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Submission + - Google Ready to Prove Quantum Computing

brindafella writes: Google is on the cusp of a milestone in the history of computing, hoping later in 2017 to test a representative "quantum chip" with a 49 qubit matrix that achieves “quantum supremacy”, meaning it can perform a particular calculation that’s beyond the reach of any conventional computer. The Google team already has a quantum chip with a 2x3 matrix of qubits. The Google team is led by Professor John Martinis of University of California, Santa Barbara.

Submission + - Ubuntu to use Wayland by default

An anonymous reader writes: From the school of expected things following its decision to drop Unity, Ubuntu will use Wayland by default for user sessions in Ubuntu 17.10 onwards. Mir had been Canonical’s home-spun alternative to Wayland but was recently put out to pasture.

Submission + - Enceladus just became a top candidate for life elsewhere in Solar System (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: In 2005, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spied jets of water ice and vapor erupting into space from fissures on Enceladus, evidence of a salty ocean beneath the saturnian moon’s placid icy surface. Now, it turns out that the jets contain hydrogen gas, a sign of ongoing reactions on the floor of that alien sea. Because such chemistry provides energy for microbial life on Earth, the discovery makes Enceladus the top candidate for hosting life elsewhere in the solar system—besting even Jupiter’s Europa, another icy moon with an ocean. “We didn’t see microbes,” says Hunter Waite, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and the lead author of a study published this week in Science. “But we saw their food.”

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 374

They can't win. If they keep it the same foolish people will say it's neglected and stagnant. If they change it rational people will say it's aggravating and unnecessary. Just look at this Post-WIMP

wikipedia page.

WIMP interfaces are not optimal for working with complex tasks such as computer-aided design, working on large amounts of data simultaneously, or interactive games. WIMPs are usually pixel-hungry, so given limited screen real estate they can distract attention from the task at hand. Thus, custom interfaces can better encapsulate workspaces, actions, and objects for specific complex tasks. Applications for which WIMP is not well suited include those requiring continuous input signals, showing 3D models, or simply portraying an interaction for which there is no defined standard widget.

Man do I feel the Windows 8 people read from that page. And it's such a load of nonsense. Or are you currently being distracted by the Windows, Icons and Pointer you're using? Should we make the start menu smaller because you want to look at the rest of the screen while simultaneously searching for an app to launch, even if a smaller start menu makes that app harder to find? Notice: "working on large amounts of data simultaneously". This invariably means some contrived example where a user has to pick from 5,000 items in a menu, and can't easily do it. I speak as a former HCI researcher here. And check this out:

Meanwhile, average desktop computers are still based on WIMP interfaces, and have started undergoing major operational improvements to surpass the hurdles inherent to the classic WIMP interface.

This is what GUI designers are being told. That these new modes of interaction are necessarily improvements over Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers. Regardless of whether or not they actually make any sense.

Submission + - Police violently drag man from United plane after reportedly overbooked flight (foxnews.com)

Mr.Intel writes: On Sunday, a United Airlines passenger was pulled from his plane seat and dragged off the aircraft — because the airline had overbooked the flight. Several passengers captured the scene and the disturbing footage appears to show that the man was left bleeding from the mouth after his face was smashed against an arm rest during the scuffle. Security are seen wrenching the man from his seat and then dragging him down the aisle and off the plane.

United Airlines gave us this response:

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

Submission + - Second Opinion From Doctor Nets Different Diagnosis 88% Of Time, Study Finds (studyfinds.org) 3

schwit1 writes: When it comes to treating a serious illness, two brains are better than one. A new study finds that nearly 9 in 10 people who go for a second opinion after seeing a doctor are likely to leave with a refined or new diagnosis from what they were first told.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic examined 286 patient records of individuals who had decided to consult a second opinion, hoping to determine whether being referred to a second specialist impacted one's likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis.

The study, conducted using records of patients referred to the Mayo Clinic's General Internal Medicine Division over a two-year period, ultimately found that when consulting a second opinion, the physician only confirmed the original diagnosis 12 percent of the time.

Among those with updated diagnoses, 66% received a refined or redefined diagnosis, while 21% were diagnosed with something completely different than what their first physician concluded.

Submission + - The Giant Freaking Robot Fight—U.S. vs. Japan—Is Now Set (nerdist.com)

schwit1 writes: While smaller robots battling one another have been part of reality television for several years now, the idea of giant robots piloted by human beings has been the exclusive domain of fiction. A couple of years ago, it looked like that era was coming to an end as an American outfit challenged a Japanese company known for its giant robot. After all, the Americans had a giant robot too, so why not put the two mechas against one another?

For a while there was nothing, but now we have news. More importantly, we have a date for this technological clash of the titans.

If you’re unfamiliar with the feud between America’s MegaBots, Inc. and Japan’s Suidoboshi Heavy Industries (SHI), it’s a tale of the former challenging the latter to a giant robot “duel” for pride, title, and the posterity of giant mechs that will surely battle to the death for years to come, sawing and burning each other down in front of an audience like Ancient Roman Gladiators made of steel and flamethrowers.

The robots facing off in August—which will now happen at an undisclosed location because the “original Duel venue fell through” and caused considerable delays—is between Megabots’ Mk. III and SHI’s KURATAS. Considerable battle upgrades have been made to both the original Mk. III and KURATAS over the last year-plus, the Mk. III’s coming after the team behind the 12,000-pound bot raised over $500,000 on kickstarter.


Submission + - DARPA building full-sized electric VTOL X-Plane following successful tests (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has completed test flights of its prototype vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) X-Plane, an experimental, high-speed electric aircraft that can be deployed on missions without needing a runway.

The X-Plane, which is now officially recognised by the US military as the XV-24A, is powered by 24 fan propellers distributed across the wings and tail of the unmanned aircraft, which are driven by a 4,000 horsepower hybrid turboshaft engine.

The tests, which began in March 2016, involved a scaled-down version of the craft. Over the course of six flights, the demonstrator was used to test the X-Plane's flight systems, navigation, manoeuvrability, hovering, navigation and the craft's automatic take-off and landing capabilities.

Comment Re:A little late? (Score 4, Informative) 386

"The Market" seemed to be adopting Cinnamon and MATE.

DistroWatch backs you up. Take a look at where the various Ubuntus rank in their most popular list:

Mint #1, Ubuntu #3, Ubuntu MATE #15, Lubuntu #20, Xubuntu #31, Kubuntu #41, Ubuntu GNOME #54.

Mint, which has the default Cinnamon desktop, is #1. If you want Gnome 3 you're down to #54. Given that list, why on earth would they pick Gnome?

Submission + - Electric car ferries enter service in Norway (bbc.co.uk)

AmiMoJo writes: Following two years of trials of the world's first electric car ferry, named Ampere, Norwegian ferry operators are busy making the transition from diesel. It is thought that 84 ferries are ripe for conversion to electric power, and 43 ferries on longer routes would benefit from conversion to hybrids that use diesel engines to charge their batteries. If this were done, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions would be cut by 8,000 tonnes per year and CO2 emissions by 300,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to the annual emissions from 150,000 cars. The Ampere uses an 800kWh battery, equivalent to 8 high end Tesla cars.

Submission + - Belgian scientists inhibit protein responsible for allergic reactions

lhunath writes: Scientists at the University of Gent exposed the TSLP protein's function in triggering allergic reactions such as asthma and eczema.

The team then developed a protein-based inhibitor used to capture TSLP and prevent its bioactivity as it associates with its natural receptors. Using this method, allergic reactions can be inhibited before they are triggered.

Submission + - An unexpected relationship between nuclear power and low birth weight (arstechnica.com)

Applehu Akbar writes: Ars Technica reports on a Carnegie-Mellon study of an unexpected side effect of the slowdown in nuclear plant construction after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. The pollution associated with replacing the power in places where nuclear plants were delayed or canceled has resulted in significantly lower birth weights for children born in the region. The impact on birth weight starts at 97g less in the second quarter after a nuclear shutdown and goes to 146g for qquatres thereafter.

Though the steady shift in recent years from coal to natural gas has probably slowed this trend down (no update to the study has been announced) because gas pollutes less, Trump's policy of bringing back coal may mean that micro-babies are back in fashion.

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