Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Long-Awaited Promise of a Programmable Quantum Computer

Quantum Computer

Controlling Quantum Particles – Run Quantum Procedure

One of the great challenges of the 21st century physics is the quest to build aninfluential quantum computer and though the obstacles seem significant, physicists have been chasing them down, one after the other. They have steadily learned in controlling quantum particles with the precision needed to run quantum procedure on a small scale with a few qubits.

The big test is now scale, combining these techniques in which they can manage large number of qubits and perform powerful quantum calculations. Recently Shantanu Debnath together with his pals at the University of Maryland in College Park unveiled a five qubit quantum computer module which can be programmed for any quantum procedure.

However, significantly, it is said that this module could be connected to others for the performance of powerful quantum computations concerning huge numbers of qubits. Debnath and his pals state that `this small quantum computer could be scaled to larger numbers of qubits in a single module and can further be expanded by linking several modules’. For nearly 20 years, physicists have been capable of running quantum procedures on quantum computers and the first two and three qubit machines had begun number crunching towards late 1990s.

Quantum Processes – Series of Logic Operations

However, since then, the progress had been stalled due to the dangerous difficulties in connecting large numbers of quantum particles together while maintaining their quantum states. The new device is built on the extensive work over the last two decades on trapped ion quantum computers which comprises of five ytterbium ions lined up and trapped in an electromagnetic field.

 The electronic state of individual ion is controlled by annihilating it with a laser which enables each ion to store some of the quantum information. Since they are charged, the ion exercises force on each other causing them to vibrate at frequencies which can be accurately controlled and manipulated.

 These vibrations tend to be quantum in nature enabling the ions to get entangled and in this way, the quantum bits they tend to hold can then interact. Physicist tends to carry out quantum logic operations by controlling these interactions. The quantum processes are a series of these logic operations which following one after the other.

Performing Arbitrary Series of Operation Essential

The capability of performing an arbitrary series of operation is essential. Few of the quantum computers seem to be capable of doing this and most of them have been designed to perform a particular single quantum process, which is what Debnath and his pals intend to change.

 The researchers have built a self-contained module which has the potential of addressing individual ions with a laser and read out the results of the interactions between qubits which seems to work well. The team has put the device through its speeds by applying various different quantum procedures. They have stated that `as examples, they had implemented the Deutsch-Jozsa, Bernstein-Vazirani and quantum Fourier transforms procedure.

 The procedures presented here demonstrate the computational flexibility delivered by the ion trap quantum architecture’.Though it is impressive, the team claims that it can go still further and in particular, they state that their module is scalable and several five qubit modules could be linked together in forming a more powerful quantum computer.

Intel Puts the Brakes on Moore’s Law


Intel – Slowing of Moore Law

A slowing of Moore’s Law which is a technological phenomenon that tends to play a role in mostmain advance in engineering and technology for years, has been signalled by chip maker Intel. Since 1970s, Intel had released chips which fit twice as many transistors in the similar space every two years with a goal of following an exponential curve called after Gordon Moor, one of the cofounders of the company.

Computer have become more powerful, compact and energy-efficient, due to continual shrinking and has helped in bringing about the smartphone, powerful Internet services together with breakthrough in fields like artificial intelligence and genetics. Moreover, Moore’s Law has become shorthand for notion that anything related to computing tends to get more accomplished over a period of time.

However, Intel had revealed in a regulatory filing last month that it intends slowing the pace where it launches new chip making technology. The breach between successive generations of chips with new, smaller transistor would widen and with the transistors in the latest chips of Intel, already as small as 14 nanometers, it is being more difficult to shrink them further in a way which would be cost effective for production.

Additional Performance Upgrades

The strategy of Intel to shift is not a surprise and it has already pushed back the debut of its first chips with 10 nanometer transistors from the end of this year to somewhere in 2017. However it is observed that the company has presently acknowledged that it was not a one-off and it cannot keep up the pace it used to keep.

This would mean Moore’s Law would be slowing down also. It does not mean that the devices would stop improving or ideas like driverless car would be stalled due to lack of processing power. Intel informs that it would deliver additional performance upgrades between generations of transistor technology with enhancement to the designing of the chips.

The Intel chips are basically immaterial to mobile devices, a market controlled by competitors who are usually behind in years with regards to terms of shrinking transistors and accepting new manufacturing technologies.

Intel – Switch Away From Silicon Transistors

It is also debatable that for several important new use incidents for computing like wearable devices or medical implants, chips have already been adequately powerful and consumption of power has become more important. However, raw computing power is still important and putting more of it behind machine learning procedure has been vital to the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, for instance and Intel will probably deliver more bad news regarding the future of chips and Moore’s Law very soon.

The chief of manufacturing of the company, had mentioned in February that Intel desires to switch away from silicon transistors in around four years and stated before admitting that Intel does not have a successor lined up yet, that `the new technology would be basically different’.

 There have been two leading candidates, technologies known as spintronics and tunnelling transistors, though they may not provide large upsurges in computing powers. Both are far from being ready for use in making processors in huge volumes.

Gmail Will now Warn You if You’re Being Targeted by the Government


Gmail Security Warning

Apple is not the only company that has been combating against government backed cyber-attacks. While Apple and the FBI dispute over the security of the user, Google has been bringing security in focus in a different way, by telling you what is going on. The company would be increasing the perceptibility of Gmail security warning in an attempt to help people in protecting themselves while sending and receiving emails.

One of the changes seems to be the expansion of the `safe browsing’ notifications that tells the user when they are about to open a suspicious link from an email. The warnings could appear when a link has been clicked but before the link really opens, it presents the user with a last option to withdraw instead of visiting the page. Earlier a warning was only shown before a link was clicked though no block seemed to appear if the user had not seen the warning or clicked it.

Google expects that this new additional warning would be helpful in stopping users from visiting malicious sites. Google also tends to continue the fight against state-sponsored attacks, portraying a full page warning when one is being targeted by a government-backed hacker.

Gmail Accounts Targeted by Government-backed Attackers

In a blog post, Google had mentioned that less than 0.1% of Gmail users would be receiving this kind of warning, but it highlights the importance of the warnings due to the fact that those often receiving them seem to be journalist, policy-makers and activists.

 The new warning of the state-sponsored attacks could be portrayed in addition to or instead of current warnings which Google tends to have in place for state-sponsored attacks. Google has been complaining of Gmail security a bit recently and last month had made an announcement that it would be warning users who seem to send email to recipients who were not utilising TLS encryption.

As per Google, after adding this message, the number of emails that were sent over encrypted connections had increased by around 25%. In an update in the manner that Gmail intends to be more secure, Google revealed that around 1 million Gmail accounts could have been targeted by government-backed attackers so far.

Striving to Improve Safe Browsing/Enhance Email Encryption

Google did not disclosethe precise number and did not provide any explanation on how it knows when these hacks tend to take place. When a hack is identified, a pink Warning tab tends to appear on top of Gmail prompting affected users to protect themselves.

 The company also made an announcement recently that besides the bar, users would also get the full page warning with instructions on how to stay safe. This is what will be seen if a government is trying to hack into a Gmail account. Google, in its security update, mentioned that is striving to improve its Safe Browsing warnings which appear in Gmail each time a user clicks on what is believed to be a shady link which could lead to malware or phishing attacks.

Google intends to further enhance email encryption and the company has partnered with Comcast, Microsoft and Yahoo in submitting a draft IETF specification for `SMTP Strict Transport Security’, and Google together with its partners desire to ensure that encrypted email remains encrypted all along the complete path from sender to recipient.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Twitter Becomes Easier for Visually Impaired Users

Twitter is one of the most widely used social networking websites in the world. In order to remain competitive in the highly contested arena of social networking companies has to be find new ways to keep their portal above the rest. On the same thought Twitter has rolled up some new exciting features which are aimed at providing more functionality along with helping the visually impaired audience. Twitter has released the feature to add descriptions to the images in the Tweets. Adding descriptions which is also known as alternative text will help specifically the visually impaired users in understanding the image in a better way.
Twitter new service now widely available

Twitter has promptly made this new available on both Android and iOS platform. Now user from any kind of mobile device will be able to add more information to their pictures within an instant. In order to use this feature users will have to go the app’s accessibility setting and look out for the option called ‘compose image descriptions’. Once this feature is enabled users will be able to see an option to add description for every image they will upload.

It is interesting to note that tweet character limit is still set at 140 characters while Twitter offers 420 characters for writing the picture descriptions. Some experts believe that this is Twitter way of saying you can speak more with an image rather in your tweet. Another feature of this service is that description will have the potential read by the assistive technology such as Braille displays and screen readers.

Tech giants are looking out for the visually impaired in a great manner

Over the years technology advancement has gone through such a rapid phase that we had missed on a number of technology evolutions. Twitter introduction of description for images not just shows how much tech companies cares for the visually impaired population but it also bring focus on the technology which has made it happen. Nowadays smartphones have certain great accessibility features like VoiceOver in the iPhone which offers text readout aloud through gesture support. Google has its own TalkBack which helps visually impaired users in accessing anything on their devices in a simple and smart move.

Twitter’s intention behind bring this new feature

Twitter doesn’t bring new features quite and when it does it serves more than one purpose. Twitter has asserted that they had brought this feature to empower its users and help the visually impaired users in a better fashion. Twitter maintains that photos had been center of some of the greatest moments of the Twitter and new features will help in improving the user’s experience. But a report by Venturebeat suggests that having the accessibility addition on the twitter will help Twitter in identifying the specific tweets much easier than before. This feature will help in improving the Twitter’s search feature which is quite lackluster doesn’t help much. Apart from these Twitter’s new feature will also be available for the third party users and API partners because it will be made available via the Twitter cards and REST API.

How to Add Bold, Italic and Strikethrough Formatting to Whatsapp Messages

Facebook owned Whatsapp have brought in some cool new features with a recent update. Whatsapp has brought in features to add bold, italics and strikethrough to the messages which were not available before. Some experts believes bringing of such features will help Whatsapp in positioning itself as complete word processing platform which will be direct challenge to the Microsoft Office is some ways. Apart from the word processing related features Whatsapp also brings support for Google Drive which is a Google owned service. It is quite interesting to note that Facebook is allowing users to use Google Drive on the Whatsapp. It has been seen most of the tech giants makes it impossible for the users to use the rivals softwares and services on their apps and devices.

Update the Whatsapp to get these cool features

It should be noted that the Whatsapp available for download on the Google Play Store doesn’t comes loaded with these new features. In order to enjoy new feature you have to update the app to version 2.12.535 on the Android platform. iOS users will have to make sure their running the latest version of 2.12.17 on their devices. Most of the time update gets downloaded automatically if not then get your app updated by going to the respective app stores.

How to use the new features? 

As said earlier the latest update brings three features of bold, italic and strikethrough which can be inserted in the messages. But it is bit tricky to use these as Whatsapp has not provided any dedicated buttons on their app. In order to use bold users will be required to add asterisks at the beginning and end of their text like *bold*. To use italic font users has to add underscore on both the sides of text like _italics_ and to use the strikethrough users will have to add tildes on either side like ~tilde~.

Users can even experiment with various new formats by combing two features like _*bolditalics*_. This particular way will help in getting in both bold and italic style with ease.

The other new feature is the access to Google Drive. Whatsapp now allows user to share their documents from the Google Drive. In order to make use of this feature open the Whatsapp app select on Share followed by Share Document, More, Google Drive. Herein you will be direct to your browser to get permission access to the Google Drive.

The success of Whatsapp over the years

Whatsapp has become the world’s largest messaging service with its whopping over a billion million member count. It does faces competition from other messaging platform like Snapchat, WeChat, BBM but their numbers are nothing compare to the Whatsapp. It was purchased by the Facebook in 2014 after paying an incredible sum of $19 billion and Facebook has been running successfully aside it own Messenger app without any problems. The major changes introduced in Whatsapp under Facebook are the introduction of blue tick read receipts and the voice calling.