Friday, June 28, 2013

USC finds that D-Wave's quantum computer is real, maybe


D-Wave processor wafer

D-Wave has had little trouble lining up customers for its quantum computer, but questions have persisted as to whether or not the machine is performing quantum math in the first place. University of Southern California researchers have tested Lockheed Martin's unit to help settle that debate, and they believe that D-Wave's computer could be the real deal -- or rather, that it isn't obviously cheating. They've shown that the system isn't based on simulated annealing, which relies on traditional physics for number crunching. The device is at least "consistent" with true quantum annealing, although there's no proof that this is what's going on; it may be using other shortcuts. Whether or not D-Wave built a full-fledged quantum computer, the resulting output is credible enough that customers won't feel much in the way of buyer's remorse.

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Source: Wired


This Awesome Spray Will Waterproof Anything [VIDEO]


Rust-Oleum has a new spray product called NeverWet that will waterproof anything, leading the very impressed folks at Buzzfeed to declare that "science is the real witchcraft."

Neverwet works on soft porous surfaces as well as hard ones, and even on very soft porous ones like bread or cotton, they show. It will make red wine roll right off your Care Bear.

The product contains acetone (nail polish remover) and liquid petroleum gas, and a few additional "magic" ingredients like "silicone, and siloxanes, Dimethyl-" and silica. You spray it on in a two-step process, which creates a "hydrophobic" layer on the surface. This repells water, making liquids roll right off.

We have to agree with Buzzfeed, it is pretty magical:

But you shouldn't actually spray it on bread. If you eat it you will get serious brain damage. The waterproofing kit can be bought for about $60.

Here's another video from the people at Rust-Oleum:

Find Us On Facebook — Business Insider: Science

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Tommy Hilfiger Co-Founder Will Personally Finance The Buyer Of His $75 Million Lake Tahoe Estate


tranquility tahoe joel horowitzFormer Tommy Hilfiger CEO and co-founder Joel Horowitz has a new plan to sell his gargantuan Lake Tahoe estate, which has been on and off the market for the past six years: He will personally finance the purchase for a qualified buyer.

The financing deals would be worked out once a qualified buyer is found, but it's a rare offer from a seller, a representative for the realtor said.

The home was initially listed for $100 million; it was relisted with Sierra Sotheby's International Realty in January with an asking price of $75 million.

The 210-acre estate, called Tranquility, is the largest on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. In addition to a 27,000-square-foot mansion, it has an indoor glass mosaic pool, private lake, two par-3 golf holes and an indoor golf simulator, horse stables, a wine cellar, a cinema, and separate guest and staff residences.

The decor is also impressive, from a replica of the staircase on the Titanic to four Rembrandt paintings. Nearly all of the furnishings are included in the sale price.

As 210 acres, Tranquility is the largest private estate on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

It's incredibly private -- the perfect getaway for a billionaire.

In addition to a 27,000-square-foot main home, there are guest and staff quarters and a 16-car garage.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider


A 15 Year-Old Girl From Canada Has Built A Flashlight Powered By The Heat Of A Hand


There's almost no real reason to own a flashlight now that all smartphones have bright flashes that work as flashlights.


If, for some reason, you do want a dedicated flashlight in your life, a 15 year-old genius, Ann Makosinski from Victoria, B.C. has developed a new, innovative version of the flashlight

Instead of using batteries, the flashlight converts the heat from your palm into energy that powers LED lightbulbs.


The best part of this invention is not the flashlight, which, as we already noted is obsolete. The best part is knowing that a 15-year-old is already playing around with this energy technology. 

Hopefully in the next ten years she can do the same sort of thing for smartphones. Imagine just having to hold your smartphone for it to have enough energy to run? 

Makosinski is a finalist in Google's Science Fair. To see who she's going against, click here »

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There's Now A Way To Anonymously Search The Web On Your Phone


DuckDuckGo CEO gabriel weinberg

DuckDuckGo just released its first mobile app for browsing the Web anonymously. 

The app launch for iOS and Android comes in light of the NSA's PRISM program. 

DuckDuckGo doesn't track your clicks across the Web, unlike Google. So if the government were to come knocking on DuckDuckGo's doors, seeking information, they would have no way to tie that information to individual users.

Though, it's worth noting that Google's Chrome app for iOS and Android does support private browsing. Apple's Safari browser also has a private search feature. However, those features aren't switched on by default like they are with DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo's app provides instant answers to help you find what you're looking for, without ever having to click on a search result. Since it doesn't track what you do, the search results aren't specific to your history and your interests. That's why the company positions its solution as a way to increase your exposure to information that you might not see otherwise.

DuckDuckGo launched back in 2008 as an alternative to traditional search engines that don't respect your privacy.

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg has mostly bootstrapped the company, but he also received $3 million from Union Square Ventures, Scott Banister, Peter Hershberg, Joshua Stylman, Joshua Schachter, Kal Vepuri, and Jim Young.

You can download the free app for iOS and Android here. 

SEE ALSO: Google Search Competitor DuckDuckGo Got Record Traffic Following The PRISM Revelations

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This Building By Luxe Auto Designer Pininfarina Looks Like a Ferrari


This Building By Luxe Auto Designer Pininfarina Looks Like a Ferrari

Pininfarina: you may know it as the high-end Italian firm that designs fast, expensive cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Now, for the first time, its designers are branching out into residential design with a condominium in Singapore. And it looks like the cars they design.

Many architects have designed cars, including Frank Gehry, Bucky Fuller, and Le Corbusier. But very few car designers have designed buildings. Pininfarina's plan for the 104-unit, 335-foot-high condominium quite obviously harnesses many aesthetic features of a luxury automobile. The lines of the towering red building compliment those of the body of a pricey Porsche. And the warm wooden interior of the building echoes that of a sleek woodgrain dash. For example, this is a 2006 Pininfarina Ferrari P4/5:

This Building By Luxe Auto Designer Pininfarina Looks Like a Ferrari

And this is a Maserati Birdcage 75th, a concept Pininfirina designed in 2005:

This Building By Luxe Auto Designer Pininfarina Looks Like a Ferrari

And this is a render of the building:

This Building By Luxe Auto Designer Pininfarina Looks Like a Ferrari

Either of those cars would fit right in the garage of this Singapore residence. It makes sense that a luxury car designer would design a luxury condo. Hell, the people who are buying Pininfarina-designed Maseratis would clearly be in the market for a big, showy building to call home. Now they can have the car and the condo to match.

It turns out that Pininfarina has quite the corner on the luxury living market—it's designed not just fancy cars, but also yachts and private planes. Real rich people stuff! One thing's for sure—these guys definitely know their audience. [DesignBoom]


Now You Can Rent A Lamborghini Gallardo From Hertz


lamborghini ferrari hertz

Rental cars no longer need to be boring. For travelers who want to drive in style, Hertz is now offering a fleet of supercars through its Hertz Dream Cars program.

The fleet includes rides from Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Tesla, and more, at 35 locations around the U.S.

Naturally, a top of the line rental costs more than a few days in an old Chevy Impala. Hertz's Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys start at $1,500 per day, and cost $3 for every mile above the 75 mile limit.

The Aston Martin Vantage and Audi R8 both start at $1,000 per day, with the same $3/mile penalty. The cheaper end of the luxury lineup, including Porsche and Mercedes rides, will cost you $350 per diem, with a $.49 penalty for roll of the odometer over the 75 mile limit.

Here's the full list of available whips. Hertz does not disclose how many it has of each:

  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage
  • Audi R8
  • Bentley Continental GT
  • Cadillac CTS-V
  • Ferrari (California, F430)
  • Lamborghini Gallardo
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG (SLS, C63, E63)
  • Mercedes-Benz SL550, S550 and G550
  • Porsche (911, Cayenne, Boxster, Panamera)
  • SRT Viper
  • Tesla Model S

SEE ALSO: The 50 Sexiest Cars Of The Past 100 Years

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Visualized: The Lumia wall at Build 2013


Visualized The Lumia wall at Build 2013

What happens when you take 200 Lumia 820s and pin them to a wall? You get a 12,000 x 6,400-pixel display, natch. This week at Build 2013 in San Francisco, Nokia and Microsoft teamed up to show this tiled monitor made of identical phones each running the same custom-built app. A master handset is used to control what's on the wall by communicating with each phone over WiFi (IP multicast). One demo was showing a massive animated grid of live tiles representing a selection of apps from the Windows Phone store. In another demo, the wall was displaying Bing Maps (using Here data) and being controlled interactively by the master handset. Take a look at our gallery below.

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