D-Wave’s New Quantum Computer Is Inscrutable and Open for Business

D-Wave’s Advantage chip

D-Wave’s Advantage chip
Photo: D-Wave

In theory, quantum computers should be faster at solving many problems compared to classical computers. But because their components are extremely delicate, existing quantum computers are still rudimentary and error-prone, and academic and industry researchers have yet to demonstrate a profitable use for them. In pursuit of commercial applications, companies have built incrementally more complex quantum devices. Today, Canada-based company D-Wave announced the latest in this lineage of machines: Its fifth-generation quantum computer, named Advantage, which is accessible to customers via the cloud.

D-Wave tailored this upgrade based on recommendations from its users, which include companies such as Volkswagen, drug design company Menten AI, and Canadian grocery chain Save-On-Foods. “We’ve gotten about 10 years of user and customer feedback on what works and what doesn’t,” said Mark Johnson, vice president of quantum products at D-Wave and a physicist by training.

Through these partnerships, D-Wave is hunting for ways its devices could benefit businesses. Like other existing quantum computers, D-Wave devices can only solve specific types of problems. D-Wave’s machines are particularly designed to solve optimization problems quickly. For example, Volkswagen has found that D-Wave’s quantum device can help it minimize waste when switching between colors while painting its cars, according to Johnson.

Illustration for article titled D-Wave’s New Quantum Computer Is Inscrutable and Open for Business

D-Wave’s new device consists of 5,000 tiny circuits made of niobium on a chip, cryogenically cooled to near absolute zero. Each circuit constitutes a qubit, producing a magnetic field that can point in one of two directions to represent the value 1 or 0, like a classical bit. But because this magnetic field behaves quantum mechanically, the qubit can represent values that are a superposition of both 1 and 0. To do math, D-Wave’s computer manipulates the qubits’ magnetic field according to an algorithm. Advantage contains 3,000 more qubits than D-Wave’s previous

Computer Systems Fail At Major Hospital System After Ransomware Attack

Computers at Universal Health Services facilities — which has more than 400 locations, primarily in the U.S. — began to shut down over the weekend in what is described as one of the largest medical cyberattacks ever.

NBC News:
Major Hospital System Hit With Cyberattack, Potentially Largest In U.S. History

A major hospital chain has been hit by what appears to be one of the largest medical cyberattacks in United States history. Computer systems for Universal Health Services, which has more than 400 locations, primarily in the U.S., began to fail over the weekend, and some hospitals have had to resort to filing patient information with pen and paper, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. (Collier, 9/28)

A Ransomware Attack Has Struck A Major US Hospital Chain 

An emergency room technician at one UHS-owned facility tells WIRED that their hospital has moved to all-paper systems as a result of the attack. Bleeping Computer, which first reported the news, spoke to UHS employees who said the ransomware has the hallmarks of Ryuk, which first appeared in 2018 and is widely linked to Russian cybercriminals. Ryuk is typically used in so-called “big-game hunting” attacks in which hackers attempt to extort large ransoms from corporate victims. UHS says it has 90,000 employees and treats about 3.5 million patients each year, making it one of the US’ largest hospital and health care network. (Newman, 9/28)

USA Today:
Health Care Provider United Health Services Hit With Cyberattack

The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-headquartered health care giant’s operations include 26 acute care hospitals, 328 behavioral health facilities and 42 outpatient facilities across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.K. No data belonging to patients or employees “appears to have been accessed, copied or misused,” the company said in its statement. “We implement extensive IT

Computer Design & Integration LLC (CDI LLC) Promotes Brian Jones to Chief Operating Officer

Seasoned industry professional appointed to new role amid rapid growth

Computer Design & Integration LLC (“CDI” or “the Company”) announced today that Brian Jones has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will now be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations of the business, including enterprise performance, management and oversight of the Company’s corporate processes, while continuing to lead the strategy and execution of its mergers and acquisitions efforts.

Jones joined CDI in February 2020 as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, where he was tasked with developing enhanced financial operations and reporting for the business, while spearheading its mergers and acquisitions efforts. Under his leadership, the Company streamlined and consolidated many of its processes and procedures.

“I am fortunate to join a tenured executive team with tremendous experience and a passion for driving industry-leading results,” said Jones. “My goal is to ensure we maintain our competitive edge, our exceptional culture, and our ability to provide added-value to our customers. I look forward to helping CDI grow its business through both organic and acquisition activities.”

Jones has nearly two decades of financial services experience and holds a B.S. in Finance from Penn State University. Before joining CDI, Jones spent over 15 years at KPMG Corporate Finance LLC (KPMG), where he previously served as a Director in the Technology Banking team. In this capacity, he oversaw and executed mergers and acquisitions and capital raise transactions. Prior to KPMG, he worked for a boutique banking firm that ultimately grew into one of today’s prominent financial information and deal management SaaS platforms.

“Brian is an extremely versatile professional who has a deep understanding of our operations and our business,” said Eric Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, CDI. “His leadership, management and organizational skills have helped us increase efficiency, and he has a proven track

Computer model unravels mystery behind severe inflammation in people with COVID-19

A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai addresses a mystery first raised in March: Why do some people with COVID-19 develop severe inflammation? The research shows how the molecular structure and sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein–part of the virus that causes COVID-19–could be behind the inflammatory syndrome cropping up in infected patients.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses computational modeling to zero in on a part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may act as a “superantigen,” kicking the immune system into overdrive as in toxic shock syndrome–a rare, life-threatening complication of bacterial infections.

Symptoms of a newly identified condition in pediatric COVID-19 patients, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), include persistent fever and severe inflammation that can affect a host of bodily systems. While rare, the syndrome can be serious or even fatal.

The first reports of this condition coming out of Europe caught the attention of study co-senior author Moshe Arditi, M.D., director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division at Cedars-Sinai and an expert on another pediatric inflammatory disease–Kawasaki disease.

Arditi contacted his long-time collaborator, Ivet Bahar, Ph.D., distinguished professor and John K. Vries Chair of computational and systems biology at Pitt School of Medicine, and the two started searching for features of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that might be responsible for MIS-C.

Bahar and her team created a computer model of the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein and the receptors on human T cells, the foot soldiers of the immune system.

Under normal circumstances, T cells help the body fight off infection, but when these cells are activated in abnormally large quantities, as is the case with superantigens,