Kofi Annan has addressed supporters of The Elders after taking over as the organization’s Chair from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.“As you may know, Archbishop Tutu was instrumental in bringing The Elders together in 2007,” he wrote. “Since then he has led our group with a firm hand, irrepressible humour and boundless optimism, even when dealing with the most challenging subjects.“It is difficult to imagine ‘The Elders’ without Archbishop Tutu in charge. Whilst he remains an honorary member and will always be part of The Elders family, we will certainly miss his warm presence at our meetings and his influence as we carry out our work. We therefore felt a mixture of sadness and deep gratitude when he announced that he would be stepping down.“Although we are Elders, our organisation is less than six years old. To quote our outgoing Chair, we are still very much ‘learning to Elder’, still working out how we can be most effective and identifying where we can have the greatest impact.“We are, as ever, reliant on your support and encouragement in our endeavours and I look forward to keeping in touch with you as we develop our plans for the future.”Find out more about The Elders here.
Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has apologized to the club’s supporters after picking up a red card during their 3-1 loss to Manchester City.The Saints hosted the Premier League champions at the St. Mary’s on Sunday, and Hojbjerg who leveled things for the home side at 1-1 in the first half, was shown a straight red card for a wild lounge on Fernandinho just before the end of the game.David Silva gave City an early lead in the 10th minute, before Hojbjerg pounced on a mistake by Zinchenko to equalize for the home side.However, two late first-half goals courtesy of an own-goal from James Ward-Prowse and a Sergio Aguero header ensured Pep Guardiola’s men picked up all three points.In a statement released on Saints’ Twitter account, Hojbjerg said:💬#SaintsFC’s Pierre-Emile Højbjerg apologised after his dismissal against #ManCity this afternoon: pic.twitter.com/hVmUOUPychPremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 30, 2018“I would like to apologise about my red card and letting my team-mates down.”“Sometimes my passion takes over my control, but I will work hard on this and I’m focused on coming back stronger.”“The support was great again and we must keep pulling together in one direction to reach our potential.”
IBM quantum computers will unleash weird science on business What a quantum computer is, and why it needs to be more Quantum computer components: Learn the basics Creating a fully functional system makes quantum computers more reliable and easier to upgrade. Beyond those practical uses, these computers have the potential to create more effective antibiotics, help scientists better understand chemistry and nature and improve power grids. The machines could do that by providing businesses and scientists the ability to crunch extremely complex calculations that can’t be digested by classical computers.But beyond that hype, there’s years more work to do to prove quantum computers are up to the task. Also, it’s possible a different type of computer will lead to the next breakthroughs, instead of quantum designs.”That’s a big step, but it’s one step in a journey that’s 1,000 miles long.” Brian Hopkins, a Forrester analyst focused on quantum computers, said of the new Q System One.Super cold computingIn a classical computer, data is crunched by processing bits, designated as either 0 or 1. In quantum computing, qubits are used instead. These qubits have more complex properties that allow them to become combinations of 0 and 1 at the same time and also to interact with each other.Bob Sutor standing by the quantum computer model. Sarah Tew/CNET With each additional qubit that’s added, the amount of information a quantum computer can hold doubles. That capability may help a quantum computer become a far more powerful way to process certain kinds of problems that classical computers can’t handle. Using these qubits could help scientists unlock ways of developing new medicines at the molecular level or creating stronger security codes or processing the mountains of data being created at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.The Q System One currently uses 20 qubits. “By the time you get up to around 280 [qubits], that number — two to the 280th power — is approximately the number of atoms in the observable universe,” Sutor said, offering a hint at just how powerful these computers may someday become. Seeing the potential of these computers, startups such as Rigetti and D-Wave, and the research arms of Microsoft, Intel and Google are developing quantum computing, too. IBM has also partnered with ExxonMobil, Daimler, Samsung, Barclays and major corporations to kick the tires on what’s possible with its quantum computers.But using quantum computers is an excruciatingly delicate task. The Q System One’s thick glass housing is used to cut down on vibrations and radiation, and helps keep the computer at near absolute zero. Inside the real computer in New York, quick blasts of super-cold air are used to keep the qubits inside at 10 millikelvins, colder than outer space.”So inside a quantum computer is one of the coldest places on Earth,” said Sutor, 60, whose 6-foot-4 frame, graying beard, deep voice and cheery disposition give him the air of an IBM Santa Claus.That extreme cold and thick glass are needed to protect the qubits inside the machine, which are so fragile that a single photon of light or a rap of someone’s knuckles could destroy their computation, Sutor said. Because these machines are so delicate, any future quantum computing will likely be done over the internet to allow IBM to carefully maintain the machines at its own facilities.A long way to goTo be sure, the promise of quantum computers remains just that — promise, and not yet reality.”Quantum computers are not a magical solution for all problems that classical computers can’t solve,” Forrester’s Hopkins said. “They are a potential solution for some of the problems that classical computers can’t solve.”He added that the tech industry today is in the middle of discovering what quantum computers can do. Answering those questions will take a few more years, and achieving the ultimate promise of quantum computers could take a decade or two, Hopkins said. The Q System One model at the CES 2019 tech show. Sarah Tew/CNET The IBM Q System One model doesn’t look like a computer. It looks like a conceptual art series of plates being held together with fishing lines suspended from a ceiling. The whole contraption is encased in half-inch-thick glass created by Milan-based Goppion, which made the protective displays for the Mona Lisa and the Crown Jewels.Bob Sutor, an IBM veteran who leads the Q System One team, directed me to look at the bottom of this quantum computer — an experimental machine with potentially massive computing power — where there was a tiny silver rectangle in the middle of a tangle of golden wires. That’s the home of the machine’s quantum bits, or qubits, which are tiny, fragile particles that make the whole system work.I asked him how much such a computer costs. He declined to say, adding: “It’s not lunch.” Computers Sci-Tech Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Quantum computing IBM 3:40 But thanks to the new Q System One, researchers and the general public now have a notable milestone by which to judge the advance of quantum computing. That system will help cut down on upgrade times for these machines to hours or days, instead of days or weeks. It should also make it easier for IBM to build more of these machines to support a future quantum computing business.”We set out to build something which was highly functional, but beautiful,” Sutor said, “and would give us a way to look at what we were doing in the future.”Sutor wasn’t under any misconceptions that his work is nearly finished. When I asked him what the next steps are for his project, he said: “What do we have to do? Everything.”CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further. 11 We were standing in the middle of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES tech show earlier this month. A jostling crowd around us angled to snag pictures of the model. IBM was at the show to publicly present this replica of the Q System One, its first quantum computer that fits into one neat package. Past designs were more like “backroom experiments,” Sutor said, with jumbles of components strewn about a room.The real Q System One was completed in November and is in IBM’s Yorktown Heights, New York, offices. The machine represents a big step toward quantum computing becoming a commercial reality, after IBM has toiled for decades with the computing concept. Inside a quantum computer is one of the coldest places on Earth. Bob Sutor, IBM More stories on quantum computing Tags CES 2019 How quantum computing will help us build human-level… Comments
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDemocrat Conor Lamb appears to have won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, based on a review of the vote by public radio station WESA.Updated at 3:50 p.m. ETDemocrat Conor Lamb appears to have won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, defeating Republican Rick Saccone in an upset for President Trump and congressional Republicans, based on a review of the vote by member station WESA and barring a recount.That a Democrat is even close in this Western Pennsylvania congressional district can mean only one thing — bad news for Republicans in this midterm year.“We should be able to elect a box of hammers in this district,” veteran Republican strategist Mike Murphy told the Washington Post’s Robert Costa. “If we’re losing here, you can bet there is a Democratic wave coming.”Why the alarm bells?Consider: Not only is this a district President Trump won by about 20 points in November 2016, as plenty have pointed out, but there are 118 Republicans sitting in seats Trump won by less than the 18th Congressional District in Pennsylvania. Democrats need to flip a net of 24 seats to take back control of the House.It’s important to not overread the results of any special election, but the result — no matter which way it goes in the end — raises questions about the Trump coalition and how much it transfers to the Republican Party broadly; the GOP’s messaging on everything from continuing to use House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a cudgel to the tax bill; and whether Republicans can hold off a Democratic wave given that this result was yet another example of Democrats’ holding on to the enthusiasm advantage.Where the race goes from hereMember station WESA has reviewed current vote counts from all of the individual counties in the district. That count shows Lamb with a lead of 627 votes. Between provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military/residents overseas ballots still outstanding, there are only 618 votes left to count based on the latest numbers. That gives Lamb an insurmountable lead.This is barring the potential for a protest recount, which would be based on evidence of voter fraud or errors in counting. Pennsylvania law does not provide for an automatic recount in congressional races.There is no timeline for certification of the race at this point, according to the Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office.A recount is an outside possibility at this point. One would be triggered if three people in each precinct come forward with evidence of voter fraud or counting errors. Loosely, they have until the middle of next week to do that.Warning signs for GOP that the Trump coalition may not be transferableWhite, working-class voters were key to Trump’s presidential victory — and there are plenty of them in this district.Trump won whites with some or no college education by 39 points, a wider margin than any candidate since at least 1980.There are no exit polls to know for sure how this group voted Tuesday, but Lamb made clear appeals to them — and it would be impossible to make up a 20-point gap without at least some crossover. In fact, dozens of precincts went more Democratic than in the 2016 election.Lamb also benefited from Saccone’s history of supporting “right to work” legislation in the state Legislature. The district has a sizable number of union households that might have been willing to support a different Republican candidate, but unions and the Lamb campaign were able to define Saccone as anti-union.Also, turnout was pretty high, especially for a special election in March. It was so high, in fact, more people voted than in the gubernatorial general election during the last midterm in 2014.What’s more, the approximately 228,000 people who went to the polls were 78 percent of the approximately 294,000 cast for Republican Rep. Tim Murphy. Murphy ran unopposed in 2016 but resigned last October amid a sex scandal, which set this special election in motion.Republicans spent some $10 million to try to hold this district (that won’t even exist in nine months because of the maps’ being redrawn by the state Supreme Court) and turn out their voters. But despite the relatively high turnout, Saccone got only about 113,000 votes (the same as Lamb) — less than 40 percent of Murphy’s total in 2016.Trump made an eleventh-hour visit this past weekend to try to help Saccone over the line.“I think the president helped close this race,” House Speaker Paul Ryan contended Wednesday, per NPR’s Susan Davis.But that does not appear to have been enough.The Pelosi factor and the tax bill messagingDoes this win for Democrats mean they will start to abandon Pelosi? It very well might, but it depends on the district. A couple of things to look at:Republicans seemed to abandon talk of the tax bill, something Democrats point to as the weakness of its message. (One moderate Democratic member of Congress, though, told NPR last week he thinks it’s been Democrats who have struggled with how to speak out against the tax bill, as some people see higher paychecks.)Republicans also hit Lamb hard, trying to tie him to Pelosi. But it didn’t work this time. Lamb cut a conservative Democratic figure and distanced himself from the minority leader.To which Ryan had this to say: “This is something that you’re not going to see repeated, because they [Democrats] didn’t have a primary. They were able to pick a candidate who could run as a conservative, who ran against the minority leader, who ran on a conservative agenda. You will have primaries in all these other races, and the primaries bring them to the left. So I just don’t think this is something they’re going to be able to see a repeat of.”But it provides a road map for Democrats in these very kinds of districts if they want to win. That has to be worrying for Republicans.It also does raise the question of what Democrats do about Pelosi. If they win the House back in large measure by running against Pelosi, can they really then turn around and re-elect her speaker this fall? And there’s the question of whether enough Democratic candidates will vow not to support her for speaker that she can’t get elected.The suburbs and making inroads in rural areasFifty-two percent of Lamb’s vote came from the suburban precincts in Allegheny County outside Pittsburgh.If Democrats are going to win back the House, their road goes through the suburbs. Nationally, in 2016, Trump won the suburbs with 49 percent. In 2012, Mitt Romney got 50 percent in them. So that’s key.Lamb won only a handful of precincts in the other three more rural counties in this district, but dozens of precincts went more Democratic than in the 2016 presidential election for Trump.In other words, Lamb was able to cut into Republican margins — and when every vote counts, as in a race like this, it can make all the difference.NPR’s Arnie Seipel contributed to this report.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Register Now » 1 min read Apple diehards will soon have the chance to own a formative piece of the company’s history, when one of the very first Apple 1 computers is auctioned off on October 22.The Apple 1, which marks the storied company’s inaugural product, was concocted by Steve Wozniak in either Steve Jobs’ family garage or in his little sister’s bedroom.The still-functioning motherboard, which will be offered by Bonhams New York, is expected to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000, according to the auction house. For comparison’s sake, when the product was first introduced in 1976, it was sold for a rather ominous $666.66.While the Apple 1 computer singlehandedly “[heralded] the dawn of the personal computer revolution,” according to Bonhams, only 200 units were ever made — roughly 15 of which are still operational today.Related: Apple Reportedly Delays Launch of Jumbo iPad October 9, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.