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Explainer: What is quantum communication?

What is quantum key distribution?

QKD involves sending encrypted data as classical bits over networks, while the keys to decrypt the information are encoded and transmitted in a quantum state using qubits.

What is a quantum repeater?

Materials in cables can absorb photons, which means they can typically travel for no more than a few tens of kilometers. In a classical network, repeaters at various points along a cable are used to amplify the signal to compensate for this.

The Beijing-to-Shanghai network has 32 of them, for instance.

What is quantum teleportation?

This may sound like science fiction, but it’s a real method that involves transmitting data wholly in quantum form. The approach relies on a quantum phenomenon known as entanglement.



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An engineer by training, Soudagar says he's always had a penchant for business. About a year ago, he stumbled upon Decentraland while doing research into cryptocurrency investments.

"I kind of stumbled upon the the idea of buying and selling for profit ... and I really took it as a business," he said.

Parcels of land have sold for anywhere between $300 and $200,000. Spots closest to Genesis City's central plaza are most expensive, Russo explained.

In order to succeed, Decentraland will need both capitalists looking to make large returns and idealists on a quest to build a better parallel world.

"The speculators are giving the market liquidity, but it's the idealists that are making it interesting," she said.

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Iridescent Rainbows and Virtual-Reality Skies: Spring/Break Art Fair Debuts in L.A.

IMG_7411The fair’s first foray into Los Angeles opened with 40 largely L.A.-based exhibiting artists and curators occupying 1,000-square-foot stalls to stage their own exhibitions, all free of charge. The lineup, according to Gori, “came together spontaneously through a network of friends and word-of-mouth,” similar to the early days of Spring/Break as an upstart fair five years ago. Consequently, the lineup reads like a who’s who of emerging local spaces, many of them artist-run: Tin Flats, BBQLA, HILDE, and others.

Rain outside the stalls at Spring/Break in L.A.


In contrast to the grey skies, many of the stalls were filled with color. Desert Center’s presentation of “Nowhere Over the Rainbow” took up Spring/Break’s curatorial theme, “Fact or Fiction,” with a group show of artists who “employ the tropes and chromatics of gold, rainbows, hybrid identities and failed ideologies,” according to a statement by curator Michael Slenske.

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Google’s AR tools make it easier for apps to apply face filters

dimsWhile Apple is already pushing ahead with AR and packed an entire Kinect-like camera into the front of its iPhone X family to support it, Google is enhancing its softwareto work even without capabilities like the LG G8's depth-sensing hardware.

The latest release of ARCore, version 1.7, can create a 468-point 3D mesh of a user's face from just the front camera alone, good enough to apply slick filtering effects like the ones seen in this GIF. The key is making sure apps can track where to put everything, and avoid weird artifacting like you sometimes see with things like Snapchat filters. Also, 9to5Google points out the the list of devices that can run ARCore is expanding, with new additions like the Moto G7 family and Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition.

Beyond just the Augmented Face API, with "ARCore Elements." Those allow developers to easily implement technology that helps software detect surfaces to place virtual objects on, and then use gestures to manipulate or resize them. So far, many AR-powered experiences in apps have launched on iPhone first -- AR+ mode for Pokémon Go took almost a year to make the jump -- but with improving software development tools hopefully we'll see more feature available to owners of varying Android devices.

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India Proposes Chinese-Style Internet Censorship

merlin_121556441_f33419db-157b-49bc-b54a-27d8cfdf6620-superJumboUnder the proposed rules, Indian officials could demand that Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and others remove posts or videos that they deem libelous, invasive of privacy, hateful or deceptive. Internet companies would also have to build automated screening tools to block Indians from seeing “unlawful information or content.” Another provision would weaken the privacy protections of messaging services like WhatsApp so that the authorities could trace messages back to their original senders.

The new rules could be imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government anytime after the public comment period ends on Thursday night. The administration has been eager to get them in place before the date is set for this spring’s national elections, which will prompt special pre-election rules limiting new policies.

Civil liberties groups and other critics said the changes would violate constitutional protections for free speech and privacy and put India in the same league as autocratic countries like China and Russia. Some of them suggested that the Modi administration was rushing to adopt the regulations so it could more easily pressure the tech platforms to remove social media posts by political opponents in the coming election.

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Improbable hires former EA, DreamWorks exec as its new CTO

"With a product as highly technical as SpatialOS, this is a critical role, and Rob is uniquely qualified to lead the Product organisation while Lincoln takes our Engineering capability to the next level."

Improbable has raised a huge amount of funding since it was founded, including a $502 million round in May 2017 and a further $50 million from NetEase in July 2018.

However, while SpatialOS technology has applications beyond games, very few products that make use of the technology have launched so far. The most high-profile release to date is Bossa Studios' Worlds Adrift, which is in Early Access on Steam.

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New Realities: VR, AR, and More in 2019


  • Virtual reality creates unlimited storytelling potential
  • Augmented reality offers new engagement opportunities
  • Mixed reality gives users the best of both worlds
  • Multi-user experiences are growing in popularity
  • Gesture detection takes projection mapping to the next level

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Maryland iSchool researchers link virtual reality with sight and smell to better understand data

UMD-virtualUniversity of Maryland researchers in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) are linking virtual reality with sight and smell to help people better process information. HCIL is jointly supported by the UMD iSchool and the UMD Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

HCIM student, Biswaksen Patnaik and PhD student, Andrea Batch are exploring ways to convey information with scent as a complement to the visual representation of data sets.

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Information Olfactation: Harnessing Scent to Convey Data” lays out theories on the different ways people may perceive scent including intensity, direction and combined fragrances. The theories are based on benchmarks traditionally used in data visualization and previous literature in perceptual psychology, the researchers say.

The paper describes two prototypes the team has built—one for a desktop computer and one for a virtual reality headset—that disperse essential oils through diffusers. They also designed three different types of graph layouts in which smell can assist in conveying data visually to the user.

So far the researchers have been experimenting with ways to convey data via scent using the prototypes on themselves. They plan to recruit students for a user-study to test how effective their proposed olfactory encodings are in conveying and perceiving data with various scents.

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A VR ‘Doctor Who’ short film is coming to a headset near you

uploadscardimage934518323d3095-e1ef-40ef-a78d-cb573fc00895.png950x534__filtersquality90Doctor Who: The Runaway has a runtime of 12 minutes and will be an interactive virtual reality viewing experience, the BBC said in a press release. Fans will be put "at the heart of the story as they immerse themselves in this beautifully animated world," creative director for the BBC's digital drama team, Jo Pearce, said.

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New LEGO augmented reality game has kids hunting ghosts

980xLEGO is asking kids to become ghost hunters with a new augmented reality app that will turn play sets into haunted spaces. Called Hidden Side, each of the eight kits will turn into a different item, a school, a bus and even, of course, a graveyard. But once you hold up a smartphone or tablet with the AR app launched, players will find ghosts milling about in a haunted scene only they can fix.

LEGO is launching the sets as part of New York Toy Fair, opening this weekend, where toy makers hawk their wares and show off what they hope will be the favorite play things of children for the coming year.

This new AR experience is designed for a specific group of sets, which together build a town called Newbury. In the app, players are teamed with two characters, Parker and Jack, both whom are from the town and need help to catch the ghosts that have taken over. The sets and the app are designed for children ages 7 and up, so the ghostly apparitions aren't expected to be too frightening for youngsters.

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