Computers

Purdue Researchers Inch One Step Closer To Quantum Computing

Purdue Researchers Inch One Step Closer To Quantum Computing

Jittering at the thought of its awesomeness: quantum computing. Even though Lockheed Martin signed up to buy an underperforming "Maybe it's a quantum computer from D-Wave One a few months back, the face-melting power we think of when uttering the words Quantum computer is still a long ways off. A pair of researchers at Purdue University just inched it a little bit closer to reality, however.

towards the Purdue Newsroom, where a press release announced that professors Michael Manfra and Gabor Csathy created a "high-mobility gallium-arsenide molecular beam epitaxy system" that allows them to create ultrapure gallium arsenide semiconductor crystals. The cutting-edge machine outputs crystals that are a perfect lattice of gallium and arsenide atoms, precise down to the atomic level.

That's not a lollipop, it's ultrapure gallium arsenide made from the machine in the background.

This exacting precision lets the team eliminate the ability for electrons to travel on a third plane, restricting mobility to only move back and forth or side to side movements. After cooling the gallium arsenide to absolute zero – about -460 Fahrenheit – and applying a magnetic field to the material, the electrons inside break the laws of single-particle physics and enter a correlated state, in which changes to one electron reflect in the other electrons. The whole theory of quantum computing is based upon particles in correlated motion.

Don't expect to find quantum computers on the shelves of your local Best Buy anytime soon, though. There's still a lot of science left to figure out before correlated electrons help you keep track of your spreadsheets. "These exotic states are beyond the standard models of solid-state physics and are at the frontier of what we understand and what we don't understand," Manfra admitted in the press release.

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New Electronic Rock Guitar Bag Melts Faces While Protecting Laptops

New Electronic Rock Guitar Bag Melts Faces While Protecting Laptops

Face melting solos aren't quite as skin-peeling when you're rocking an air guitar. We know nothing feels more badass than simulating Angus Young's power chords in "Back in Black," but to everybody else, you just look silly. strives to make wannabe strummers cool again. It just unveiled a new accessory that achieves the perfect blend of usefulness and awesomeness; the laptop-carrying Electronic Rock Guitar Bag.

This awesome little accessory uses the same basic design and premise as  Electronic Rock Guitar Shirts, only you stuff computers inside of it rather than your pale, flabby stomach. It's capable of carrying a 17-inch laptop, a cellphone and "other necessities" simultaneously in addition to rocking your socks.

The fun part – the working drawing of an electric guitar on the bag's outer flap – is powered by 4 AAA batteries. Simply clip the supplied mini amp speaker to the outside of the bag, crank the volume (it goes all the way to 11. Eleven!) and blast out the grooves. Each button on the neck of the guitar corresponds to one of the major chords, and it plays in perfect tune every time. There's even a separate tone knob.

This $50 bad boy's only available for preorder right now: promises to have it "just in time for back to school at the end of August." To us non-school types, that's approximately August 28th.

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Windows 7 Market Share in US Passes XP

Windows 7 Market Share in US Passes XP

OS

The champagne corks must be popping at Redmond today. According to stat tracking group Pingdom, Windows 7 usage just passed Windows XP in the US. Of all operating systems, XP use is still at 31.56%, but Windows 7 has vaulted to 31.71%. It's about time.

The data comes from aggregated visits to over 3 million websites, meaning that it offers a solid cross sample of machines. Usage of Windows 7 has been on a steep rise ever since the OS was debuted. A refreshing change from Vista, which never got close to XP's market share level.

In many ways, this was inevitable. As old computers break down, people replace them with whatever is current. But we would wager that Windows 7 has also smoothed over many of the hurt feelings from Vista in general. The US joins other countries like the UK, Australia and France that have already hit this milestone. So, hands up if you're still on XP.

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Verizon Dropping 1-Year Contract Option

Verizon Dropping 1-Year Contract Option

vzVerizon Wireless has confirmed today that as of April 17th, customers will no longer have the option of signing up for 1-year contracts. According to Big Red, the change is being made to simplify choices and because most people choose the 2-year option with larger phone subsidy anyway. Mont-to-month, prepaid, and 2-year contracts are continuing unchanged.

The 1-year contract option was popular among power users who liked the freedom of getting a new, subsidized phone every year. In many cases, Verizon's 1-year handset prices were only slightly more expensive than the 2-year ones. But no more. Starting on the 17th, new sign-ups and renewing users will either pay full price, or take the 2-year subsidy.

Have you ever used the 1-year contract option on your carrier? Would you do it again (unless you're on Verizon)?

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