Pixel 3 Essential March updates are making owners very happy

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first_imgAs always, the update is already available for supported Pixel phones in both OTA and firmware formats. Aside from the Essential, however, owners of other phones will have to just sit and wait for their OEM to roll it out which, in some cases, is almost never. Ever since the Stagefright exploit, Google has religiously been releasing updates every month. Most of the time, those have been filed with bug fixes and security patches, most of which have been uninteresting to consumers. This month’s update dump, however, might be exciting for owners of the latest Pixel 3 phones, with owners reporting palpable performance improvements. As always, Essential is the first OEM to rush to the frontline, bringing a different kind of treat to its faithful users. Monthly updates to Google’s Pixel devices mostly bumps up the security patch level and brings in some minor improvements. Listed in the March update are improvements on camera startup and responsiveness, Bluetooth reliability, and encrypted media playback. One item that has Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners excited, however, is read/write storage performance.Users are reporting significant increases in performance, especially when it comes to storage. This is confirmed by benchmarks comparing February’s and March’s updates. In some cases, like in random read/write tests, the speed is more than doubled. One could wonder why it took this long for this optimization to land on phones, but late is better than never.Essential has also announced that the update is now available for its one and only PH-1 phone. While it doesn’t really benefit from the improvements specific to the Pixel 3, it does have a highlight of its own. This update marks the addition of Digital Wellbeing to the phone, bringing Google’s digital lifestyle check to one more brand.AdChoices广告center_img The latest software release is now available. Check your Essential Phone for the update! pic.twitter.com/dzlWIPduAN— Essential (@essential) March 4, 2019last_img

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How to evaluate computers that don’t quite exist

first_img A quantum leap With a quantum computer that relies on a superconducting chip, Rigetti Computing is seeking an application that will give it a practical advantage over conventional computers. Other companies are pushing other metrics to gauge progress. How to evaluate computers that don’t quite exist By Adrian ChoJun. 26, 2019 , 8:00 AM Rigetti Computing To gauge the performance of a supercomputer, computer scientists turn to a standard tool: a set of algorithms called LINPACK that tests how fast the machine solves problems with huge numbers of variables. For quantum computers, which might one day solve certain problems that overwhelm conventional computers, no such benchmarking standard exists.One reason is that the computers, which aim to harness the laws of quantum mechanics to accelerate certain computations, are still rudimentary, with radically different designs contending. In some, the quantum bits, or qubits, needed for computation are embodied in the spin of strings of trapped ions, whereas others rely on patches of superconducting metal resonating with microwaves. Comparing the embryonic architectures “is sort of like visiting a nursery school to decide which of the toddlers will become basketball stars,” says Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the University of Texas in Austin.Yet researchers are making some of their first attempts to take the measure of quantum computers. Last week, Margaret Martonosi, a computer scientist at Princeton University, and colleagues presented a head-to-head comparison of quantum computers from IBM, Rigetti Computing in Berkeley, California, and the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park. The UMD machine, which uses trapped ions, ran a majority of 12 test algorithms more accurately than the other superconducting machines, the team reported at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture in Phoenix. Christopher Monroe, a UMD physicist and founder of the company IonQ, predicts such comparisons will become the standard. “These toy algorithms give you a simple answer—did it work or not?” But even Martonosi warns against making too much of the tests. In fact, the analysis underscores how hard it is to compare quantum computers—which leaves room for designers to choose metrics that put their machines in a favorable light.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A conventional computer manipulates bits of information, encoded in transistors that can be switched on or off to represent zero or one. A qubit, however, can be set to zero and one simultaneously, say, by encoding it in an ion that can spin down for zero, up for one, or both ways at once. Qubits enable the machine to process many inputs simultaneously instead of one at a time. But the machine’s real power comes not through that massive parallelism, but in problems where possible solutions can be encoded in quantum waves that slosh among the qubits. The waves then interfere so that wrong solutions wash out and the right one emerges.A quantum computer would be able to, for example, crack internet encryption schemes based on the factoring of huge numbers—a tough problem for a classical computer. But solving such problems would require 100,000 qubits and the means to correct errors in the delicate quantum waves. Such machines are decades away, researchers say. But quantum computers with even a few dozen noisy qubits will soon best conventional computers at certain tasks, developers say, and they’re searching for the metrics to prove it.center_img COMPANY/UNIVERSITYCOMPUTER TYPENUMBER OF QUBITSPREFERRED METRIC COMPANY/UNIVERSITYGoogleCOMPUTER TYPESuper-conducting NUMBER OF QUBITS72PREFERRED METRICQuantum supremacy COMPANY/UNIVERSITYIBMCOMPUTER TYPESuper-conducting NUMBER OF QUBITS20PREFERRED METRICQuantum volume COMPANY/UNIVERSITYRigetti ComputingCOMPUTER TYPESuper-conducting NUMBER OF QUBITS16PREFERRED METRICQuantum advantage COMPANY/UNIVERSITYUniversity of MarylandCOMPUTER TYPETrapped ionsNUMBER OF QUBITS5PREFERRED METRICBenchmark comparison Quantum computers rely on superconducting chips like this one from Rigetti Computing in Berkeley, California. Solving a problem that a conventional computer cannot—so-called quantum supremacy—is one well-publicized metric. “It’s a ‘Hello world!’ project that shows your quantum computer works,” says John Martinis, a physicist in Santa Barbara, California, who leads Google’s efforts to achieve supremacy on a machine with 72 superconducting qubits.The problem Google researchers have chosen is exceedingly abstract. Essentially, they program the quantum computer to repeatedly perform a random set of operations on the qubits. Thanks to quantum interference, the machine should spit out certain strings of zeros and ones with greater probability than others, instead of producing all strings with equal probabilities, as it would if there were no interference. What’s more, predicting this exact distribution of outcomes overwhelms classical computers once the number of qubits climbs too high. So if Google researchers can measure that telltale distribution for their 72-qubit machine, then, in a sense, it will have achieved quantum supremacy by calculating something a conventional computer cannot. However, the arcane exercise won’t usher in practical quantum computers, says Greg Kuperberg, a mathematician at the University of California, Davis. “It’s supremacy to do something completely useless.”In contrast, researchers at Rigetti aim to show that a quantum computer can perform some useful task more accurately, faster, or more cheaply than conventional computers—a metric they call quantum advantage. “What we want are things that put us on the shortest path to commercial value,” says Chad Rigetti, a physicist and founder of the startup. For example, he says, a quantum computer might be ideal for modeling the complex interplay of financial assets in a hedge fund.In September 2018, Rigetti pledged $1 million to the first user who achieves quantum advantage on its publicly available machines. The current version has 16 superconducting qubits. Because the measure includes factors like cost, quantum advantage is not so tightly defined, says Aram Harrow, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “If it’s a little vague, that’s not bad for Rigetti,” Harrow says.IBM researchers have defined a metric, called quantum volume, that measures a quantum computer’s performance without comparing it to a conventional machine. It involves testing a quantum computer using random calculations like those Google is using. And it depends on both the number of qubits and the number of computational cycles a machine can handle before its quantum states fuzz out.Using a machine with 20 superconducting qubits, IBM scientists have reached a quantum volume of 16 and aim to double it every year, says Jay Gambetta, a physicist at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Breakthrough applications will follow naturally, he says. “I don’t think that supremacy is something you shoot for. It’s something we’ll recognize once we’ve passed on to bigger and bigger things.”Then there are head-to-head comparisons like Martonosi’s. In her test, the 5-qubit ion-based machine solved most test problems correctly 90% of the time, compared with 50% or less for superconducting-qubit machines. That difference reflects the current states of the technologies and not their potential, Martonosi says. For example, in a superconducting machine each qubit interacts only with its neighbors, but every ion in the UMD machine interacts with all the others, giving it an edge. Bigger ion-based machines won’t share that advantage, however.Martonosi says such comparisons show that all the quantum computers performed significantly better when programmed to account for differences in qubit noise and connectivity. “Across quite a wide range of [hardware] implementations, this appears to work,” she says. “That’s quite exciting.”Harrow questions how useful any of the current metrics will prove in the long run. The main challenge in quantum computing remains finding a technology that will scale up to thousands of qubits, he says. “These metrics are only loosely related to the scaling question.”last_img

Raise your voice and help us #StartTheConvo with the White House

first_imgAs Freelancers Union Founder and Executive Director, Sara Horowitz is an innovator for tomorrow’s workforce. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @Sara_Horowitz.We know that freelancers are a diverse group. Freelancer interests are as variable and unique as the individuals who make up the independent workforce.One thing we agree on is that more needs to be said about our issues: according to our recent national survey, the majority of freelancers want more open discussion of how to empower the independent workforce. Now we can have that discussion with President Barack Obama.Tomorrow, October 7, President Obama will be hosting the Summit on Worker Voice at the White House, and I’m honored to be participating alongside other workers, union leaders, and creative business owners on the future of work in America.This is an important opportunity for us to show Washington what we can do as a community. The more of us that share stories, ideas, and questions, the more attention we can bring to freelancer issues.So be sure to join the conversation with President Obama, as well as all of the policymakers and other influencers who will be attending by addressing your tweets directly to @USDOL with the hashtag #StartTheConvo.The future of work is freelance, and it’s about time that lawmakers begin paying attention.Watch the live stream tomorrow beginning at 10:30AM EST tomorrow.last_img

Cosco Inks Loan for 53 Newbuildings

first_imgzoom China’s shipping and logistics giant Cosco has signed a USD 1.75 billion loan facility with The Export-Import Bank of China to fund 53 newbuildings.The loan will be used to finance newbuilding orders at Chinese shipyards, including a 90,000 dwt semi-submersible ship, 9,400 TEU container ships, 300,000 dwt tankers,  and bulk carriers. The project is expected to give an additional boost to the restructuring process within China’s shipbuilding industry.The newbuildings will replace the vessels that have been scrapped over the past few years. They are expected to improve fuel efficiency by 20% compared with the scrapped vessels.World Maritime News Stafflast_img

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