London to Sydney flight breaks world record

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Sydney (CNN) — Until someone invents a device to teleport humans from one side of the Earth to the other, this is the next best thing.

An experimental research flight operated by Australian airline Qantas touched down in Sydney on Friday, after flying nonstop from London — a journey that pushes the frontier of modern aircraft capabilities — smashing two aviation records and witnessing a rare double sunrise along the way.

Flight QF7879 became the world’s longest passenger flight by a commercial airline both for distance, at 17,800 kilometers (about 11,060 miles), and for duration in the air, at 19 hours and 19 minutes.

The achievement could help usher in a new generation of so-called ultra long haul flights that will directly connect far-flung Sydney with destinations across Europe and the United States.

The 50 or so people onboard departed London’s Heathrow on Thursday in the pitch dark of pre-dawn, having sucked down their last lungfuls of rain-drenched November air.

Two sunrises later, they emerged blinking into a bright, warm Friday afternoon on the east coast of Australia. At least three whole hours sooner than if they’d had to change aircraft en route.

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Watch a massive 3D-printed building take shape

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Dubai is now home to the world’s largest 3D-printed two-story building.

On Wednesday, officials in the city’s Warsan neighborhood unveiled the building, which is 9.5 meters (31 feet) tall and has a total area of 640 square meters (6,889 square feet). The structure’s concrete walls were constructed in place using a massive 3D printer — and the entire building serves as a testament to the power of 3D printing in construction.

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Robocar: Watch the world’s fastest autonomous car reach its record-breaking 282 km/h

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Autonomous cars are set to take over the world’s roads, transforming the way we travel.

Leading the pack is Robocar, a futuristic self-driving electric vehicle from British start-up Roborace.

Roborace demonstrated its robot’s capabilities by taking the car to 282.42 km/h (175.49 mph) – an average confirmed by the UK Timing Association – at RAF Elvington, Yorkshire, UK, claiming the record for fastest autonomous car.

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Google says its quantum computer has just completed a 10,000-year task in less than four minutes

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‘This achievement is the result of years of research and the dedication of many people,’ Google engineering director Hartmut Neven said in a blog post

(Bloomberg) — Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it’s built a computer that’s reached “quantum supremacy,” performing a computation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputers about 10,000 years.

The results of Google’s tests, which were conducted using a quantum chip it developed in-house, were published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

“This achievement is the result of years of research and the dedication of many people,” Google engineering director Hartmut Neven said in a blog post. “It’s also the beginning of a new journey: figuring out how to put this technology to work. We’re working with the research community and have open-sourced tools to enable others to work alongside us to identify new applications.”

The idea behind quantum computing is to exponentially improve the processing speed and power of computers to be able to simulate large systems, driving advances in physics, chemistry and other fields. Rather than storing information in binary 0s or 1s like classical computers, quantum computers rely on “qubits”, which can be both 0 and 1 simultaneously, dramatically increasing the amount of information that can be encoded.

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Google quantum computer leaves old-school supercomputers in the dust

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Google’s Sycamore chip powers a quantum computer

 The era of practical quantum computers has begun — at least on one speed test showing “quantum supremacy.”

A Google quantum computer has far outpaced ordinary computing technology, an achievement called quantum supremacy that’s an important milestone for a revolutionary way of processing data. Google disclosed the results in the journal Nature on Wednesday. The achievement came after more than a decade of work at Google, including the use of its own quantum computing chip, called Sycamore.

“Our machine performed the target computation in 200 seconds, and from measurements in our experiment we determined that it would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to produce a similar output,” Google researchers said in a blog post about the work.

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Watch the world’s largest 3D-printer spit out a 25 foot boat

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…and how this is really about using wood to replace metal

If you’re shopping for a 3D printer, a key consideration is bed size; what’s the largest object you’d realistically need to print?

For the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, size limitations aren’t so much of an issue. That’s because they’ve got a gantry-style 3D printer that can spit out pieces that are 22×100.

Twenty-two by 100 feet. And ten feet tall.

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Here’s what quantum supremacy does—and doesn’t—mean for computing

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Google has reportedly demonstrated for the first time that a quantum computer is capable of performing a task beyond the reach of even the most powerful conventional supercomputer in any practical time frame—a milestone known in the world of computing as “quantum supremacy.”

The ominous-sounding term, which was coined by theoretical physicist John Preskill in 2012, evokes an image of Darth Vader–like machines lording it over other computers. And the news has already produced some outlandish headlines, such as one on the Infowars website that screamed, “Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ to Render All Cryptography and Military Secrets Breakable.” Political figures have been caught up in the hysteria, too: Andrew Yang, a presidential candidate, tweeted that “Google achieving quantum computing is a huge deal. It means, among many other things, that no code is uncrackable.”

Nonsense. It doesn’t mean that at all. Google’s achievement is significant, but quantum computers haven’t suddenly turned into computing colossi that will leave conventional machines trailing in the dust. Nor will they be laying waste to conventional cryptography in the near future—though in the longer term, they could pose a threat we need to start preparing for now.

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IBM’s new 53-qubit quantum ‘mainframe’ is live in the cloud

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IBM has boosted its growing stable of quantum computers with a new 53-quantum bit (qubit) device, the most powerful ever offered for commercial use.

Google announced a more powerful 72-qubit ‘Bristlecone’ model last year, but that was for its internal techies only. IBM’s, by contrast, feels significant because it can be used by absolutely anyone who can find a use for such a computer.

The new and still-to-be-named computer will sit in the company’s Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, New York State, which has recently turned into a hotbed for commercial development.

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This video of a rocket sled doing 6,599mph at Hollman AFB is absolute insanity

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The sound alone of something ripping by at hypersonic speed just feet above the desert floor is worth the click!

The internet is full of many wondrous things, most of which you have likely already seen. But something you probably have never seen before is an object rocketing along a set of tracks at 6,599 miles per hour, or right around Mach 8.6. No, I did not screw those metrics up, the video below shows a test being conducted on an object that is moving far beyond the threshold of hypersonic speed (Mach 5) just a few feet over the desert floor near Alamagordo, New Mexico.

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Cambridge startup claims breakthrough electric car battery that can charge in 6 minutes

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A startup that spun out of Cambridge University claims a battery breakthrough that can charge an electric car in just six minutes.

It’s something we heard before, but the difference here is that they claim that they can commercialize the new battery as soon as next year.

The startup, Echion Technologies, was founded by Dr. Jean De La Verpilliere while he was studying for his PhD in nanoscience at the University of Cambridge.

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The U.S. Air Force’s shadowy X-37B space plane has broken a space flight record

 

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At 6:43 am US eastern time today, the Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane broke a new spaceflight record, surpassing the 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes its predecessor spent in orbit just a couple years prior.

The X-37B, explained: The Air Force is notoriously tightlipped about the X-37B program. The space plane itself, built by Boeing, is 29 feet long and 9.6 feet tall, boasting a wingspan of nearly 15 feet. It’s launched vertically aboard a rocket and lands horizontally on a runway. The current X-37B mission is the fifth of its kind (Orbital Test Vehicle 5 – OTV-5) and was launched in September 2017 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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French inventor successfully soars over English Channel on hoverboard

 

How a French inventor crossed the English Channel with one short refuel and in 22 minutes on a hoverboard.

The French inventor of the jet-powered hoverboard soared over the English Channel despite wind gusts Sunday, becoming the first to cross the channel in such a futuristic way after failing in his first attempt last month.

Franky Zapata reached speeds of 110 mph to complete the 22-mile journey on his flyboard that began in Sangatte – in France’s Pas de Calais region – and ended in St. Margaret’s Bay, beyond the white cliffs of Dover, in southeast England.

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