Friday, January 26, 2007

Quantum Computing And Military Tech

Quantum computing is pretty weird, and has lead at least one thinker to suggest that NP-complete problems cannot be solved in the physical universe. Latest developments include a team at the University of Rochester which was able to store an entire image on a single photon, and a quantum-encrypted network developed by a Swiss quantum computing company and an Australian encryption firm.

Meanwhile the American military has developed a heat-ray gun which causes intense pain without, apparently, any concomitant injury. The device looks pretty much exactly how you would expect sophisticated American military technology to look:

Although military robotics is already a flourishing field, which, although in some cases utterly terrifying, will very probably ultimately result in very, very compelling civilian benefits, Singapore is upping the ante with a tech contest. The challenge is to create a robot capable of performing the roles of a soldier, and the reward is about $700,000. Considering the millions -- probably billions -- that Japanese companies have already spent on anthropomorphic robots, less than a million dollars for a robot which is functionally anthropomorphic, even if not visually so, that's frankly a bit like offering somebody a sandwich for a car.

My weird tech news generally comes from I&T Weekly.

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