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Tech Giant Google Sacks Dozens Over Sexual Harassment Claims

Shares in Alphabet, which owns Google, fell more than 3 per cent in New York after it reported revenues of $33.7 billion for the three months to September

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has sacked 48 people including 13 senior managers over sexual harassment claims since 2016.

In a letter to employees on Thursday, Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the tech giant was taking a “hard line” on inappropriate conduct, reports the BBC.

The letter was in response to a New York Times report that Android creator Andy Rubin received a $90 million exit package despite facing misconduct allegations.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, denied the allegations, the newspaper said.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Singer said Rubin decided to leave Google in 2014 to launch a venture capital firm and technology incubator called Playground.

Pichai’s letter said the New York Times story was “difficult to read” and that Google was “dead serious” about providing a “safe and inclusive workplace”.

“We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action,” he continued.

None of the employees dismissed in the past two years had received an exit package, Pichai added.

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Google sacks dozens over sexual harassment.
Wikimedia Commons

According to the New York Times report, two unnamed Google executives said then-Chief Executive Larry Page asked Rubin to resign after the company confirmed a complaint by a female employee about a sexual encounter in a hotel room in 2013.

A Google investigation found the woman’s complaint to be credible, the paper reported, but the company has not confirmed this.

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Rubin has said he did not engage in misconduct and left Google of his own accord.

Shares in Alphabet, which owns Google, fell more than 3 per cent in New York after it reported revenues of $33.7 billion for the three months to September.

However, net profit soared $2.5 billion to $9.2 billion. (IANS)

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Google Builds A Quantum Computer That Is Far Ahead Than Supercomputers

Google has reportedly built a quantum computer that is way ahead than world's top supercomputers in calculation

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One of the main building at Google's headquarters for European operations in Dublin Ireland. Wikimedia Commons

Google has reportedly built a quantum computer that is way ahead than world’s top supercomputers in calculation – solving tasks in nearly three minutes that would otherwise take current supercomputers 10,000 years to achieve.

According to a report in Financial Times on Friday, a Google research paper has claimed the feat, saying “their processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s most advanced classical computer, known as Summit (from IBM), approximately 10,000 years”.

“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” wrote the Google researchers.

In March 2018, Google unveiled its 72-qubit quantum computer chip Bristlecone, saying it was “cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone”.

Not just Google but several tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Intel have joined the race to build a scalable quantum computer.

Earlier this week, IBM unveiled its quantum computer with 53 qubits.

A quantum computer can solve complex problems that would otherwise take billions of years for today’s computers to solve. This has massive implications for research in health care, energy, environmental systems, smart materials and more.

According to Google, if a quantum processor can be operated with low enough error, it would be able to outperform a classical supercomputer on a well-defined computer science problem, an achievement known as “quantum supremacy”.

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To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor. Pixabay

These random circuits must be large in both number of qubits as well as computational length (depth).

“Although no one has achieved this goal yet, we calculate quantum supremacy can be comfortably demonstrated with 49 qubits, a circuit depth exceeding 40, and a two-qubit error below 0.5 per cent,” Google said recently.

“We believe the experimental demonstration of a quantum processor outperforming a supercomputer would be a watershed moment for our field, and remains one of our key objectives,” it added.

Researchers at Microsoft are also busy writing the software to build a scalable computer that will help humanity unlock solutions to problems in areas such as clean energy, global warming, materials design and much more – including solving the mysteries of our universe.

If all goes well, Microsoft is confident about having one such scalable super machine within the next five years.

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Based on quantum bits, the computer will not use classical bits but qubits which are not limited to binary and can have properties of 0 and 1 simultaneously, thus trying every possible number and sequence simultaneously to unlock vast amounts of data.

The current bits in computers store information as either 1 or 0, thus limiting the potential to make sense when faced with gigantic volumes of data.

“We’re looking at a five-year timeframe to build a quantum computer and what we need are roughly 100-200 good qubits with a low-error rate,” Krysta Svore, Principal Research Manager, Microsoft Quantum Computing, recently told IANS. (IANS)