This week’s headline story: Google Sets Sights on Quantum Computing
Will Google be the company that finally brings quantum computing to fruition? With it’s new Quantum AI Lab it just may be. The new lab, led by physicist John Martinis from the University of California Santa Barbara, will combine the best minds from Google, NASA Ames Research Center and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to study the application of quantum optimization related to artificial intelligence. Quantum computing makes use of quantum physics to solve problems that would take a conventional computer millions of years. Rather than the traditional bit which maintains a state representing either one or zero, a quantum computer uses “qubits” intended to maintain a quantum state known as a superposition – effectively both 0 and 1 at the same time. Superposition is useful for solving problems in cryptography, data mining and other processing intensive tasks. If Google is successful, its work could change computing forever.
- Google starts quantum computing research project [Reuters]
- Google Launches Effort to Build Its Own Quantum Computer [MIT Tech Review]
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- Facebook ready to spend billions to bring whole world online: Zuckerberg [Reuters]
Nearly half of the world’s 7 billion residents use the Internet. Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to bring the remaining 3 and a half billion online. “What we really care about is connecting everyone in the world,” Zuckerberg said at an event in Mexico City hosted by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. “Even if it means that Facebook has to spend billions of dollars over the next decade making this happen, I believe that over the long term its gonna be a good thing for us and for the world.” Currently nearly half of those online use Facebook.
- White House names Google’s Megan Smith the next Chief Technology Officer of the United States [The Washington Post]
The White House has named Google Executive, Megan Smith as the country’s next Chief Technology Officer. A former Twitter lawyer, Alexander Macgillivray will serve at her side as deputy CTO. Smith is an engineer with a record of executing upon ambitious, even fantastical ideas. Macgillivray has navigated some of the Internet’s trickiest policy questions and is known as a staunch defender of the free flow of information online. Smith and Macgillivray will no doubt have their hands full as the country attempts to stay on top of technological innovation while addressing the complications raised by an increasingly connected world.
and in Information Security news this week..
- Celebrity photo breach heightens online security warnings [Reuters]
Celebrities were in an uproar this past week, when “intimate” photos of well known stars Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and others were discovered posted on the image-sharing forum 4Chan. It turns out that the photos were stolen by hackers from the celebrities personal iCloud accounts. Apple says that the thefts were the result of targeted attacks and not the result of a system-wide breach. Never the less Apple is bulking up its security with two-factor authentication in hopes of calming the waters prior to its new product announcements this coming week.
- Hackers break into server for Obamacare website: U.S. officials [Reuters]
Hackers broke into the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov and uploaded malware designed to launch a distributed denial of service, or DDoS attack against other websites. “Our review indicates that the server did not contain consumer personal information; data was not transmitted outside the agency, and the website was not specifically targeted,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said. “We have taken measures to further strengthen security.”
- Hackers Are Homing in on Hospitals [Technology Review]
Hospitals had better tighten up security! Hackers are targeting systems that store troves of valuable personal information held in electronic medical records, according to Websense researchers. Websense has observed a 600 percent increase in attacks on hospitals over the past 10 months.
and in Tech Industry news…
- Showtime for Apple: Big phones, smart watches and high expectations [Reuters]
JONY IVE TEASES THE iWATCH: Switzerland Is Screwed [Business Insider]
All eyes are on Apple this Tuesday as the company is expected to unveil the long-anticipated iWatch. Apple’s chief designer, Jony Ive has reportedly remarked that the new iWatch is so amazing that it will threaten the Swiss watch industry. Apple has invited top fashion editors and bloggers in unprecedented numbers to its Tuesday launch event. Even competitors are anxious for the iWatch launch in hopes that it will spark interest in the new wearable market that has so far failed to engage consumers.
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