Quantum Entanglement Reminds Me of Douglas Adams’ Fairy Cake Idea

According to the NYT, quantum computers, still in their early development, have reached the ten qubit milestone. To give you some perspective, a forty qubit quantum computer can perform ten trillion calculations, ten teraops, simultaneously. Forty atoms sitting in a nuclear magnetic resonance rig can rival the power of the largest supercomputers. A thousand atoms would solve problems currently considered intractable by conventional machines.

I’m still a little fuzzy on the theory behind quantum computers, and I consider myself very well informed, but I found this page that demystified things a bit.

By Popular Request, Unnecessary Nano Links

Some folks–well, one at any rate–have expressed surprise that I don’t have more links and rants about nanotechnology on my site. So to address that issue:

Just to give a little perspective, I first heard about nano back in 1987 when a friend told me about it. I read Engines of Creation in 1988. In other words, it’s old hat to me. That’s probably why I haven’t gone nuts and plastered my site with nano stuff. To me it’s a foregone conclusion–nano is coming and the world will change beyond recognition. That’s both good and bad.

Two Truisms

  1. Miscommunication and ambivalence will never be reduced to zero. People get sloppy in communicating and get sloppy in understanding. Also many times they aren’t entirely sure what they want.
  2. Ideals must always be compromised. There are few rules without exceptions but this appears one of those few.

Just coined some slang!

You know those wireless gadgets with the little thumb keyboards that people use to send e-mail and chat with? I’ve decided to call those “mbiras.” An mbira is an African musical instrument, most commonly found in Zimbabwe, that is held in the hands and plucked with the thumbs. Seeing a friend use one these things reminded me of an mbira player so the name stuck in my mind.

Please feel free to use my coinage.

My own aphorisms someone told me to write down

  • The Programmer’s Lament: “The world is built upon endless, essential yet trivial detail.”
  • Another one: “Everyone wants to be special but has to settle for being unique.”
  • In order for the world to be interesting there must be error. In fact, this may be a defining characteristic of reality: Error only exists in reality.
  • The existence of error, implies the existence of the extremely complex phenomena of evil.
  • Smarter people than me, state my opinions better than I can.
  • Taking a stand, means risking error. People mistake my lack of confrontation as a gentle nature. In truth, I just hate being or guessing wrong.
  • In my favored endeavors, there will always be someone who knows more about them and does better at them than me. Luckily, I know things that they might not know, so it balances out in the end.

Making Custom Bookmark Icons for Your Site

I’ve set things so that I have a customized icon if people decide to add this site there favorites list in IE 5+. I don’t think this will work in IE 5 for the Mac but, let me know if it does. What’s a customized favorites icon?

Added (June 12th, 2001): I’ve discovered that this icon idea also works if a visitor bookmarks my site in Konqueror too. So the trick is becoming more cross-platform.

There is also free Java tool that can help you design and build your icons for your sites.

Little Tiny Print Sucks

This is all Microsoft’s fault. IE 3 had terrible implementation of CSS and could only support absolute font units like point (pt). Legions of web designers quickly began cranking out zillions of pages that were, and sometimes still are, damn near impossible to read. Here it is nearly 5 years later and the Web is still suffering from this.

I promise never to do that here. Geezers like me need things to be ergonomic, right?