A quantum computer just solved a decades-old problem three million times faster than a classical computer

To simulate exotic magnetism, King and his team programmed the D-Wave 2,000-qubit system to model a quantum magnetic system.

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 

Using a method called quantum annealing, D-Wave’s researchers demonstrated that a quantum computational advantage could be achieved over classical means.

Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods.  

Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in one of D-Wave’s quantum annealing processors, and found that performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, to reach a million-fold speedup over what could be achieved with a classical CPU.  

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USPS unveils next-generation mail truck with electric drivetrain option

Defense contractor Oshkosh is the winner of a years-long contest

By Sean O’Kane 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has revealed its new mail truck after a years-long competition. The new truck will be built by Wisconsin-based defense contractor Oshkosh and can be fitted with both gasoline and electric drivetrains. But it won’t hit the road until 2023.

Oshkosh winning the contract is a potentially major blow to commercial electric vehicle startup Workhorse, which was one of the three remaining bidders. The company’s stock price plummeted following the announcement, and trading was halted multiple times.

The USPS has been looking to replace its existing mail trucks for years now, and it started taking solicitations for new designs back in 2015. The need for new trucks is urgent. The ones currently on the road are not only woefully out of date — they don’t even have air conditioning — but they’re a major fire risk.

The switchover was supposed to start happening in 2018, but the program experienced multiple setbacks. The USPS repeatedly extended deadlines in the early going at the request of the bidding manufacturers, and then when they finally delivered the first prototypes, many of them were faulty, according to an Inspector-General report released last August. The program was hit with further delays once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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Netflix launches ‘Downloads for You,’ a new feature that automatically downloads content you’ll like


Sarah Perez

Netflix today is launching a new feature that aims to bring more offline content to users who opt-in automatic downloads. With “Downloads for You” enabled, the Netflix app will download recommended TV shows and movies to your mobile device based on your tastes, as determined by your Netflix watch history.

After turning on the feature for the first time, you’ll be able to select the amount of storage space you want to dedicate to saving these recommended downloads on your device: either 1GB, 3GB or 5GB. The downloads will then take place when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and will contain a mix of recommendations that Netflix believes you’ll like. Typically, the app will download the first few episodes of a TV show — enough to get you started.

You can also cast the downloaded content to a nearby TV, where it will stream directly from your phone.

After you’ve watched the episodes or movies, you can delete them from the device to free up more storage space for the next time you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

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Get ahead of veterinary expenses in 2021 with pet insurance from Lemonade

The love and joy that come with adopting a pet make all the work involved well worth it. When you wake up at 5 am to walk your dog or scrape out the bottom of your cat’s litterbox, it’s all for the rewards of the cuddles, snuggles and companionship they give you in return. Taking care of your pet’s health while balancing your finances, however, can be a bit trickier. 

Pet insurance is an optimal way to make sure that your furry friend stays healthy while allowing you to maintain financial stability. By paying a low monthly premium, you can anticipate the possibility of an expensive, emergency trip to the vet in a way that’s sustainable for your budget.

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Cybercrime To Cost Over $10 Trillion Annually By 2025


According to a report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs will grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from a ‘mere’ US$3 trillion in 2015.

This prediction is part of a special report conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures and sponsored by INTRUSION, Inc.

This incredible figure represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, is exponentially larger than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and will be more profitable to the criminals behind it than the global trade in all major illegal drugs combined.

“Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm,” says one business analyst.

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THIS INDOOR MICRO-ALGAE FARM MOUNTS TO ANY WALL TO GROW THE SUPERFOOD RIGHT AT HOME!

BY SHAWN MCNULTY-KOWAL  

Coral and algae have a symbiotic relationship, one that biomimicry design can depend on as a model. Coral reefs provide algae with a safe environment to grow along with the compounds needed for photosynthesis, while the algae produce oxygen and supply coral reefs with the nutrients needed to keep their ecosystems colorful and healthy. The algae convert carbon dioxide into nutrient-rich biomass, allowing coral reefs to still thrive even in nutrient-poor waters. Following this cycle and applying it to human life, the health benefits of consuming algae cannot be overstated. In order to incorporate algae, a nutrient-rich superfood, into our homes and daily health rituals, Hyunseok An’s design team Ulrim designed The Coral, an indoor micro-algae farm that looks as good as it is for you.

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RUSSIAN SCIENTIST PROPOSES USING LASERS TO MELT SPACE JUNK

SATELLITE MELT

byVICTOR TANGERMANN

THAT’S ONE WAY TO DO IT.

As we speak, thousands of small pieces of debris are cluttering Earth’s orbit. Even entire derelict satellites are drifting through space, having long fulfilled their purpose. In fact, an astonishing 60 percent of our planet’s roughly 6,000 satellites are no longer in operation.

That’s a problem, as any collision could end in disaster — or the dreaded knock-on effect known as Kessler syndrome, a cascade of collisions generating new pieces of dangerous space debris that could render Earth’s orbit uninhabitable.

That’s why Russian physicist Egor Loktionov is suggesting a highly unusual intervention: using space-based lasers to melt non-operational satellites into plasma, the Academic Times reports.

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The measure of: Aptera Motors’ solar electric vehicle

By Siobhan Doyle

A San Diego-based motoring start-up has created a solar electric three-wheeled car that doesn’t require any charging.

Developed by Aptera Motors, the futuristic solar electric vehicle (sEV), which has an almost Jetsons flying-car-like aesthetic, features more than 3m2 of solar panels that are integrated into the body. This set-up allows the driver to travel up to 45 miles (72km) a day and up to 11,000 miles per year entirely on energy harnessed from the Sun “in most regions”, according to the company.

The car can also be plugged in like any other electric car and its fast-charging technology can offer a top model charge rate of up to 500 miles of range per hour.

“With Aptera’s ‘Never Charge’ technology, you are driven by the power of the Sun,” says co-founder Chris Anthony. “Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go, you just go.”

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Additive Orthopaedics Gains FDA Approval for First 3D Printed Talus Implant

by Michael Molitch-Hou

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of a new 3D printed implant, the Patient Specific Talus Spacer from Additive Orthopaedics. The device is described by the FDA as “the first in the world and first-of-its-kind implant to replace the talus.”

The talus is the bone in the ankle that joins the leg and the foot. In particular, this world first could be used to treat avascular necrosis (AVN) of the ankle joint, in which bone tissue is destroyed by a lack of blood supply to the area. AVN is typically the result of an acute injury, such as a broken bone, or prolonged tissue damage. In joints, the cartilage that prevents bones from grinding against one another can degrade over time, resulting in arthritis and pain. In the case of the ankle, the talus may collapse and require the fusing of joints, which can reduce pain but makes movement of the joint impossible, or even amputation of the leg below the knee.

Now that there is a 3D printable implant to treat this problem, it may be used to replace other surgical interventions and spare the joint of people suffering from late-stage AVN. As the name suggests, the Patient Specific Talus Spacer is tailored to each patient based off of their computed tomography data. The damaged talus can then be replaced with a 3D printed, cobalt chromium replacement that perfectly fits the patient’s anatomy.

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Flying Autonomous Robot Uses AI to Identify and Pick Ripe Fruit

The FAR robot in action

By  Derya Ozdemir   

Multiple robots can harvest an orchard thanks to a single autonomous digital brain in a ground-based unit.

Fruit picking is a physically laborious task that can require a lot of standing, crouching, and climbing for up to eight hours a day. While it may have its up moments, it is generally a low-paid, seasonal, and repetitive work that has few likelihoods for advancement, and as younger generations migrate to urban areas, the pickers are aging and a global shortage of seasonal fruit pickers is worsening.

COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated this situation due to the enforced travel restrictions preventing seasonal workers from crossing borders. In such times, robots that can harvest the crops are gaining traction.

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THE US MILITARY IS GETTING 3D PRINTING “FACTORIES” INSIDE SHIPPING CONTAINERS

THE 40-FOOT CONTAINERS WILL CONTAIN ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT TO SCAN, MODEL, AND MANUFACTURE PARTS OUT OF METALS, CERAMICS AND MORE.

Portable Factory

The United States Department of Defense just awarded a contract to additive manufacturing company ExOne to develop 3D printing mini-factories that could be deployed into the field during a military operation.

The factories are essentially complete 3D printing labs that can be housed entirely within a shipping container, according to Interesting Engineering. It’s an intriguing — though not unprecedented — idea that the Defense Department says will help improve military logistics and allow for parts and tools to be replaced as needed on the spot.

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S.Korea unveils inflatable isolation ward for COVID-19 patients

A woman passes the Mobile Clinic Module outside Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean researchers say they have designed an inflatable “negative pressure” ward for isolating and treating patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19, after the pandemic exposed shortages of such beds around the world.

The rooms use a ventilation system that creates negative pressure to allow air to flow into the isolation room and be channelled out safely, helping prevent the spread of airborne pathogens.

They have become a vital tool for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but many countries have struggled to create them quickly enough.

The mobile clinic modules designed by a research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are large greenhouse-like inflatable tents, which the institute said cost a fifth of the price of building a conventional hospital ward.

Nam Tek-jin, an industrial design professor who led the KAIST team, says their tents, which are the size of a basketball court, can be installed and equipped in less than a day.

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