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Re: WhiSSLing in the Dark

>Netscape Encrypted Data Cracked
>Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 18 (NB) -- ...
>Many companies working on secure transaction systems hope
>the much more secure 128-bit code version of the system
>will be available for export eventually. This is said to
>be almost unbreakable, requiring a trillion times more
>processing power to crack than the 40-bit version.  ...

Notice how the "over a trillion times more" has devolved into simply "a
trillion times more" -- and we all know that the former statement was a
gross underestimate, reminiscent of the claim of "over 3 billion
combinations" on Ideal's packaging for Rubik's cube.

Of course the real reason the media have standardized on trillian for
this is that they know it is the biggest number the bulk of their
audience is familiar with, and that if they said 3e26 or even "three
times ten to the twenty-sixth power" they would snow most of their
readers/viewers.  (To be fair, I think the WSJ did say 10^26, with a
brief explanation of what that meant.  I congratulate them for not
"talking down" to their readers.)

David R. Conrad, [email protected], http://www.grfn.org/~conrad
Finger [email protected] for PGP 2.6 public key; it's also on my home page
Key fingerprint =  33 12 BC 77 48 81 99 A5  D8 9C 43 16 3C 37 0B 50
Jerry Garcia, August 1, 1942 - August 9, 1995.  Requiescat in pace.