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Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"

Comment Answers one of my burning questions... (Score 5, Interesting) 56

This is one of the first things I asked my fiancee when she was studying solar physics (specifically magnetohydrodynamics or MHD). The answer I always got was "we don't know yet." It's nice to see some new research in this area, coupled with an explanation that a non-physicist can at least grasp.

Comment Re:I've been using linux since the mid nineties. (Score 1) 501

Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. I am no Linux noob, yet I grow increasingly tired of having to spend hours to resolve problems which, on the surface, are entirely mundane. When I setup a server, I choose a distro which will be rock-solid stable; when I setup a laptop, I use the distro which will allow me to get up-and-running fast. As to the use of defaults, I see no reason why I should go out of my way to change things around. Do I have some favorites? Sure, and I install them. Do I care what image viewer is bundled with the GUI? Not really, so I don't bother to make a switch.

Feel disillusioned? I've got some great new illusions, right here!