Feeds

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

Really big search engines need really tiny gates

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.