Monday, February 19, 2007

Quantum computing - Breakthrough AND sham??

I've been writing about quantum computing in The Guardian and Techworld. I also did a phone interview for Ireland's RTE radio.

There is one company in the world - D-Wave - that has persuaded venture capitalists to put money behind the idea that quantum computers (which to put it crudely, could perform billions of calculations in parallel universes) are one day going to be a commercial reality.
And last week D-Wave performaned a demonstration, in its labs, and transmitted it to two other sites.

Ars Technica makes the point that D-Wave, like Schrodinger's cat and the "qubits" in a quantum computer, is now in two states superposed. No-one got their hands on the device, so we still don't know if it was a breakthrough or an optimistic case of smoke and mirrors.

We do know that the 16 qubits had a limited flexibility owing to their topology (each is connected to a maximum of eight others, instead of every other qubit). We also know that D-Wave is not claiming this computer beats anything that can be done by a quite ordinary PC.

And Ars Technica suspects (as do we all) that the demonstration was aimed at shareholders they would eventually get a return for their money.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Desperados - the best thing on TV

This kids' programme, Desperados is excellent. It's got a good story line, good acting and nice dialogue. One white kid who broke his spine doesn't want to join the wheelchair basketball team, a black kid wants nothing else - but his mum wants him to do his homework. And the team coach - paralympic wheelchair basketball player, Ade Adepitan, is desperate for players because: "Rear seat belts have ruined the talent pool."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Quantum Computing at Home

I've just been looking at quantum computing for an article, and Kitty has just got two kittens.

At least she say's she's got two, but one of them's shy. Whenever I go into the room, I only see one.
Could it be that she actually has one Schrodinger kitten, she can see both wave functions, and I only see the one?