Commercially Available Silicon Quantum Computer Moves Forward With Quietest Bits On Record

KEY POINTS

  • Physicists achieve a noise level 10 times lower than the previous record
  • Demonstration proves to take a major step closer to a full-scale silicon quantum processor 
  • Next step could be a 10-qubit prototype quantum integrated processor by 2023

The lowest noise level on record for a semiconductor quantum bit has been demonstrated by a team of quantum physicists, bringing the development of a commercially available silicon quantum computer one step forward to possibility. 

In a study published in Advanced Materials, the physicists said they were able to achieve a noise level 10 times lower than previously recorded for any semiconductor qubit. Specifically, they demonstrated a low-level charge noise of  S0 = 0.0088 ± 0.0004 μeV2 Hz−1. 

As a next step, the team is now looking forward to demonstrating the capability required to produce a reliable 10-qubit prototype quantum integrated processor by 2023. 

“Our team is now working towards

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Tech Moves: Airbnb HR leader joins Convoy; OutSystems hires Microsoft vets; Highspot’s new chief scientist; and more

Sunita Solao. (Convoy Photo)

—Digital freight startup Convoy announced Sunita Solao, previously an HR leader at Airbnb, as vice president of people and a new member of the company’s executive team.

“Finding the right leader for our People function has been my top focus,” said Convoy CEO Dan Lewis in a statement. “The world is changing and a new normal is emerging for how we do our best work. I look forward to partnering with a creative force like Sunita to take the best of what we know, and build for the future during this unprecedented time.”

Solao was previously head of people and talent for Airbnb’s Homes Business team. She held prior HR leadership roles at eBay, Magento and GE Healthcare.

“I recognized in my first conversation with Dan that the Convoy team was as passionate about shaping a high-performing culture based on values as I am, which was

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Facebook’s moves shake up ‘big tech’ payments balance

America’s tech giants Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple continue apace their march into payments. With Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Facebook Pay, and Apple Pay, they’ve put their brands foremost and use payments to boost on-platform engagement and commerce, reinforcing their centrality in consumers’ lives.

They’ve taken an incrementalist approach, working with incumbent payment networks, processors, and banks, thus far. However, as their payments’ footprints broaden and deepen, that modus vivendi will be stressed.

In particular, Facebook, the world’s leading social-media network outside China, bears watching. It’s starting to roll out Facebook Pay to two billion WhatsApp users and prepping to launch Libra, which could roil the reigning payments ecosystem.

Libra uses stablecoins backed by fiat currencies. If it gets traction it’ll be disruptive. However, building payment-network critical mass, and therefore value and relevance, is hard. Existing systems work. Consumers and merchants are creatures of habit in payments. The graveyard of

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Google Project Zero security researcher moves to Apple

A researcher who worked for Google’s Project Zero is departing the security team and moving over to Apple, to help the iPhone maker improve the security of iOS and its other operating systems.

Revealed on Twitter on Saturday, Brandon Azad confirmed he was leaving Project Zero in favor of a position at Apple in the following week. He will be joining Apple to “continue my work improving Apple device security.”

Project Zero is Google’s security research team that concentrates on finding security issues and vulnerabilities in software, both in Google’s own products and of other major firms. The team works to improve the security of devices and software the general public uses by pointing out the issues to device producers, before performing an ethical disclosure of its findings.

This includes a collection of zero-click bugs in Apple’s Image I/O framework affecting all of Apple’s major platforms, and

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Tropical Storm Gamma moves inland over Yucatan Peninsula

Oct. 3 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Gamma began moving inland over the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday morning, less than a day after the storm was named.

Tropical Depression 25 formed late Friday morning amid an area of disturbed weather over the northwestern Caribbean that meteorologists have had their eyes on since the demise of Beta, Sally, Teddy and Paulette. It strengthened to tropical storm status — 40 mph — by Friday evening.

As of 1 p.m. CDT, the tropical storm was moving in a northwestward direction at 9 mph, about 15 miles north-northwest of Tulum, Mexico. Wind speeds had increased to 70 mph.

Mexico’s government has issued tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings for the region.

Waters offshore of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have become increasingly stormy in recent days.

This zone has been experiencing low wind shear relative to the rest of the Atlantic basin.

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Professional investors have their eye on these eight stocks as the used-car market in the U.S. moves online

The big talk in the auto industry has been around electric cars and their eventual role in autonomous driving.

But the used-vehicle market in the U.S. is more than twice as large as the new-car market on a unit-sales basis. So it’s worth taking a close look at how the used market is evolving and how you might profit from it.

The media is fixated on the other big change in the U.S. auto market — the acceleration of the electric-vehicle industry led by Telsa Inc.
US:TSLA,
whose stock rose 245% during the third quarter. You may have missed out on Tesla’s gain, unless it is held by an index fund you own, but there are other ways to invest in the electric-car revolution.

According to Statista.com, 40.8 million used cars and trucks were sold in the U.S. in 2019, compared with 17 million new vehicles sold. You can

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Senate panel moves to subpoena CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google

A Senate panel has moved to compel testimony from the CEOs of social media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter, as lawmakers opened a new front in rhetorical battles over hate speech, misinformation and perceived political bias on internet platforms a month before the presidential election.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Thursday to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, to force them to appear at a planned hearing if they don’t agree to do so voluntarily.

The committee’s unanimous vote marked the start of a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny and pressure in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech.

With President Donald Trump in the lead, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse — without

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Brazil moves toward transfer of deforestation and fire monitoring to military

  • In a recent announcement, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão defended the creation of a new agency that would have full authority over Amazon deforestation and fire monitoring satellite alerts. For three decades, INPE, Brazil’s civilian space agency, has held that role, making data publicly available.
  • The VP claims INPE satellite monitoring is outdated and doesn’t see through clouds. Critics of the government note that the space institute’s Prodes and Deter systems continue to provide excellent data on Amazon fires and deforestation, usable for enforcement, while clouds matter little in the dry season when most fires occur.
  • Critics contend that multiple moves by the government to disempower INPE are likely ways of denying transparency, ending INPE’s civil authority, and placing deforestation and fire monitoring satellites under secretive military control.
  • So far, an effort to fund new military satellites has failed. Meanwhile, Norway has partnered with the companies Planet and Airbus to
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Tech Moves: Expedia and F5 Networks add board members; Madrona principal departs; and more

Beverly Anderson. (Expedia Group Photo)

— Expedia Group appointed Equifax President of Global Consumer Solutions Beverly Anderson as its newest board member.

Prior to Equifax, Anderson was executive vice president of cards and retails services at Wells Fargo. She also held executive roles at American Express and Fleet Credit Card Services.

Maria Karaivanova. (Madrona Photo)

— Maria Karaivanova departed Madrona Venture Group, where she was a principal, to join Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence spinout WhyLabs as a co-founder and COO.

The Seattle startup came out of stealth mode last week and announced a $4 million investment round, which included participation from Madrona. Karaivanova helped lead Madrona’s investment.

— Seattle biotech startup Silverback Therapeutics promoted Valerie Odegard to president and Naomi Hunder to chief medical officer. 

Odegard joined the company in 2016 as chief scientific officer. She was previously vice president of research at Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired by

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Tech Moves: Lighter Capital names new CEO; Amazon exec joins Uber as CTO; and more

Melissa Widner. (Lighter Capital Photo)

— Seattle-based ‘alternative VC’ firm Lighter Capital named Melissa Widner as its new CEO. She takes over from former CEO Thor Culverhouse, who replaced longtime Lighter exec BJ Lackland this past September.

Widner, a board member at Lighter, most recently served as managing partner at the venture capital arm of the National Australia Bank. She was previously a general partner at Seattle-based SeaPoint Ventures and CEO of 7Software, which was acquired by Concur. Widner, based in Sydney, Australia, joined the Lighter board in 2018.

Lighter Capital was co-founded by Andy Sack along with Randall Lucas and Erik Benson of Voyager Capital in 2009. The company helps entrepreneurs raise funding without going the traditional route of venture capital. It has invested more than $200 million in 350-plus startups across the U.S., using an innovative process known as “revenue based financing” (RBF) that lets early-stage startups raise

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