The Newspile: 3/11/07

Like (hopefully) many other people, I was skeptical when I first heard about Canadian startup D-Wave System’s claims that they had created the world’s first quantum computer. I’m less skeptical now that NASA has confirmed… something. NASA has taken credit for building the quantum processor chip used in D-Wave’s alleged quantum computer. Although NASA lends a little bit of credibility to D-Wave’s claims, the fact remains that no one other than D-Wave employees have ever even seen the thing… the company’s staged demo last February was done over web conference. I’m not saying that the thing doesn’t exist, I’m just saying that NASA might be setting itself up for a HUGE failure if this thing turns out to be some kind of fake…

Worried about dwindling oil supplies? Switch to tool-powered methods of transportation!

For all you technophobes out there, watch out for the killer robots

Thanks to the government’s well-thought-out decision to adopt RFID technology for use in passports, yours can now be copied while in transit to your home via U.S. Mail.

Isolationist foreign policy gets you nowhere. Exiled cubans and all sorts of other people have been preaching that for years. Ironic that the United States has legislated itself out of precious new oil reserves.

Skype now lets you charge people who call you! The implications are too obvious for me to write about, but Ars Technica is never too good for obvious.

For all you nuts-and-bolts geeks out there, check out Weird and Wonderful PC’s @ Tom’s Hardware.

After reading MusicThing’s post on Goodiepal’s mechanical birds, I decided to do some research on the eccentric Nordic composer with the wacky beard. I didn’t find much in the way of information…

But I did find his collected works for download. Not sure if this is authorized or not, but hey, it’s not like I could buy this guy’s stuff anywhere that I know of…

Finally, an explanation for all those “the heavy metal made me do it!” stories. Not surprisingly, the team to discover this is Danish. The Danish are known for their brutal variety of death metal. Coincidence? You decide…


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