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Scientists from the University of Sussex are planning to launch a new quantum computing facility in Brighton after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced new funding for the technology this week. The Chancellor announced plans for a further £1.6bn in R&D funding for artificial intelligence, nuclear fusion and quantum computing in this week's Budget. This project would be latest push from the UK in the race to produce the first commercial computer capable of making complex calculations in hours that would take normal computers billions of years to complete. The European Union announced €1bn (£877.7) of investment in the technology earlier this week, while China is thought to have invested $10bn in the technology so far. University of Sussex scientists are planning to create a quantum computing company to run the facility in Brighton if they receive Government funding. The team at the University of Sussex hopes the quantum computers could help with solving some of humanity's greatest problems like finding new cures for diseases such as dementia, creating new pharmaceuticals and more efficient fertilisers, as well as helping to create powerful tools for the financial sector. Quantum technologies | What are they? The University of Sussex achieved a major breakthrough this week after discovering a way of insulating quantum computers, which have to be cooled at almost absolute zero to function, without using a specialised refrigerator. A team led by Professor Winfried Hensinger and Dr Florian Mintert used quantum physics and microwave technology to insulate the computer. The university's Ion Quantum Technology Group was also the first to launch a blueprint for a large-scale quantum computer last year. Prof Hensinger's group is now using the new technique to work with a powerful quantum computer prototype that is currently in its laboratory at the University of Sussex. He said: “It’s now time to translate academic achievements into the construction of practical machines. We’re in a fantastic position to do this at Sussex and my team is working round the clock to make large-scale quantum computing a future reality.”
Depending on how serious you are about your home entertainment, you might not even own a 4K TV yet. If that's the case, you can hardly be blamed, as the vast majority of television programming hasn't adopted the format yet either, but that's not stopping NASA from pushing the envelope with a video so high-res that you probably don't own a screen that can display it at its full resolution.
In a new post, NASA shows off what it says is the very first 8K video footage shot in space. At over three minutes long, there's a whole lot to see here, but don't expect to fully appreciate the stunning detail without a seriously high-res display at your disposal.
"Science gets scaled up with the first 8K ultra high definition (UHD) video from the International Space Station," NASA writes. "Get closer to the in-space experience and see how the international partnership-powered human spaceflight is improving lives on Earth, while enabling humanity to explore the universe."
That short description really under-sells how awesome the video is. You get to see super high-def footage from inside the International Space Station as well as many sights that pass by the outside. There's several shots of various experiments being conducted, as well as daily life aboard the spacecraft. It's a very cool glimpse into the lives of the astronauts who spend their days orbiting Earth for months on end in the pursuit of science.
“This new footage showcases the story of human spaceflight in more vivid detail than ever before,” Dylan Mathis, comms manager for the ISS, said in a statement . “The world of camera technology continues to progress, and seeing our planet in high fidelity is always welcome. We're excited to see what imagery comes down in the future.”
The camera used to shoot the footage was actually delivered to the space station way back in April, but NASA finally got around to actually turning the video into a nice montage in honor of the anniversaries of the ISS launch and human habitation of the spacecraft, both of which come around every November.
The young people have prevailed. After a back-and-forth battle with the Trump administration, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday that a group of 21 11- to 22-year-old climate change activists can sue the government for harming their futures with a national energy system that produces dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases. SEE ALSO: Why the Trump administration is terrified of these children The highest court in the U.S. had previously halted the trial after the Donald Trump administration's Department of Justice requested to hold off on hearing the group's arguments against the country's climate change policies. The trial was supposed to start last week in Juliana v. United States. But just days before, the Supreme Court effectively said "hold up" in response to the DOJ request. The government said the trial would bring "irreparable harm" to the country. Then, on Friday, the Supreme Court denied the stay — meaning the trial can go forward. The suit is filed in a U.S. district court in Oregon. Now the trial could start this month, according to NPR. The 22-year-old plaintiff named in the case, Kelsey Juliana, retweeted a post about the SCOTUS trial news Friday evening. BREAKING: United States Supreme Court Denies Trump Administration’s Request for Stay - Juliana v. United States Moves Forward, Again. Read full press release: https://t.co/KJ8WKF4N3l #youthvgov #TrialoftheCentury #LetTheYouthBeHeard pic.twitter.com/EyEg7QMuWj — Our Children's Trust (@youthvgov) November 3, 2018 The nonprofit group Our Children's Trust celebrated the news and, in a statement, Juliana said, "...these defendants are treating this case, our democracy, and the security of mine and future generations like it’s a game. I’m tired of playing this game." "These defendants" is the U.S. government. The climate fight moves forward. WATCH: Meet the man biking on water to save the planet — Mashable Originals
Unless you’ve flown first class, or in a private jet, aircraft loos are windowless, cramped affairs that usually reek of cheap sanitizer. But they have come a long way – and rarely get the recognition they deserve. The first flight (made by Orville Wright, although some conspiracy theorists think otherwise – more on that here), explains Aviation Global News, lasted just 12 seconds – “hardly long enough to get worked up from a bladder perspective, although one may surmise that a number two might have been on his mind”. But before long, planes were flying for much longer. “It is obvious that someone, somewhere, was the first person to relieve themselves in an aircraft. Who was this urinary pioneer? – history does not record,” laments the website. Some interesting facts have been recorded, however. Second World War pilots, for example, couldn’t stand the “slop bucket” loos – or “Elsans” – found on board Lancaster bombers. They often overflowed in turbulent conditions, or were tricky to use. One unidentified airman described his hatred for the contraptions: “While we were flying in rough air, this devil’s convenience often shared its contents with the floor of the aircraft, the walls, the ceiling, and sometimes a bit remained in the container itself. Hello darkness, my old friend Credit: istock “It doesn't take much imagination to picture what it was like trying to combat fear and airsickness while struggling to remove enough gear in cramped quarters and at the same time trying to use the bloody Elsan… This loathsome creation invariably overflowed on long trips and in turbulence was always prone to bathe the nether regions of the user. It was one of the true reminders to me that war is hell.” Airmen sometimes preferred to urinate or defecate into containers, before simply hurling their business out of a window. Some reputedly jettisoned full Elsan toilets on German targets along with their bombs – an early example of biological warfare. James Kemper’s modern vacuum toilet wasn’t patented until the Seventies, with the first one installed by Boeing in 1982. Before that, plane loos were unwieldy boxes that utilised large quantities of blue liquid known as “Skykem” and were prone to leaking. So next time you’re queuing to use the facilities at 35,000 feet, count yourself lucky. Kemper’s nifty device uses a little liquid, but relies on non-stick coating and vacuum suction to wash away the nastiness. The video below shows just how efficiently the vacuum works. “The person in this video is just stupid, immature, inconsiderate, and has no life,” comments one YouTube user, beneath the clip. “I am definitely doing this on my next flight.” Quite. Since then, there have not really been any dramatic advances in aircraft toilet technology – if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only noteworthy item is that the toilets on Boeing's 787 Dreamliners have automatically closing lids. Oh, and some toilets are getting smaller to really cram in those paying customers. So what does happen to all that waste? Is it jettisoned into the sky? To all those fliers who make a point of holding it in until the plane reaches European soil, prepare to be sorely disappointed. secrets of air travel “There is no way to jettison the contents of the lavatories during a flight,” explains Patrick Smith, a pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential, a book about air travel. “At the end of a flight, the blue fluid, along with your contributions to it, are vacuumed into a tank on the back of a truck. (The truck driver’s job is even lousier than the co-pilot’s, but it pays better.) “The driver then wheels around to the back of the airport and furtively offloads the waste in a ditch behind a parking lot... Just kidding. In truth I don’t know what he does with it. Time to start a new urban legend.” There is one caveat, however. It is impossible to empty passengers' waste from an aircraft intentionally, but not by mistake. “A man in California once won a lawsuit after pieces of blue ice fell from a plane and came crashing through the skylight of his sailboat,” added Captain Smith. “A leak, extending from a toilet’s exterior nozzle fitting, caused runoff to freeze, build, and then drop like a neon ice bomb. If you think that’s bad, a 727 once suffered an engine separation after ingesting a frozen chunk of its own leaked toilet waste, inspiring the line ‘when the s*** hits the turbofan.’”
Restrictive legislation introduced by Poland's right-wing government in 2016 threw a spanner into the works for onshore wind energy, but the easing of some measures now promises to get the sector spinning. The change comes ahead of the COP24 World Climate Conference that opens December 2 in the southern Polish city of Katowice, a coal mining hub long among the main providers of the country's primary source of both fuel and pollution. "We're on the right track," Janusz Gajowiecki, chairman of the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW), told AFP of plans to bring an additional one gigawatt (GW) of wind energy online.
An Indian cabinet minister accused a party colleague Sunday of ordering the "ghastly murder" of a tiger and vowed legal action after the man-eating animal was shot in the country's west. The big cat blamed for killing more than a dozen people was shot dead Friday night after a months-long search, capping one of India's most high-profile tiger hunts in decades. Maneka Gandhi, a staunch animal activist and part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet, accused the state forest minister of hiring a "trigger-happy shooter" to slay the tiger.
Sir David Attenborough Finds The Marlon Brando Of Chimpanzees In Landmark BBC Wildlife Series ‘Dynasties’
Casting for A-list stars is usually reserved for high-end premium dramas but it was also a challenge for Sir David Attenborough's latest big-budget wildlife series Dynasties. In the case of the BBC series, they were searching for the right animals to showcase in the five-part series. For the first episode, they found their own Marlon Brando, a chimpanzee called David. He is an alpha-male, the king of his patch with a slew of female admirers but also a raft of male…
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