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Quantum computers 'one step closer'

Quantum computers 'one step closer'

Science
Quantum computing has taken a step forward with the development of a programmable quantum processor made with silicon.The team used microwave energy to align two electron particles suspended in silicon, then used them to perform a set of test calculations.By using silicon, the scientists hope that quantum computers will be more easy to control and manufacture. The research was published in the journal Nature.The old adage of Schrödinger's Cat is often used to frame a basic concept of quantum theory. We use it to explain the peculiar, but important, concept of superposition; where something can exist in multiple states at once.For Schrodinger's feline friend - the simultaneous states were dead and alive.Superposition is what makes quantum computing so potentially powerful.Standard computer
Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai to step down

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai to step down

Technology
Sony's chief executive Kazuo Hirai is stepping down and handing the reins over to finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida.Mr Yoshida, Sony's chief financial officer, is to take over control of the Japanese electronics giant from 1 April.Mr Hirai will remain at Sony as chairman.Mr Yoshida and Mr Hirai have been instrumental in turning Sony around to focus on smartphone image sensors.Under their efforts, the Japanese electronic giant sold off its struggling PC business and launched the successful PlayStation 4 video game console, which has sold more than 60 million units to date. Sony said its profits quadrupled in the three months to December.The Japanese electronics giant reported a record profit of 351 billion yen ($ 3.2bn, £2.5bn) for the quarter, compared with 92.4 billion yen in the same perio
Atom Bank founder Thomson to step down

Atom Bank founder Thomson to step down

Business
The entrepreneur who set up Atom Bank, Britain's first app-based lender, is to step down as it finalises a £150m fundraising.Sky News has learnt that Anthony Thomson, who also spearheaded the launch of Metro Bank in 2010, has resigned as Atom's chairman.His departure, which is expected to be announced on Thursday, will see Mr Thomson replaced by Bridget Rosewell, one of the company's existing non-executive directors.Ms Rosewell is on the board of Network Rail and is a former non-executive at the Department of Work and Pensions and Ulster Bank.A source said that Mr Thomson had decided to leave Atom "now that it had gone from being a big idea to a small bank".He is said to be planning to focus on a number of other ventures, as well as a book project.The timing of his exit is intriguing, howe
Zimbabwe latest: Ruling Zanu-PF urges Mugabe to step down

Zimbabwe latest: Ruling Zanu-PF urges Mugabe to step down

World
Regional branches of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party have joined growing calls for President Robert Mugabe to resign.The move comes ahead of a protest march to be held in the capital Harare on Saturday, fully supported by the country's military which staged a takeover on Wednesday.War veterans until recently loyal to the 93-year-old president and liberal groups have also urged him to quit.Earlier Mr Mugabe made his first public appearance since the takeover.Mr Mugabe had been under house arrest for days, but attended a graduation ceremony on Friday, handing out degrees.The army made its move after a power struggle over his successor. Mr Mugabe sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, apparently to pave the way for his wife Grace Mugabe - who is four decades younger than him - to...
Energy-hungry China takes step to buffer against economic shocks

Energy-hungry China takes step to buffer against economic shocks

Business
Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The central bank in energy-hungry China injected funds into the economy Friday in an effort to offset risk and protect against bubbles.The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday the People's Bank of China injected about $ 75.6 billion into the financial network through its medium-term lending facility, which holds an annual interest rate of 3.2 percent."The [bank's] open market operations are closely watched by the market, as they have become major tools for the central bank in pursuing its monetary policy," Xinhua reported. "Such a policy stance is crucial for China as it has to juggle the task of financial deleveraging, aimed at defusing risk and curbing asset bubbles, while shoring up the economy."The Chinese economy is slowing down, with growth expected to deceler...