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+ - World's First Commercial Quantum Computer Demonstr

Submitted by
Menno Jong
Menno Jong writes "February 13, 2007
World's First Commercial Quantum Computer Demonstrated
New System Aims at Breakthroughs in Medicine, Business Applications and Expanded Use of Digital Computers

Venture-funded Canadian company shows new product applied to pattern-matching database search

VANCOUVER, B.C. or MT. VIEW, CA — February 13, 2007 — The world's first commercially viable quantum computer was unveiled and demonstrated today in Silicon Valley by D-Wave Systems, Inc., a privately-held Canadian firm headquartered near Vancouver.

Quantum computing offers the potential to create value in areas where problems or requirements exceed the capability of digital computing, the company said. But D-Wave explains that its new device is intended as a complement to conventional computers, to augment existing machines and their market, not as a replacement for them.

Company officials formally announced the technology at the Computer History Museum, in the heart of Silicon Valley, in a demonstration intended to show how the machine can run commercial applications and is better suited to the types of problems that have stymied conventional (digital) computers.

"D-Wave's breakthrough in quantum technology represents a substantial step forward in solving commercial and scientific problems which, until now, were considered intractable. Digital technology stands to reap the benefits of enhanced performance and broader application," said Herb Martin, chief executive officer.

Quantum-computer technology can solve what is known as "NP-complete" problems. These are the problems where the sheer volume of complex data and variables prevent digital computers from achieving results in a reasonable amount of time. Such problems are associated with life sciences, biometrics, logistics, parametric database search and quantitative finance, among many other commercial and scientific areas.

About D-Wave Systems Inc.
D-Wave Systems is a privately held company focused on building commercially viable quantum computer systems designed to solve complex problems that lie beyond the capabilities of conventional computing technology. For more information, please visit www.dwavesys.com."

+ - Illinois Bill to Ban Social Networking Sites

Submitted by
AlexDV writes "Library blogger Michael Stephens is reporting that Illinois Senator Matt Murphy (R-27, Palatine) has filed a senate bill which "Creates the Social Networking Web site Prohibition Act. Provides that each public library must prohibit access to social networking Web sites on all computers made available to the public in the library. Provides that each public school must prohibit access to social networking Web sites on all computers made available to students in the school." The bill's full text can be found here.

What is it with politicians introducing crazy Internet-related legislation lately? Could this bill have something to do with the fact that prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John Edward are using social networks as a core component of their campaigns? Hmm..."

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson