back to article Canny Canadian PM schools snarky hack on quantum computing

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has humiliated a Canadian journalist who assumed he was clueless about quantum computing. Trudeau was attending a press conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario to announce $50m in science funding. A reporter jokingly asked him to explain …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Are we in the end times?

    A politician who actually has a reasonable grasp of technology; the end is near I tell ya!!!! At least English is spoken in Canada so when Burr and Feinstein finish their treason I will now where to move. Looks like I will need a parka.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are we in the end times?

      "I will now where to move. Looks like I will need a parka"

      ... and a spellchecker. But you're more than welcome.

      M. Trudeau is a former schoolteacher. No doubt he learned a great deal about handling snark during those years.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Are we in the end times?

        A spellcheck wouldn't pick that up. A grammar check, however.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are we in the end times?

        "Trudeau is a former schoolteacher."

        He can also box. A loud-mouth bottom-drawer ring-wing young politician challenged him to a charity boxing match. Trudeau won.

        It is rather 'Sunny Times' in Canada lately.

        We're even making slightly bigger airplanes now, Bombardier C-Series. Over 600 orders planned. Amazing.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Are we in the end times?

          From where I'm standing, Canada is about the best nation on earth.

          I even like that snowy weather. I would love to move there but I don't want to ruin the neighbourhood.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are we in the end times?

      Et Francais n'est-ce pas? Vous ne pouvez pas acheter du fromage en anglais!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Are we in the end times?

      There's a website for future refugee Americans.

      Google: Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Are we in the end times?

        Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins

        OK, that's pretty funny. And in all seriousness they make some good points. If you're living in the northern US now, CB is pretty close to the same climate (arguably nicer in the summer), and as they say, housing appears to be fairly affordable.1

        I mean, it's not Prince Edward Island, but ... well, actually, it almost is Prince Edward Island. Just fewer Japanese AoGG fans.

        1I don't know where the author of the site got "most affordable in North America" from, but there do seem to be some real deals. I can find similar ones in northern New Mexico or most parts of Michigan (the markets I'm familiar with), but a 1200 sq. ft. house for ~ $75K CAN is pretty sweet. OK, must stop looking at listings now.

    4. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Are we in the end times?

      Burr and Feinstein are all over this. In fact they describe a scenario where your data is simultaneously secure and available to TLAs via backdoors on the encryption...

      1. rh587

        Re: Are we in the end times?

        "In fact they describe a scenario where your data is simultaneously secure and available to TLAs everybody via backdoors on the encryption..."

        FTFY.

  2. wx666z

    Not yet End times

    Yeah! A(ny) politician who understands binary as opposed to multi-state is unknown in the US, well except OR. Is Canada accepting applications for additional provinces? Say FL.?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Not yet End times

      @wx666z

      "Is Canada accepting applications for additional provinces? Say FL.?"

      FL is the Canadian vacation destination of choice, no? Are you sure it's not already one?

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Not yet End times

        @wx666z

        binary as opposed to multi-state

        I think politicians in FL were thinking of quantum states when it comes to votes

        https://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~goguen/courses/275f00/abc-chads.html

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Not yet End times

      Well, Jimmy Carter is a nuclear scientist, but he is not prez anymore.

  3. scrubber

    He's technically wrong on everything but...

    Bloody close enough to be almost right, and as lies to children go, pretty damn good.

    He'll be burned as a witch on his next visit to the US.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

      If that's the case then he's miles ahead of the clueless yo-yo's in our (US government.

      Icon.... may have a good one for at least having an interest in what he's governing. The clowns down here only have interest because of lobbyists or agencies tell them what to be interested in and what to say.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

      Only if he goes to the south and says he believes in science over religion.

      1. RobThBay

        Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

        Imagine what would happen if he mentioned the ongoing "god particle" work at the LHC while in the southern states.

        1. swarfega

          Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

          He's like a hot version of Saakashvili?

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

            He's like a hot version of Saakashvili?

            What do you mean, a hot version? How can you not .... I'll get my coat.

      2. Mad Chaz

        Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

        that's something we don't get here north of the wall, your obsession of science vs religion. If any of our politicians went public and boasted about his religion, he'd get told to go do something more useful.

  4. Slx

    He's very hard not to like!

    1. Darryl

      I don't know. I think this is the first time I've heard him actually answer a question. He inherited his father's ability to ramble on and on and not really answer anything.

      But he takes a mean selfie.

    2. thames

      @Six - It's current government policy to try to be civil to people. The previous government went out of their way to be uncivil to the press and other people.

      A minor anecdote is perhaps instructive. A little over a century ago there was a national crisis involving an English versus French dispute in Manitoba. It was a serious matter, as about 3 decades before that the issue had to be solved by sending the army in. However, the new provincial premier (head of government for the province) was reviving the issue and being intransigent about it. Federally Sir Wilfred Laurier won election and became PM saying he would resolve the crisis using "sunny ways" (a reference to Aesop’s Fables) to cool things down in Manitoba and bring the two sides together (which he did).

      Roll forward a bit over a century. Trudeau (of the same party as Laurier was) said he would return civility to public life after years of rule by a government which was distinctly lacking in it. The public responded well to this (the previous government having rather worn out their welcome).

      On election night when Trudeau ascended the podium to give his victory speech, under the roar of applause he quietly said "sunny ways my friends, sunny ways". He's obviously read his history and drawn his conclusions from it.

      Trudeau does a pretty good job of being pleasant, cheerful, and positive, but I think it's a very deliberate sort of pleasantness which the rest of his cabinet emulates as well. I'm not complaining, as I like the change in tone so far. I hope it takes hold more widely in politics.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        That pleasantness makes the political debate sound so much more grown-up than the childish bickering so many other politicians go in for, in particular when they disagree with someone, purely because he is member of another party, even when that person is proposing the very same policy the other said he were backing. I find that such puerile behaviour (not limited to a single country, alas).

        Well done to these Canadians for showing politicians can be polite.

        1. julian.smith

          Free Dumb

          No wonder America is the laughing stock of the world

          How's that "Land of the Free" meme working out for you 99 percenters?

          Still struggling with:

          - choosing between Trump (le cochon) / Cruz (only in America / Clinton (Wall Street's candidate)

          - abortion / women's reproductive rights

          - racism

          - 30,000 gun deaths yearly

          - police with a licence to kill

          - 1984 level surveillance

          ++++

          LMAO

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Free Dumb

            It's pretty bad form to list a string of negatives without balance. Especially as many on that list are not unique to the USA.

            There are enough positives about the USA to cancel out your list and then some.

            But Canada is better.

          2. Driver's Door

            Re: Free Dumb

            Given the choice between the candidate who is least likely to blow up the entire world, because it is bad for business, versus the the guy who the bookies are already taking bets on how long it will be before he starts lobbing nukes at the people that have upset him (anyone that does not kiss his ass) I think I would always choose the one that won't blow up the world. We survived 8 years of Chaney,, I think we can survive 4/8 years of Hillery. But apparently my position is in the minority,The clueless here (USA) picked the one who will screw over his own electoral base as soon as he is in office. If Canada does plan the start accepting the hoards that say that they are going to emigrate, I would suggest adding a 6-grade proficiency test to the paperwork that must be filled out to get a visa.

    3. kain preacher Silver badge

      Canadian Republicans

      On Face book I've met a few and they hate him with a passion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: Canadian Republicans

        Kain Preacher has met a few hateful Canadian 'Republicans' on Facebook...

        That's what Facebook's 'Block User' feature is for. Your online life will be much better if such stupid and hateful people are blocked.

        PS: Canada doesn't have a 'Republican' party. The Conservative Party is still relatively centrist and moderate. Their biggest issue during Harper's reign was replacing informed thought with mindless ideology, as evidenced by nearly two dozen subsequent resultant losses in Canada's Supreme Court.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Canadian Republicans

          That's what Facebook's 'Block User' feature is for.

          I prefer the block Facebook feature of my firewall.

        2. Driver's Door

          Re: Canadian Republicans

          And the USA does not have a Democratic party. It has the moderate Republican party and the bat-shit crazy extremist Republican party.

      2. khjohansen

        Re: Canadian Republicans

        *Republicans* ?? as in, opposing the sovereignty of H.M. the Queen ?

        Or are they referring to some americanism a la "blue states - red states"?

        Q: Do any "red states" fly a red flag near their seat of government?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Canadian Republicans

          @ khjohansen

          Canada has four major political colours: red, orange, green, and blue ( the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens, and the Conservatives). At this point, all four remain "loyalist" i.e. support the Crown.

          There is a Quebec separatist party that operates at the Federal level, but its support waned to rump status, it would be a pale pale light blue now. Quebecers are notorious for voting as a defacto massive single block (some type of bizarre group think) and are unpredictable.

        2. Driver's Door

          "Do any "red states" fly a red flag near their seat of government?"

          Of course that do, it is called the Confederate Flag. It is the banner of the losing side of the civil war. Now there is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Civil and war in the same sentence. How do you have a civil war? Do you politely announce your intent? Hello, beautiful day we are having. Did you get a chance to enjoy the Carolinas last summer? You didn't? Shame. I hear they are quite lovely when the place is not an inferno. Forgive me sir, but I really need to blow your brains out now. BLAM! Have a nice day.

      3. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Canadian Republicans

        The Wisdom of Justin Trudeau.

        "The budget will balance itself."

        "It's very worrying, especially because Russia lost in hockey, they'll be in a bad mood. We fear Russia's involvement in Ukraine."

        "I am not going to talk about this anymore because I am setting a new standard for transparency."

        "I don't read the newspapers, I don't watch the news. If something important happens, someone will tell me."

        "[Do you regret making the comment about China, that it was the country you most admire]:

        ''Maybe we shouldn't be so smug about Canada.""

        "[Is Canada better served when there are more Quebeckers in power than Albertans?]''

        ''I'm a Liberal, so obviously I think so."

        "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work."

        "I've always known that it's sometimes an advantage to be a Trudeau."

        "[Do you think the claim to the North Pole is with Canada?]''

        ''I'm going to defer to scientists."

        "I am very much in favour of the west-east pipeline.''

        ''The East Energy Oil pipeline is not socially acceptable."

        "If you kill your enemies, they win"

        I have yet to meet anyone (who was not a party member) who to my face has anything remotely positive about either him or our Albertan Premier.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Canadian Republicans

          I have yet to meet anyone (who was not a party member) who to my face has anything remotely positive about either him or our Albertan Premier.

          Perhaps you should go out more and meet some new people. After ten years of Harper and the 40-year blue dynasty in Alberta[*], Justin feels like a breath of fresh air. He's by no means perfect, but at least he does not behave like an automaton, and appears to believe in serving the public.

          Incidentally, I didn't vote for Trudeau or his party; however, if he continues being sensible and mostly following through on his promises, he'll have my support in the next election. Not the one after that, though: what we clearly need in Canada are some fairly low limits on the time a person can spend in an elected office, lest they forget who they are working for.

          [*] at least Ralf was entertaining while drunk and competent while sober; the procession of self-obsessed, entitled non-entities which proceeded through the revolving door after him was just depressing.

        2. Midnight

          Re: Canadian Republicans

          > The Wisdom of Justin Trudeau.

          ...As filtered through election ads.

          > "The budget will balance itself."

          Honest people would include the entire quote, "The commitment needs to be a commitment to grow the economy and the budget will balance itself.", and perhaps even refer to the CPAC interview from which that statement was cherry-picked.

          "If A then B" is not the same as "B! Absolutely B!", and even you should know that.

          > "It's very worrying, especially because Russia lost in hockey, they'll be in a bad mood. We fear Russia's involvement in Ukraine."

          So... "We welcome Ukraine's new Russian Overlords" would have been more suitable? Or "What, Russia is invading the Ukraine? That's fine with me!"

          > "I am not going to talk about this anymore because I am setting a new standard for transparency."

          When you put those little quotey things around a sentence, you're making a claim that it's something that was actually said, and not just a half-assed paraphrase you found on a twit-list called "Shit Trudeau Says". The actual quote was "It is very clear that MPs can have supplementary sources of income in things they do, In my disclosure I've been more transparent than any politician ever has and I stand by what I said. I have set a new level of transparency." The quote comes from an interview given while he was running for the party leadership and refers to the fact that he gave a number of speeches and collected speaking fees even while sitting as a Member of Parliament. He discussed this business with the house Ethics Commissioner to ensure that there was no conflict of interest or violation of parliamentary rules and provided details about every engagement. When pressed for even more details he replied that he had already answered the question and was not hiding anything.

          > "I don't read the newspapers, I don't watch the news. If something important happens, someone will tell me."

          ...In 2001. At the age of 29. Seven years before running for a seat in Parliament. And he was quoting his father. But don't let that stop you.

          > "[Do you regret making the comment about China, that it was the country you most admire]:

          >

          > ''Maybe we shouldn't be so smug about Canada.""

          Again, I'm looking for some context here. Would you be happier if he wore a red baseball cap with the slogan "MAKE CANADA GREAT AGAIN" written on it, and refused to hear anyone ever say that anything was wrong with his country?

          > "[Is Canada better served when there are more Quebeckers in power than Albertans?]''

          >

          > ''I'm a Liberal, so obviously I think so."

          >

          > "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work."

          Trudeau's predecessor, Stephen Harper, represented traditionally Conservative Alberta. Both quotes come from a 2010 interview with Tele-Quebec in which Trudeau was asked about how the people of Quebec were feeling let down by the current Canadian government and responded, quite correctly, that the government was being led by ministers with very different values from those held in Quebec.

          > "I've always known that it's sometimes an advantage to be a Trudeau."

          And I've always know that it's sometimes an advantage to pick a few words out of the middle of a 2008 interview with Macleans. Especially when the rest of the quote goes like this:

          "People forget he left politics when I was 12, 13 years old; I had just turned 13. And he spent the rest of his life raising us. From 13 to 25, I lived in the same house as him. Every night at dinner, every morning at breakfast, every weekend, conversations, he raised us. And his capacities as a leader were great, his capacities as a father were better. So the idea that he could somehow raise his sons so that we would somehow expect the world to be handed to us is completely misunderstanding the kind of father that he is. I mean, I know that the name Trudeau can be a great advantage. It can be a disadvantage in my riding and in some other places, but it also can be a great advantage. But if I want it to be an actual advantage, I have to work two or three times as hard as anyone else. But that’s the way I was raised anyway, so it’s no big shocker. "

          > "[Do you think the claim to the North Pole is with Canada?]''

          >

          > ''I'm going to defer to scientists."

          As opposed to... "Durr, no, I'm just going to say whatever gets me the most votes and doesn't piss off my American friends. Can I have some money now?"

          As for the others, I would ask for a citation which is more than 140 characters long, but I can't spend my entire day doing your homework for you. Nobody is asking you to like or respect the guy, but if he really was as terrible as you said, I'm sure you could find some sort of honest arguments against him.

  5. Patras

    Angela Merkel

    Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has a Ph.D in Physics.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Angela Merkel

      I wonder whose Ph.D she copied.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Angela Merkel

        "I wonder whose Ph.D she copied."

        I'm guessing at least some of the 24 people who downvoted you are not aware of the backstory. Unlike the US and to some extent the UK, politicians in Germany are almost expected to have higher qualifications. It has been recently uncovered that some of them have plagiarized their theses.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Angela Merkel

      Er,<pedant mode>

      A Degree in Physics. Her Ph.D is in quantum chemistry; "Investigation of the mechanism of decay reactions with single bond breaking and calculation of their velocity constants on the basis of quantum chemical and statistical methods"

      </pedant mode>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Angela Merkel

        ... and calculation of their rate constants ...

        FTFY

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Angela Merkel

          She really should have stuck to science.

          1. Wupspups

            Re: Angela Merkel

            The same could be said for Margaret Hilda Roberts. First UK PM with a science degree and look where that got us.

      2. Sureo

        Re: Angela Merkel, PhD

        I've often wondered why a high-level thinker such as scientist or physician goes into politics.

  6. Aquilus

    Check this out for a cool explanation

    I found this page to be an enlightening explanation of how quantum computing works, as well as being a bit of a mindfuck in that it gives a method for instantaneous cooperation at a distance. It's intriguing because it doesn't seem to violate relativity by allowing -information- to be transferred between the points instantaneously, but does mean when the two compare notes afterwards, they found they acted in a way as if they'd communicated.

    http://twistedoakstudios.com/blog/Post6536_implementing-quantum-pseudo-telepathy

    The little animated diagrams of the gates and their effects on the superpositioned qubits are amazing :D

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

      allowing -information- to be transferred between the points instantaneously

      Pedant alert: quantum communications doesn't allow instantaneous information transfer. You almost had it right because you go on to say that the parties have to compare notes afterwards. There's no information transfer until they compare notes and the information contained in them is still subject to classical limits on how fast it can be transmitted (no FTL, no violating relativity).

      1. Aquilus

        Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

        I had it exactly right because I prefaced the phrase you quoted by saying it doesn't seem to allow that. :V

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

          I had it exactly right because I prefaced the phrase

          OK, I misinterpreted, but the emphasis you used (on "information" rather than "doesn't") suggested to me that somehow "information" (as opposed to something tangible like a photon or whatever) was something that could be transmitted without breaking the speed limit. Your use of the word "seems" ("I know not 'seems' ...") further muddied the waters for me.

          So anyway, not "it seems that instantaneous information transfer doesn't violate relativity", but "relativity doesn't allow for instantaneous information transfer". All cleared up.

          Still, one other niggle: "it gives a method for instantaneous cooperation at a distance" is similarly open to misinterpretation. The "spooky action at a distance" is uncorrelated until after both parties have compared notes. This "cooperation" you're talking about takes time and is definitely not instantaneous.

          (with the obvious caveat that "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics" surely applies equally to both of us)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

        @ " You almost had it right because you go on to say that the parties have to compare notes afterwards. "

        Yeh, and the note says "did this experiment exhibit entanglement? yes/no" if yes, then your photon polarization is the same as mine, if no, ignore the result. So the entanglement happens when the researcher filters out the experiments where the photons are different....

        That was the essence of the Delft entanglement experiment, and it forms the basis for every other entanglement experiment since Wheelers Delayed Choice. Always a filter to remove failed experiments, which are actually proof of the non-existance of entanglement, carefully filtered from the experimental result.

        You tell me, did

        a) a Photon sense the apparatus it was in would determine its wave or particle like properties and go backwards in time, and change its nature before it reached the apparatus to become wave like, or particle like. Fixing up all the interactions with everything along the way, even altering distant photons to also be the same way?

        or

        b) the detector sees the world based on how it detects. So for example, a photo-multiplier, detects by promoting an outer electron to be free, which knocks other outer electrons off, and causes a detectable current. So it couldn't detect a thing lower than the energy needed to knock off that initial electron. So it imposes a minimum quantum on everything it measures. So it sees the world in quanta. The light didn't become a particle with a bigger eV than the energy needed to promote that electron, its simply that if it was smaller than that, the photo multiplier couldn't detect it.

        So is there a detector with a zero energy gap? That won't impose quanta on its measurements? No. If there was it would be firing all the time detecting the nothings.

        So of course the quanta you detect comes from the detector. Your photons appear to be particles because your detecting them that way.

        Perhaps its time physics cleaned house? Because all that QM QED Standard model stuff is just garbage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

      @"The little animated diagrams of the gates and their effects on the superpositioned"

      Nah. Firstly there's one claimed quantum computer currently, the DWAVE, and there's no superpositioning going on in that. It's an analogue magnetic field computer. You configure a circuit in it, that circuit is made of coils and magnetic fields and superconductors. As the fields collapse, they reach a balance, so you can solve 'minimization' problems with. i.e. solve this equation y = F(x1,x2,x3,x4...) to find the values of x1,x2,x3,x4, that create the lowest possible value of y.

      DWave often doesn't find the optimal result, it finds a sub-optimal local minimum. It Superpositioning was going on, then x1,x2,x3... would pass through *all* possible values, including the ideal *optimal* solution. What it tells us is that these qubits are in a *single* state, and it happened to be nearer the *sub-optimal* solution than the optimal one as the field collapsed.

      So no superimposition, just analogue computer.

      And as for entanglement, no. If there was such a thing as entanglement it would work 1000x faster than light, so the result would be instantaneous, and it isn't.

      And Light does not really change between wave and particle, light has no way of knowing whether the experiment it's passing through is to detect wave or particle properties, and the idea that it goes back in time, and changes its nature (and the nature of every particle it interacted with along the way) to fit the first time its detected, is just laughable. It's just the limits of the detection method mapped onto the thing being detected.

      It's the flock of starlings problem: If your detector can only see the flock and not the individual bird, then you see a big flock sized particle, jumping around, sometimes in multiple places at once, sometimes nowhere, as if its time traveling or travelling faster than light.

      You see the same effect in bubble chambers with some particles that appear to go backwards in time,

      ...and even in lightning strikes that goes from ground to sky as if the ground was discharging to the sky... or the sky was discharging to the ground in backwards time...

      ... except of course your not seeing the discharge at all, you're seeing the arc of light it creates as it heats the air. You eyes see the arc, because they can't see the electricity flowing. Another limit of the detector mapped onto the observed effect.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Check this out for a cool explanation

        Firstly

        "First" is perfectly capable of being an adverb. It doesn't need an extra syllable to do the job.

        there's one claimed quantum computer currently, the DWAVE,

        Wrong. The DWave machine is the only commercial quantum-computing system currently available. (Actually, even that's probably not true; no doubt there are various snake-oil merchants trying to sell fake QC machines. And possibly someone else is now peddling an QAC system like the DWave - I don't follow that market closely.)

        But there have been several claimed true QC systems built by various research teams. They don't have many qubits, so they're not useful for real work, but that doesn't mean they're not quantum computers.

        and there's no superpositioning going on in that. It's an analogue magnetic field computer.

        More accurately, it's a quantum adiabatic computer. Basically a quantum version of standard annealing. The idea is you tunnel through thin "walls" to get out of local minima more cheaply.

        DWave often doesn't find the optimal result, it finds a sub-optimal local minimum.

        Yup. The quantum effect of the DWave system (assuming there really is one; opinion is divided) is local. As with any annealing system, you have to decide how much "heat" (perturbation) you're going to pump into the system. Too much and you may not reach equilibrium; too little and you may get stuck in a local minimum.

        And as for entanglement, no. If there was such a thing as entanglement it would work 1000x faster than light, so the result would be instantaneous, and it isn't.

        Er, no. I don't know exactly what this is supposed to mean, but it doesn't appear to be converging on anything accurate.

        the idea that it goes back in time, and changes its nature (and the nature of every particle it interacted with along the way) to fit the first time its detected, is just laughable

        Indeed, that sounds pretty silly. Who do you think is proposing it?

  7. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    hummmmm

    Hthe thoughts just struck me. If the instantaneous communication works as advertised it removes the need for encryption since it can't be intercepted in transit.

    How would they legislate that one?

    1. cbars

      Re: hummmmm

      That is indeed one of the proposed benefits. The problem is, as always, translating the theoretical to the real world. The problem you face is the entangled state will collapse if you try to shove it down a copper wire.

      The entire internet network would need to be relaid, and this only works point to point, so relays are out, and your house would need a direct connection to every server you wish to talk to.

      Not 100% practical, so no legislation required, only the military will bother I imagine.

      If, however, storage becomes so efficient that you can store the whole internet on one machine, then this starts to seem do-able...

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: hummmmm

        The communication can never truly be FTL or "instantaneous". You can transmit things, as long as it is not "information". So it does allow for, as in your example, encryption keys to be transmitted or messages to be transmitted but checks to be made if they have been "read/tampered".

        So the encryption keys are transmitted at normal speed, but it is a guarantee you both get the same key and that they have not been intercepted.

        This can be done with photons over optical cables. But I've not seen it done in practical ways yet.

        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/quantum-cryptography-at-the-end-of-your-road/

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: hummmmm

      "How would they legislate that one?" --- Sgt Oddball

      In exactly the same way ... by ignoring the science/maths and legislating anyway.

      1. NotBob

        Re: hummmmm

        We might legislate it by classing it as a munition. That's just how we roll.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: hummmmm

      If the instantaneous communication works as advertised it removes the need for encryption since it can't be intercepted in transit.

      As someone else already noted, so-called "quantum cryptography" (a misnomer) doesn't transmit information instantaneously. You're still limited by the speed of light. Go faster and you break causality, and then someone will go back in time and stop you from doing that because there are a whole bunch of us who like causality.1

      It also doesn't prevent interception (at least not for the traditional QC protocols; maybe things have advanced since I last looked at this stuff). What it prevents is undetected interception. More specifically, in typical QC protocols interception will cause protocol errors, so Alice and Bob won't be able to agree on a session key in the first place, and thus will never transmit any sensitive data.

      How would they legislate that one?

      Well, again as has already been pointed out, legislation need not have any basis in reality. However, the real sticking point for quantum communications is economics. It's simply not feasible to set up these systems with everyone you might want to communicate with.

      And, of course, while, say, the key exchange might be protected under a QC scheme, there are all sorts of other places to attack. Even if the entire channel is protected, start to finish, an attacker will just go after the endpoints.

      1I can't decide if this should be interpreted as a reference to Charles Stross or to Andrew Hussie. Take your pick, I guess.

  8. BurnT'offering

    He countered the snark

    with strangeness and charm

  9. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    A Danger too all that is right and Right

    Should Trump get the prez job and be asked such a question, either he'd have the press guy taken out and shot --or just be attacked by surrounding petomaines for using witchcraft and summoning the ghosts of Feynman and the like.

    Similar to our own Boris Trump - if it ain't binary, it's an abomination.

  10. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Trollface

    Meanwhile, in the UK ...

    How do we get a journalist to ask Boris Johnson to explain General Relativity? The answer wouldn't be meaningful, but undoubtedly would be good for a laugh.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, in the UK ...

      I'd hold off on relativity until he at least demonstrates an understanding of contraception.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile, in the UK ...

        He's certainly tried. Shame his parents didn't.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, in the UK ...

      The answer wouldn't be meaningful, but undoubtedly would be good for a laugh.

      Boris would just say something in Latin and hope no-one understood it.

  11. Steve Button

    And Cameron?

    Perhaps we could get him to explain encryption?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: And Cameron?

      Nah. Politicians are generally well-versed in encryption, though maybe not so much in explaining it. Their preferred method, nearly unbreakable, is verbal steganography.

      1. Midnight

        Re: And Cameron?

        I'm afraid it's more of a one-way hash. Try extracting the plain-text from this cipher:

        "Notwithstanding the fact that your proposal could conceivably encompass certain concomitant benefits of a marginal and peripheral relevance, there is a countervailing consideration of infinitely superior magnitude involving your personal complicity and corroborative malfeasance, with a consequence that the taint and stigma of your former associations and diversions could irredeemably and irretrievably invalidate your position and culminate in public revelations and recriminations of a profoundly embarrassing and ultimately indefensible character."

  12. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Intelligence AND politics?

    Woah!

  13. Richard Jones 1
    WTF?

    And For Corbyn

    Perhaps Corbyn could explain how to get your tax return, accurate, correct and on time as his speciality discussion subject.

    For the record I'm now about 95% done on my 2016 return (that is the one due by January 2017).

    1. sed gawk

      Re: And For Corbyn

      Bet you you paid more than you will

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And For Corbyn

        Quite possibly. The fines for lateness can get expensive.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: And For Corbyn

        "Bet you you paid more than you will"

        I bet not..

  14. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Prime Minister Trudeau vice the sadder longer term average

    Previous Canadian PM (Mr Harper) will be dragging down the long term average for decades to come.

    The Supreme Court of Canada is still (even just this past week) cleaning up Harper's Legacy.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Test of AC and Icon

    Bug found?

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Test of AC and Icon

      ^- AC and icon. LOL...

      Coders... They always miss things...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Reproducibility Test of AC with icon

    Excuse the testing...

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Reproducibility Test of AC with icon

      LOL

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reproducibility Test of AC with icon

      FREE BEER! (Well, free of consequence for whatever comment one feels obliged to make.)

      ...

      FREE BEER! DRINKS ON THE HOUSE!

      EDIT: Bah. Either they fixed it, or I missed the cheat-sheet handout for whatever extra trick makes it work. I never win anything </grumps>

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Reproducibility Test of AC with icon

        The webmaster fixed it almost immediately after I reported it.

        I can still make the AC and Icon appear together without complaint in the Preview, but it appears that the Submit is fixed.

  17. Alistair Silver badge
    Boffin

    Trudeau is no slouch in the speaking department

    He's had great exposure to excellent source material -

    And I honestly think that he *believes* that Canada, and politicians in Canada, have a responsibility to be the calm, rational, quiet voices for reason. It is a role that the country has been known for in the past, and sadly Harper et al shredded that reputation. Even J Chretien, despite is rougher edges and his image, managed to tell GWB to f### off rather politely over WMD. Possibly since the spook types up here were the loudest saying that the yellowcake invoice was fake as hell.

    Lots of TeaParty doctrine has been spewed in the media up here over the last 15 years, and has right shifted the less mentally agile of the PC party, in line with Harper's doctrine. "Toe The Line, don't speak out of turn, we'll tell you what you need to know" politics just rubbed 64% of the Canadian voting public the wrong way prior to the last election.

    It is interesting now that the raging right are using fallout from the conservative process and governmental commitments to crucify the the Liberals at every turn. If they had any idea of the level of irony they generate, it would be sufficient to power a small city.

    All that said I'm no screaming fan of some components of the Liberal party either, but at least in the federal case, they've chosen a *very* charming, well trained, well mannered, and quite intelligent leader. Hopefully the direction we've been going will see some corrections.

    The conservatives (at least federally) have only one hope. Neither of them (yes, it is a couple and if you're Canadian you know who.) are about to run for the leadership in the current atmosphere of the teaparty republican wannabes pulling trump like attitude in the PC party. The NDP (again federally) sadly will have to wait a good 10 years to find another leader that stands a chance to pull them out of the dust. The last NDPer that stood that chance was taken from us rather abruptly.

    As for future provinces see:

    http://globalnews.ca/news/2621875/reality-check-should-canada-adopt-turks-and-caicos-as-its-11th-province/

    Sorry, with the state being run by a bush? I wouldn't touch Florida with a Georgia Pine.

    Happy Saturday, its a gorgeous day outside and my youngest has a school project I'm supposed to be working with him on. later.

    1. Paul Renault

      Re: Trudeau is no slouch in the speaking department

      Props for correcting the Fla, proto-Canadian by bringing up the Turks & Caicos; though I would have linked to the Wiki page; next year, it'll be 100 years since Robert Borden first proposed it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turks_and_Caicos_Islands#Proposed_union_with_Canada

  18. TheOtherHobbes

    Merkel has a PhD in quantum chemistry.

    Sad, but true.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      "...quantum chemistry..."

      I suspect that's part of how brains work.

      It puts the 'Random' into 'Random Access Memory'.

  19. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Politics used to be a noble science

    I do not follow Canadian politics or Trudeau, but this does not prevent me from making a few disinterested observations:

    1. The offered explanation can only be judged impressive in comparison with Sen. Feinstein's grasp of number theory.

    2. A political press event at a scientific establishment, and no one among the generally skeptical El Reg commentariat voices a suspicion the question could be a plant?

    3. Successful politicians tend to know how to be charming, and how to engineer (sic!) situations to apply the charm.

    I will see nothing wrong in the situation even if it proves to be a plant, but it's still not like he gave a coherent and informed speech on what D-Wave Systems' success could mean to the Canadian technology (preferably with a high level overview of the controversy about whether they have demonstrated any quantum features... no, that's me being snark...). That would both make him really stand out among the world's politicians and fall well within his remit as the Prime Minister.

    1. Tom 64
      Mushroom

      Re: Politics used to be a noble science

      "Successful politicians tend to know how to be charming".

      Do you consider David Cameron to be charming? He couldn't charm a pig with sh1t. Or indeed with anything else.

      He's arguably successful since he landed the top job twice, but I doubt charm had anything to do with it.

  20. 404 Silver badge
    Coat

    IDK, WTF, and STFU

    I don't know what the fuck is going on in this year's election and ya'll can shut the fuck up considering ya'll thought Obama was the next best thing to Mother Teresa...

    (Bernie should be winning over that sack of recycled potatoes Hildawg and Trump? Cruz? WHO the fuck let them out? Jesus...)

    ...the camo jacket with MREs, wooden stakes, garlic, and other interesting bits in pockets...

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: IDK, WTF, and STFU

      Found the Hildawg supporter....

      ;)

  21. Glenn 6

    Right now, Burr and Feinstein and pointing at Trudeau and yelling "SORCERER!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure why it's so hard to see: Someone in his press department researched for him knowing journos would try to trip him up and he parroted the description they gave him.

  23. Jucking Fidiot

    Meanwhile, back in Washington...

    "Quantum" computing? Where is that company based? Let's buy some really big ones...

  24. Big-Guy

    Hate to burst your ballon but...

    This was a setup question, and he just had someone tell him that morning what it was. The question was to be about ISIS

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