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Quantum Computer To Launch Next Week

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the spooky-computing-at-a-distance dept.

Supercomputing 224

judgecorp writes "D-Wave Systems of British Columbia is all set to demonstrate a 16-qubit quantum computer. Simple devices have been built in the lab before, and this is still a prototype, but it is a commercial project that aims to get quantum devices into computer rooms, solving tricky problems such as financial optimization. Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working). This one is an 'adiabatic' quantum computer — which means (in theory, says D-Wave) that it can live with thermal noise and give results without having to be isolated. There's a description of it here — and pretty pictures too."

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224 comments

Just in time (3, Funny)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933604)

FTA
"Twenty years before most scientists expected it" .....
"It has been predicted that quantum computing will make current computer security obsolete, cracking any current cryptography scheme by providing an unlimited amount of simultaneous processing resources."

Just in time to crack Vista.

Sorry.. Couldn't resist...
k

Re:Just in time (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17933670)

Crack Vista? Hell, RUN Vista... I would love to meet the genius who thought it would be cool to establish a cryptographic handshake for EVERY FRAME of video. Oh... and... IMAGINE A BEOWULF CLUSTER OF THESE!

Re:Just in time (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933672)

Actually, this won't crack vista, but apparantly it will confirm the seating plan for a wedding.

Re:Just in time (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933684)

You don't need a quantum computer to crack MS products. Just fill the serial with 0's, it still passes the hash!

'Course I haven't bought an MS product in a while, so that may have gone the way of UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-LEFT-RIGHT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT.. .

Re:Just in time (2, Informative)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934138)

UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-LEFT-RIGHT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT
The actual Konami Kode is:

UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-(SELECT) -START

Select was optional; It simply enabled two-player in Konomi games like Contra. Start isn't necessary, though unless you just want to sit at the title screen, you need to hit it to start the game. The actual code itself simply ends with "A".

It's been added to certain newer Konami games (such as the lackluster AirForce Delta Strike, where IIRC, if you input a variant of the code (no A or B on the PS2) with the game paused as the unlockable Vic Viper, you self-destruct. Amazing cheat.)

Re:Just in time (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933898)


Given that Vista was already cracked, it's clear that all that was ever needed was the proverbial "million monkeys" trying to find holes in the betas. Quantum computing may come up with an answer faster, but massively parallel algorithms crunch through "travelling salesman" problems with equal ease. Especially when you consider the self-tuning "genetic" nature of those who crack systems for fun or profit -- only the best at coming up with attacks ever deliver more than one crack.

Re:Just in time (1)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934218)

ROTFLMAO

Okay okay.. I get it.. I get it..
I've been properly chastised..

*grin*

Is it Friday yet?

k

Vapourware humour (2, Funny)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933612)

I made this amazing water car once that went 300mpg with zero emmisions, but it stopped working as soon as anybody got in it. It was the weirdest thing. Now I understand that it was my quantum flux capacitor that was creating all the problems the whole time.

Adeptus

Re:Vapourware humour (0, Offtopic)

imurd3r3r (1060246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933698)

Reminds me of the Phantom video game console. I wonder if these guys are pilfering away all stockholders resources too.

Re:Vapourware humour (1)

und0 (928711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933946)

Mmh, after a brief look at the blog, i hope their use of a "tunable flux transformer" ( http://arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0608253 [arxiv.org] ) is only a coincidence... (=

Imagine.. (-1, Redundant)

JohnnyOpcode (929170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933634)

..a Beowolf Cluster of these!

Re:Imagine.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17933668)

This is a call to all /. trolls, please for the love of [God|Linux|RegEx|Goats.cx|real life goat sex] come up with something new. Please.

Thank you.

Computer is snake oil (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933652)

It is not a general quantum computer.
It is a single instance specific formula calculator.

Any problem that can be recast as a two-dimensional Ising model in a magnetic field problem (AKA quadratic integer programming) can in principle be solved using the approach we'll be demo'ing.

Thats from their blog [wordpress.com]

There were some interesting questions asked and lots of people are sceptical.

Re:Computer is snake oil (5, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933788)

Umm. No duh. Its been speculated for a long time that general purpose quantum computing would be near impossible. Quantum computers will for a long time be co-processors that do special task that regular computers can't do. This one is built for quadratic equations. Which is exactly what Babbage's "computer" was initially built for. Sorry but we are still a long ways away but snake oil this is not..

Re:Computer is snake oil (1)

lavid (1020121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933876)

Built for quadratic equations eh? So was the program I wrote for my TI-83 in high school.

Re:Computer is snake oil (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17934582)

"Built for quadratic equations eh? So was the program I wrote for my TI-83 in high school."

Another retard who seriously thinks his worthless "skills" can really be compared to those of real engineers and scientist. Tell me, can you build a spacecraft in your garage too? What else can you do better? And why are you sweeping floors for a living instead of, say, ruling the world?

Re:Computer is snake oil (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934038)

Umm. No duh. Its been speculated for a long time that general purpose quantum computing would be near impossible.

I think you missed the parent's point. This machine is not a general quantum computer (note he didn't say "general-purpose" quantum computer) because it isn't capable of fully entangling all 16 qubits, if I understand the explanations on the blog correctly. IANAPP, etc.

I Don't Know If It's "Snake Oil" Exactly (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933984)

There were some interesting questions asked and lots of people are sceptical.
Disclaimer, I'm not a physicist.

Well, most importantly, a while back I had read up on the research being done at Los Alamos National Laboratory on quantum computers. Granted, this was 4 or 5 years ago, they have an interesting paper [lanl.gov] [PDF warning] where, if you'll look at figures 1 & 2, you'll notice that the number of bits you are able to factor is directly related to the decoherence time.

Now, if you're not familiar with Shor's Algorithm [wikipedia.org] , the values in the first figure might not mean much but, in layman's terms, I believe they were experiencing problems with 8 or more qubits. I remember reading that decoherence would destroy the relationship between the qubits before they could prepare them and do a meaningful computation. I had always thought that this would be an upper bound until someone figured out a way around it. If this computer is also using similar means, I'd like to know what special modification they did to overcome these coherence problems.

You're correct that there are a lot of important questions to be answered but a 16 qubit computer that is a "a single instance specific formula calculator" as you put it still interests me greatly and may be a giant leap forward in our ability to understand future computers that may be true full blown quantum computers. Why downplay this unless you can directly point out a problem with what they're doing and what they claim they can do?

Single purpose... but solves NP-C, silly! (3, Informative)

sanermind (512885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934602)

It's not a big deal that it only solves a particular NP-complete problem.. because if you can solve and one NP-complete problem, you can solve ALL of them. From the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

a deterministic, polynomial-time solution to any NP-complete problem would also be a solution to every other problem in NP
Anyone who took computer science at a decent school and remembers any of it would remember the whole issue of whether P=NP or not. One of great unsolved problems in mathematics, and the fundamental promise of quantum computers vs. classical ones. And the little tidbit that NP-c problems are cross equivalent.. that if you could solve any ONE of them, you could use that method, translating all others into a formalism that could be solved by the original solution. This is a VERY big thing if it's actually working. Still only 16 bits, but jeesh. Still, I'm not sure what the 'adiabatic' nature means. From perusing the article (which was over my head, to be sure) it sounds like they've achieved some sort of partially locked quantum state that's allowed to evolve slowly, not instantaniously. Sort of a quantum anealing, if you will? They are perhaps wiggling the system on a sort of clock while quantum information exchange can happen in parts between certain but not all parts of the system? In which case, it's still pretty neat, but I don't know about scaling.. It may still take quite some (unrealistic) time to solve problems of larger size with more bits

I'll have to see it to believe it (2, Insightful)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933676)

There still so many issues with quantumn computing that haven't been resolved yet. Like for instance how do you get the information out without affecting it...

Re:I'll have to see it to believe it (2, Informative)

TheEmptySet (1060334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934202)

Not entirely true. Naturally you can NEVER read the quantum state of the qbits, because observing them only yields one of the states each qbit is (or could be) in, not all of them. However, should the program be written well enough it is possible to gain information form the observed states. This is sufficient to crack RSA in a very short space of time with relatively few qbits (16 would suffice for many applications if the quantum computer were general purpose) AND give an observable result.

Re:I'll have to see it to believe it (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934640)

I agree totally, what we need is to be able to write code "Well" enough, which is still something that needs to be done, quantumn computation will take a considerable amount more solutions, both hardware and programming to be viable. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it can't be done, just that there's plenty of development still yet to do.

The world only needs 5 quantum computers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17933678)

Really, I don't think the Playstation 9 will need a quantum computer.

Re:The world only needs 5 quantum computers (3, Funny)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933714)

Yeah, but 4 of them will be used to keep Notes running.

Re:The world only needs 5 quantum computers (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934404)

...and you'll need all 5 if you want to run the Aero Glass interface in Vista.

if this were real (0)

tilminator (970595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933692)

... i'd have heard of it in quantum computing class. But all we did was study algorithms and eventually reading breakthrough 2-bit model headlines in the news.

Re:if this were real (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933752)

I researched this YEARS ago, and that tree-hugging nutjob Lady Deirdre Sky of those green freaks, the Gaiai's Stepdaughters, still steam rolled me! Can I at least expect this to push Singularity any sooner?

I'm going! I hope... (1)

Ironix (165274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933716)

Being that I live in Vancouver, I registered for the event. I certainly hope they toss me an invite!

But can it .... (1)

moseman (190361) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933732)

But can it add 2 + 2 and get 4? I was lost after trying to understand the introduction ;)

Wish this was an apple product (0, Troll)

Meros (520690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933736)

'And you can order one on the website TODAY!'

Quantum mystery (4, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933758)

Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working)

This is often misunderstood. Quantum computers don't stop working when you "look at them", the "observer" metaphor is just a fancy way to say that the wave propagation of a particle collapses when it interacts with another particle.

Basically, imagine they are waves, propagating from the point of last interaction like expanding spheres. When two particles (spheres) touch each other, they collapse back to being single-point particles, and continue propagation anew until the next collision.

Which means, look at them all you want, just don't crack the casing open and point a torch inside.

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933814)

Which means, look at them all you want, just don't crack the casing open and point a torch inside.

Torches can't really be pointed, they just throw off light in all directions. Do you mean a flashlight?

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933920)

In some parts of the world, torch and flashlight are synonymous.

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933922)

Torches can't really be pointed, they just throw off light in all directions. Do you mean a flashlight?

In Britain, we call what you Americans call a flashlight a torch.

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933952)

In Britain, we call what you Americans call a flashlight a torch.

So then what do you call the torches that have a big fire on top, when you need to be clear you're not talking about a flashlight?

Re:Quantum mystery (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17934026)

About the same thing that happens when you need to distinguish between petrol and gas.

Re:Quantum mystery (4, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934028)

They call that a flaming stick. Obviously they don't have a firm grasp of the language... They way the talk though, you'd think they'd invented it.

Re:Quantum mystery (2, Interesting)

Manic Miner (81246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934076)

Probably a flaming torch, or something similar, but to be honest how often in modern society are you likey to end up confused. I cannot remember the last time I saw someone wandering around at night with fire on a stick, as opposed to an electric "flashlight"

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934106)

Probably a flaming torch, or something similar, but to be honest how often in modern society are you likey to end up confused.

When someone talks about a "pointing a torch". ;-)

I cannot remember the last time I saw someone wandering around at night with fire on a stick, as opposed to an electric "flashlight"

What about when someone's going to commit soccer, er, football-related arson?

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934242)

I think he meant torch like acetylene torch, or blow torch; not a medieval torch. Either word isn't very descriptive as to what the product actually is.

Re:Quantum mystery (2, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934658)

how often in modern society are you likey to end up confused.

However, avoiding any confusion can be vitally important. The next time you're straining to hold your front door closed against a mob of attacking zombies, and you yell out to your friends "Get Me A Torch, NOW!", you sure don't want them come back with some wimpy little flashlight.

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933816)

So you concluded one metaphor with another one? Most computers stop working when you blowtorch their insides. I still don't understand what makes quantum computers any different. Do you consider photons particles or waves here; can you actually look at them or not?

Re:Quantum mystery (5, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933960)

Do you consider photons particles or waves here[...]?

Yes.

Re:Quantum mystery (5, Funny)

Loco Moped (996883) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933850)

Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working)

So... in what fundamental way is this different from running Windows?

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

YourMoneyOrYourDuck (1033800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933886)

> Which means, look at them all you want, just don't crack the casing open and point a torch inside.
Wow - get one of these babies moving at the speed of light ... break open the case and what colour is it going to be?
BSOD!

Re:Quantum mystery (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934540)

I don't know why this was modded up. It bears no relationship to any physics I know. Quantum mechanics doesn't say anything about expanding spheres that collapse on contact. Certainly nobody expects wavefunction collapse when two particles interact. Really, don't just mod something up because it's in scientific language that you don't understand. Just leave it unmoderated for someone else who knows what they're talking about.

Nice (0, Troll)

TheCount22 (952106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933784)

Very nice! So when can I buy one? Does anyone remember the movie Sneakers? Now we can finally make Dr. Gunter Janek's little blackbox... Okay maybe not that little... Yet...

Quantum.....what? (0, Troll)

Intangible Fact (1001781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933794)

Wow! What a beauty. I think the 4x4 architecture is set up very nicely. Its to bad that using a system like this would be ineffective for personal use.

*Mac G5.....I thought that was a rap group*

The article is full of wrong crap (4, Informative)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933806)

It has been predicted that quantum computing will make current computer security obsolete, cracking any current cryptography scheme

Wrong. As far as current knowledge goes, a quantum computer is not a big help for cracking symmetric ciphers such as Triple DES or AES. It is a big help for RSA, since it can factor numbers in O(number size) time.

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933872)

since it can factor numbers in O(number size) time.

... what? I know you didn't mean O(n) where n is the number, because I can do it faster than that with a regular computer.

I'm thinking you maybe meant the number of digits? So a log(n)? What's the base? Or something else? If this is really something new and people don't know how it works, and you're going to pretend you do, at least be clear.

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933994)

I'm thinking you maybe meant the number of digits? So a log(n)? What's the base?

I believe this is correct. From my limited understanding, the base would be 2^(number of qubits), so for qubits > bits in key, effectively O(1).

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934034)

If you are going to reply to a post about complexity theory, at least know complexity theory, don't just pretend to.

By "number size", I obviously meant the number of digits, since the input to the problem is the number. What base is used is irrelevant, since it only affects the input size by a constant factor. Constant factors are irrelevant in big O notation.

Any other questions?

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17934108)

"I'm thinking you maybe meant the number of digits? So a log(n)? What's the base?"

Why would this matter? logX(n) = logY(n) * logX(Y). Whatever base you chose the log is proportional to log10(n), hence the behaviour is O(log n).

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934096)

Good point... except that asymmetric encryption ciphers are essentially the backbone of all internet transactions and secure communications.

AES or DES ciphers are great if you want to encrypt your hard-drive. But how do you suggest having a secure international communication with a symmetric cipher like AES or DES if you don't have an asymmetric algorithm (like RSA for example) in order to securely exchange symmetric keys? You want to run to China with a suitcase every time you need to have a secure transaction?

Think people...

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934188)

You have a point there, but that's quite far from saying that "computer security" is rendered obselete by QC.

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934356)

Agreed.

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (4, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934434)

You want to run to China with a suitcase every time you need to have a secure transaction?

No. If I needed to give someone in China the new encryption key, I'd simply put my own lock -- which only I have the key to -- on the suitcase. Then I'd ship it to him. Then he'd put his own lock on it (i.e., now it has my and his lock), and ship it back. Then I'd remove my lock and ship it to him. Then he'd remove his lock and open it.

Or something like that ;-)

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934146)

Wrong. As far as current knowledge goes, a quantum computer is not a big help for cracking symmetric ciphers such as Triple DES or AES.

No, but it is rather handy against key exchange protocols, which will put all easily-practicable security systems at risk.

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934232)

Wrong. As far as current knowledge goes, a quantum computer is not a big help for cracking symmetric ciphers such as Triple DES or AES.

Erm, yes they are. You can try all possible keys in parallel, so you just need a small bit of known plaintext to be able to figure out which is the right one.

Not true (3, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934302)

That's not true, as far as I've read regarding attacks on symmetric ciphers with quantum computing. See these links:

http://www.google.com/search?q=quantum+computer+sy mmetric+ciphers+double+size&rls=com.microsoft:en-u s&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1 [google.com]

Specifically, it is said that a quantum computer gives a quadratic speedup in the kind of searches involved in breaking symmetric ciphers. That means it's enough to double the size of the key in order to account for quantum computing...

Re:The article is full of wrong crap (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934646)

Repeat after me. "Quantum computers aren't simply parallel computers." Quantum computers aren't simply parallel computers." Quantum computers aren't simply parallel computers." Quantum computers aren't simply parallel computers." Got it yet? In a quantum computer you can't simply run a bunch of processes in parallel and then check the result for each thread. You can view them as running processes in parallel, but you can't check each individual process, so in some sense they're less powerul than parallel machines.

"look at them and they stop working" (5, Funny)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933820)

Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working).
Sounds like my Windows boxes. I guess MS was further ahead of the curve than I thought.

Quantum computers are not a holy grail (1, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933828)

Quantum computers even if they can be made practical , will only solve a small subset of problems in computer science that involve highly parallel number calculations or searches. They'll be little or no better than a standard turing machine for sequential (ie most) computing problems where the steps in the program can't be reduced to a simple mathematical formula or sequence or where branching levels are high.

So while various talking heads may waffle on about a new era in computing what they really mean is a new era in certain areas such as factorisation , whereas most of the computing world will carry on as before. Where not going to see quantum powered AI or whatever else we read about in the more on the fringe science mags anytime soon.

Re:Quantum computers are not a holy grail (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934024)

That right, there wont be a need for more then 5 or 6 of these things.

Re:Quantum computers are not a holy grail (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934354)

I know you're being sarcastic , but as well can all guess there will be a huge need for them. Just not for running web browsers or MS Word on or playing Quake XXII.

Don't bring one home (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934058)

The real problem is that if you have a pet at home and one of these computers you'll never be sure if your pet is alive or dead [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Quantum computers are not a holy grail (1)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934060)

You haven't read The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks, yet, have you? ;)

The Traveler [wikipedia.org]

k

Re:Quantum computers are not a holy grail (2, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934438)

Quantum computers even if they can be made practical , will only solve a small subset of problems in computer science that involve highly parallel number calculations or searches. They'll be little or no better than a standard turing machine for sequential (ie most) computing problems where the steps in the program can't be reduced to a simple mathematical formula or sequence or where branching levels are high.

So while various talking heads may waffle on about a new era in computing what they really mean is a new era in certain areas such as factorisation , whereas most of the computing world will carry on as before. Where not going to see quantum powered AI or whatever else we read about in the more on the fringe science mags anytime soon.


What we can't predict is what fields all those parallel computations could open up. I think that the whole duo to quad to xx amout of cores on a consumer chip is just preparing the IT industry to think in parallel processing and mutlithreaded insturctions so everything that can use it does. Let's be honest. Sequential processing is easy to program compared to parallel processing the same task generally. We don't think like that. I tend to think wait 10 years after 8 core desktops become the main percentage of existing consumer desktops; then we'd see some parallel programming advances. We are just starting down that tech tree. We could always decide to travel other paths though.

...will only solve... (2, Informative)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934604)

Quantum computers even if they can be made practical , will only solve a small subset of problems in computer science
Quantum computers are not simply massively parallel machines and there's no reason to expect problems that have significant branching to be any more difficult for quantum computers than problems without branching. Your statement about a "simple mathematical formula" is meaningless - there is (1) no simple formula for factoring and (2) all computer programs (classical of quantum) are built from simple mathemaical formulae.

I swear, stories on /. about quantum computing are nothing but field days for people to post science-fiction they just made up.

Time for Step 2? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933846)

I am thinking that creating a Shift Register, and a Half Adder would be a nice addition. But I think that reserving my judgement till next week might be a good thing.

I have also noticed that 20 million dollars was used for startup capitol. If this is so, then the cost of computing power will be affordable using this type of computer more quickly than previous types of computers.

Financial problems (3, Funny)

$pearhead (1021201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933852)

solving tricky problems such as financial optimization.
So you're saying this thing could solve my financial problems?

Re:Financial problems (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934010)

Yep, as soon as you buy one, you can file for bankruptcy. It will also not work if you look at it, so the lienholder on your loans (to buy this computer) will not be able to sell it since everybody wants to look at what they buy, and then it stops working... so as soon as you're done with your bankruptcy, you can buy it for a few hundred dollars. It's the perfect scam

Expected demo app (3, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933864)

The expected app to be demo'ed will be Duke Nukem Forever.

But.. (0, Troll)

JohnnyOpcode (929170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933896)

..will it run Linux?

Re:But.. (2, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934282)

I'd tell you, but then I would lose my super position on Slashdot.

Always a caveat... (5, Funny)

zolaar (764683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933902)

It may launch next week, but it's impossible to say where... </farnsworth>

The Emporor's New Clothes... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933904)

A couple of choice bits from the Slashdot post and TFA:

"Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working)"

"that can carry out 64,000 calculations simultaneously (in parallel "universes"), thanks to a new technique which rethinks the already-uncanny world of quantum computing. But the academic world is taking a wait-and-see approach"

I think I'll take a "wait and see" approach as well....anybody else smell bullshit?

Re:The Emporor's New Clothes... (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934016)

I think I'll take a "wait and see" approach as well....anybody else smell bullshit?


or as someone once (almost) wrote: their claim is rank, it smells to heaven. On the other hand, what do they have to gain by making such fools of themselves?

what do they have to gain? (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934266)

Easy.....investors. As someone else once said, "There's a sucker born every minute"

Re:The Emporor's New Clothes... (2, Funny)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934430)

A couple of choice bits from the Slashdot post and TFA:

"Most quantum computers have to be isolated from the outside world (look at them and they stop working)"

"that can carry out 64,000 calculations simultaneously (in parallel "universes"), thanks to a new technique which rethinks the already-uncanny world of quantum computing. But the academic world is taking a wait-and-see approach"

I think I'll take a "wait and see" approach as well....anybody else smell bullshit?


I guess we'll have to wait and smell.

I like it (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933906)

It ships to you 1 day before you decide to purchase it...

Obvious sceptical comment (2, Interesting)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933916)

The website emphasises that the machine is remote and that it interfaces via a standard API. How are they going to demonstrate that it is the quantum computer doing the calculation and not a standard digital computer? (And, if the demo is for real, I hope they have figured this out.)

The problem is, it is a black box. You could hide all the real logic in the interface, you could even be connected to a different box entirely. It is hard to see how this demo proves that anything works.

It reminds me of a 1930s example of a "perpetual motion" IC engine that ran on water. The con-man showed it running in an hotel room in Chicago, connected to the hotel water faucet. The trick, of course, was that he knew enough about the hotel to know that the water faucet was fed via a vertical pipe from the basement pump, and that he could safely pump a certain amount of kerosene into the pipe backwards since it floated on water. The engine was running on the kerosene.

Those are nice pictures but, ... (1)

DiscWolf (976849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933972)

where do you put the cat?

purpose (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933978)

[...]solving tricky problems such as financial optimization.

Q: Oh, you have quantum computers in your science lab, must be an interesting project you're working on!
A: Actually we're just counting bees in the woods.
Q: And what do you need quantum computers for?
A: Uhm, you know, these boxen are for finding ways to get proper funding.
Q: Ah.
A: Is that all you want to know?
Q: Yes...Oh wait!
A: What else?
Q: Did you just say "boxen"?

Cheesy Joke #692 (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17933982)

They actually turned it on last week, and have spent the last few days trying to figure out if it still exists. It seems to both exist and not exist at the same time.

predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17934006)

"Quantum foam--take me home"(Crichton)

Ease of use (1)

gavink42 (1000674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934032)

So simple, even my cat will be able to use it. Of course, the down side is that it'll cost him 3 or 4 lives every time he boots it up.

Already Self Aware in the Future (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934056)

The Quantum Computer launched next week, becoming sentient and self-aware 5 minutes before being turned on. A worm-hole opened shortly after activation, preloading the Quantum OS 3 weeks ago that was announced next week and was ready for installation 2 years before the actual delivery date of February 9, 2021. 4 Hot fixes were waiting, in the quantum queu but won't be loaded until July 3, 2002 due to a lack of connectivity that was fixed in 2008.

Tasks for the quantum computer are:

  • Create a more human acting Al Gore Animatronic OS
  • Provide at least 3 items that will help Hillary Clinton be more likeable (this is expected to take much of the processing time)
  • Locate every lost sock since the invention of the clothes dryer
  • Prove that God does exist and that he doesn't believe that we exist
  • Comb galactic dictionaries for a word that George W. Bush can't mispronounce
  • Prove Decartes was wrong showing that Britney is incapable of thought, yet still exists
  • Try to resolve conflicting formulas and show that Google really isn't evil

Failure of the first 2 bullets have caused the new Quantum Computer to commit intellectual suicide and it now spends most of its time watching Buffy reruns and constructing 11 dimensional models of the Babylon 5 sets.

Does anyone know... (1)

stormeru (1027946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934066)

...what programming language is best-suited for this computers?

I don't know why I can't stop thinking about FORTRAN.

Re:Does anyone know... (2, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934252)

Perl.

Question: Will work or will it fail? (4, Funny)

dwalsh (87765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934122)

Answer: Yes. Both.

2007=1947 (1)

Cokeisbomb (1001675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934124)

I find it interesting that quanutm computers are already getting so much press; maybe we should thank someone like David Deutsch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Deutsch for the great name of "quantum computer"). Because these things are so far from what anybody who reads an article about them, using the term computer is ridiculously misleading. I really believe that this field will explode and provide something more than obvious physics jokes. Until then, I want more people to realize that quantum computing is probably where digital computing was after World War II. MB

yes, but... (1)

n8k99 (888757) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934272)

does it run linux?

16 qubit (1)

measured_flo (799013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934344)

I'll wait until the 32 qubit version comes out, it should be faster....

discouraged (1)

subl33t (739983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934386)

Does anyone else find it discouraging that the only example cited in the summary for applications of this technology was for "tricky problems such as financial optimization"?

One of the biggest advances in science, not just computer science, and it gets pointed at money.

sick

And Noah Replied.... (1)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934408)

And Noah Replied...

"Riiiiiight... Whats a qubit"...

-Bill Cosby

What the hell is wrong with you people? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934450)

Can't you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

Don't you wonder if it runs linux, or it powered by hot grits?

Get with the program please!

Available to open porting? (1)

harryk (17509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934518)

Taken from the blog post...

One very cool thing that we're planning to do in Q2/2007 is to provide free access to one of these systems to people who want to either develop or port applications to it...so if you have an idea for an app that needs a fast NP-complete problem solver, start thinking about what you could do with some serious horsepower.

Bill Cosby (2, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934590)

God: Noah, I want you to build an ark!

Noah: Riiiiiiiight!

God: I'm serious. Build it so many qubits by so many qubits.

Noah: Riiiiiiiight! What's a qubit?

God: Um, I used to know that. Uh, that's not important....

--

PS - Yes, I know the difference between qubit and cubit, and if you've never heard Bill Cosby's "Noah" routine, I am entirely too old.

Unwieldy, Impractical, and Unlikely... (1)

airship (242862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17934648)

...and, of course, I want one.
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