Loooooooooong Division

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A team of mathematicians has set a new record for factoring a large number into primes, breaking a massive 307-digit number into its three indivisible factors and besting the previous mark by 30 digits. Written as a binary string of zeros and ones, the number is 1017 places or "bits" long--nearly as long as the 1024-bit numbers currently used to encode electronic messages--and the researchers' method of using a network of computers raises the prospect of hijacking PC and video-game systems to try to crack codes. However, security experts say they're confident they can stay ahead of would-be hackers.

Read more:http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/523/1