Four Short Links

Nat Torkington's eclectic collection of curated links.

Four short links: 14 August 2019

Hardware Deplatforming, Hiring Groupthink, Loot Boxes and Problem Gambling, and Interoperability and Privacy

  1. Getting Deplatformed from Apple (BoingBoing) -- It turned out that getting locked out of his Apple account made all of Luke's Apple hardware almost useless. I think it should be illegal to do this. I believe in deplatforming (with appropriate boundaries and appeal) but breaking my hardware is bollocks.
  2. How to Avoid Groupthink When Hiring (HBR) -- abridged process: First, make it clear to interviewers that they should not share their interview experiences with each other before the final group huddle. Next, ask each interviewer to perform a few steps before the group huddle: distill their interview rating to a single numerical score; write down their main arguments for and against hiring this person and their final conclusion; If interviewers are emailing in their numerical scores and thoughts on a candidate, don’t include the entire group in the email. Finally, the hiring managers should take note of the average score for a candidate.
  3. Loot Boxes a Matter of "Life or Death," says Researcher -- "There's one clear message that I want to get across today, and it stands in stark contrast to mostly everything you've heard so far," Zendle said. "The message is this: spending money on loot boxes is linked to problem gambling. The more money people spend on loot boxes, the more severe their problem gambling is. This isn't just my research. This is an effect that has been replicated numerous times across the world by multiple independent labs. This is something the games industry does not engage with."
  4. Interoperability and Privacy (BoingBoing) -- latest in the tear that Cory's been on about how to deal with the centralized power of BigSocial.

Four short links: 13 August 2019

Recognizing Fact, YouTube & Brazil, Programming Zine, and Credit Blacklists

  1. Younger Americans are Better than Older Americans at Telling Factual News Statements from Opinions (Pew Research) -- About a third of 18- to 49-year-olds (32%) correctly identified all five of the factual statements as factual, compared with two-in-ten among those ages 50 and older. A similar pattern emerges for the opinion statements. Among 18- to 49-year-olds, 44% correctly identified all five opinion statements as opinions, compared with 26% among those ages 50 and older. Or, 68% of 18-49 year olds couldn't tell whether five factual statements were factual? (via @pewjournalism)
  2. How YouTube Radicalized Brazil (NYT) -- He was killing time on the site one day, he recalled, when the platform showed him a video by a right-wing blogger. He watched out of curiosity. It showed him another, and then another. “Before that, I didn’t have an ideological political background,” Mr. Martins said. YouTube’s auto-playing recommendations, he declared, were “my political education.” “It was like that with everyone,” he said.
  3. Paged Out -- a new experimental (one article == one page) free magazine about programming (especially programming tricks!), hacking, security hacking, retro computers, modern computers, electronics, demoscene, and other similar topics.
  4. Credit Blacklists, Not the Solution to Every Problem -- translated Chinese article on blacklists. As the aforementioned source explained, Wulian County is one of the first in Shandong Province to trial the construction of a social credit system, that began last year. The blacklist is a disciplinary measure restricted to persons within the county. It is different from the People’s Bank of China’s credit information evaluation system blacklist, or the blacklist for those deemed to be untrustworthy by the People’s Court. It does not affect the educational opportunities of anyone’s children, whether or not they themselves can ride a train or plane, and so on. Activities such as volunteering, donating blood, charitable contributions, and so on, can add to one’s personal credit (score), and can also be used to restore and upgrade credit ratings, removing themselves from the blacklist. (via ChinAI)

Four short links: 12 August 2019

Retro Hacking, Explaining AI, Teacher Ratings, and Algorithmic Bias

  1. First Person Adventure via Mario Maker (Vice) -- the remarkable “3D Maze House (P59-698-55G)” by creator ねぎちん somehow manages to credibly re-create the experience of playing a first-person (!!) adventure game like Wizardy, something Nintendo cleary never intended.
  2. Measurable Counterfactual Local Explanations for Any Classifier -- generates w-counterfactual explanations that state minimum changes necessary to flip a prediction’s classification [and ...] builds local regression models, using the w-counterfactuals to measure and improve the fidelity of its regressions. Making AI "explain itself" is useful and hard; this seems like an interesting step forward.
  3. Student Evaluation of Teaching Ratings and Student Learning are Not Related (Science Direct) -- Students do not learn more from professors with higher student evaluation of teaching (SET) ratings. [...] New meta-analyses of multisection studies show that SET ratings are unrelated to student learning. (via Sciblogs)
  4. Apparent Gender-Based Discrimination in the Display of STEM Career Ads -- women disproportionately click on job ads, so bidding algorithms charge more to advertisers to show to women, so men see more job ads. (via Ethan Molick)

Four short links: 9 August 2019

Shadow Ban Patent, Abusing Unix Tools, Deblurring Photos, and Postal Vectors

  1. Facebook Patents Shadow Banning -- which has a long history elsewhere.
  2. Living Off The Land in Linux -- legitimate functions of Unix binaries that can be abused to break out restricted shells, escalate or maintain elevated privileges, transfer files, spawn bind and reverse shells, and facilitate the other post-exploitation tasks. Interesting to see the surprising functionality built into some utilities.
  3. Neural Blind Deconvolution Using Deep Priors -- deblurring photos with neural nets. Very cool, and they've posted code. (via @roadrunning01)
  4. Warshipping (TechCrunch) -- I mail you a package that contains a Wi-Fi sniffer with cellular connection back to me. It ships me your Wi-Fi handshake, I crack it, ship it back, now it joins your network and the game is afoot. (via BoingBoing)

Four short links: 8 August 2019

Counterfeit Security, Poses in Art, Content Moderation, and iPhone Remote Attack Surface

  1. From The Depths Of Counterfeit Smartphones -- security look at the counterfeit phones. Spoiler: they're nasty, stay away. Both the Galaxy S10 and iPhone 6 counterfeits we assessed contained malware and rootkits. And that's the most straightforward nastiness: even if you removed the rootkit they'd still be shocking. In the case of the "iPhone," further digging revealed that it runs a far older version of Android: Kitkat 4.4.0. Kitkat’s last update came in 2014.
  2. Linking Art through Human Poses -- arXiv paper that finds artwork with matching poses using OpenPose. (via MIT TR)
  3. A Framework for Content Moderation (Ben Thompson) -- pretty good post, tackling why and where the different levels of moderation make sense.
  4. Fully Remote Attack Surface of the iPhone (Google Project Zero) -- very interesting read, showing the detail and dead ends of a security tester. The method [...] processes incoming MIME messages, and sends them to specific decoders based on the MIME type. Unfortunately, the implementation did this by appending the MIME type string from an incoming message to the string "decode" and calling the resulting method. This meant that an unintended selector could be called, leading to memory corruption.

Four short links: 7 August 2019

Checklists, Farewells, De-Risking, and Statistical Complexity of Brain Activity

  1. Why Checklists Fail (Nature) -- After the NHS mandated the WHO checklist, researchers at Imperial College London launched a project to monitor the tool's use and found that staff were often not using it as they should. In a review of nearly 7,000 surgical procedures performed at five NHS hospitals, they found that the checklist was used in 97% of cases, but was completed only 62% of the time. When the researchers watched a smaller number of procedures in person, they found that practitioners often failed to give the checks their full attention, and read only two-thirds of the items out loud. In slightly more than 40% of cases, at least one team member was absent during the checks; 10% of the time, the lead surgeon was missing. If you give a checklist that ensures X to workers who don't value X, you get workers who half-arse their way through a checklist. And, in this case, unnecessarily hurt and/or killed patients.
  2. Rowboats and Magic Feathers: Reflections on 13 Years of Museum 2.0 (Nina Simon) -- popular social media productions twist the creators' perceptions and become burdens. I kept to a rigorous schedule and never took a week off. Even weeks when I was giving birth, on vacation, or exhausted from challenges at work, I blogged. My attitude was, "readers don't care what's going on with me. They want the content." This blog became like Dumbo's feather. I loved it, but I also let it overpower my sense of self. As long as I was holding it—as long as I was pumping out content—I could soar. But I was terrified to let it drop. Without the blog, I presumed I could not fly. Compare Overly-Attached Girlfriend's video on leaving YouTube. It's hard stuff.
  3. De-Risking Custom Technology Projects (18F) -- sweet advice.
  4. Distinguishing States of Conscious Arousal Using Statistical Complexity -- how can you tell whether someone is awake or sedated, just from their brain activity? By analyzing signals from individual electrodes and disregarding spatial correlations, we find that statistical complexity distinguishes between the two states of conscious arousal through temporal correlations alone. In particular, as the degree of temporal correlations increases, the difference in complexity between the wakeful and anaesthetized states becomes larger. Uses an "epsilon machine," which I'd not heard of before but which is a "minimal, unifilar presentation of a stationary stochastic process" (particular type of hidden Markov model). The entropy of the epsilon machine's states yields a measure of statistical complexity, which this paper shows maps to sedated/wake states.

Four short links: 6 August 2019

Path Tracing, Games Experiences, Cinematic Visualization, and IoT Security

  1. The Path to Traced Movies (Pixar) -- Until recently, brute-force path tracing techniques were simply too noisy and slow to be practical for movie production rendering.[...] In this survey, we provide an overview of path tracing and highlight important milestones in its development that have led to it becoming the preferred movie rendering technique today.
  2. Free to Play? Hate, Harassment, and Positive Social Experiences in Online Games (ADL) -- The survey found that 88% of adults who play online multiplayer games in the US reported positive social experiences while playing games online. The most common experiences were making friends (51%) and helping other players (50%). [...] Seventy-four percent of adults who play online multiplayer games in the US experience some form of harassment while playing games online. Sixty-five percent of players experience some form of severe harassment, including physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment. Alarmingly, nearly a third of online multiplayer gamers (29%) have been doxed.
  3. Cinematic Scientific Visualization: The Art of Communicating Science -- slides and words from SIGGRAPH talk on advanced film-style techniques for telling science stories.
  4. Core Cybersecurity Feature Baseline for Securable IoT Devices: A Starting Point for IoT Device Manufacturers (NIST) -- draft of some excellent guidelines to device manufacturers. Device identifiers, firmware updates and resets, data protection, disabling and restricting access to local and network interfaces, event logging, etc. Doesn't specify how to do these things, just that manufacturers should do them. Important so we don't build more future botfarms.

Four short links: 5 August 2019

Innovation Policy Toolkit, Differential Privacy, Ethically Aligned Design, Low-N Learning

  1. Toolkit of Policies to Promote Innovation (Journal of Economic Perspectives) -- We discuss a number of the main innovation policy levers and describe the available evidence on their effectiveness: tax policies to favor research and development, government research grants, policies aimed at increasing the supply of human capital focused on innovation, intellectual property policies, and pro-competitive policies. In the conclusion, we synthesize this evidence into a single-page “toolkit,” in which we rank policies in terms of the quality and implications of the available evidence and the policies’ overall impact from a social cost-benefit perspective. We also score policies in terms of their speed and likely distributional effects. (via Marginal Revolution)
  2. A Brief Tour of Differential Privacy -- lecture slides from a CMU course. Content warning: Comic Sans.
  3. Ethically Aligned Design, First Edition -- read online. The most comprehensive, crowd-sourced global treatise regarding the ethics of autonomous and intelligent systems available today.
  4. N-Shot Learning -- brief overview of machine learning from zero, one, or a handful of examples.

Four short links: 2 August 2019

Cognitive Biases, Conflict, Language Models, and Programmable Memristor Computer

  1. The Evolutionary Roots of Human Decision Making (NCBI) — paper showing that we share cognitive biases with other primates. In one study, monkeys had a choice between one experimenter (the gains experimenter) who started by showing the monkey one piece of apple and sometimes added an extra piece of apple, and a second experimenter (the losses experimenter) who started by showing the monkey two pieces of apple and sometimes removed one. Monkeys showed an overwhelming preference for the gains experimenter over the losses experimenter—even though they received the same payoff from both. In this way, capuchins appear to avoid options that are framed as a loss, just as humans do.
  2. 6 Must Reads for Cutting Through Conflict and Tough Conversations (First Round Capital) — a summary of good (?) advice from books. Some I agree with, but others ... having worked for narcissists and bean counters, find a new job. Don't stay any longer than you have to with those jerks.
  3. ERNIE — Baidu's open source continual pre-training framework for language understanding. Baidu says: Integrating both phrase information and named entity information enables the model to obtain better language representation compared to BERT. ERNIE is trained on multi-source data and knowledge collected from encyclopedia articles, news, and forum dialogues, which improves its performance in context-based knowledge reasoning. See also the ERNIE paper.
  4. First Programmable Memristor Computer (IEEE) — The new chip combines an array of 5,832 memristors with an OpenRISC processor. 486 specially-designed digital-to-analog converters, 162 analog-to-digital converters, and two mixed-signal interfaces act as translators between the memristors’ analog computations and the main processor.

Four short links: 1 August 2019

Software-Defined Analog Circuits, Public Domain, Talk Radio Corpus, and Bad Science

  1. Software-Defined Analog CircuitsZrna hardware realizes the analog circuit you specify in software, in real time. Change any circuit parameter on the fly with an API request, at your lab bench or embedded in-application. This is ... weird. But cool. Cool and weird.c
  2. Most Pre-1964 US Books are in the Public Domain — and finally, thanks to the work of librarians and archivists, for anything that's unambiguously a "book", we have a parseable record of its pre-1964 interactions with the Copyright Office: the initial registration and any potential renewal. (via Evil Mad Scientist)
  3. RadioTalk: A Large-Scale Corpus of Talk Radio Transcripts — arxiv paper and github.
  4. A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science — some very useful heuristics. Via this considered evaluation of wild claims.

Four short links: 31 July 2019

Provably Correct AI, Porn & Privacy, Math for CS and ML, and Xenophobia Classifier

  1. ART: Abstraction Refinement-Guided Training for Provably Correct Neural Networks -- provably correct neural networks—now there's an interesting idea...
  2. Tracking Sex: The Implications of Widespread Sexual Data Leakage and Tracking on Porn Websites -- Our analysis of 22,484 pornography websites indicated that 93% leak user data to a third party. Tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by a handful of major companies, which we identify. We successfully extracted privacy policies for 3,856 sites, 17% of the total. The policies were written such that one might need a two-year college education to understand them. Our content analysis of the sample's domains indicated 44.97% of them expose or suggest a specific gender/sexual identity or interest likely to be linked to the user.
  3. Algebra, Topology, Differential Calculus, and Optimization Theory For Computer Science and Machine Learning -- a 1,962-page LaTeX book which some wag listed as Math Basics for CS and ML on Hacker News.
  4. Open Source Xenophobia Classifier for Tweets -- source is a Colab notebook, and they make their labeled training data available, too.

Four short links: 30 July 2019

Game Translation, Modern Hypercard, Cryptographic Attacks, and Digital Hardware Debugger

  1. The Near Impossible 20-Year Journey to Translate "Fire Emblem: Thracia 776" (Vice) -- an incredible story of translation philosophy, playing out in the context of fan attempts to make an English-language version of a 1999 tactical RPG.
  2. LiveCode -- open source (GPL) HyperCard-esque app developer, for the modern age. Very nice!
  3. Cryptographic Attacks: A Guide for the Perplexed (Checkpoint) -- various types of cryptographic attacks, with a focus on the attacks' underlying principles.
  4. Glasgow -- FPGA-based tool for exploring digital interfaces, aimed at embedded developers, reverse engineers, digital archivists, electronics hobbyists, and everyone else who wants to communicate to a wide selection of digital devices with high reliability and minimum hassle. It can be attached to most devices without additional active or passive components, and includes extensive protection from unexpected conditions and operator error.

Four short links: 29 July 2019

Email, End-to-End Encryption, AI Ethics, Reliable Distributed Systems

  1. Notqmail -- Collaborative open source successor to qmail.
  2. The Encryption Debate is Over—Dead at the Hands of Facebook (Forbes) -- Facebook’s model entirely bypasses the encryption debate by globalizing the current practice of compromising devices by building those encryption bypasses directly into the communications clients themselves and deploying what amounts to machine-based wiretaps to billions of users at once.
  3. Why Ethics Cannot be Replaced by the UDHR -- Ethics and the UDHR are on the same page, if we keep it general. But questions about what is the right thing to do or what policy is the right one to implement become challenging only when these dearly held values conflict, necessarily involving trade-offs. When we dive deep, the UDHR is simply unable to guide us on those questions. Solving such challenges is the job of ethical reasoning.
  4. Operating a Large, Distributed System in a Reliable Way: Practices I Learned (Gergely Orosz) -- This post is the collection of the practices I've found useful to reliably operate a large system at Uber, while working here. Generalizable beyond Uber.

Four short links: 26 July 2019

Disinformation, Election Meddling, Quantum Supremacy, and International Pineapple Day

  1. Disinformation’s Spread: Bots, Trolls, and All of Us (Kate Starbird) -- a short and on-the-mark summary of misconceptions about disinformation.
  2. The Unsexy Threat to Our Election Security (Krebs) -- surprisingly low-tech threats (SIM stealing, hijacking a Twitter account) that could bugger up elections.
  3. Quantum Supremacy is Coming (Quanta) -- "supremacy" is marketing hype. Quantum computers will still be useless for a while to come. "Supremacy" refers to conquering errors and noise enough to make a system that can use quantum phenomenon to do in parallel what classical computers must do in serial—even if it's only on a toy problem.
  4. How I Started Pineapple Day (Andrew Lee) -- “That’s not a real thing,” James retorted with an eyeroll as he set his bag down and sat down at his desk. “Sure it is,” I insisted, and to back my claim up I pulled up Google Calendar and added “International Bring Your Pineapple to Work Day” to our shared company calendar. I set the event to repeat every year on June 27th. Have a great weekend!

Four short links: 25 July 2019

Mutable Web, Re-Identification, Rule-Based Programming, and Risks of Government Hacking

  1. The Mutable Web -- rewriting Twitter's web styling is hard but not impossible, and makes the author muse on the value of the mutable web. Transparency and introspection are fundamental to the way the web works, and obfuscation, intentional or not, can't really change that.
  2. Estimating the Success of Re-Identifications in Incomplete Data Sets Using Generative Models (Nature) -- Using our model, we find that 99.98% of Americans would be correctly re-identified in any data set using 15 demographic attributes. Reminds me of the finding (claim?) that it only takes 8 (12? citation needed) words to uniquely identify a text.
  3. Picat -- a simple, and yet powerful, logic-based multi-paradigm programming language aimed for general-purpose applications. Picat is a rule-based language, in which predicates, functions, and actors are defined with pattern-matching rules. Interesting take on a language, which made more sense after I read this Hacker News comment.
  4. Security Risks of Government Hacking (Stanford Cyberlaw) -- This paper addresses six main ways that government hacking can raise broader computer security risks. These include: creating a disincentive to disclose vulnerabilities that should be disclosed because other attackers might independently discover them; cultivating a market for surveillance tools and 0-days; risking that vulnerabilities exploited by the malware will be identified and used by other attackers, as a result of either law enforcement’s losing control of the hacking tools, or discovery by outsiders of law enforcement’s hacking activity; creating an incentive to push for less-secure software and standards; and risking that the malware will affect innocent users.

Four short links: 24 July 2019

Computer Life, Quantum Hype, Python Anti-patterns, and Algorithm Series

  1. Nils Barricelli (Nautilus) -- history of an artificial (computer) life pioneer.
  2. Quantum Hype (ComputerWorld) -- the quantum computing memes are ace, but so is the general discussion of why quantum computing is felt by insiders to be overhyped.
  3. Python Anti-patterns -- readable collection of things Not To Do.
  4. All Hail the Algorithm -- Al-Jazeera five-part series exploring the impact of algorithms on our everyday lives.

Four short links: 23 July 2019

Deciphering Linear B, Data Journalism, Innovation Contradictions, Rebuilding Slack

  1. Applying Deep Learning to Linear B -- To compensate for the lack of strong supervision signal, our model design is informed by patterns in language change documented in historical linguistics. [...] When applied to the decipherment of Ugaritic, we achieve a 5.5% absolute improvement over state-of-the-art results. We also report the first automatic results in deciphering Linear B, a syllabic language related to ancient Greek, where our model correctly translates 67.3% of cognates.
  2. Data Science Behind Data Journalism (Chris Knox) -- discusses the data analysis that went into a story on vaccination in NZ. A good example of how to use data to do to journalism (and not just torture it to say what you want).
  3. The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures (HBR) -- A tolerance for failure requires an intolerance for incompetence. A willingness to experiment requires rigorous discipline. Psychological safety requires comfort with brutal candor. Collaboration must be balanced with individual accountability. And flatness requires strong leadership. Innovative cultures are paradoxical. Unless the tensions created by this paradox are carefully managed, attempts to create an innovative culture will fail. (via Tim Kong)
  4. When a Rewrite Isn't: Rebuilding Desktop Slack -- Our plan was to: keep the existing codebase; create a “modern” section of the codebase that would be future-proof and work the way we wanted it to; modernize the implementation of Slack bit by bit, replacing existing code with modern code incrementally; define rules that would enforce a strict interface between existing and modern code so it would be easy to understand their relationship; and continually ship all of the above with the existing app, replacing older modules with modern implementations that suited our new architecture. The final step—and the most important one for our purposes—was to create a modern-only version of Slack that would start out incomplete but gradually work its way toward feature completeness as modules and interfaces were modernized.

Four short links: 22 July 2019

Game Source, Procurement Graph, Data Moats, and Antitrust Regulation

  1. Game Source Code -- Internet Archive has a collection of video game source code. The majority of these titles were originally released as commercial products and the source code was made available to the public at a later time.
  2. European Public Procurement Knowledge Graph -- over 23 million triples (records), covering information about almost 220,000 tenders, built to support competitiveness and accountability by TheyBuyForYou. (via University of Southampton)
  3. The Empty Promise of Data Moats (Andreessen-Horowitz) -- business model wonks reckoned that "data network effects" were a thing, but the benefits seen by companies claiming data network effects seem to be the benefits of simply having a lot of data. And that's not as defensible as hoped. I liked this essay.
  4. Why Big Tech Keeps Outsmarting Antitrust Regulators (Tim O'Reilly) -- designers of marketplace-platform algorithms and screen layouts can arbitrarily allocate value to whom they choose. The marketplace is designed and controlled by its owners, and that design shapes “who gets what and why.” [...] Power over sellers ultimately translates into power over customers as well. When it comes to antitrust, the question of market power must be answered by analyzing the effect of these marketplace designs on both buyers and sellers, and how they change over time. How much of the value goes to the platform, how much to consumers, and how much to suppliers?

Four short links: 19 July 2019

Journal Mining, API Use, Better Conversation, and Apollo 11 Source

  1. 73 Million Journal Articles for Text Mining (BoingBoing) -- The JNU Data Depot is a joint project between rogue archivist Carl Malamud, bioinformatician Andrew Lynn, and a research team from New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University: together, they have assembled 73 million journal articles from 1847 to the present day and put them into an airgapped respository that they're offering to noncommercial third parties who want to perform textual analysis on them to "pull out insights without actually reading the text."
  2. How Developers Use API Documentation: An Observation Study (ACM) -- participants totally mapped to opportunistic (risk-taking, paste-then-adapt, change-without-checking) developers and systematic (start with clean code, read the docs, learn before coding) developers.
  3. Talk -- An open source commenting platform focused on better conversation.
  4. Apollo 11 -- Original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC) source code for the command and lunar modules.

Four short links: 18 July 2019

Weird Algorithms, Open Syllabi, Conversational AI, and Quantum Computing

  1. 30 Weird Chess Algorithms (YouTube) — An intricate and lengthy account of several different computer chess topics from my SIGBOVIK 2019 papers. We conduct a tournament of fools with a pile of different weird chess algorithms, ostensibly to quantify how well my other weird program to play color- and piece-blind chess performs. On the way we "learn" about mirrors, arithmetic encoding, perversions of game tree search, spicy oils, and hats.
  2. Open Syllabus Project — as FastCompany explains, the 6M+ syllabi from courses around the world tell us about changing trends in subjects. Not sure how I feel that four of the textbooks I learned on are still in the top 20 (Cormen, Tanenbaum, Silberschatz, Stallings).
  3. Plato — Uber open-sourced its flexible platform for developing conversational AI agents. See also their blog post.
  4. Speediest Quantum Operation Yet (ScienceDaily) — In Professor Michelle Simmons' approach, quantum bits (or qubits) are made from electrons hosted on phosphorus atoms in silicon.[...] "Atom qubits hold the world record for the longest coherence times of a qubit in silicon with the highest fidelities," she says. "Using our unique fabrication technologies, we have already demonstrated the ability to read and initialise single electron spins on atom qubits in silicon with very high accuracy. We've also demonstrated that our atomic-scale circuitry has the lowest electrical noise of any system yet devised to connect to a semiconductor qubit." [...] A two-qubit gate is the central building block of any quantum computer -- and the UNSW team's version of it is the fastest that's ever been demonstrated in silicon, completing an operation in 0.8 nanoseconds, which is ~200 times faster than other existing spin-based two-qubit gates.