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The curious case of a missing problem

-BY Akanksha Sagar

Do you have a secret vault in your phone? Do you try to cover the smell from all the questionable documents away from those nosy neighbours, well if you are a hostellite than I already know the answer to this question. The vault available in most of the phones encrypt your data and stores it away from your regular file manager ,this data can be later decrypted and the information can be retrieved. Hiding files away from the prying eyes of the world is a difficult job, especially if you generate top secret documents on a regular basis. Ever wondered how do multinational companies hide the data they don’t want the world to see? Well becoming Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t help cause even his account had been hacked into….twice!. So when the companies wanted to hide their big data, they came up with a vault of their own.

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A lecture was engaged by Dr. Manish Kurhekar where he told us how a software was designed where a picture is broken down into pixels and is stored in an encrypted form where all the similar pixels are just stored once and can be aggregated just like using the ‘magic wand’ tool in Photoshop. This not only makes it more difficult to crack but also saves you a lot of space. This software could be used as a more secure vault for huge documents, but this is not what it was initially designed for.
Let’s go back to when the petrol was only Rs.21 per litre and a 2000mb storage device was 29000Rs . Storing data was a costly business back in 1996,

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All the secret documents were rather forgotten and buried instead of being stored digitally, but as it became more and more important to store files they realised an alternative was needed to save space, So the brightest minds got together to come up with a solution, and after five years of hard work they came up with a software which can reduce the space being used up, but the great minds didn’t anticipate the prices of storage devices to go down in these years such that buying loads of storage was cheaper than the price on the developed software. It’s like wanting a bottle of Dermi cool but till the time you buy it, its already winter. Something which happened to our developers , they came up with a solution but it took them so long that the problem itself had vanished until then. Lucky for them that encrypting the data became popular in the meanwhile and the software could be finally sold in the market to serve an entirely different purpose than what it was designed for.
Lessons learnt from the following are:
Not all tortoises wins, sometimes being fast with problems helps or atleast an analysis of the time that might be required could be helpful.
Your solution might solve more than one problem, look out for other places where your solutions can fit too.
Problems could be vernacular , specific and might not even exist after sometime.
Do not trust big companies they hide stuff too 😛

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