Initially released ten years ago in 2010, Windows mobile played an important part in the arena of smartphones, until, Apple released the iPhone in 2007 changed the way phones were. Then came Google with its Android OS which quickly gained popularity with most companies switching loyalties from Windows Mobile. Somewhere in between, Microsoft released Windows Mobile 6.5 but lets face it, it was more of a fix then a major OS update.
With declining share in the mobile OS market, month after month, Microsoft finally threw away the stylus and made a new platform for mobile phones, The Windows Phone 7 operating system which was a MAJOR upgrade from the older Windows Mobile series. The new OS like many of the other ones available right now provides stylus free use, integrating with Microsoft services like Bing, Xbox Live as well as social networks such as Facebook and Live Tiles, a new unique way to customize your home screen.
Microsoft announced that Windows Mobile 7 will first be available on 10 handsets, in 30 countries by the end of October. Major companies releasing phones with this platform are HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell.
Will Microsofts new OS be able to compete with the likes of iOS and Android? Will developers embrace the new platform? Will we see a shower of applications? Well, we’ll have to wait to find out.
Update: Windows Phone 7 won’t have Copy and Paste until early 2011. It also does not support tethering.
Future ‘quantum computers’ will offer increased efficiency… and risks
UCF Professor makes unique discovery, may revolutionize encryption technology
An unusual observation in a University of Central Florida physics lab may lead to a new generation of “Quantum Computers” that will render today’s computer and credit card encryption technology obsolete.
The observations are documented this week in the online version of Nature Physics under Advance Online Publication (http://www.nature.com/nphys/index.html ). The title of UCF Professor Enrique del Barco’s paper is “Quantum Interference of Tunnel Trajectories between States of Different Spin Length in a Dimeric Molecular Nanogmagnet.”
Consumers, credit card companies and high-tech firms rely on cryptography to protect the transmission of sensitive information. The basis for current encryption systems is that computers would need thousands of years to factor a large number, making it very difficult to do.
However, if del Barco’s observation can be fully understood and applied, scientists may have the basis to create quantum computers — which could easily break the most complicated encryption in a matter of hours.
Del Barco said the observation may foster the understanding of quantum tunneling of nanoscale magnetic systems, which could revolutionize the way we understand computation.
“This is very exciting,” del Barco said. “When we first observed it, we looked at each other and said, ‘That can’t be right.’ We did it again and again and we achieved the same result every time.”
According to quantum mechanics, small magnetic objects called nanomagnets can exist in two distinct states (i.e. north pole up and north pole down). They can switch their state through a phenomenon called quantum tunneling.
When the nanomagnet switches its poles, the abrupt change in its magnetization can be observed with low-temperature magnetometry techniques used in del Barco’s lab. The switch is called quantum tunneling because it looks like a funnel cloud tunneling from one pole to another.
Del Barco published paper shows that two almost independent halves of a new magnetic molecule can tunnel, or switch poles, at once under certain conditions. In the process, they appear to cancel out quantum tunneling.
“It’s similar to what can be observed when two rays of light run into interference,” del Barco said. “Once they run into the interference you can expect darkness.”
Controlling quantum tunneling shifts could help create the quantum logic gates necessary to create quantum computers. It is believed that among the different existing proposals to obtain a practical quantum computer, the spin (magnetic moment) of solid-state devices is the most promising one.
“And this is the case of our molecular magnets,” del Barco said. “Of course, this is far from real life yet, but is an important step in the way. We still must do more research and a lot of people are already trying to figure this out, including us. It’s absolutely invigorating.”
Co-authors of the paper are Christopher Ramsey from UCF, Stephen Hill from the University of Florida and Sonali J. Shah, Christopher C. Beedle and David N. Hendrickson from the University of California at La Jolla.
Del Barco, who is a native of Spain, began teaching at UCF in 2005. He got a Ph. d degree from the University of Barcelona before moving onto New York University where he worked with Andrew Kent, a well-known quantum physicist.
It was the warm weather and the dynamic of UCF that drew him and his family to UCF. Aside from teaching physics and working on research, Del Barco is a published writer. He penned a science fiction novel that has been published in Spain by Editorial Equipo–Sirius. He collaborates with scientists from around the world including researchers in Spain, Hong Kong and across the United States.
Computer power will match the intelligence of human beings within the next 20 years because of the accelerating speed at which technology is advancing, according to a leading scientific “futurologist”.
There will be 32 times more technical progress during the next half century than there was in the entire 20th century, and one of the outcomes is that artificial intelligence could be on a par with human intellect by the 2020s, said the American computer guru Ray Kurzweil.
Machines will rapidly take over humans in their intellectual abilities and solve many problems that coudn’t be solved in the 21st century said Dr Kurzweil, one of 18 maverick thinkers chosen to identify the greatest technological challenges facing humanity.
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