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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.”

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 + - 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.

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.

Submission + - SpaceX to launch first reused Falcon 9 booster (arstechnica.com)

wbr1 writes: Ars Technica reports — This evening, nearly a full year after it first launched a payload into orbit, a Falcon 9 booster will attempt a second launch. Some might call this a "used" or "reused" rocket, but in a wonderful marketing euphemism, SpaceX has characterized the booster as "flight proven."

The launch window opens 6:27pm ET (11:27pm UK) today, and extends for two and a half hours. After launch SpaceX will attempt to land the booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Should weather (which appears good) or a technical issue force a delay today, a backup launch window opens on Saturday, at 6:27pm.

Submission + - The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs

Presto Vivace writes: They betrayed you for chump change

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other 3rd party willing to pay. ... The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.

Submission + - California prosecutes couple for filming officials (ap.org) 2

mi writes: California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two activists who made undercover videos of themselves interacting with officials of a taxpayer-supported organization with 15 felonies, saying they invaded privacy by filming without consent. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a longtime Congressional Democrat who took over the investigation in January, said in a statement that the state "will not tolerate the criminal recording of conversations."

Didn't we just determine, that filming officials is not merely a right, but a First Amendment right?

Submission + - John Goodenough responds to skeptics of his new lithium-on battery (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: John Goodenough, the University of Texas researcher who this week demonstrated new battery cells that are safer and have at least three times as much energy density as today's standard Li-on batteries, responded to skeptics who said the technology described in research published in a peer-reviewed journal, appear to defy the laws of thermodynamics. In an article published Monday by Quartz , various energy experts took exception to Goodenough's claims, even calling them "unbelievable." Goodenough is also co-inventor of the original lithium-ion battery. In an email to Computerworld, Goodenough said "any new discovery invites strong skepticism." In this case, the skeptical scientists wondered how it is possible to strip lithium from the anode and plate it on a cathode current collector to obtain a battery voltage since the voltage is the difference in the chemical potentials (Fermi energies) between the two metallic electrodes,. "The answer is that if the lithium plated on the cathode current collector is thin enough for its reaction with the current collector to have its Fermi energy lowered to that of the current collector, the Fermi energy of the lithium anode is higher than that of the thin lithium plated on the cathode current collector," Goodenough said.

Submission + - ASK SLASHDOT: Which VR system is worth the investment? 1

Quantus347 writes: Straightforward question: I held off for a year to let the various manufacturers shake out the bugs, but now it's down to either a VR system or a new gen console. So I ask you, the Slashdot community, what are your personal experiences with any of the various VR systems out there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What little things annoy you the most? What features make a given product the best (or worst) option?

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