Inside The Race To Build The Best Quantum Computer On Earth
Given their size and wealth, both Google and IBM have a shot at becoming serious players in the quantum computing business. Companies will rent their machines to tackle problems the way they currently rent cloud-based data storage and processing power from Amazon, Google, IBM, or Microsoft.
Why Amazon Has So Many Counterfeit Goods
Seizures of counterfeit products at U.S. borders have increased 10-fold over the past two decades as e-commerce sales have boomed. The total value of seized goods – if they had been real – reached nearly $1.4 billion in 2018. Most are coming from mainland China or Hong Kong.
That Time We Almost Built 8 Gigawatt-class Floating Nuclear Power Plants
In 1969, at the height of the First Nuclear Era, an engineer at New Jersey’s PSE&G utility company named Richard Eckert wondered, what if huge nuclear plants could be built in serial at a production facility, put on a barge, and floated to sites out at sea?
New Earth Surveillance Tech Is About to Change Everything, Including Us
New high-resolution satellites, AIs, and data tools are going to let us study Earth, and ourselves, in greater detail than ever before. That’s going to come with “unthinkable” problems.
The End Of Babies
Fertility rates have been dropping precipitously around the world for decades — in middle-income countries, in some low-income countries, but perhaps most markedly, in rich ones. Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to desire. But what?
The Rise Of Nintendo
Nintendo hasn’t always made video games. It was founded over a century ago and at one point sold ramen noodles and operated a taxi service. Today, Nintendo is part of a crowded video game market, up against companies like Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Google. When Nintendo first got into the home console business in the 80s, it dominated.
My Life Under Armed Guard
Since 2006, Italian journalist Roberto Saviano has faced constant threat of death for exposing the secrets of the Naples mafia in his book Gomorrah. Is the price of life under armed guard too much for a writer to pay?
Destroyer Of Worlds
The story of 8chan’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, is a perfect expression of this: born with a profound disability and shuttled in and out of foster care, his creation of the site was born not out of cold calculation or political ambition, but from a need to find community in loneliness.
Total Recall: The People Who Never Forget
Around 60 people in the world share a condition called “highly superior autobiographical memory”. They remember absolutely everything. The extremely rare condition may transform our understanding of memory.
The Ingenious System Bringing Water To The Chinese Desert
The Karez is a modern-day engineering marvel and a prime example of a native people working with, not against, the forces of nature to deliver their needs – in this case, water. Today, this system nourishes an area called Grape Valley, once an oasis for weary travelers along the Silk Road.
AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds Of Video Games
Game-making algorithms are almost as old as video games, but their use has typically been limited to generating terrain and other simple digital art. The next frontier is using increasingly sophisticated machine-learning techniques to design entirely new kinds of games that have, to date, evaded the human imagination.
The Secret History Of Facial Recognition
Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?
The Hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso
A mysterious assault.An unsolved murder. And a ship that hasn’t given up all its secrets. This is the story of the hijacking of the Brilliante Virtuoso in the Gulf of Aden in July 2011.
Korvaa Is The World’s First Headphones “Grown” From Bio-based Materials
Helsinki-based multidisciplinary design studio Aivan recently unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made exclusively from microbially grown materials. Created using synbio, Korvaa is the first physical implementation of the technology and marks a potential shift away from a fossil fuel-based economy.
Lives Adrift In A Warming World
If the Earth’s average temperature increases 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, humankind will see catastrophic changes. For millions of people, this extreme warming is already reality, in places like Qatar, Colorado and Angola. And Aaliyah, at the age of 9, has become a climate refugee in Newtok, Alaska.
What Happens When Immigrant-Rights Advocates Reach A Breaking Point?
There has arguably never been a worse time to be an asylum seeker in the United States. This is due, in part, to an administration that has taken a xenophobic approach to immigration, with an openly hostile stance toward asylum seekers and their advocates.
The Drone Boat Of ‘Shipwreck Alley’
Divers flock from all over the world to see the wrecks for themselves each year — and last spring, they were joined by an unusual interloper: an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN is a self-driving boat that’s been tasked with making maps, and to help lay bare the long-lost secrets of the lakebed.
This Is Catfishing On An Industrial Scale
Hired as customer service reps, these freelancers were instead tasked with luring in the lonely and lovestruck through a network of dating and hookup sites. The niche dating portals funnel users into the system and usually include lengthy terms and conditions.
Slice Of Prime Zurich Real Estate Sold For $134 Million On Blockchain
A building on Zurich’s most exclusive shopping street has been converted into a blockchain-powered investment following its CHF130 million ($134 million) sale. It is the latest attempt to unlock the value of bricks and mortar using digitally-coded tokens.
How Much The Public Knows About Science, And Why It Matters
A survey finds striking differences in levels of science knowledge by education and by race and ethnicity. About half of whites (48 percent) score high; by comparison, much smaller shares of Hispanics (23 percent) and blacks (9 percent) correctly answer at least nine of the questions.