T-minus 75 Days and Counting...
19 days until I give my thesis to my adviser.
40 days to my first presentation to the faculty on my research.
75 days (assuming that step goes well) to my final defense.
See also Wook's blog for the other half of the Quantum computing/computer graphics blogalog.
19 days until I give my thesis to my adviser.
Right now I'm watching an episode of NHK's Silk Road The imagery of course jaw-dropping, and the culture and history astonishing. Right now they are talking about (and visiting) the Black River area of Inner Mongolia. This is the poster child for desertification; there were a large lake, a roaring river, and cities supporting thousands until the fourteenth century. Then it all dried up for reasons that are still poorly understood. Nothing but desert, ghost cities and canals, and miles and miles of Buddhist monuments and graveyards.
The Daily Yomiuri reported a couple of days ago on the "cherry blossom prediction wars". The government Kizocho (meteorological agency) is now predicting that in Tokyo the trees will be blooming around March 22 (this coming Wednesday). However, Weather News, a for-profit company that has only been doing this for four years, is predicting that they won't be blooming until about March 25 or later, and around March 29 in Kashiwa (not far from here). Their map is very cool, very interactive and detailed, but how accurate is it? Stay tuned...
Okay, this is way past cool. Just a reminder that people in fields besides quantum computing are doing awesome work in ways that may fundamentally change how we build things, including, by extension, how we build computers.
Recently Mayumi took Sophia to Kyoto and Himeji, where they met up with some photographer friends. Mayumi took some fantastic photos.
[Update: the definitive version of this list has moved to Wikipedia, thanks to Edward. I have also been told that I misidentified Jon Postel.]
The file-sharing software Winny has been in the news a lot lately here in Japan, none of it good. It has security flaws that cause it to spread private info off of your PC out onto the Internet at large; that's rarely a good thing. Winny has been blamed for the leaks of 2,800 hospital patients, 1,500 crime victims, and, worryingly, door access codes for restricted areas at airports.
An article in the Daily Yomiuri today, cribbed from the Times of London, talks about the explosion in mobile phones in Africa. In 2000 there were 8 million subscribers on the continent, now there are more than 100 million -- one for every nine people. 25% of those are in South Africa, but places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo have a million (compared to just 10,000 land lines), and Chad has gone from 10,000 to 200,000 in three years.
As long as I'm cranking up the posting meter...
User Friendly isn't exactly your average comic strip, hey, it's still not that often that quantum computing shows up in a strip. The main gag isn't quantum, and the strip refers to uncertainty but not any of the phenomena such as superposition and entanglement that we know and love, but hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? Thanks to Ross for the pointer.
Looks like predictions for when the cherry blossoms arrive are now posted. There's a map as well as more detailed lists, like the one for the Kanto (Tokyo) area. We are apparently scheduled for about March 24 in Yokohama and March 25 in Tokyo. For Tokyo, that will be three days earlier than "average" and 6 days earlier than last year, when they were late. Sendai will be announced (the prediction will be made, that is) mid-March, and Sapporo in early April.
Man, Santa Barbara is the place to be. David Awschalom has been there for years, and they just added John Martinis to the physics department. In CS, they have Wim van Dam (a quantum computing theorist), and have just added Fred Chong, who is a computer systems architect, strong in both classical and quantum. (There are more groups listed here, too.)
The Japanese government was supposed to auction off two bands for new wireless services sometime soon. I think the use of the bands was going to be less restricted than in the past, but the assumption was that they would be used for 3G services in the short run, and maybe something more exciting in the long run.
This is actually sort of pathetic. I may eventually visit all fifty states, but they're making countries faster than I'm visiting them.
Several tidbits from yesterday's Daily Yomiuri and Japan Times:
John Martinis (UC Santa Barbara) talked about high-fidelity measurements of a Josephson junction flux qubit. Their device is Al wires, SiNx insulators, an external SQUID for measurement.
Not only has Wikipedia just passed its one millionth article in English, but I noticed while pulling up a URL for that last post that the entry on quantum computing has improved dramatically since the last time I looked at it. Check it out.
Bob Clark represented 150 people, funded by both the Australian and U.S. governments. The overall effort in Australia is major, including theory, semiconductor, and optical. He talked mostly about progress in fabbing their solid-state devices. They are famous for the Kane model, of course, but Bob says they have "moved on" from that somewhat.
I just got back from MS+S2006 (Mesoscopic Superconductivity and Spintronics). Over the next couple of days, I'll digest some of my notes and post my impressions. If you gave a talk and I don't cover your work, it's not because it wasn't impressive; I'll run out of blogging steam at some point.