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Transportation

Submission + - GM to Begin Construction of Volt on June 1

dijkstra writes: Sometimes it seems like the time will NEVER come when we will have the opportunity to buy reasonably-priced electric cars nation-wide, as vehicles from companies like Tesla are too expensive for most to afford, and even then are only available in California. But yesterday General Motors announced that production of the series-hybrid Chevy Volt will begin on June 1, 2009. 40 miles on batteries isn't the same as Tesla's 250 miles, but at least it's a start!
Wireless Networking

VPN Issues With New Airport Extreme 802.11n 87 87

An anonymous reader writes "The new Airport Extremes are shipping and some users are reporting problems with certain types of VPN connectivity. There is a work-around posted in Apple's support forums, but the solution is less than ideal. These issues were not experienced in Apple's earlier Airport Extreme, and users are calling for Apple to fix the issue. Some have even taken their unit back to Apple until a fix is created."
Supercomputing

Submission + - World's first Quantum Computer to be demoed

Leemeng writes: "EE Times reports that D-Wave will demonstrate the world's first commercial quantum computer on Tuesday (Feb 13) at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. If it works, that means it can solve some of the most difficult problems, called NP-complete problems, thousands of times faster than current supercomputers. Initially, D-Wave (Vancouver, B.C.) will lease time on its quantum computer, which will be accessed over a secure Internet connection. Eventually, the company plans to sell quantum computer systems.

Being able to quickly solve NP-complete problems has enormous consequences. A fairly well-known NP-complete problem is the travelling salesman problem, which has real-world implications for logistics. NP-complete problems are present in such diverse fields as medicine, biology, computing, mathematics, and finance. Of immediate concern is quantum computers' potential for cryptanalysis (codebreaking). Specifically, a quantum computer could factor very large numbers in a fraction of the time needed by current computers. That BTW, is just what you need for cracking the RSA cipher and other widely-used ciphers that depend on one-way mathematical functions. Perhaps this will light a fire under quantum cryptography efforts."

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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