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At long last, physicists from Harvard and MIT have found the killer application for quantum computing: a Mario Bros. GIF made from qubits. The qubits (quantum bits) can also be arranged in a Space Invaders design, or Tetris, or any other shape—your geometrical wish is the qubits’ command.

The GIFs are from QuEra Computing, a Boston startup emerging from stealth, to show off the programmability of their 256-qubit quantum simulator—a special-purpose quantum computer built for solving certain types of problems.

The QuEra machine is the latest leap in scaling up quantum computing to make it more powerful and capable of tackling practical problems. More qubits mean more information can be stored and processed, and researchers developing the technology have been racing to continually raise the bar.

In 2019, Google announced that its 53-qubit machine had achieved quantum supremacy—performing a task not manageable by a convention computer—but IBM challenged the claim. The same year, IBM launched its 53-bit quantum computer. In 2020, IonQ unveiled a 32-qubit system that the company said was the “world’s most powerful quantum computer.” And just this week IBM launched its new 127-qubit quantum processor, which the press release described as a “minor miracle of design.” “The big news, from my perspective, is it works,” says Jay Gambetta, IBM’s vice-president of quantum computing.

Now QuEra claims to have made a device with far more qubits than any of those rivals.

The ultimate goal of quantum computing, of course, is not to play Tetris but to outperform classical computers in solving problems of practical interest. Enthusiasts reckon that when these computers become powerful enough, perhaps in a decade or two, they might bring transformative effects in fields such as medicine and finance, neuroscience and AI. Quantum machines will likely need thousands of qubits to manage such complex problems.

The number of qubits, however, is not the only factor that matters.

QuEra is also touting the enhanced programmability of its device, in which each qubit is a single, ultra-cold atom. These atoms are precisely arranged with a series of lasers (physicists call them optical tweezers). Positioning the qubits allows the machine to be programmed, tuned to the problem under investigation, and even reconfigured in real time during the computation process. 

“Different problems are going to require the atoms to be placed in different configurations,” says Alex Keesling, QuEra’s CEO and co-inventor of the technology. “One of the things that’s unique about our machine is that every time we run it, a few times a second, we can completely redefine the geometry and the connectivity of the qubits.”

The atom advantage

QuEra’s machine was built from a blueprint and technologies refined over several years, led by Mikhail Lukin and Markus Greiner at Harvard and Vladan Vuletić and Dirk Englund at MIT (all are on QuEra’s founding team). In 2017, an earlier model of the device from the Harvard group used only 51 qubits; in 2020, they demonstrated the 256-qubit machine. Within two years the QuEra team expects to reach 1,000 qubits, and then, without changing the platform much, they hope to keep scaling up the system beyond hundreds of thousands of qubits.

Mario made from QuEra qubits.AHMED OMRAN/QUERA

It’s QuEra’s unique platform—the physical way that the system is assembled, and the method by which information encoded and processed—that should allow for such leaps of scale.

While Google’s and IBM’s quantum computing systems use superconducting qubits, and IonQ uses trapped ions, QuEra’s platform uses arrays of neutral atoms that produce qubits with impressive coherence (that is, a high degree of “quantumness”). The machine uses laser pulses to make the atoms interact, exciting them to an energy state—a “Rydberg state,” described in 1888 by the Swedish physicist Johannes Rydberg—at which they can do quantum logic in a robust way with high fidelity. This Rydberg approach to quantum computing has been worked on for a couple of decades, but technological advances—for instance, with lasers and photonics—were needed to make it work reliably.

“Irrationally exuberant”

When the computer scientist Umesh Vazirani, director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center, first learned about Lukin’s research along these lines, he felt “irrationally exuberant”—it seemed like a marvelous approach, though Vazirani questioned whether his intuitions were in touch with reality. “We’ve had various well-developed paths, such as superconductors and ion traps, that have been worked on for a long time,” he says. “Shouldn’t we be thinking

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By: Siobhan Roberts
Title: This new startup has built a record-breaking 256-qubit quantum computer
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/11/17/1040243/quantum-computer-256-bit-startup/
Published Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 13:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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