Four short links: 6 December 2018

Public Domain, Optimistic Sci-Fi, C64 Defrag, and Quantum Computing

By Nat Torkington
December 6, 2018
Four short links
  1. Re-Opening of the Public Domain (Creative Commons) — after years of legal extension of copyright terms, 2019 will be the first year in which new materials fall into the American public domain, and Creative Commons is throwing a bash at the Internet Archive.
  2. Better Worlds (The Verge) — starting on January 14th, we’ll be publishing Better Worlds: 10 original fiction stories, five animated adaptations, and five audio adaptations by a diverse roster of science fiction authors who take a more optimistic view of what lies ahead in ways both large and small, fantastical and everyday. Necessary! I heard a great interview with Tyler Cowen where he said, “you cannot live with pessimism, right? There’s also a notion that more optimism is a partially self-fulfilling prophecy. Believing pessimistic views might make them more likely to come about.” It is a fallacy to conflate optimism with naivete.
  3. Learn faster. Dig deeper. See farther.

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  4. A Disk Defragmenter for the Commodore 64 — I don’t know what’s more insane: watching a great 40×25 homage to the classic Windows defrag progress screen or reading the bonkers BASIC code behind it.
  5. Quantum Computing Progress and Prospectsan introduction to the field, including the unique characteristics and constraints of the technology, and assesses the feasibility and implications of creating a functional quantum computer capable of addressing real-world problems. This report considers hardware and software requirements, quantum algorithms, drivers of advances in quantum computing and quantum devices, benchmarks associated with relevant use cases, the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability of success. Separate the hype from the reality and develop a sense of the probability of different possible evolutionary paths for the technology.
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