The world of technology has got one step closer to creating quantum computers. Dutch scientists have recently created a 2-qubit (quantum bit) processor running on a silicon chip.
While standard computers work with bits of information that can have only two states, 0 or 1, quantum processors are based on the fact that bits can exist in both states at the same time. As a result, they have tremendous computing power and can do things that no classical computer can do. Quantum computers can be used for solving complex problems and can manage much larger number of calculations at once.
Scientists explain that they are still in the early stages of developing a real quantum processor. Hardware manufacturer IBM has already built a 50-qubit computer, but with superconductive materials that need extreme cooling. Putting a quantum processor on a silicon chip, which is already used in the computer industry, may be the first step toward mass production.
In such quantum processors, electrons can be in many states at once. This is called superposition. In the lab, scientists have managed to keep electrons between both positions at the same time, however, such electrons are not stable and quickly fall apart. By linking these electrons together on a silicon chip qubit hardware manufacturers could produce quantum processors for commercial use.
bit = the smallest unit of information that a computer uses
calculation = when you use numbers to find out something
classical = here: normal; the ones we have today
commercial use = here: something that is produced so that people buy it
complex = very complicated
electron = very small piece of matter with a negative electrical charge that moves around the central part of an atom
hardware manufacturer = company that producers computers
however = but
lab = laboratory
link = connect with each other
manage = work with; succeed in doing something
mass production = products that are produced in factories in large numbers so they can be sold cheaply
processor = central part of a computer that deals with commands and the information it is given
quantum = unit of energy in physics
qubit= quantum bit = piece of information that can exist in two states at the same time
scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
silicon chip = small piece of silicon that has electrical connections and can store information
stable = steady; something that does not change
stage = phase, time during which something happens
superconductive = when electricity can flow through a material very easily, especially at low temperatures
The social media site Twitter has announced its first profit since the founding of the company in 2005. The last quarter of 2017 saw the company making $ 91 million in profits. After the announcement, Twitter sharesrose more than 20%.
Twitter made the profits from an increase in ad sales and from expansion outside the US. Overall revenue has been increasing constantly and is now at $ 731 million, due to a better targetting of ads. While revenue in the US fell, it increased strongly in Japan and other countries.
Currently, Twitter is reported to have over 330 million active users. It has been an important media outlet for celebrities and politicians, especially in the United States, for a long time. However, surprisingly, up to now, the company has failed to make any profits. Business experts have criticized Twitter for failing to grow over the longer term and step out of the shadows of its bigger brother, Facebook.
The company has announced its plans for 2018. It wants to improve the quality of information and tacklesecurity issues, for example, fake accounts and spam. As many as 15% of all accounts on Twitter are said to be controlled by bots.
account = agreement you have with an organisation so that you can use its services or website
ad = advertisement = pictures, text or a short film that persuades people to buy a product
announce = to say in public, officially
bot = computer programme that can control information on a website
celebrity = famous person
constantly = slowly, but all the time
currently = at the moment
due to = because of
especially = above all
expansion = when something increases in size
fail = here: not succeed in doing something
fake = not a real person
founding = when the company started
increase = grow, become larger
longer term = over a longer period of time
outlet = here: organization through which information is presented
overall = total; altogether
politician = person who works in the government, parliament or a political party
profit = the money you for selling things or doing business after your costs have been paid for
reported = it is said that …
revenue = money that a company gets in a certain time for selling products and services
rise – rose = to go up
security issues = problems in which the website is attacked by criminals and hackers
shares = part of a company that you can buy
spam = message that is sent to many different people by email or the Internet, usually as a way of advertising something
tackle = manage ; fight against
target = here: people who are chosen for getting ads
Amazon has opened its first automated store to the public. Amazon Go is a grocery store located on the ground level of the corporation’s Seattle headquarters.
The store, which offers food, salads and boxed meals could revolutionize our shopping experience in the future.
As soon as you arrive at the store, a cell phone app connected to an Amazon account registers your presence. Everything that happens in the store is tracked by hundreds of infrared cameras. When you pick up items from the shelves they are automaticallyput into yourvirtualshopping cart. The cameras also detect when you put an item back on the shelves and remove it from your cart. The moment you walk out your account is charged without making any physicalpayment.
The technologies used at Amazon Go are the same as with driverless cars – computer tracking, weight sensors on shelves and complicatedalgorithms.
The 1,800 square foot store has been open to Amazon employees for a year. Now the public can also shop there.
However, not everything has been running smoothly in the store’s opening year.There were hardships to overcome. For example, it’s hard for cameras to distinguish between different flavours or products that look the same. They also have problems handling people who move around or identifying shoppers with similar body sizes and clothes.
Even though there are no checkout counters and cashiers who make you wait in line, there are shop assistants who restock goods and help customers find their way around.
account = here: the services of a company that you use
algorithm = set of instructions that are followed in a fixed order and used for solving problems
automated = using computers, cameras and machines
boxed meal = meal that has already been cooked and is ready to eat
cashier = person who you pay money to in a shop
charge = you have to pay money for the goods you buy
checkout counter = place where you pay for products when you leave a store
complicated = difficult
connect = link
corporation = big company
detect = discover, notice
distinguish = find the difference between two things
driverless = without a driver
employee = a person who works there
even though = although, while
flavour = the taste of something
hardships = problems, difficulties
headquarters = place from where a company operates
however = but
identify = find out the name of someone
infrared = light that gives out heat but cannot be seen
item = product
located = to be found; situated
overcome = solve
physical payment = real money you pay with in a store
presence = someone is present
public = here: everybody
register = record
restock = bring in more items to replace those that have been bought
revolutionize = to change completely the way you do something
shopping experience = the way we shop
similar = almost the same
smoothly = here: the way it should; without any problems
track = watch closely
virtual = not real; here: your Amazon account
weight sensor = small object that finds out if there is something on the shelf or not
The World Health Organisation has added the term “gaming disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases. It refers to people who are addicted to video and other games and cannot stop. It is the first update in the WHO’s catalogue in almost three decades.
According to the WHO, gaming becomes a disorder if you are unable to control how long you play and when to stop. When that happens, it gets control of your life, influences everyday situations and affects your daily routine. WHO officials say that excessive gaming is a serious disorder that must be closely watched
In order for a person to be regarded as having a gaming disorder, the behaviour must be going on for at least one year, either constantly or in phases. Gamers put their addiction above their family life, meeting with friends and going to school.
On one side studies have shown that playing video games may help with problems likedepression anddementia.However, gaming is highlyaddictive and many people play for a longer time than is healthy. As a result, people get fired for not going to work or miss school classes for a longer period of time.
Many continue with their addiction, even if they see and realize the negative consequences it leads to.
according to = as said by …
addicted to = not able to stop doing something that may be harmful
addiction = when you have to and want to do something regularly
behaviour = here: too much gaming
classification = when you put people into a group
consequence = result
constantly = all the time, without interruption
daily routine = what you normally do every day
decade = ten years
dementia = illness that affects the brain, in which you cannot think clearly and behave in a normal way; you also forget a lot of things
depression = situation in which you are unhappy, nervous and cannot live a normal life
disorder = mental or physical illness which stops your body from working the way it should
excessive = too much
get fired = lose your job
highly addictive = here: the will to play a game is so strong you cannot stop
however = but
influence = change
official = person who is in a high position in an organisation
realize = understand how bad the situation is
refer = to be about something
regard as = here: to put a person into this category
serious = very bad
studies = work that is done to find out more about a topic
update = change
World Health Organisation (WHO) = international organisation that is part of the United Nations, which helps countries improve the health of their population; it also offers information about diseases and provides medicine
NASA has discovered the eighth planet of a star system, similar to our solar system. The star, Kepler-90 is over 2,500 light years away and larger and hotter than our sun. It is the first star known to have as many planets as our solar system.
The Kepler-90 star system is much more compact than our solar system. The outermost planet orbits the star at about the same distance as the earth orbits the sun. its inner planets are small and rocky while the outer ones are larger and made up of gas
The newly discovered planet, Kepler -90i, is the third celestial object in the star system. It is probably rocky and similar to our earth, but because of its closeness to its home star has an averagesurface temperature of about 400° C. It moves around the star once every 14.4 days.
The discovery was made based ondataprovided by the Kepler space telescope. Launched in March 2009, the telescope has constantly been scanning certain sections of the universe in search of new stars and planetary systems. Up to now, over 2,000 new worlds have been discovered.
To help analyse the data NASA has been relying on artificial intelligence software supplied by Google. This software examines weak signals of light when objects pass in front of a star. The new way of examining data is expected to reveal even more new planets in the future.
artificial intelligence = when computers do intelligent things that only people can do, such as think and make their own decisions
average = normal, usual
based on = use
celestial = about the sky
closeness = being close to something
compact = here: the planets are closer together and near to the star
constantly = always
data = information
discover = to find something for the first time
distance = the amount of space between two objects
examine = look at something closely
launch = to send an object into space
light year = the distance light travels in one year = 9,460,000,000,000 km
orbit = to go around
outermost = the farthest away from something
planetary system = star with planets moving around it
provide = give
rely = depend on; need
reveal = to show something that was not known before
rocky = covered with or made of rocks; here: a hard surface
scan = when a machine looks at things carefully but quickly
similar = like
solar system = our sun and the eight planets that move around it
surface temperature = temperature you get when you stand on the planet
Up to 800 million people worldwide could lose their jobs because of automation. About half of them will have to learn new skills to get another job. In the United States alone, up to a third of the workforce could become unemployed within the next few decades. These are the results of a recentpublication by McKinsey Global Institute.
Jobs that involvemanual or factory work are the ones that are most at risk. People who work in social fields, the environment or management are less likely to lose their jobs. In countries with ageing populations, more jobs will be needed in health care.
The report says that there is no reason to panic because new job fields will emerge which will more than compensate the loss of traditional jobs. In addition, economic activity and rising productivity will also provide for more jobs. However, workers will need to adapt to jobs more quickly than before and lifelong learning will be essential.
Artifical intelligence is already spreading quickly in some areas. Technological inventions, like self-driving cars, will become hugely popular within a decade. More jobs will be needed in the energy sector and people will find more work building modern infrastructure in cities.
However, governments around the globe will have to give support and spend money on programs to train workers for new tasks.
The report states that the situation today is similar to the beginning of the 20th century when agricultural societies became more and more industrialised. The invention of the automobile contributed to this change. In the 1980s the computer revolution eliminated some jobs but created many others.
adapt = change; get used to
ageing = getting older
agricultural = farming
artificial intelligence = the study of how to make computers do intelligent things that people can do, such as think and make decisions
automation = the use of computers and machines to do jobs that normally people do
century = a hundred years
compensate = replace
contribute = here: to play a major part
decade = ten years
economic activity = producing and consuming goods
eliminate = lose; do away with
emerge = come up, appear
environment = people and things that are around you in your life
essential = extremely important and necessary
government = the people who rule a country
health care = services that a country provides for its people
hugely = very much
in addition = also
infrastructure = the basic systems that a country or city needs, like railways, banks, schools etc..
invention = a useful machine that is created
involve = here: to be about
less likely = will probably not …
management = controlling and organising the work of a company
manual = with your hands and physical strength
productivity = the goods that are produced by workers in a certain time
provide = give, offer
publication = when information is printed for everyone to read
recent = a short time ago
similar = like
skill = the ability to do something well
task = job
traditional = here: jobs that have existed up to now
train = here: prepare people for a new job
workforce = all the people in a country who can work
For the first time in history, China has overtaken the United States in the number of supercomputers. Currently, China has a total of 202 of the world’s 500 fastest computers, up from 159 half a year ago. The number of US supercomputers has dropped to 144.
The world’s most powerful computer is located in China. The Sunway TaihuLight , at Wuxi can do 93 quadrillioncalculations per second. The fastest UScomputer,the Titan, is ranked fifth while Europe’s speediest computer is Switzerland’s Piz Daint, ranked third.
Supercomputers are machines that occupyentire buildings and use the combined power of thousands of processors. They are used to carry out special tasks that involve a huge number of calculations. Among them are weather forecasts and climate studies, as well as strategic tasks like nuclear weapons simulations.
Chinese supremacy in the world of supercomputing reflects the country’s investment in research and development. One-fifth of the money used on research and development around the world is spent in China.
On the other side, many Chinese systems have been created to earn money. Processing power is rented to other national and international companies.
For years the speed of supercomputers has steadily increased although since 2012 this increase has slowed down.
although = while
calculation = here: a single task
combined = everything put together
create = make
currently = at the moment, now
drop = go down
entire = whole
huge = very big; very many
investment = to use money for special things
involve = need
located = can be found
nuclear weapons simulation = here: software that tries to find out how nuclear bombs will affect the world and its population if they are used
occupy = use up; need
overtake = to be better than
processor = central part fo a computer that deals with commands and the information you give it
quadrillion= the number one followed by 24 zeros
ranked = position in a list
reflect = show, demonstrate
rent = let someone use something for money
research and development = to study special fields and use new ideas to create new things
speediest = fastest
steadily = slowly
strategic = here: about the military
supremacy = being number one or the best in the world
task = piece of work
weather forecast = a description of what the weather will be like in the next few days