Thursday, September 16, 2010

new quantum leap in computer processing?

Just a quick post today. Amber came by to get some of her stuff, Becca took me to the Spinner's meeting out at Knitter's Underground, and Ethan came by today to fix my washer (the break was gone so it made HORRIBLE screeching noise when it stopped spinning. eek. That and the control board that regulated cold and hot water fried. He's going to get the board in tomorrow to finish fixing it. It's a good deal cheaper fixing a washer like this than it is to go out and buy a new one. I inherited mine from a friend who moved out of state. It looks like it was a top-of-the-line model about 10 years ago. It worked like a champ up till it stopped giving me cold water... =) I've been reading for school off and on throughout the day. So it's been a busy day for me.

It's rainy and stormy here in Boalsburg. My hair is frizzy like all-get-out from the humidity. My hands have been giving me problems today as well. I had (what I thought was) a good idea and had bought a Logitec Trackball about a month ago. Today was the last straw. I cannot use it. My thumb (the one that operates the ball) has been shaking today so I have a hell of a time trying to click on anything. The harder I try to control the shaking, the more it shakes. I broke down and I'm getting a Kensington Trackball from Amazon. It should be here Saturday, I think. It's the mouse that my orthopedic doctor recommended after the CT surgeries. *sigh*

I have a section on my left forearm that feels raw (Imagine running 100 grit sand paper on the underside of your forearm till it *just* starts to bleed. That's what it feels like whenever it touches something.). Makes sitting with my arm on an armrest, shall we say, annoying. If you poke me just about anywhere, it feels like a bruise. I think all of this is from a combination of stress of school and the weather.

ANYHOW! What I really want to talk about is this:

I just saw this article on Financial Times (of all the weird places!) and thought I would share it with you, Dear Reader. I know they've been playing around with the idea for years now... At least 7 years of research (I can remember back in '03 talking about this with co-workers) and now they have something come to fruition! A computer that uses light instead of electricity to perform its tasks!It's not perfected by any stretch of the imagination, but they've done it finally! I don't know if you can access FT without logging in so I've provided info about where to find it, who wrote it and snippets of the article:

Computers set for quantum leap

By Clive Cookson in Birmingham

Published: September 16 2010 19:18 | Last updated: September 16 2010 19:18

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

...

Jeremy O’Brien, director of the UK’s Centre for Quantum Photonics, who led the project, said many people in the field had believed a functional quantum computer would not be a reality for at least 25 years.

“However, we can say with real confidence that, using our new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers,” he told the British Science Festival, as he presented the research.

The breakthrough, published today in the journal Science, means data can be processed according to the counterintuitive rules of quantum physics that allow individual subatomic particles to be in several places at the same time.

This property will enable quantum computers to process information in quantities and at speeds far beyond conventional supercomputers. But formidable technical barriers must be overcome before quantum computing becomes practical.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Classes continue

I just sent mail to my adviser about my English 202C class. *sigh* Here all along I thought Econ was going to be my biggest problem, but I'm doing better in it each week and my IST classes are great!

English on the other hand...

So, time to come clean about my books. I had to buy them at the end of the first week. I had a minor budgeting issue that prevented me from getting my books ahead of time. I admit, it's my own fault. I made sure to tell all my instructors about it and both Econ and IST 210 profs were really cool about it. English though... He suggested dropping the class which I cannot do since I've got no more drop credits (the one down side to using my previous college career credits is that it also takes into account ALL aspects of my previous college life, including having used up all my drop credits =/ ). So that didn't start off well...

We're supposed to be in teams but apparently something isn't working right for him so the entire class is in one group at the moment. Lovely.

So we have an assignment due tonight (Tuesday) where we're supposed to review peer's abstracts. The problem is I cannot find them anywhere. I sent mail to my team (before finding out about the team problem) and to him using the ANGEL mail service, like we're told to do. Nothing from him or anyone else. It's as if my question went into a void.

I can't do the stupid assignment if I cannot find these abstracts, I now think I missed something from last week too, so now I'm just screwed. ARGH!! I sent mail to my adviser telling her everything and asking her advice. *sigh*

Truth be told, I've had headaches by evening 3 or 4 days out of the week for the last two weeks.
If I can just get through this semester, things will be golden. I should have contacted the PSU Office of Disability and gotten accommodations for my classes (extra time on assignments etc.), but I thought I could muscle through without resorting to that. Now I'm kicking myself in the ass.

Aside from that things are peachy. Choperena and the Bass Sasquatch took Rykujin and I to Harrisburg on Sunday to eat at the Appalachian Brewery Company then to watch the Harrisburg roller derby team take on a team from Rhode Island. We lost, unfortunately, but I had a good time none the less.

Ok. time to go beat my head against something hard. The irony to all this is I took my English quiz today and got a 93% (14 out of 15 questions right). It's not as if I don't know about rhetoric, research, and technical writing, I just can't seem to get the class mechanics themselves sussed out. grrrrr.