Published April 5, 2013
Beyond the Bricks
Elisa Plance


Believed to be ready on a commercial scale, quantum computing is becoming popular among the likes of Microsoft, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard. The corporation Lockheed Martin bought an early prototype of a quantum computer from the company D-wave two years ago. The New York Times reported that the company plans to upgrade the prototype to a commercial level and is interested in using quantum computing as part of their business. Though many experts are skeptical of its abilities, the computer can potentially “supercharge even the most powerful systems, solving some science and business problems millions of times faster than can be done today,” according to the New York Times. The computer would be able to analyze large quantities of genetic data for cancer research, quickly recognize other cars and objects in self-driving vehicles and determine behaviors of proteins coded for by the human genome. According to the New York Times, “…Quantum computing relies on the fact that subatomic particles inhabit a range of states … Those probable.... states can be narrowed to determine an optimal outcome among a near-infinitude of possibilities, which allows certain types of problems to be solved rapidly.” Adaptions of these computers will be seen in military, aircraft and medical technology in the near future.


While still in its early stage, Facebook will be rolling out its new “Graph Search” in the coming months. In an article by NBC News, Mark Zuckerberg compared Facebook to a huge database and explained that, “Just like a database, you should be able to query it.” The new feature will allow people to search through your friends, photos, places and interests. It also allows friends to see what friends liked, recommend and where they checked in. It will create suggestions using conversational language, such as “books that my friends like” and “friends who live nearby.” The search can also be used for more specific inquiries. As described by NBC News, “Let’s say you want to play matchmaker for a friend who recently moved to New York City from Germany. You could search for all friends-of-friends who happen to reside in New York City, lived in Germany at some point, and are single.” Zuckerberg explained that although the Graph Search is privacy conscious, Facebook users should check and update their privacy settings individually. The previous version of Facebook’s search will be updated to incorporate Microsoft’s Bing for faster and more accurate searches. Those interested can apply through Facebook to test the beta version of the search.


To be adopted next year, the Senate has passed a $3.7 trillion budget that will bring about several changes. Described by the New York Times, the all-night debate ended in a 50 to 49 vote at around 5 a.m. According to the New York Times, the plan includes “$100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy” and well over $1 trillion in tax increases for the coming decade. It will also reform senior Medicare programs for future recipients, food stamps and other “safety net” programs. Even with the passed budget, the government’s spending limit will likely have to be extended in the summer.

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