Feeds

Finally a use for quantum computers: Finding LOL-cats faster

Really big search engines need really tiny gates

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Boffins at the University of Southern California have been looking at applications for quantum computing, and discovered that it's going to make for some serious search engine tech.

Not that quantum computing is practical yet – the first quantum circuits are experimental devices at best – but it is possible to emulate a basic quantum computer. Using such an emulation, the researchers managed to create PageRank numbers for a "few thousand" web pages, at a rate which scaled much more slowly than traditional computing, and got a paper into the Physical Review Letters journal too.

That's important, as poor Google has to deal with an ever-increasing number of web pages, resulting in what the University tells us "is rumoured to be the largest numerical calculation carried out anywhere in the world" which has to be updated daily. Quantum computing creates PageRank scores at a rate which scales polylogarithmically with the number of pages being ranked, as opposed to a linear scale, and we're assured that this is a good thing.

Quantum computers can do really difficult mathematics really fast, and today's encryption standards are all based on the impracticality of doing hard maths – which is why so much of the funding comes from governments and the military. A working quantum computer of any scale would walk through today's encryption and governments want to make sure they've got next-generation ciphers, probably using quantum computing themselves, ready and waiting.

But cryptography isn't the only application of hard maths, as the team at Southern California have demonstrated. Once someone manages to build some decent quantum-based hardware we'll be able to search the ever-expanding web more quickly and break codes used by anyone who's not keeping up. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.