I've been reading this thread in the archives, on loop-aes and then the security of AES. I hate to jump on the bandwagon, so before I do, I will state that I am a crypto-expert, and have worked for the several government entities in the US. I am not at liberty to tell you which ones.
Mr. Walters:* It is not all that easy to crack a secure key with the AES-256 cipher. This holds true, even with networks of super-computers. Just how many of them do you think the NSA (you named it), has to spare for things like that? Parallel and distributed computing does not help much with AES, since it is a CBC cipher algorithm (look it up).
I think you need to do some research on the subject you say you're majoring in, before you post on the topic, Mr. Walters.