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Submission + - Google finds D-Wave machine to be 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing (blogspot.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: From Google Research blog:
We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing. It is more than 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core. We also compared the quantum hardware to another algorithm called Quantum Monte Carlo. This is a method designed to emulate the behavior of quantum systems, but it runs on conventional processors. While the scaling with size between these two methods is comparable, they are again separated by a large factor sometimes as high as 10^8.

Submission + - Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain (gizmocrazed.com)

Diggester writes: DON'T mind the gap. A woman has reached the age of 24 without anyone realising she was missing a large part of her brain. The case highlights just how adaptable the organ is.

The discovery was made when the woman was admitted to the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province complaining of dizziness and nausea. She told doctors she'd had problems walking steadily for most of her life, and her mother reported that she hadn't walked until she was 7 and that her speech only became intelligible at the age of 6.

Submission + - Google buys eighth robotics company in six months (orlandosentinel.com)

spineas writes: Google recently acquired Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that has had a hand in many advanced defense robotics for the U.S. military, making it the eighth such purchase for the search engine giant in the last six months.

Boston Dynamics is well known for having developed the robot named "Cheetah," capable of running at speeds of 28MPH.

Politics

Submission + - GW Bush hosts Intl. Cyber Dissident Conference (georgewbushinstitute.com)

Dave Emami writes: On Monday, the George W. Bush institute hosted a Conference on Cyber Dissidents, with the former president giving opening remarks, along with presentations by dissidents from seven nations. Other speakers included Ethan Zuckerman, founder of Geekcorps, Hal Roberts of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Christopher Walker of Freedome House. "The Conference's two goals were to bring dissidents together to share best practices and learn from one another, and to learn ourselves what we in America and other democracies can do to aid the work of dissidents – in particular, to help them protect and enhance their high-tech tools and counter the technological counter-assaults from government and terror groups."
Supercomputing

Submission + - Opposite of Superconductors Discovered (anl.gov) 3

Sir Holo writes: Superinsulation may sound like a marketing gimmick for a drafty attic or winter coat. But it is actually a newly discovered fundamental state of matter created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with several European institutions. This discovery opens new directions of inquiry in condensed matter physics and breaks ground for a new generation of microelectronics.

When they tried to pass a current through the material, the researchers noticed that its resistance suddenly increased by a factor of 100,000 once the temperature dropped below a certain threshold.

Superinsulators could eventually find their way into a number of products, including circuits, sensors and battery shields.

Censorship

Submission + - Collapsed UK bank attempts to censor Wikileaks (wikileaks.org)

James Hardine writes: Wikileaks has released a couple of hilarious legal demands over a confidential briefing memo entitled Project Wing — Northern Rock Executive Summary. Northern Rock Bank (UK) collapsed spectacularly late last year on the back of the sub-prime lending crisis and was re-floated by the Bank of England at a cost of over £24bn. The memo was used by the Financial Times, the Telegraph and others. It attracted a number of censorship injunctions, as reported by the Guardian, which only Wikileaks continues to withstand. In their legal demand to Wikileaks, Northern Rock's well-known media lawyers, Schillings, invoke the DMCA & WIPO, claim it'll be 10 years in prison for Wikileaks operators for not following the UK injunction, but then, incredibly, refuse to hand over a copy of the order unless Wikileaks' London lawyers promise not to give it to Wikileaks. Finally they claim copyright and more — on their demands! The letters raise a serious issue about the climate of censorship in the UK, where one can apparently easily obtain a censorship order — a judge made law — that everyone is meant to obey, but no one is meant to know.

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