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Comment Not illegal, but perhaps detrimental (Score 1) 223

The "border search exception" has been well vetted legally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_search_exception (Note that the ACLU's implication that this exception extends to 100 miles from the border is incorrect: http://news.yahoo.com/does-constitution-free-zone-really-exist-america-195813138.html) But I would guess this search exercise does more harm than good. It can be easily circumvented (encrypted data over networks), so the question is empirical: Have criminals adapted to the law yet, in which case it becomes useless, and detrimental to the innocent (mostly for psychological reasons, but also for practical reasons if the government were to abuse the info it obtains).

Comment Been done in superconductors (Score 4, Informative) 265

Similarly macroscopic quantum states have been achieved in superconductors. So the significance of this work is that macroscopic superposition is accomplished with a mechanical system, not an electronic one. The Nature article that the BBC is referring to: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08967.html The BBC removed the scale bar, which shows that the resonator is about 70 microns long, with an "active region" 40 microns long. But the resonant frequency is still up in the GHz, so they only have to cool to 0.1K, which is not so hard these days.

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Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten