Science & technology

Google and NASA ride D-Wave to a quantum future

In theory, quantum computers offer a huge advantage over ordinary PCs. Regular computers code information in binary bits that are either on or off – 0 or 1. But a quantum "qubit" can be both at the same time. This could let quantum machines crunch through certain problems, like searching a database, at blistering speeds even compared to a supercomputer. Such zippy calculation is an attraction for companies like Google that deal with large volumes of data.

US researchers looking to develop revolutionary superconducting supercomputer

If successful, technology developed under the cryogenic computer complexity (C3) programme will pave the way for a new generation of superconducting supercomputers that are far more energy efficient. This would revolutionise the entire sphere of engineering behind computers and computer-based devices.

Nasa launches Orion spacecraft in Mars test flight

Nasa successfully launched its new Orion spacecraft on a mission that the US space agency hopes will foreshadow the first human expedition to Mars. At 7.05am ET (12.05pm GMT) on Friday a dense bloom of fire and smoke shrouded the launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the unmanned Orion capsule rose into clear skies on the Delta IV heavy rocket. Watch video.

DoD Solicits Public Input on Strategies to Drive Military Innovation

The U.S. Defense Department wants to engage industry, universities and the general public to identify methods for the agency to incorporate technology into future military strategies, DoD News reported Wednesday.

Google is funding an artificial intelligence for data science

Google is funding a project called Automatic Statistician that bills itself as “an artificial intelligence for data science,” it announced Tuesday. The project, which comes out of the University of Cambridge and is still in its early stages, aims to automate the selection, building and explanation of machine learning models.

Orion Launch Delayed 24 Hours

The unmanned vehicle is awaiting its first test in Earth orbit. But after multiple delays for high winds and a stuck liquid-oxygen drain valve on one or more of the Delta IV Heavy rocket's booster engines, NASA didn't have time to get the rocket off the pad. They will try again Friday morning at 7:05 a.m. EST.

SpaceX Expects U.S. Air Force Certification by Year’s End

Rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. expects to earn certification from the U.S. Air Force to launch national security missions by the end of the year, but will not meet an ambitious Dec. 1 deadline suggested by the service’s top space officer, a company spokesman said.

Reinventing the Internet to Make It Safer

While nobody expects an entirely new Internet infrastructure to emerge in 2016, Dr. Shrobe and others say they see demand building for a long-term solution to computer security. And there may be a window to do it as the world’s computing goes mobile and the Internet braces for the Internet of Things — the hundreds of millions of cars, shoes, thermostats and lampposts that will soon be online.

How to turn your house into a smarthome

Just as mobile phones these days go way above their duty of simply making calls, houses too are no longer just a pile of bricks. With the right gadgets we can now transform our simple abodes into futuristic, fully automated, unreal estate the likes of which we could only have dreamt about or drooled over in sci-fi movies years ago.

Amazon shows off army of new robots designed to help workers meet holiday shipping crunch

Now the e-commerce giant boasts that it has boosted efficiency — and given workers' legs a break — by deploying more than 15,000 wheeled robots to crisscross the floors of its biggest warehouses and deliver stacks of toys, books and other products to employees.

Ahead of Barack Obama visit: India, US to start discussion on defense technology, production from Monday

India and the United States will discuss defense technology transfer and joint defense production in Delhi from Monday, in the first major political-military dialogue in the run-up to US President Barack Obama's visit to India as chief guest at Republic Day next month.

Firefly Space Systems charges full-speed toward low Earth orbit

We’re entering the "new space" era where small agile companies stand on the shoulders of the slow-moving giants and send not just billion-dollar government payloads and multi-PhD-equipped astronauts into orbit, but cheap small payloads and possibly even tourists.

NASA Homing in on Mission Design for Asteroid Relocation Excursion

As NASA’s deep-space Orion capsule gears up for its debut test flight, a parallel effort to develop a robotic asteroid relocation mission reaches a key decision point Dec. 16.

Five Practical Uses for "Spooky" Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics is weird. The theory, which describes the workings of tiny particles and forces, notoriously made Albert Einstein so uneasy that in 1935 he and his colleagues claimed that it must be incomplete—it was too “spooky” to be real.

Boeing Completes First Milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Systems

The Certification Baseline Review is the first of many more milestones, including flight tests from Florida’s Space Coast that will establish the basis for certifying Boeing’s human space transportation system to carry NASA astronauts to the space station.

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