Quantum Manhattan Project: Qunnect’s Quantum Networking Testbed Expands to Manhattan

BY MATT SWAYNE

  • Qunnect announced the construction of a new fiber loop that expands its quantum networking testbed, GothamQ, from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
  • The loop, which will connect New York University to the Navy Yard, is another step toward unlocking quantum internet capabilities for customers in financial services, critical infrastructure, and telecom in the New York metropolitan area, the company reports.
  • Critical Quote: “We are building a creative collaboration whereby the educational and research environment can be used to develop a better understanding of quantum communication networks.” — Javad Shabani, NYU Arts & Science physicist.
  • Image: Entangling New York City: In partnership with New York University (NYU), Qunnect has begun experiments to prove the feasibility of distribution of commercially-usable entanglement on some of the world’s noisiest, traffic-heavy fiber networks. Source: Qunnect.

PRESS RELEASE — – Qunnect, an industry leader in quantum-secure networking technology designed for scalable deployment on existing telecom fiber infrastructure, announced the construction of a new fiber loop that expands its quantum networking testbed, GothamQ, from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Connecting New York University (NYU) to the Navy Yard, Qunnect is poised to unlock quantum internet capabilities for customers in financial services, critical infrastructure, and telecom in the New York metropolitan area.

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Africa will get a new $1 billion spaceport in Djibouti

The spaceport, expected to include seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads, will be the first orbital spaceport on the continent.

Africa could soon get a new spaceport after Djibouti signed a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility to launch satellites and rockets in the northern Obock region.

According to the preliminary deal, the Djibouti government will “provide the necessary land (minimum 10 sq km and with a term of not less than 35 years) and all the necessary assistance to build and operate the Djiboutian Spaceport.”ADVERTISEMENT

The $1 billion spaceport project will also involve the construction of a port facility, a power grid and a highway to ensure the reliable transportation of aerospace materials.

The deal’s signing was presided over by the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and the project is set to be completed in the next five years.

The spaceport is a massive milestone for Africa, making it the first orbital spaceport on African soil.

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A Swiss company says it has pulled CO2 out of the atmosphere and stored it underground

Collector containers at the “Orca” direct air capture and storage facility, operated by Climeworks AG, in Hellisheidi, Iceland.

By JUSTINE CALMA

Climeworks says a third-party auditor has verified its carbon removal for Microsoft, Stripe, and Shopify.

Microsoft, Stripe, and Shopify are officially the first companies in the world to pay to filter their carbon dioxide emissions out of the air, store those emissions underground, and have that service verified by a third party. Climate tech company Climeworks announced yesterday that it had completed the service, and its third-party verification of the carbon removal marks a first for the emerging industry.

In 2021, Climeworks opened up the world’s largest direct air capture (DAC) plant, called Orca, which essentially filters carbon dioxide out of the ambient air. That captured carbon is then supposed to be trapped in basalt rock formations permanently, keeping the greenhouse gas from lingering in our atmosphere and heating up the planet. 

The tech sort of mimics what forests and trees do naturally when they take in and store carbon dioxide, a process companies have attempted to exploit for years as a way to “offset” their carbon dioxide emissions. But forest offsets have a track record of failing to result in any real-world reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. That quality control problem makes verifying carbon removal from new direct air capture facilities crucial. 

That quality control problem makes verifying carbon removal from new direct air capture facilities crucial.

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Boston Dynamics’ Atlas Robot Can Now Pick Up and Throw Things

A video demo shows how Atlas could help human construction workers at a building site (or possibly lead a robot uprising).

By Michael Kane

We’ve seen the Atlas robot from Boston Dynamics dance, do backflips, and even perform parkour. But now it’s received a new skill: the ability to pick up and throw objects. 

In a new video, the Atlas robot is seen carrying a tool bag up some scaffolding and then throwing it to a human construction worker who’s standing on a simulated construction site. The demonstration requires Atlas to use its sensors and a large variety of capabilities to navigate the site while remaining balanced. 

In the video, the Atlas robot first picks up and places a large wooden plank to act as a bridge over the construction site. The machine then proceeds to walk over the plank after picking up the tool bag with its two hands. 

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Quantum machine learning (QML) is poised to make the leap in 2023

In classic machine learning (ML) proven algorithms to be powerful tools for many tasks, including image and speech recognition, natural language processing (NLP) and predictive modeling. However, classical algorithms are limited by the constraints of classical computers and may have difficulty handling large files and complex data sets or to achieve a high degree of accuracy and precision.

Enter quantum machine learning (QML). 

QML combines the power of Quantum Computation with the predictive power of ML to overcome the limitations of classical algorithms and offer performance improvements. In their article “On the role of entanglement in speeding up quantum computing,” Richard Jozsa and Neil Linden, of the University of Bristol in the UK, write that “QML algorithms promise to provide exponential speedups over their classical algorithms for some of the most tasks such as data classification, feature selection, and cluster analysis. In particular, the use of quantum algorithms for supervised and unsupervised learning has the potential to revolutionize machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

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The World’s First Intelligent Unmanned Oceanographic Research Ship Enters Service

The World’s First Intelligent Unmanned Oceanographic Research Ship Enters Service

The world’s first intelligent unmanned oceanographic research vessel “Zhuhaiyun” entered service in the city of Zhuhai today.

The ship, which has successfully completed all its maritime test objectives, is the world’s first intelligent oceanographic research vessel with autonomous navigation and remote control functions. The ship’s power system, information system, dynamic positioning system and operation support system are completely independently developed by China.

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Auto Expo 2023: Liger Mobility Unveils World’s First Self-Balancing Scooters

The company says that the Liger X and Liger X+ are fitted with its patented self-balancing system and will be launched in India by end-2023. 

Engineering and Tech start-up Liger Mobility has unveiled the world’s first self-balancing electric scooters – the Liger X and Liger X+. While self-balancing technology isn’t new to the two-wheeler space developments in the technology have been focused on the motorcycle space with brands having previously showcased prototypes of the same.

Liger says that its self-balancing system (AutoBalancing technology) allows riders to ride the scooter and low speeds and even come to a full stop without requiring to place their leg on the ground. Additionally, the system works in conjunction with a reverse gear allowing users to reverse the scooter without needing to use their feet for balance. The scooters will additionally be offered with a learner mode restraining the top speed.

Speaking on the occasion Ashutosh Upadhyay, Co-founder of Liger Mobility said, “Liger Mobility’s team of passionate engineers have worked hard over the last several years to make our AutoBalancing technology for two-wheelers, technically and financially viable. All aspects of Liger X and Liger X+’s AutoBalancing technology, including the hardware and software, have been developed in-house, further underlining India’s ambition, determination and quality of engineering talent.”

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SpaceX’s New Project Is A Middle Finger To Putin

Rendering of Starship conducting Starlink deployment — SpaceX

Elon’s Starshield programme is a game-changer.

Elon Musk hates Putin with a passion. One of the primary motivators for developing and expanding SpaceX was to topple Putin’s monopoly on crewed space launches. Musk’s Starlink is also a crucial technology in empowering the Ukrainian forces to annihilate Putin’s pathetic ones. But Elon’s latest program, Starshield, promises to impact Russia far more than anything else he has done.

In March 2018, the US Space Development Agency (SDA) was formed. One of its missions was to develop missile defence systems that use low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. In October 2020, the SDA awarded SpaceX $150 million for a dual-use contract to develop a particular military version of the Starlink satellite to become a part of their new system known as the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA). The NDSA will have seven layers: data transport, battle management, missile tracking, weapons targeting, navigation, deterrence, and ground support. SpaceX could, in theory, service all of these layers thanks to this dual-use contract.

This militarised version of Starlink, dubbed “Starshield” by Elon Musk, can function as a high-speed space-based communications system as well as carry additional payloads, allowing it to function as a highly flexible, highly detailed, and global earth observatory. Starshield satellites are based on V1.5 and V2.0 Starlink satellites, but they are larger and more powerful (with twice the solar cell area), which enables them to carry and power additional payloads. One such payload will be military imaging technology that will enable Starshield to identify and track objects of interest on the surface of Earth. So far, this is the only confirmed additional payload, though it is likely that the NDSA has other technologies in the works for these incredible missions.

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American Dialect Society names “-ussy” its 2022 Word Of The Year, and there’s nothing we can do about it

The popular suffix beat out “Dark Brandon” and “quiet quitting” as 2022’s Word Of The Year

By William Hughes

Language is an ever-evolving and living thing; a social construct plucked from the minds of millions, with each hand that touches it shaping it in some small but ineffable way. And like all living things, it must, eventually, give way to the natural order of things, and do as we all are destined to do: Crap its pants, and then die.

As it happens, said ignominious death occurred, for the English language, just a few short hours ago today, when the American Dialect Society—a collection of “linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars”—decided to throw their combined academic acumen behind naming “-ussy” the 2022 Word Of The Year. 

In other news, we’re in hell now, and will be for the foreseeable future.

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Not so faux: How the ‘fake’ fur industry is secretly selling you real fur

Faux fur is a staple of the fashion industry. But what’s marketed as fake might actually be all too real. 

By Tove Danovich

It started with raccoon dogs. They have the bandit mask of a raccoon but are fluffier, like wild Pomeranians. Most consumers in the United States were unlikely to have heard of the species — before 2005, when a video began circulating on the internet showing a raccoon dog being skinned alive in a fur market in China where millions of them are raised and killed for their pelts every year.

But where were the pelts going? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) began looking into what raccoon dog fur was being used for because it’s not heavily marketed like fox or mink fur.

“That was when we saw [advertising copy] saying it’s a raccoon, Finnish raccoon, Asiatic raccoon,” said PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the HSUS. “What was worse, we saw it coming in as ‘faux fur.’”

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This New Street-Legal Flying Car Can Take Off Like an eVTOL and Then Cruise the Highway at 70 MPH

The Aska AS5’s wheels are a major differentiator over other electric hovercraft that just take off and land. 

By MICHAEL VERDON 

California-based ASKA showed off its electric “flying car” with a full-scale interior mockup at CES last week. Unlike other flying cars entering the market, the AS5 looks and behaves more like a conventional eVTOL than a converted airplane design.

“People were excited when they got behind the wheel and saw how easy it would be to drive and fly,” said Guy Kaplinsky, ASKA’s co-Founder and CEO.

The company has established a Tesla-style retail store in Los Altos in Silicon Valley, and is taking preorders for the aircraft ($5,000 deposit, $789,000 retail). ASKA has a manufacturing center in Mountain View, Calif., where it says it can produce two eVTOLs per month. Kaplinsky expects the AS5 will be certified and on the market by 2026.

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A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH COULD MEAN REALISTIC AUTONOMOUS BIRD-LIKE DRONES ARE ON THE HORIZON

By TIM MCMILLAN·

The challenge to imitate nature’s gravity-defying designs has confounded some of the most brilliant engineering minds for at least the last 1,200 years. Specifically, designing a functional ornithopter–the technical term for an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings–has proven to be an exceptionally difficult task. 

Now, thanks to a recent breakthrough, the development of the world’s first true ornithopter and dexterous-winged unmanned aircraft, capable of flying and perching just like a bird, appears to be on the horizon. 

Researchers working with the European Union-funded GRIFFIN project recently demonstrated the ability of an ornithopter to fly, land, and perch on a tree branch using a talon-like claw system. All autonomously, without any additional in-flight input from a remote user. The achievement marks the first time a large-scale autonomous ornithopter has been able to perform this incredibly complicated maneuver. 

According to the GRIFFIN project, this recent breakthrough will pave the way for flapping-wing robots to perform a number of real-world applications, including long-range observation and logistics missions. 

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