# Weekend Reading: Terminals, Cryptography, and Products as Functions

### š» Learning from Terminals to Design Future User Interfaces

Pieces like this often come off like geeks calling for a return to how it āused to beā ā āHyperCard was the peak of dev toolsā. But this author makes some excellent points about performance, responsiveness, and control. As a frequent terminal user, thereās a tactility to it that comes from its fast response to input, but it is true that consoles have lagged behind in other ways like media richness and user interface display.

### š Quantum Computers and Cryptography

Bruce Schneier:

Quantum computers promise to upend a lot of this. Because of the way they work, they excel at the sorts of computations necessary to reverse these one-way functions. For symmetric cryptography, this isnāt too bad. Groverās algorithm shows that a quantum computer speeds up these attacks to effectively halve the key length. This would mean that a 256-bit key is as strong against a quantum computer as a 128-bit key is against a conventional computer; both are secure for the foreseeable future.

For public-key cryptography, the results are more dire. Shorās algorithm can easily break all of the commonly used public-key algorithms based on both factoring and the discrete logarithm problem. Doubling the key length increases the difficulty to break by a factor of eight. Thatās not enough of a sustainable edge.

### š¦ Products Are Functions

Ryan Singer on the concept of products behaving like mathematical functions; they sit between an input and output, processing one into the other. Having known input and known desired output serves as a mental aid to āsolve forā `f(x)`

in the middle.