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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: June 16, 2017
Posted: June 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm
The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is About Empowering People, Not The Rise Of The Machines
Even the creators of artificial chess-playing machines acknowledge that the best chess player is actually a team of both human and machine. … Railroad locomotives are powered by massive, highly complex electrical engines that cost millions of dollars.
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Posted: at 3:55 pm
(Photos by Liena Zagare/BKLYNER)
On June 5, City Council Candidates for District 40 (Ditmas Park, Flatbush, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens) held a debate on the most pressing issues facing our district.
In case you missed it, check out this comprehensive review of the issues that matter most, before heading over to the third debate tonight (with candidates from District 45 and the Brooklyn district attorney race).
Interest in political engagement is at a high in Brooklyn, and with a total of five candidates in play, the event was packed. (Thanks to neighbors who organized the event Seth Kaplan, Calista De Jesus with support from Cheryl Sealey, Brenda Edwards, Emily Leshner, and BKLYN Commons.)
Only one chair was empty for the first part of the debate, the one reserved for incumbent Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, who arrived late (had was with a police officer who was in a coma, he said later). When he did arrive, he referred to the other candidates as his opponents throughout the evening.
The organizers reached out to local political rockstar Duane Joseph and asked him to play moderator. Duane Joseph is a long-time resident of Flatbush via the Caribbeanand describes himself as a concerned resident looking to bridge the information gap.
You can watch the entire, 2-hour debate here, or read our edited synopsis below:
While waiting for Eugene to arrive, each candidate introduced themselves and their goals.
Brian Cunningham, who announced his candidacy last May, focused on his experience in government. I am running because I have seen a lot of changes in the last ten years, he said. I love this community, I was born and raised in this community and after this race is over, my commitment to public service will not be over.
Pia Raymond, who we interview in February, emphasized her work with economic engines along Nostrand Avenue and on the board of CB9. My story is part of your story, she said. I know what it means for a business to be displaced. Raymond reiterated what would become some of the ongoing themes of the night: changes, rent costs, and young people in need to engage. But she also focused on crime. in the midst of all the things happening here, we are still dealing the persistent crime problem.
Jen Berkely focused on an issue she has worked on for the last decade. I am here because our community is in a housing crisis. It not being addressed. How do I know its not being addressed? she asked out loud. Because I looked to see the how many affordable units we had when the City Councilmember took office. We have 15,000 less affordable units than we did when he took office.
Rose St Albord explained she is a masterpiece and a work in progressrunning because it is time for us to re-invent ourselves. Her objectives focused on our need to makes homes affordable, schools accountable, our streets safer for all residents.
Then, the questions began.
Given the importance of transportation as it provides access to getting an education and to economic opportunity. How would you improve it?
Brian Cunningham:Many simply cannot afford the cost of the subway, he said. Cunningham was the only candidate to suggest a solution, citing the 1700 people who use the Church Avenue train station between 6 and 9am every weekday morning: He believes we should mimic what the both the subway in the West Coast and the Metro North here do, make off-peak hours cheaper.
Pia Raymond:cited her experience increasing transportation options along the Nostrand business strip, like the select bus service, and a metro card to encourage shopping along the Nostrand strip. Raymond also cited her role in helping to create bike lanes and bike parking options to encourage business and travel options. Obesity is the number one health issue in Brooklyn, she said, with a commitment to simplify walking and biking options.
Jen Berkely:highlighted repeated fare increases when the service has been getting worse and worse and worse. She felt strongly that we need to send the message that we wont continue to foot the bill as service gets worse. She will do whatever she can to make sure the service gets better.
Rose St Albord:suggested a discount for families and for older straphangers. She also agreed that select buses were a great idea, but that select busses have angered some residents who see multiple select buses pass by while regular service seems to be suffering. This comment appeared to have hit a nerve and triggered a round of applause.
How Do You See Yourself Being An Advocate For Safer Streets?
Pia Raymond:said encouraging walking is a path toward safer streets, especially for seniors. She discussed her work in getting Citibike to come to her areaand wants more benches and bus shelters to encourage more outdoor activity.
Jen Berkley:said the current bike lanes are a great idea but painted lanes on the street force you to take your life into your hands. Its a delicate balance to increase foot traffic and other forms of transportation, she said, and intends to conduct a survey on it.
Rose St Albord:believes it takes a village we have to increase accountability for both bikers and walkers. We cannot look only at our side. People are reckless when they ride, people are reckless when they walk while texting.
Brian Cunningham:complemented the Mayor on the success of Vision Zero and cited the need for protected bike lanes. There are parts of the city where there is a row of parked cars or other dividers insulating the bike lanes.
Explain Your Plan for Tackling the Housing Crisis
Jen Berkely:given the high numbers of property violations against landlords, she would create a registry of the worst violators and aggressively fine them. She cited her work as a fighter for victims of landlords looking to push people out of their homes.
Rose St Albord:cited landlords who refuse to make repairs to inspire non-payment for which they can evict. Albord would make all landlords fill out a form of what kind of maintenance they would be expected to keep up and force them to either make repairs or forfeit the rent. She would also provide more pro bono legal help in fighting for tenants rights.
Pia Raymond:cited continued work with Impact Brooklyn and Brooklyn Legal Services, and the Flatbush Tenant Coalition. She will use her platform at City Council to educate the public and support these groups.
Brian Cunningham:feels strongly about land and tax abatements. We need to use the possibility of canceling them as a tool, he said. If you take city dollars you have responsibilities to uphold.
Councilmember Eugene:Housing is one of the biggest crises in the nation, he said, citing funding he gave tonon-profitsand testimony he gave before the DOB against raising rents.
What Are Your Plans To Push For a Fair Property Tax Program (because many taxes are going up to cover the new values because of buildings that are getting abatements)?
Rose St Albord: Property taxes are already high. Her goal will be to work to find ways to make new developments pay for the new costs to cover older residents raises in costs.
Brian Cunnigham:said that the 421A tax abatementneeds to be killed outright because any tax abatement is a zero sum effect. He would like to downzone, to disincentivize 421A. Cunningham also cited specifics numbers regarding the percentage of affordable housing being delivered for tax breaks.
Pia Raymond: Shared the commitment to downzoning. She cited her history on CB9 for support for downzoning.
Councilmember Eugene: said he voted to downzone Victorian Flatbush. He also said we need to lower the tax cost for retirees. It is very complicated, there is no one answer.
Jen Berkeley: Downzoning is only one answer to the problem. She says the Community Boards play a big role in downzoning and believes that City Council can play a bigger role in negotiating with developers.
What is your position on Charter Schools and the effect they have on public schools?
Councilmember Eugene: We have to invest in [public] education. But if there are other schools, we should support them.
Brian Cunningham: It is the citys responsibility to take care of the public schools first. He cited an example of how a school got a 501C3 attached to their school to allow them to pursue outside funding. He also cited the difference between Capital funding and other monies, saying we need to generate funding for both.
Pia Raymond:served as a program director in a public school and feels its critical to support public schools, college preparation, and fighting the digital divide. She would also support existing charter programs but not focus on new ones for the future.
Jen Berkely:Our city is one of the wealthiest in the world and the schools and should not have to hold bake sales to pay the bills. She also called out our low graduation rate in nyc as a particular issue she would address.
Rose St. Albord:said many kids arent learning but rather are taught to memorize She feels that many school problems need to be dealt with by instituting accountability for our school leadership and not just throwing money at problems.
Councilmember Eugene: Explained that he gives money to every school, supporting chess programs and other special events.
Joseph then switched gears and called on audience questions, like: How would you intervene in gang violence? (Create more community centers and vocational training, said Albord; raising rates of summer jobs, said Eugene; expand interest-based social development programs, said Raymond; make every school a beacon instead of creating new spaces, said Cunningham.)
What can you do to help the small businesses keep up with the rising cost of rent?
(specialized commercial rent control, saidBerkeley;encourage the SBA to take over a percentage of the store rent, saidSt. Albord; more programs like shop local supported by city council, and a separate stream to help preschools, said Raymond; explore landmarking small businesses integral to the cultural landscape, said Cunningham. Everyone who comes to Brooklyn wants to go to Juniors Cheesecake. We have places that could have that kind of draw.)
The last question was a personal one for Joseph and the immediate community. Since we are in the area covered by CB9 can you tell us what you would do to make it more functional. This question got applause and clearly was important to this room.
Pia Raymond, the only candidate onCB9, said, Unfortunately we have had a lot of discord and changes in leadership which has held up voting on things like liquor licenses. But she said we have new leadership and expressed confidence that things would go smoother this year.
Cunningham called for a more formal application process and training for Community Board leadership. He also felt strongly that there should be term limits on Community Board service. This last point received applause from the audience.
Learn more about each candidate, with videos, here.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 3:54 pm
As it seeks to expand its global reach outside China, Alibaba Cloud announced that it will introduce MaxCompute, to Europes US$18.9 billion cloud computing market in the second half of 2017.
The E.U. cloud market is smaller than, say, its U.S. counterpart, but it is already populated by the likes of Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft and IBM, setting the stage for competition. Alibaba said it hopes to get a piece of this action by convincing E.U. businesses that its artificial intelligence (AI) features can, unlock the immense value of their data, using a highly secure and scalable cloud infrastructure and AI programs, said Wanli Min, an Alibaba Cloud scientist responsible for AI and data-mining.
The Chinese cloud providers AI program is already popular in China, where it has been applied to easing traffic congestion, diagnosing disease through medical imaging, and even predicting the winners of reality show contests.
MaxCompute intends to deliver these same services to the E.U. market, using advanced AI and deep -earning technologies and algorithms for data storage, modeling and analytics.
Alibaba Cloud opened its first European data center in Germany in late 2016. The company has not revealed what its E.U. customer base looks like, but said it is in discussions with companies in Europe about using MaxCompute.
Alibaba corporate headquarters
View original post here:
Posted: at 3:54 pm
NEW YORK It is a sunny Tuesday morning in late March at IBMs Thomas J. Watson Research Center. The corridor from the reception area follows the long, curving glass curtain-wall that looks out over the visitors parking lot to leafless trees covering a distant hill in Yorktown Heights, New York, an hour north of Manhattan. Walk past the podium from the Jeopardy! episodes at which IBMs Watson smote the human champion of the TV quiz show, turn right into a hallway, and you will enter a windowless lab where a quantum computer is chirping away.
Actually, chirp isnt quite the right word. It is a somewhat metallic sound, chush chush chush, that is made by the equipment that lowers the temperature inside a so-called dilution refrigerator to within hailing distance of absolute zero. Encapsulated in a white canister suspended from a frame, the dilution refrigerator cools a superconducting chip studded with a handful of quantum bits, or qubits.
Quantum computing has been around, in theory if not in practice, for several decades. But these new types of machines, designed to harness quantum mechanics and potentially process unimaginable amounts of data, are certifiably a big deal. I would argue that a working quantum computer is perhaps the most sophisticated technology that humans have ever built, said Chad Rigetti, founder and chief executive officer of Rigetti Computing, a startup in Berkeley, Calif. Quantum computers, he says, harness nature at a level we became aware of only about 100 years ago one that isnt apparent to us in everyday life.
What is more, the potential of quantum computing is enormous. Tapping into the weird way nature works could potentially speed up computing so some problems that are now intractable to classical computers could finally yield solutions. And maybe not just for chemistry and materials science. With practical breakthroughs in speed on the horizon, Wall Streets antennae are twitching.
The second investment that CME Group Inc.s venture arm ever made was in 1QB Information Technologies Inc., a quantum-computing software company in Vancouver. From the start at CME Ventures, weve been looking further ahead at transformational innovations and technologies that we think could have an impact on the financial-services industry in the future, said Rumi Morales, head of CME Ventures LLC.
That 1QBit financing round, in 2015, was led by Royal Bank of Scotland. Kevin Hanley, RBSs director of innovation, says quantum computing is likely to have the biggest impact on industries that are data-rich and time-sensitive. We think financial services is kind of in the cross hairs of that profile, he said.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is an investor in D-Wave Systems Inc., another quantum player, as is In-Q-Tel, the CIA-backed venture capital company, says Vern Brownell, CEO of D-Wave. The British Columbia-based company makes machines that do something called quantum annealing. Quantum annealing is basically using the quantum computer to solve optimization problems at the lowest level, Brownell said. Weve taken a slightly different approach where were actually trying to engage with customers, make our computers more and more powerful, and provide this advantage to them in the form of a programmable, usable computer.
Marcos Lopez de Prado, a senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners LLC who is also a scientific adviser at 1QBit and a research fellow at the U.S. Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says it is all about context. The reason quantum computing is so exciting is its perfect marriage with machine learning, he said. I would go as far as to say that currently this is the main application for quantum computing.
Part of that simply derives from the idea of a quantum computer; harnessing a physical device to find an answer, Lopez de Prado says. He sometimes explains it by pointing to the video game Angry Birds. When you play it on your iPad, the central processing units use some mathematical equations that have been programmed into a library to simulate the effects of gravity and the interaction of objects bouncing and colliding. This is how digital computers work, he said.
By contrast, quantum computers turn that approach on its head, Lopez de Prado says. The paradigm for quantum computers is to throw some birds and see what happens. Encode into the quantum microchip this problem; these are your birds and where you throw them from, so whats the optimal trajectory? Then you let the computer check all possible solutions essentially or a very large combination of them and come back with an answer, he said. In a quantum computer, there is no mathematician cracking the problem, he said. The laws of physics crack the problem for you.
The fundamental building blocks of our world are quantum mechanical. If you look at a molecule, said Dario Gil, vice president for science and solutions at IBM Research, the reason molecules form and are stable is because of the interactions of these electron orbitals. Each calculation in there each orbital is a quantum mechanical calculation. The number of those calculations, in turn, increases exponentially with the number of electrons youre trying to model. By the time you have 50 electrons, you have 2 to the 50th power calculations, Gil said. Thats a phenomenally large number, so we cant compute it today, he said. (For the record, it is 1.125 quadrillion. So if you fired up your laptop and started cranking through several calculations a second, it would take a few million years to run through them all.) Connecting information theory to physics could provide a path to solving such problems, Gil says. A 50-qubit quantum computer might begin to be able to do it.
Landon Downs, president and co-founder of 1QBit, says it is now becoming possible to unlock the computational power of the quantum world. This has huge implications for producing new materials or creating new drugs, because we can actually move from a paradigm of discovery to a new era of quantum design, he said in an email. Rigetti, whose company is building hybrid quantum-classical machines, says one moonshot use of quantum computing could be to model catalysts that remove carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere and thereby help fix global warming.
The quantum-computing community hums with activity and excitement these days. Teams around the world at startups, corporations, universities, and government labs are racing to build machines using a welter of different approaches to process quantum information. Superconducting qubit chips too elementary for you? How about trapped ions, which have brought together researchers from the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology? Or maybe the topological approach that Microsoft Corp. is developing through an international effort called Station Q? The aim is to harness a particle called a non-abelian anyon which has not yet been definitively proven to exist.
These are early days, to be sure. As of late May, the number of quantum computers in the world that clearly, unequivocally do something faster or better than a classical computer remains zero, according to Scott Aaronson, a professor of computer science and director of the Quantum Information Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Such a signal event would establish quantum supremacy. In Aaronsons words, That we dont have yet.
Yet someone may accomplish the feat as soon as this year. Most insiders say one clear favorite is a group at Google Inc. led by John Martinis, a physics professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. According to Martinis, the groups goal is to achieve supremacy with a 49-qubit chip. As of late May, he says, the team was testing a 22-qubit processor as an intermediate step toward a showdown with a classical supercomputer. We are optimistic about this, since prior chips have worked well, he said in an email.
The idea of using quantum mechanics to process information dates back decades. One key event happened in 1981, when International Business Machines Corp. and MIT co-sponsored a conference on the physics of computation at the universitys Endicott House in Dedham, Massachusetts. At the conference, Richard Feynman, the famed physicist, proposed building a quantum computer. Nature isnt classical, damn it, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, youd better make it quantum mechanical, he said in his talk. And by golly, its a wonderful problem, because it doesnt look so easy.
He got that part right. The basic idea is to take advantage of a couple of the weird properties of the atomic realm superposition and entanglement. Superposition is the mind-bending observation that a particle can be in two states at the same time. Bring out your ruler to get a measurement, however, and the particle will collapse into one state or the other. And you wont know which until you try, except in terms of probabilities. This effect is what underlies Schrodingers cat, the thought-experiment animal that is both alive and dead in a box until you sneak a peek.
Sure, bending your brain around that one doesnt come especially easy; nothing in everyday life works that way, of course. Yet about 1 million experiments since the early 20th century show that superposition is a thing. And if superposition happens to be your thing, the next step is figuring out how to strap such a crazy concept into a harness.
Enter qubits. Classical bits can be a 0 or a 1; run a string of them together through logic gates (AND, OR, NOT, etc.), and you will multiply numbers, draw an image, and whatnot. A qubit, by contrast, can be a 0, a 1, or both at the same time.
Ready for entanglement? (You are in good company if you balk; Albert Einstein famously rebelled against the idea, calling it spooky action at a distance.) Well, lets say two qubits were to get entangled. Gil says that would make them perfectly correlated. A quantum computer could then utilize a menagerie of distinctive logic gates. The so-called Hadamard gate, for example, puts a qubit into a state of perfect superposition. (There may be something called a square root of NOT gate, but lets take a pass on that one.) If you tap the superposition and entanglement in clever arrangements of the weird quantum gates, you start to get at the potential power of quantum computing.
If you have two qubits, you can explore four states; 00, 01, 10, and 11. (Note that thats 4:2 raised to the power of 2.) When I perform a logical operation on my quantum computer, I can operate on all of this at once, Gil said. And the number of states you can look at is 2 raised to the power of the number of qubits. So if you could make a 50-qubit universal quantum computer, you could in theory explore all of those 1.125 quadrillion states at the same time.
What gives quantum computing its special advantage, says Aaronson, of the University of Texas, is that quantum mechanics is based on things called amplitudes. Amplitudes are sort of like probabilities, but they can also be negative in fact, they can also be complex numbers, he said. So if you want to know the probability that something will happen, you add up the amplitudes for all the different ways that it can happen, he says.
The idea with a quantum computation is that you try to choreograph a pattern of interference so that for each wrong answer to your problem, some paths leading there have positive amplitudes and some have negative amplitudes, so they cancel each other out, Aaronson said. Whereas the paths leading to the right answer all have amplitudes that are in phase with each other. The tricky part is that you have to arrange everything not knowing in advance which answer is the right one. So I would say its the exponentiality of quantum states combined with this potential for interference between positive and negative amplitudes thats really the source of the power of quantum computing, he said.
Did we mention that there are problems that a classical computer cant solve? You probably harness one such difficulty every day when you use encryption on the internet. The problem is that it is not easy to find the prime factors of a large number. To review, the prime factors of 15 are 5 and 3. That is easy. If the number you are trying to factor has, say, 200 digits, it is very hard. Even with your laptop running an excellent algorithm, you might have to wait years to find the prime factors.
That brings us to another milestone in quantum computing Shors algorithm. Published in 1994 by Peter Shor, now a math professor at MIT, the algorithm demonstrated an approach that you could use to find the factors of a big number if you had a quantum computer, which didnt exist at the time. Essentially, Shors algorithm would perform some operations that would point to the regions of numbers in which the answer was most likely to be found.
The following year, Shor also discovered a way to perform quantum error correction. Then people really got the idea that, wow, this is a different way of computing things and is more powerful in certain test cases, said Robert Schoelkopf, director of the Yale Quantum Institute and Sterling professor of applied physics and physics. Then there was a big upswell of interest from the physics community to figure out how you could make quantum bits and logic gates between quantum bits and all of those things.
Two decades later, those things are here.
Originally posted here:
Cybersecurity Attacks Are a Global Threat. Chinese Scientists Have the Answer: Quantum Mechanics – Newsweek
Posted: at 3:53 pm
Quantum physics is an often mind-boggling branch of science filled with strange behavior and bizarre implications. For many people, the mere mention of the term is enough to send us hurtling in the opposite direction, like an electron bouncing off the center of an atom.
But evidence is mounting that the future of technology lies in quantum mechanics, which focuses on how the smallest things in our universe work. And a new breakthrough by scientists in China has just brought the world one very big step closer to this quantum revolution. Hundreds of miles closer, in fact. So its as good a time as any to understand why quantum physics is making such waves.
An Atlas 5 rocket, a national security satellite, launched from California in 2008. Chinese physicists have used a satellite to beat the distance record for quantum entanglement. Gene Blevins/Reuters
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Quantum physics is all about waves. And particles. Together. Sort of.
Mostly, we think of light as something that occurs in waves and matter as distinct particles. But theorist Max Plancks attempt in 1900 to explain observations about colors emitted from hot objects started scientists down a path that transformed our understanding of how life works at the very smallest scale.
The first step was realizing that light behaves like a stream of individual particles, called photons. Albert Einstein came to this conclusion following Plancks work. Each photon contains a discrete amount of energy.
Subsequent research by Niels Bohr and others disrupted what physicists understood about electrons, the negatively charged particles that swirl around the heavy centers of the atoms that make up the elements (gold, silver, potassium, calcium, etc.) that in turn make up matter. That disruption was accentuated by Louis de Broglie, who realized that if light can behave like a particle, then maybe electrons, which physicists had always thought of as particles, could behave like waves. Numerous experiments proved that to be the case. Photons behave like waves and particles. Electrons behavelike waves and particles. The type of measurement you do determines how a photon or an electron behave.
One of the most intriguing effects of quantum physics is something called entanglement. With quantum entanglement, two particles derived from the same source behave the same way, even when they are far apart. The state of either particle cannot be determined until it is measured, and the act of measuring is what determines its state. And the measurement of one particle affects the measurement of the other particle. This thinking is embodied by Erwin Schrdingers thought problem about his famous cat.
If you split photon A into a photon pairB and Cmeasuring B will tell you, with absolute certainty, the measure of C. Paul Kwiat, physicist at the University of Illinois, gives the analogy of flipping a coin. If one flipped coin results in heads, heads, tails, heads, tails, tails, head, then the entangled coin, placed hundreds of miles away, would follow the same sequence. Thats not a behavior you see with coins, says Kwiat. Thats where quantum entanglement is pretty weird. Two things hundreds of miles away behaving as one: Thats quantum entanglement. And its real. Albert Einstein called it spuckhafte ferwirklung, or spooky action at a distance.
For more on the history of quantum physics and the entanglement phenomenon, author Chad Orzel, who teaches physics at Union College in Schenectady, New York, has some excellent videos.
Beyond the weirdness factor, quantum entanglement has broad implications for computing and information sharing. Entanglement distributionfor example, the splitting of a single photon into two linked photonscould be used to create a secure internet connection. The technology, called quantum cryptography, would allow the users to detect any eavesdropper on the channel. The reason you can detect the eavesdropper is that such an intruder would necessarily alter the entangled photons by his or her presence.
The principle allows for a secure communication channel that is unhackable, says Jonathan Dowling, a physicist at Louisiana State University When the Chinese roll out this type of communications nationwide, which is their plan, says Dowling, then no matter how many NSA computers you string together, you are never going to be able to tap into their system.
A new study in Science, by Juan Yin and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology in China and several other institutions there, has brought this future technology within much closer reach. The researchers split a photon on a satellite and sent the two resulting photons in two different directions, aimed at ground stations in China. The ground stations were more than 700 miles apart from one another. The distance from the satellite, which was constantly in motion, to each ground station varied from 300 to 1,200 miles.
The researchers managed to send photon pairs to different ground stations repeatedly and confirmed that the photons were entangled. Using a laser pointer-like source, they made about 6 million photon pairs per second. About one pair per second reached the ground stations. Kwiat says its like throwing a dime into a toll booth bucket while driving at high speed, only youre throwing a much tinier object from much farther awayand at a much faster speed. Measurements confirmed that the photon pairs had the same polarization, proving that they were entangled.
Although previous studies have managed to achieve similar results, never has it been done over such a great distance and from a satellite. (The prior record demonstrated entanglement across two of the Canary Islands, about 89 miles apart.) Its a beautiful experiment, says Kwiat. They demonstrated the persistence of entanglement over a longer distance than any experiment before by roughly a factor of 10.
Dowling says that this achievement proves that the quantum-based technologies many physicists envision are attainable. The long-term goal is to build a quantum internet where future computers around the globe are linked together in an uncrackable network of extraordinary computational power, says Dowling. The satellite will go down in history as the first link in the quantum internet.
The Chinese physicists are not the only team on the quest for this technology. Quantum cryptography systems are commercially available and researchers in several countries, including the U.S., Canada, Italy and Singapore are also forging the way ahead, says Kwiat, who is among them. Google is also working on quantum information science.
Still, the new study is a huge breakthrough because it proves entanglement can be achieved from a satellite and across this large distance. We have done something that was absolutely impossible without the satellite, says senior author Jian-Wei Pan. The next step, he says, is to perform more experiments with light from space, across yet longer distances and at faster speeds, with a goal of controlling quantum states and understanding how gravity affects quantum behavior.
Posted: at 3:53 pm
And, man, did she have something to say Friday. Here’s her full statement on President Donald Trump’s latest tweets about the special counsel investigation being led by former FBI Director Bob Mueller:
“I’m growing increasingly concerned that the President will attempt to fire not only Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible obstruction of justice, but also Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who appointed Mueller.
“The message the President is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him and that anyone who thinks otherwise will be fired. That’s undemocratic on its face and a blatant violation of the President’s oath of office.
“First of all, the President has no authority to fire Robert Mueller. That authority clearly lies with the attorney generalor in this case, because the attorney general has recused himself, with the deputy attorney general. Rosenstein testified under oath this week that he would not fire Mueller without good cause and that none exists.
“And second, if the President thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he’s in for a rude awakening. Even his staunchest supporters will balk at such a blatant effort to subvert the law.
“It’s becoming clear to me that the President has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light, be that Congress, the media or the Justice Department. The Senate should not let that happen. We’re a nation of laws that apply equally to everyone, a lesson the President would be wise to learn.”
Just a few lines worth reading again:
* “The message the President is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him.”
* “If the President thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he’s in for a rude awakening.”
* “It’s becoming clear to me that the President has embarked on an effort to undermine anyone with the ability to bring any misdeeds to light.”
* “We’re a nation of laws that apply equally to everyone, a lesson the President would be wise to learn.”
Any one of those lines is a 99-mile-an-hour fastball thrown way, way inside. Taken all altogether, it’s a statement very clearly designed to send a message to Trump.
That message? Enough! Time to start acting like a president.
To be clear: Feinstein is a Democrat. She represents one of the most Democratic states in the country and risks absolutely nothing, politically speaking, by issuing a statement like this one that blisters Trump.
But she is also one of the institutions in the Senate, having spent the last 25 years in the chamber. Unlike her longtime colleague Barbara Boxer, who retired in 2016, Feinstein is not seen as terribly partisan and generally enjoys strong across-the-aisle relationships.
“Every conversation that I’ve had with her now that she’s ranking member has been not only friendly, but has been productive, and these little heads-to-heads that you see us having when the committee’s actually functioning, work things out right then.”
In short: Feinstein isn’t just a predictable partisan or someone who pops off at the slightest political provocation. This statement is a purposeful attempt to make clear that Trump has crossed a line and that he needs to take one big step back.
My prediction: He won’t.
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Posted: at 3:53 pm
“The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media – over 100 million people! I can go around them,” Trump tweeted.
If Trump believes this — and he certainly seem to — it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the media views the president’s Twitter feed and how he employs it.
The reality is this: Every political journalist in the world is absolutely thrilled that Donald Trump not only tweets but does with the frequency and bluntness that he does. NO reporter wants Donald Trump to stop tweeting. Not one.
Trump’s Twitter feed gives the political media — and anyone else who follows him — a direct look into his thought processes. We know what he is thinking about — or angry about — at all times of day. That’s absolutely invaluable. It’s “The President: Raw and Uncut.”
Even as his White House will be excoriating the media for focusing too little on some policy roll-out or another, Trump will drop a series of tweets about the “witch hunt” Russia investigation or complain, as he did yesterday, about why the Justice Department isn’t investigating alleged improprieties surrounding Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
All presidents have private thoughts that sometimes (often?) run counter to the official message the White House is pushing in a given day, week or month. But, no past president has been willing to put those discrepancies on public display in front of the tens of millions of people who follow him on Twitter before Trump.
What sort of reporter would want that pipeline to end?
The people who do want Trump to stop tweeting or to tweet less aren’t the media. They’re Republicans and Trump loyalists who believe his willingness to tell people exactly what is on his mind at any minute of the day fundamentally undermines the White House’s efforts to find some consistent messaging and build the momentum the administration has been sorely lacking to date.
“[Twitter is] a powerful tool, but I do believe that it can be used more effectively to achieve his purpose,” New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Trump supporter, said on CNN Friday morning. “I don’t know the strategy behind, you know, this morning — this latest tweet you are asking me about. But if there is a bigger strategy that makes sense, I’m all ears.”
If you’re reading this, Mr. Trump, let me be crystal clear as a card-carrying member of the media: Please keep tweeting. It provides us insight into how you think that we have never had before and may never get again from a president. Period.
Posted: at 3:53 pm
New York Times
Donald Trump, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 'All Eyez on Me': Your Friday Briefing
New York Times
Steve Garvey, a former major league star, led a prayer before the congressional baseball game in Washington on Thursday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times. (Want to get this briefing by email? Here's the sign-up.) Good morning. Here's what you need to …
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Posted: at 3:53 pm
The yearning in the character of Donald Trump for dominance and praise is bottomless, a hunger that is never satisfied. Last week, the President gathered his Cabinet for a meeting with no other purpose than to praise him, to note the great honor and blessing of serving such a man as he. Trump nodded with grave self-satisfaction, accepting the serial hosannas as his daily due. But even as the members declared, Pyongyang-style, their everlasting gratitude and fealty to the Great Leader, this concocted dumb show of loyalty only served to suggest how unsustainable it all is.
The reason that this White House staff is so leaky, so prepared to express private anxiety and contempt, even while parading obeisance for the cameras, is that the President himself has so far been incapable of garnering its discretion or respect. Trump has made it plain that he is capable of turning his confused fury against anyone in his circle at any time. In a tweet on Friday morning, Trump confirmed that he is under investigation for firing the F.B.I. director James Comey, but blamed the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, for the legal imbroglio that Trump himself has created. The President has fired a few aides, he has made known his disdain and disappointment at many others, and he will, undoubtedly, turn against more. Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Sean Spicerwho has not yet felt the lash?
Trumps egotism, his demand for one-way loyalty, and his incapacity to assume responsibility for his own untruths and mistakes were, his biographers make plain, his pattern in business and have proved to be his pattern as President.
Veteran Washington reporters tell me that they have never observed this kind of anxiety, regret, and sense of imminent personal doom among White House staffersnot to this degree, anyway. These troubled aides seem to think that they can help their own standing by turning on those around themand that by retailing information anonymously they will be able to live with themselves after serving a President who has proved so disconnected from the truth and reality.
I thought about Trump and his aides and councillors while reading The Last of the Presidents Men , Bob Woodwards 2015 book about Alexander Butterfield, a career Air Force officer who took a job as an assistant to Richard Nixon. He made the move less for ideological reasons than to indulge a yearning ambition to be in the smoketo be at the locus of power, where decisions are made.
As an undergraduate, at U.C.L.A., Butterfield knew H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and, after serving in Vietnam and being stationed in Australia, he called on Haldeman, who was Nixons most important assistant. Haldeman made Butterfield his deputy. Butterfield got what every D.C. bureaucrat craves mostaccess. He worked on Nixons schedule, his paper flow, his travel; he offered advice, took orders, no matter how bizarre or transitory. Butterfield could not have been more in the smoke than he was then. He quickly discovered that Nixon was a fantastically weird and solitary manrude, unthoughtful, broiling with resentment against the Eastern lites who had somehow wounded him, be it in his imagination or in fact. Butterfield had to manage Nixons relations with everyone from his Cabinet members to his wife, Pat, who on vacations resided separately from the President. Butterfield carried out Nixons most peculiar orders, whether they involved barring a senior economic adviser from a White House faith service or making sure that Henry Kissinger was no longer seated at state dinners next to the most attractive woman at the occasion. (Nixon, who barely acknowledged, much less touched, his own wife in public, resented Kissingers public, and well-cultivated, image as a Washington sex symbol.)
Butterfield experienced what all aides do, eventually, if they have the constant access; he was witness to the unguarded and, in Nixons case, the most unattractive behavior of a powerful man. Incident after incident revealed Nixons distaste for his fellow human beings, his racism and anti-Semitism, his overpowering personal suspicions, and his sad longings. Nixon, the most anti-social of men, needed a briefing memo just to make it through the pleasantries of a staff birthday party. One evening, Butterfield recounts to Woodward, he sat across from Nixon on a night trip back to the White House from Camp David on Marine One, and watched as Nixon, in one of the more discomfiting passages in the literature of sexual misbehavior, kept patting the bare legs of one of his secretaries, Beverly Kaye:
And hes carrying on this small talk, but still patting her. Because I can see now, Nixon being Nixon, he doesnt quite know how to stop. You know, to stop is an action in itself. So hes pat, pat, patting her. And looking at her. And feelingI can see hes feeling more distressed all the time now about the situation hes got himself into. So he keeps trying to make this small talk, and I can see him saying [to himself], you know, when the small talk is over, what the hell am I going to do? . . . Shes petrified. Shes never had this happen before. The president of the United States is patting her bare legs.
For how long? Woodward asks.
It seems like half the way to Washington but Id say a long time, minutes.
When it appeared, The Last of the Presidents Men did not receive the attention that was paid to some of Woodwards early investigative books, but its intimacy and strangeness are very much worth returning to in the Trumpian momentespecially so if you are blessed with serving the current President. It is instructive.
Butterfield, who is ninety-one and spent dozens of hours with Woodward recounting his experiences in proximity to a President who ran what was essentially a criminal operation from the White House, emerges from the telling as a man of complex motivations. He hardly charged forward in the early days of the scandal to tell what he knew. After Nixons relection, Butterfield left the White House to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. But no matter how hard Butterfield worked to swallow his hurt feelings or to submerge his knowledge of the various enemies lists and the criminal cover-up that took shape all around him during Watergate, no matter how hard he tried to rationalize Nixons venality with his achievements, particularly the diplomatic opening to China, he came to an almost inevitable moment of reckoning.
In February, 1971, Nixon came up with the idea of putting a voice-activated taping system in his offices. Butterfield was charged with the installation. Haldeman told Butterfield that Nixon wanted the system installed on his telephones and in the Oval Office, his office in the Executive Office Building, the Cabinet Room, and the Lincoln Sitting Room. Kissinger was not to know; neither was his senior-most secretary, Rose Mary Woods. Only a few aides and the President were aware that no conversation was now truly confidential. Tiny holes were drilled into the Presidents desktop to make way for the microphones. A set of Sony 800B tape recorders was set up in the White House basement.
It was all for the sake of history, Nixon said. Kennedy and Johnson had taped selectively, but Nixon wanted it all for the recordhis own recordsbut no one was to know. Goddamn it, this cannot get out, Nixon told Butterfield. Mums the word.
In the end, of course, the tapes were Nixons undoing. In July, 1973, when Senate Watergate investigators asked Butterfield point-blank whether the White House taped conversations, Butterfield decided that his loyalty was not to the cesspool of Nixons White House but to the truth. And by confirming what so few knewthat there were tapes of Nixon and his cronies discussing Watergate and its cover-upButterfield helped end a Presidency.
Donald Trump now faces an investigation led by Robert Mueller, late of the F.B.I., and it could last many months. There is hardly any guarantee that the Administration will be found guilty of collusion with Russia, or with Russians, on any score; to predict that is to leap ahead of any publicly available evidence. Nor is there any guarantee, despite the testimony of Comey, and the testimony coming from other top national-security figures, that there will be a charge of obstruction of justice. This is bound to take some time.
But, while Trumps personality is different from Nixons, there is little evidence that the show of bogus loyalty performed last week has any basis in real life. Will Bannon, Spicer, Conway, Sessions, Kushner, and many others who have been battered in one way or another by Trump keep their counsel? Will all of them risk their futures to protect someone whose focus is on himself alone, the rest be damned? Will none of them conclude that they are working for a President whose honesty is on a par with his loyalty to others? The government is already filled with public servants and bureaucrats who have found ways to protest this Presidents actions and describe them to investigators and reporters. Will the inner circle follow? Have they already?
Alexander Butterfield, day after day, would hear Nixon say, Were going to nail those sons of bitches. He heard the lies; he watched the President try to crush his opponents with surveillance and dirty tricks. It disgusted him, but, for a good while, he assumed that the Presidency would endure; it was too powerful an institution to fall. But then momentum toward the truth began to build a wave, as Butterfield called it. He was, all along, ambivalent, torn between loyalty to the Presidentor, at least, to the idea of the Presidencyand a desire to do the right thing. When his time came, though, Butterfield testified.
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Posted: at 3:53 pm
Trevor Noah addressed a crowd while standing inside a recreation of the Oval Office with a Russian flag flanking him and an open golden toilet directly behind him.
Welcome to what I hope will become a place we live to remember for a very long time, Noah said into a microphone. The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library.
Thursday night,The Daily Show finally debuted their pop-up library thats dedicated to Donald Trumps tweets. In many ways, its like a typical presidential library, with immersive exhibits and placards adding context to historical artifacts. In other ways, it is not.
You can sit on a gold shitter! Daily Showcorrespondent Jordan Klepper explained to HuffPost at the event.
One could only guess at whether this library would be hilarious, a disaster, or a hilarious disaster earlier this year when The Daily Show announced their plan. But it turned out to be arguably the most impressive satire of the current administration to date.
Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and John Oliver are going to have to really consider their next move if they want the elusive Trump mockery crown. Noah and The Daily Show crew have vanquished, destroyed, eviscerated, ethered and slammed insert other destructive verbs here the president with this ridiculous library.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
This Trump Twitter library is right around the corner from Trump Tower in Manhattan, but somehow neither Klepper nor fellow correspondent Hasan Minhaj have ever been inside the latter.
How would an American version of Jafar live? Thats probably the inside of Trump Tower, in my mind, Minhaj guessed to HuffPost about what the presidents former residence is like. Despite never stepping foot in Trump Tower, The Daily Show crew certainly hopes the president stops by their pop-up over the weekend.
The library didnt appear to have any books, but has plenty of artworks, interactive activities and small Easter eggs to discover. A large television screen features a live update of Trumps Twitter. If he tweets during the time the library is open this weekend, a bing bing bong bong, bing bing, bong bong alarm, as Noah described, will go off.
The stated goal of the library besides jokes is to put the presidents tweets into a historical context. I think over time, they will lose context, said Noah during his speech in front of the golden toilet. And people will assume that theyre misinterpreting them. They will say, Surely, that was not what the president wrote back in that day, maybe language has changed. They will then find ways to distill them and turn them into coherent language, which is partly why we are holding this beautiful Twitter library experience because we do not wish for that to take place.
Noah continued, saying the president was at his best when experienced in his purest form.
Thats what this library is about, he continued. We are living in history, people. This is the beginning … and possibly the end.
Rob Kim via Getty Images
The library is located at 3 West 57th Street in New York and is open Friday, June 16, throughSunday June 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Theadmission is free.
HuffPost reporter Bill Bradley sat on the golden toilet and asked Noah what hed say to Trump if he ever slid into his DMs on Twitter. Well, the obligatory, u up? Noah responded. And then #followback.
Presumably Noah and Klepper and Minhaj wont be on the premises this weekend, but who knows, maybe Trump will stop by to bask in this monument to his writing.
This is real history, Minhaj said to HuffPost at one point in the night. We are living through history.
Below is a transcript of Noahs entire opening remarks:
Brad Barket via Getty Images
Well, good evening, everybody. And welcome, welcome to what I hope will become a place we live to remember for a very long time. The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library.
You know, at The Daily Show, we faced a lot of criticism from people whove said we are haters of the President. We are not. We are admirers. We are honest. We are fake news. And he promotes us more than most. And to show our appreciation of that, we decided to tackle an issue that is near and dear to our hearts, and that is the Presidents Twitter.
Weve noticed that there is a concerted effort by many people within the administration and from without who wish to silence the Presidents tweets. Say what you want about Donald Trump, he may not be good at president-ing or leading or geo-politics, but he is a damn fine Twitterer. Probably the best that ever lived.
And so we thought at The Daily Show we would take a moment to honor the President of the United States and the King of Twitter with this library.
Now some people would say, Trevor, why would you have this Twitter library now? Shouldnt a presidential library be at the end of a presidents term? Yes, that is true. Unfortunately, we do not know when the term will end. Could be next week, could be never. So we decided to do it now. Tell the ones you love you love them when theyre still around.
And thats what this Twitter library is about. Its about giving context to the tweets. Not absorbing them one bite at a time, but rather looking at them as a body of work. Some of the greatest moments, some of the greatest ideas that have ever been shared in 140 characters or less.
Weve invited you here today to share it with us and I know many of you, fake and mainstream, will strive to paint this as a negative affair, which it was not. I know that the President himself will appreciate this. Its around the corner from where he once lived. And I hope that everyone who is a fan and lover of Donald Trump what he tweets everyday will come and enjoy this experience with us.
So thank you very much. Its an exhibit, as you can see, that contains just a little bit of the mastery, just a little bit of the panache. Everything from birtherism through to deleted tweets that we have not forgotten. And we tried, but we could not. We have some of the survivors of his Twitter feuds.
But most importantly, we have an opportunity for people to take the position of Commander in Tweet and try to respond to a crisis as only the president would. Some people would see this as an insult, but it is not. We thought to ourselves, where do we send most of our tweets from. The president, who is a man of the people, probably shares in that experience.
So welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to The Daily Show Presents: Donald J Trump Twitter Presidential Library.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
Brad Barket via Getty Images