Technology & Choice Podcast #30, Decentralizing Energy for Real (Plus a BIG Crypto Easter Egg), with Jim McCanney



I normally don’t post T&C podcasts here, but this one is special. I mention David Irvine and the SAFE Network, and there is data about the compromise of RSA codes. May the discussions of THAT begin.

EDIT: sorry about the poor sound quality on my end. I appeal to any experts to help me sort out my problems here.


I look forward to hearing you on my commute home! :slight_smile:


Sounds like a good one. Look forward to listening when I’m off work.


I look forward to listening while giving @Traktion a ride home and while waiting for @JPL to get off work


Fascinating, I’ll have to give the other episodes a listen at some point!


Great podcast and very interesting tech! It sounds very promising.


Curious what you thought of the Primes part. Sort of interested in @dirvine’s thoughts on that and the RSA codes, as well.


Very interesting, primes fascinate me, especially the works of Riemann and the zeta function, in fact the book by John Derbyshire (Prime Obsession) is really a brilliant book if you are interested in the Reinman hypothesis (you will be if you read that book). The sieve of Eratosthenes as a start of prime number finding between limits is very good (and very efficient) and really interesting as well, those Greeks were pretty amazing in their thinking.

There are many issues with RSA and prime number based crypto, in fact a TED talk a while back showed that something like $5 Amazon time could break several thousand 512 bit keys. 1024 was a few hundred dollars at that time, but discreet log maths is really moving forward to make all of that even simpler/cheaper. The talk was great actually as Amazon time (cost) is a good measure of crypto security as it would have been in early bitcoin / blockchain when cpu was enough, in any case these are great measurements as they show the cost of an attack very well.

Your shows are great though @fergish always interesting and your hosting is superb, lets the guest talk but you keep it moving on really nicely.


Thanks, David.
Do you think the consequences of being able to predict and plot out primes predictably is an important factor if, that is, you think he actually may have done it?

Edit: If you think you’d find it useful, I’ll make you a gift of his book. I’ve been meaning to do that for some time, anyway.


It would be a massive thing if he could do that, in fact I think there is a clay prize for that ($1milllion prize). If there is code or even the algorithm that does this then I would be extremely interested in it, not for the prize money though :wink: but it would be huge if it existed and one of the most interesting math things of the century I would think. I think the book would be well worth a read when I get time, I have a ton to read when that time opens up for me :smiley: I would like to read that book though.


From what I can see the Clay Prize is for proof/disproof of the Riemann hypothesis, and is considered that that would affect an understanding of prime number distribution. I believe McCanney’s solution regarding primes is from another angle, but I’ll ask him about it. I’m sure he could use the prize money to advance the Wing Generator project! :smile: