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  • Alt-week 16.11.13: Need another Earth-like planet? Study says there could be plenty

    Alt-week takes a look at the best science and alternative tech stories from the last seven days.

    Alt-week 16.11.13

    Suddenly things just got real. A new study claims one in five sun-like stars could have a planet capable of supporting life. Hugging your loved ones while thousands of miles away is closer reality, and smog? Apparently we can vacuum that stuff up now. Yeah? This is Alt-week.

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  • Hands-on with Tablo, a DVR that streams over-the-air TV nearly anywhere

    Handson with Tablo, a DVR that streams overtheair TV nearly anywhere

    Many streaming-savvy DVRs either lean heavily on cloud services or are linked to traditional TV — neither of which is ideal for cord cutters trying to lower their long-term costs. Nuvyyo is promising what could be a more affordable option with its upcoming Tablo DVR. The upcoming, partly crowdfunded set-top box streams both live and locally recorded over-the-air broadcasts to seemingly any internet-capable platform, including Android, iOS, Roku players and web browsers. In theory, it’s as cheap and convenient as internet-only video while delivering the wider content selection of traditional TV. We’ve had hands-on time with a Tablo prototype that suggests the company has at least latched on to a good (if imperfect) idea — read on to see what we mean. %Gallery-slideshow122001%

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    Source: Indiegogo, Tablo

  • Engadget's laptop buyer's guide: fall 2013 edition

    Engadget's laptop buyer's guide: fall 2013 edition

    We’re not sure how many of you will be lucky enough to receive a spanking new notebook for the holidays, but just in case you’ve got one on your list (or are shopping for someone else), we’ve got a newly updated laptop buyer’s guide full of suggestions. Whether it’s a convertible Ultrabook you’re looking for, or a regular Ultrabook, or maybe a gaming machine, we’re here to be of service.

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  • World record setting experiment brings quantum computing a step closer to reality

    An artistic rendition of a 'bound exciton' quantum state used to prepare and read out information stored in the form of quantum bits.

    Despite recent successes in the field, creating a quantum computer is really hard. For one thing quantum bits in a super positioned state (or qubits, the basic unit of data for quantum computing) have a hard time surviving at room temperature. Typically, these superposition states last for only a few seconds, but in a recent experiment at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby , researchers were able to keep a quantum system alive for a full 39 minutes.

    “These lifetimes are at least ten times longer than those measured in previous experiments,” explained Stephanie Simmons from the University of Oxford’s Department of Materials. “Having such robust, as well as long-lived, qubits could prove very helpful for anyone trying to build a quantum computer.” Even so, they aren’t particularly active ones – all of the qubits in the experiment shared the same quantum state. To perform actual calculations (and thus build a functioning quantum computer), a system would need to put multiple qubtis in different quantum states. Sound complicated? It sure is, but it’s a significant step forward to building the ultrafast computing platforms of tomorrow. Eager to learn more? Check out the official press release at the source link below.

    [Image Credit: Stephanie Simmons, University of Oxford]

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    Source: University of Oxford

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