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Sep 10, 2019

Future of portable electronics: Novel organic semiconductor with exciting properties

Posted by in categories: computing, solar power, sustainability

Semiconductors are substances that have a conductivity between that of conductors and insulators. Due to their unique properties of conducting current only in specific conditions, they can be controlled or modified to suit our needs. Nowhere is the application of semiconductors more extensive or important than in electrical and electronic devices, such as diodes, transistors, solar cells, and integrated circuits.

Semiconductors can be made of either organic (carbon-based) or inorganic materials. Recent trends in research show that scientists are opting to develop more organic semiconductors, as they have some clear advantages over inorganic semiconductors. Now, scientists, led by Prof Makoto Tadokoro of the Tokyo University of Science, report on the synthesis of a novel organic substance with potential applications as an n-type semiconductor. This study is published in the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. According to Prof Makoto Tadokoro, “organic semiconductor devices, unlike hard inorganic semiconductor devices, are very soft and are useful for creating adhesive portable devices that can easily fit on a person.” However, despite the advantages of organic semiconductors, there are very few known stable molecules that bear the physical properties of n-type semiconductors, compared to inorganic n-type semiconductors.

N-heteroheptacenequinone is a well-known potential candidate for materials. However, it has some drawbacks: it is unstable in air and UV-visible light, and it is insoluble in organic solvents. These disadvantages obstruct the practical applications of this substance as a semiconductor.

Sep 10, 2019

Quantum Physics Protects Data From Cyberattack Over Standard Telecom Networks

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, quantum physics

Quantum Xchange uses quantum technology to guard encryption keys.

Sep 10, 2019

This Startup Raised $15 Million To Reduce Errors In Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, quantum physics

Q-CTRL, an Australian-based quantum computing software company that makes “quantum firmware,” on Tuesday announced a $15 million series A funding round led by Square Peg Capital. Sierra Ventures also participated in the round, joining existing investors Horizons Ventures, Main Sequence Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.

The primary purpose of the round, says founder and CEO Michael Biercuk, is to expand and grow the company. It currently has 25 employees and aims to double that number in the next 12 to 18 months. It’s also opening an office in Los Angeles where it hopes to add more employees and will expand its product offerings in the field of quantum sensing.

Biercuk is a professor at the University of Sydney and has been conducting research in quantum computing for over a decade. He’s particularly interested in combining the principles of control engineering to quantum computing and other systems such as quantum sensing.

Sep 10, 2019

McDonald’s acquires tech company Apprente to automate drive-through process

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

Sept. 10 (UPI) — McDonald’s on Tuesday announced the acquisition of a company that will assist in automating its drive-through process.

The fast-food chain agreed to a deal to acquire Apprente, a California-based company that was founded in 2017 with a focus on creating voice-based platforms for “complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering.”

McDonald’s said Apprente’s technology will be used to allow for faster, simpler and more accurate order taking at its drive-throughs and may later be incorporated into mobile ordering and kiosks.

Sep 10, 2019

OpenAI has released the largest version yet of its fake-news-spewing AI

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Maybe of interest to this group.

The AI lab has also released a report to explain why it is releasing the model in increments.

Sep 10, 2019

Found in Maine: A 1-in-50 Million Lobster

Posted by in category: futurism

Some lobsters aren’t meant for a roll.

That was the case for a rare two-toned lobster that was plucked recently from the icy waters off Stonington, Me., and which scientists say is a one-in-50 million find. The lobster, split from head to tail into halves of black and orange, was found in Penobscot Bay by Capt. Daryl Dunham when he was fishing in the coastal waters there, according to Patrick Shepard, a fishing scientist at the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.

The fisherman donated the male crustacean to the center, where it will live in rarefied company for a few weeks. The center already has three other unusual lobsters in its tanks, including a blue lobster, a one-in-two million find, and two calico lobsters, whose shells resemble a constellation of orange and black and which people who fish have a one-in-30 million chance of catching.

Sep 10, 2019

Q-CTRL raises $15M for software that reduces error and noise in quantum computing hardware

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

As hardware makers continue to work on ways of making wide-scale quantum computing a reality, a startup out of Australia that is building software to help reduce noise and errors on quantum computing machines has raised a round of funding to fuel its U.S. expansion.

Q-CTRL is designing firmware for computers and other machines (such as quantum sensors) that perform quantum calculations, firmware to identify the potential for errors to make the machines more resistant and able to stay working for longer (the Q in its name is a reference to qubits, the basic building block of quantum computing).

The startup is today announcing that it has raised $15 million, money that it plans to use to double its team (currently numbering 25) and set up shop on the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles.

Sep 10, 2019

Three Americans Have Died After Contracting Rare Brain-Infecting Virus Spread by Mosquitoes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

On Monday, Rhode Island health officials reported that a resident had died after contracting the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. The death marks the third fatality linked to EEE reported this year, and the second such case documented in less than a week.

The summer is winding down for many in the U.S., but this rare viral infection spread by mosquitoes is still claiming lives. Health officials first reported the resident’s case of EEE in late August, noting at the time that the person was in critical condition. It was the first case reported in Rhode Island since 2010. The resident, only disclosed to be in their 50s, died Sunday, making theirs the first EEE-related death documented in the state since 2007.

Sep 10, 2019

Japan to Launch Robotic Cargo Ship to Space Station Today. Watch It Live

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, transportation

Update: JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have postponed today’s launch of the HTV-8 cargo ship due to a fire near the mission’s H-IIB rocket’s launchpad.

An unpiloted Japanese supply ship will launch to the International Space Station today (Sept. 10) and you can watch it leave Earth live courtesy of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Continue reading “Japan to Launch Robotic Cargo Ship to Space Station Today. Watch It Live” »

Sep 10, 2019

Can DARPA CREATE an AI for unmanned-unmanned teaming?

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

A new opportunity would fund development of an AI framework to coordinate actions between a mix of machines on the battlefield.