The problem with understanding the future is that humans naturally think about the future linearly, projecting technological increases in the next 10 years to mimic the last 10 years. In reality, the time needed for technology to double is constantly decreasing.
science-junkie:

A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum ComputerQuantum computers could more easily become a reality if they incorporated the silicon semiconductor processing used by the modern electronics industry. Physicists in Australia have recently taken a new step toward that vision by reading and writing the nuclear spin state of a single phosphorus atom implanted in silicon.In a breakthrough reported in the 18 April edition of the journal Nature, physicists have finally achieved an idea first proposed in 1998 by Bruce Kane, a physicist at the University of Maryland, in College Park. Such success could lead to quantum computers based on the same silicon-processing technology used for computer chips.“What we are trying to do is demonstrate that there is a viable way to take the same physical platform and fabrication technology used to make any computer and mobile phone in the world, and twist it into a technology for quantum information processing,” says Andrea Morello, a quantum physicist at the University of New South Wales, in Australia.Scientists envision quantum computers as the ideal devices for cracking modern encryption codes, searching through huge databases, and understanding the biological interactions of molecules and drugs. Quantum computing’s potential comes from harnessing the laws of quantum physics that allow the spin state of an electron or an atom’s nucleus to achieve “superposition”—existing in more than one state at a time. A classical computer bit can exist either as a 1 or a 0, but a quantum bit, or qubit, is capable of existing in multiple states at the same time.With other quantum computing approaches, researchers have tried trapping and isolating atoms by using electromagnetic fields or superconductor materials. By comparison, Kane suggested harnessing the nuclear spin of phosphorus atoms embedded in a silicon crystal as a qubit.Silicon-based quantum computing also offers long coherence times for electron and nuclear spins, Kane says. That means the electron spin states and nuclear spin states acting as qubits could hold on to their information for long periods of time, something that other quantum computing schemes have struggled with.
Read more.

science-junkie:

A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum Computer

Quantum computers could more easily become a reality if they incorporated the silicon semiconductor processing used by the modern electronics industry. Physicists in Australia have recently taken a new step toward that vision by reading and writing the nuclear spin state of a single phosphorus atom implanted in silicon.

In a breakthrough reported in the 18 April edition of the journal Nature, physicists have finally achieved an idea first proposed in 1998 by Bruce Kane, a physicist at the University of Maryland, in College Park. Such success could lead to quantum computers based on the same silicon-processing technology used for computer chips.

“What we are trying to do is demonstrate that there is a viable way to take the same physical platform and fabrication technology used to make any computer and mobile phone in the world, and twist it into a technology for quantum information processing,” says Andrea Morello, a quantum physicist at the University of New South Wales, in Australia.

Scientists envision quantum computers as the ideal devices for cracking modern encryption codes, searching through huge databases, and understanding the biological interactions of molecules and drugs. Quantum computing’s potential comes from harnessing the laws of quantum physics that allow the spin state of an electron or an atom’s nucleus to achieve “superposition”—existing in more than one state at a time. A classical computer bit can exist either as a 1 or a 0, but a quantum bit, or qubit, is capable of existing in multiple states at the same time.

With other quantum computing approaches, researchers have tried trapping and isolating atoms by using electromagnetic fields or superconductor materials. By comparison, Kane suggested harnessing the nuclear spin of phosphorus atoms embedded in a silicon crystal as a qubit.

Silicon-based quantum computing also offers long coherence times for electron and nuclear spins, Kane says. That means the electron spin states and nuclear spin states acting as qubits could hold on to their information for long periods of time, something that other quantum computing schemes have struggled with.

Read more.

smarterplanet:

New Plasma Device Considered The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Energy Generation And Storage
Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage.
Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation and is completely safe in proximity to humans.
While most of us are familiar with three states of matter – liquid, gas and solid – there is also a fourth state known as plasma, which includes things such as fire and lightning. Life on Earth depends on the energy emitted by plasma produced during fusion reactions within the sun.
The secret to Curry’s success was developing a way to make plasma form its own self-magnetic field, which holds it together as it travels through the air.
“Launching plasma in open air is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the field of physics,” said Curry.
more

smarterplanet:

New Plasma Device Considered The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Energy Generation And Storage

Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage.

Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation and is completely safe in proximity to humans.

While most of us are familiar with three states of matter – liquid, gas and solid – there is also a fourth state known as plasma, which includes things such as fire and lightning. Life on Earth depends on the energy emitted by plasma produced during fusion reactions within the sun.

The secret to Curry’s success was developing a way to make plasma form its own self-magnetic field, which holds it together as it travels through the air.

“Launching plasma in open air is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the field of physics,” said Curry.

more

We now are entering the Cognitive Systems Era, in which a new generation of computing systems is emerging with embedded data analytics, automated management and data-centric architectures in which the storage, memory, switching and processing are moving ever closer to the data. In today’s big data era, computers essentially process a series of “if then, what” equations, which enables cognitive systems to learn, adapt, and ultimately hypothesize and suggest answers. Delivering these capabilities will require a fundamental shift in the way computing progress has been achieved for decades.

youngl0rds:

Photographer’s girlfriend leads him around the world.

My best writing advice? Write something that people might not “enjoy” but will never forget. … Our tastes change with time, and something that persists has a chance of getting appreciated more in the future.
theartofchan:

Anonymous Cell Phone Data Easily Identifiable
Turns out that with just a few data points from a location-tracking cellphone, most people are easily identified most people, a new study found.  Just four random points are enough to put names to 95 percent of the anonymized users in a cellphone database.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports and looked at 15 months’ worth of location data from 1.5 million cellphone users in a “small European country.” The data was similar to what is shared from Apple and Android, with a location tagged from phones and their closest cellphone tower once an hour.
The team figured out the math to identify 95 percent of the phone-users from just four randomly selected data points. Given 11 data points, they could identify all of the users.
Once you have location data, it’s easy to figure out a lot of private information — where people live, if they attend certain religious or political meetings, visits an HIV/AIDS or reproductive clinic, or hangs out with an ex or a business rival.
Makes you think twice about sharing location data with your apps, doesn’t it?

theartofchan:

Anonymous Cell Phone Data Easily Identifiable

Turns out that with just a few data points from a location-tracking cellphone, most people are easily identified most people, a new study found.  Just four random points are enough to put names to 95 percent of the anonymized users in a cellphone database.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports and looked at 15 months’ worth of location data from 1.5 million cellphone users in a “small European country.” The data was similar to what is shared from Apple and Android, with a location tagged from phones and their closest cellphone tower once an hour.

The team figured out the math to identify 95 percent of the phone-users from just four randomly selected data points. Given 11 data points, they could identify all of the users.

Once you have location data, it’s easy to figure out a lot of private information — where people live, if they attend certain religious or political meetings, visits an HIV/AIDS or reproductive clinic, or hangs out with an ex or a business rival.

Makes you think twice about sharing location data with your apps, doesn’t it?

pixelunion-staff:

Blogs We Like: Florian Reischauer

Photographies of place are hard to do well. In trying to convey the atomic particularity of a city or town, photographers often tip into a kind of esotericism. They’ll focus on the internal language of a place, making images that either don’t translate or reek of preciousness. It’s much more impressive when someone actually traverses singularity and uncovers something universally readable. Florian Reischauer does this, and it’s stunning.

Reischauer’s work digs deeply into its surroundings, and what emerges is both intricate and overwhelming. His most recent project “Grüß Gott: A Fairy Tale” is deeply rooted in rural Vienna and its inhabitants. Its portraits and landscapes construct an ageless story of recurrence and seasonality, punctuated with extremely vivid yet benevolent figures. Reischauer’s other work functions similarly, soaked with immediacy and a looming, welcoming otherness. 

emergentfutures:

Software developers put themselves up for auction


Here’s how it works: A developer applies to the system, and hopefully is one of 150 individuals selected for an upcoming auction. Then comes a two-week process in which employers can review the candidate pool, set up interviews and “bid” on desired developers. To date, $225 million worth of job offers already have passed through DeveloperAuction, including from private employers like DropBox, Motif Investing and Quora.
 
Full Story: Fortune

emergentfutures:

Software developers put themselves up for auction

Here’s how it works: A developer applies to the system, and hopefully is one of 150 individuals selected for an upcoming auction. Then comes a two-week process in which employers can review the candidate pool, set up interviews and “bid” on desired developers. To date, $225 million worth of job offers already have passed through DeveloperAuction, including from private employers like DropBox, Motif Investing and Quora.

 

Full Story: Fortune

emergentfutures:

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier


Out of the ­10,000 news stories you may have read in the last 12 months, did even one allow you to make a better decision about a serious matter in your life, asks Rolf Dobelli.
 
Full Story: The Guardian

emergentfutures:

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier

Out of the ­10,000 news stories you may have read in the last 12 months, did even one allow you to make a better decision about a serious matter in your life, asks Rolf Dobelli.

 

Full Story: The Guardian

sciencesoup:

Ginkgo Trees Stand Test of Time
“Living fossil” is an informal term used by biologists to describe species that lack living relatives.  While you might not personally think being called a fossil is a compliment, these organisms are actually quite impressive survivors.  The Ginkgo biloba tree, for example, is strange and unique amongst contemporary plants but incredibly similar to fossils dating back to the Permian, almost 270 million years! This means that even though every single other lineage of the Ginkgo’s relatives changed and adapted beyond recognition or died out, there are still Ginkgo trees growing today that would be indistinguishable from trees from hundreds of millions of years ago. If that fails to impress you, consider this: in Hiroshima, Japan there are still a handful of Ginkgo trees that survived the dropping of the atom bomb in 1945 living to the present day! If these hardy trees can withstand a disturbance of an A-bomb’s magnitude, it is no wonder they have managed to remain viable when so many other ancient plants could not.
Guest post written by Reggie Henke

sciencesoup:

Ginkgo Trees Stand Test of Time

“Living fossil” is an informal term used by biologists to describe species that lack living relatives.  While you might not personally think being called a fossil is a compliment, these organisms are actually quite impressive survivors.  The Ginkgo biloba tree, for example, is strange and unique amongst contemporary plants but incredibly similar to fossils dating back to the Permian, almost 270 million years! This means that even though every single other lineage of the Ginkgo’s relatives changed and adapted beyond recognition or died out, there are still Ginkgo trees growing today that would be indistinguishable from trees from hundreds of millions of years ago. If that fails to impress you, consider this: in Hiroshima, Japan there are still a handful of Ginkgo trees that survived the dropping of the atom bomb in 1945 living to the present day! If these hardy trees can withstand a disturbance of an A-bomb’s magnitude, it is no wonder they have managed to remain viable when so many other ancient plants could not.

Guest post written by Reggie Henke