Robert Redford film foretold Shor’s quantum computing bombshell

By Tom Siegfried, 12:15 PM April 10, 2014

First of two parts

Long before scientists were talking much about it, Robert Redford fans learned about the power of quantum computers.

It was 1992. A goofy movie called Sneakers warned about the dangers of computers and the massive amounts of encrypted information they controlled. Redford and cohorts acquired a small box, disguised as an answering machine, that was able to decode all the computerized classified data in the world.

“Cryptography systems are based on mathematical problems so compl...

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