Who Needs Pricey Quantum Computers When You Can Have p-bits?

Researchers claim they have built the first hardware for a ‘probabilistic computer’ that uses ‘p-bits’ to do what some quantum computers can do, but more cheaply and at room temperature. Quick but necessary backgrounder: normal computers run on bits that are expressed in 1s or 0s. The reason quantum computers are considered the next big advance in computing power is because they use ‘qubits’, which sport two key properties: (1) superpositioning (i.e. they can potentially represent a 1 or a 0 at the same time) and (2) entanglement (meaning two…

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Microsoft has a new way to keep your computer’s firmware from being hacked

In the constant cat and mouse game that is PC security, hackers have increasingly turned to firmware exploits to carry out their attacks. There are a couple of reasons for the uptick. One obvious one is that firmware, as the code that defines the relationship between hardware and software, is vitally important to any computer. Another major issue is that firmware is often written by hardware manufacturers instead of operating system developers like Microsoft. This means there are countless different varieties of firmware, each with their own particular set of…

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Centre allows 10 agencies to spy on your computers, Opposition slams ‘Big Brother syndrome’

In an order that has come under fire from Opposition parties, the Centre on December 20 issued an order that allows 10 central agencies to decrypt, monitor and intercept “any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”. These 10 agencies include the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (for service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, Northeast and Assam only)…

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