransomware money to the hackers who then released the keys for un-encrypting the servers and resuming operations.
    • How: Before the COVID19 pandemic, the systems were managed through intranet and the employees went to work. Due to the pandemic some of the network was opened through the internet and employees were working from home social distancing themselves in managing the network. Hackers gained access through the vulnerabilities and closed out the systems.
    • Why it matters: The hack exposed the vulnerability of public systems and enabled President Biden to sign a law into force to handle such cyber attacks. The executive order outlines a number of initiatives, including reducing barriers to information sharing between the government and the private sector, mandating the deployment of multi-factor authentication in the federal government, establishing a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, and creating a standardized playbook for responding to “cyber incidents.”

Quantum Computing: Honeywell released its quantum computing platform

What: Honeywell published an article claiming that its quantum computer can achieve the volume of 64 with only 6 qubits as opposed to 27-qubit processor of IBM.  This will significantly reduce the size of the devices.

How: Honeywell used trapped ion technology as opposed to the superconducting ions (used by IBM and Google) to power its device. This enabled the cross connectivity between the ions to encode more information.

Why it matters: With this new breakthrough in the quantum race, trapped ion technology has become a serious contender. Honeywell claimed that it will enable the company to release the world’s most powerful quantum computer within the next three months. This will pave the way to solve multitude of practical problems that are waiting to be solved with the limitation of computing power.