To the list members of Cypherpunks: I, Jim Bell (yes, THAT Jim Bell) have just (re-) subscribed to the Cypherpunks list.
(Pardon me if I don’t immediately attempt to relate the numerous reason(s) for my unfortunate 15-year absence.)
Of some relevance to the list is the recent publication (by the US Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO) of my fiber-optic patent application. See http://www.freepatentsonline.com/WO2013101261A1.html .
No, the patent hasn’t been granted yet. A brief description of the invention follows: A silica optical fiber in which the core and inner-cladding are made from silica in which the silicon-atom content is modified from the usual 92.23% (atom/atom) Si-28 content, 4.67% Si-29, and 3.2% Si-30. A few of the possible advantage are, increase of the velocity-factor of the fiber to over 90% of ‘c’ (as opposed to the 68% of ‘c’ of existing fibers); a reduction in optical loss by a factor of 10-20 compared to existing fiber’s 0.19 db/km; a factor of 10-20 reduction in ‘optical dispersion’ compared to existing fibers; an optical bandwidth increase to about 1000-1800 nanometers wavelength.
There is actually the prospect of some crypto-relevance here. There is the Bell’s theorem (not me, but John Stewart Bell’s) theorem to the EPR (Einstein Podolsky Rosen) paradox. See the Wikipedia article “Bell’s Theorem. This led to experimentation where a single ‘entangled photon’ was sent down two optical fibers in opposite directions. Eventually (30 or so kilometers apart, I believe) these photons were detected. See http://www.cleoconference.org/library/images/cleo/PDF/2009/09-plenary-aspect.pdf . My understanding is that the distance limitations of these experiments are determined primarily by the loss of the optical fiber. If so, then a reduction by a factor of 10-20 in optical loss will result in an increase of a corresponding factor of 10-20 increase in the maximum practical distance of these kinds of quantum-entanglement experiments. Presumably, this will lead eventually to the same degrees of increases in maximum distances over which quantum encryption could operate.